It was another early morning (with hot chocolate and coffee and cookies delivered to the tent of course) and another beautiful sunrise. We had the full day to explore the Samburu National Reserve and the interesting creatures that call it home.
Dik-diks are dwarf antelopes and these Guenther’s dik-diks are one of the smaller species. A fully grown female (they are larger than the males) is only about 10 or 11 lbs! They are very cute and extremely skittish.
These next 2 were actually taken at the lodge, where they’re more used to people and a little less skittish. The dark patches under their eyes are their scent glands which they use to mark their small territory.
You can see the camel-like snout on these little animals. Most pronounced on this particular species it allows them to conserve water and survive in this inhospitable climate.
We saw 2 different types of weaver nests – the ones that hung like ornaments (courtesy of the black-capped social weaver)
and the homes of the white-headed buffalo weaver, that were built on the branches.
The baked sand of Samburu creates some interesting patterns and textures…
A lioness will keep her cubs hidden for the first few months before introducing them to the pride. These adorable little ones were still hidden away, although they were pretty curious about what was happening around them.
The oxpecker is a friend to most of the large African mammals. They play an important role by removing ticks, dead skin and generally doing clean up duty. They also provide for some interesting photo opportunities, especially on the patterned reticulated giraffe.
It was a nice, relaxing day. It’s a birders’ paradise and we stopped frequently to photograph the variety of birds.
And of course, we stopped for breakfast and lunch. This was breakfast…
Do you see the baby crocodile to the elephant’s left?
The patterns on the grevy’s zebras are mesmerizing…
And then there were the gerenuk. A species of antelope who’ve evolved to have long necks so they can reach the branches on the trees. When you see them standing on four legs, they’re funny looking…
And then they go up on their hind legs to eat…
They’re guaranteed to make you smile!
We found this tawny eagle on the beach. It was taking off, flying a few feet and landing. Over and over. Perhaps he was posing for us?
The beautiful horns on the beisa oryx can grow up to 4 feet long!
There is nothing more magical than when an elephant comes near enough for a close up of the texture and patterns on their skin.
More zebra patterns…
and another double-header…
This olive baboon looks like he’s trying to figure something out!
The marshall eagle is the largest eagle in Africa, but only the 8th largest in the world. With a wingspan of almost 6 and a half feet, they are very strong. You can see the strength in the chest and legs.
The termites in this part of Africa live in the ground under the termite mounds. The holes in the mounds are there for air circulation and ventilation. But these mongooses think the mounds make a great home and the holes are their windows!
To end this very relaxing day, we headed back to the lodge for a sundowner in this breathtaking spot…
We had one more day in this magical land and a very special treat set up for us in the morning…
- African Hoopoe
- beisa oryx
- bush hare
- duom palm
- Golden Pippet
- Grevy's Zebra
- lion cubs
- little bee eater
- olive baboon
- Reticulated Giraffe
- rock agama
- Samburu Special 5
- Sand grouse
- Saruni Samburu
- somali bee-eater