Kenya 2019. Part 4.

We saw a lot of hyenas in Kenya and whilst they are part of the ‘Ugly 5’, I don’t always think that they are ugly. We actually heard one ‘laughing’ and it’s a great sound. Top right is the head of a wildebeest, and bottom right are two hyenas hanging onto a baby impala. One of them won and ran off with it, and we watched it devour the whole thing, bones and all.

More babies in the making……

I like B&W photos as removing all colour can actually add interest and impact to the photo. As can a lot of empty space….

Due to all the rain, we got well and truly stuck in the mud one day. No amount of rocking forwards & backwards or even pushing had any effect except to get us covered in mud, and my suggestion of us all gathering rocks to put under the wheels was met with a firm ‘that won’t work’ response from our guide.

Eventually he rang back to camp for help, and some time later a tractor trundled across the plain towards us.

First of all it tried pulling us out forwards. That didn’t work. Then it tried pulling us backwards. That didn’t work either. Finally the guide & tractor driver decided that we should all to gather rocks to put under the wheels !! I was SOOOO tempted to say something about that, but showed great restraint and just reverted to what’s often necessary when in Africa. Shrug the shoulders, laugh, and say “TIA”. (“This is Africa”) …… Needless to say, the combination of rocks under the wheels and the tractor eventually pulled us free but from then on every time we slid sideways we all held our breath in trepidation.

Big ears are extremely useful for wildlife – all the better for hearing danger. On the left is a black backed jackal, and the goofy looking creature on the right with the silly smile is a bat eared fox.

One day we saw a new born giraffe. We’d just caught a glimpse of it through the trees when I suddenly noticed something strange on the ground and realised it was the placenta. It was a very hot and sunny day, but was still very fresh and not dried out, so we knew that we’d only just missed the birth. Our guide then realised that he’d seen another sign a short distance before, and reversed to point out a wet patch on the ground where the mother’s waters had broken. The photo at the bottom is of a journey of giraffes who were moving across the plain. The collective name for giraffes is different depending on their activity – if moving they are a ‘journey’. If just browsing they are a ‘tower’.

I do love a good silhouette but my camera struggles to focus. It was frustrating trying to capture the giraffes above and the wildebeest and topi below but I finally managed it and they are some of my favourite photos from the trip.

There’s nothing quite like an African sunset for drama. One afternoon drive ended with the most spectacular scenes unfolding in front of our eyes as we drove back to camp, and I was half lying in the back seat with my feet up just watching it all as we passed by. It was a very magical and special end to that particular drive and that memory will always stay with me.

All babies are cute – even hippos. The bottom photo is of a warthog enlarging the hole he retreats to for safety and sleep.

Below – little and large…..

A fish eagle with a large catfish.

The Mara is not short of eagles. This is a Tawny Eagle.

Part of the Ugly Five – The Lappet Faced Vulture.

Top L. The beautiful Lilac Breasted Roller. Top Middle – Kingfisher. Top R and Bottom – Buffalo weaver birds building their nests.

A male ostrich in front, with his harem following him.

A bird I hadn’t seen before and it’s beautiful – the grey crowned crane.

Monkey business. These little vervet monkeys were having a fun time leaping between trees. I love their agility.

Finally, the great thing about being with other keen photographers is that sometimes I get nice photos of myself. The photo below sums me and my adventurous spirit up perfectly. My time in Kenya was absolutely fantastic and I loved every moment of my trip. Next stop – Zanzibar……

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