The Wildlife of Nakuru

On Saturday night we raised the roofs of our safari vans for the first time! We explored Nakuru National Park with our eyes glued to our binoculars, and we were treated to the sight of a wide variety of wildlife both mammalian and avian. We passed herds of animals with which we are becoming quite familiar—zebras and impalas and gazelles. Majestic grey-crowned cranes stepped slowly through the tall grasses by the lake. In the trees we spotted owls and auger buzzards and a couple of beautiful lilac-breasted rollers. Scampering across the ground were vervets and troops of baboons. Many of the baboons had adorable wide-eyed infants clinging to their backs.

But the highlight of the adventure without a doubt was seeing the rhinos. Nakuru has one of the largest populations in the country of eastern black rhinos, as well as endemic white rhinos, and we were lucky enough to see both. As recently as 2014 there was a worrying amount of poaching in the sanctuary, so it was relieving to look at members of both species alive and well—although as conservationists, the sobering thought is always in our minds that unless our conservation efforts are successful going into the future, we may one day tell our grandchildren about the day we saw a species that might be only a legend to them.

The following morning, we were up bright and early and back in our safari vans for another few hours around the sanctuary. The morning was cool and pleasant and we were extremely lucky in our animal-spotting. Not only did we see an incredible number of species, but many of them were very close—right on the side of the road, in a few cases! We saw hornbills calling from the trees, ostriches strutting by, and hippos sparring in the lake. The plethora of bird species was incredible—kingfishers and cranes and storks and even two different species of flamingo. Young zebras and newborn cape buffalo tottered after their mothers. A group of Rothschild’s giraffes strolled by.

It was another fantastic day for biodiversity, and the cherry on top was a pair of large carnivores: two lionesses sleeping in a tree. As far as we know that’s a pretty rare behaviour for lions, but the two of them looked quite comfortable as they lounged on the thick branches and enjoyed the shade. After our drive we departed for Naru Moru, where we will be for the next two nights. It’s been a great couple of days, and we have no doubt tomorrow’s adventure will be exciting as well: a climb up Mt. Kenya!
Via Caitlin Fikes

cg336    January 18th, 2016    Bahamas archive