We wake to a beautiful sunrise over the Ewaso Ng’iro river flowing outside our canvas room at Larson’s Tented Camp.
If you look carefuly, you can see the vervet monkey outside the door. The staff bring us coffee and a biscuit each morning before breakfast. These clever little devils will rush in to look for food, if given a chance. And they will charge the tray if you turn your back when you bring it outside. (And we always take itrays back to the front desk–we aren’t about to leave crumbs in our tent. I think these guys would find some way to get in.) We keep any snack bars or gum in locked suitcases. Not only must we keep our tent zippers closed at all times, we have to lock them with a pin or the monkeys will just unzip and make themselves at home. Cheeky little @#$@$!
Samburu is an interesting area. It is where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness of “Born Free.” It is also where a lioness unsuccessfully attempted to adopt—rather than eat—several oryx calves (she wasn’t a good oryx mom and they didn’t make it.)
We start our first drive at dawn—the sun rising over the Doum palms is spectacular.
I’m told ths is the only species of multi-branched palm. It’s been around for a while…3,000 year old Doun palm fruit was found in King Tut’s tomb.
We immediately come upon our third type of giraffe—the Somali reticulated giraffe.
This species has a defined square pattern, none of the rosette splotches we saw in the Maasai giraffe and no white legs like the Rothchild’s.
Three lioness walk down the road, right beside our car.
Driving a bit further, we meet a large matriarch herd of elephants, with babies from several generations.
And we spot a March Eagle is in a tree picking on the remains of a dik dik leg (the tiny antelope). We don’t know if the eagle caught the dik dik,
But it now must fend off two fan-tailed crows who decide they want to try to get in on the feast.
A beautiful red-beaked hornbill lands on a nearby tree at the road.
Then we see it’s mate throwing a worm into the air to catch and eat it—much like we might throw popcorn to catch in our mouths.
In an open field we find a herd of oryx.
And one even sticks out his tongue to give us a raspberry!
At dusk, we find several genenuk.
These long-necked antelope typically browse on their hind feet , eating the top leaves and shoots of prickly bushes and acacias.
The young bucks seem to love to spar at the end of the day.
And we end the day with a colorful sunset among the doun palms.
Tomorrow we begin our day at a Samburu village. These are semi-nomadic people who are related to the Masai. They herd mainly cattle but also keep sheep, goats and sometimes camels.