Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Day 12 My Visit to Daystar

We wrapped up our packing and had a nice breakfast at Mara Intrepids, then took a small plane from the Mara Airstrip to Nairobi. The Origins staff dropped me off at Daystar, Nairobi Campus http://www.daystar.ac.ke where I met Alan & Franc who were my hosts for the visit. I met many nice people, students and Faculty. (I apologize for not remembering all names) We drove to the Athi river campus where we took a nice tour and I was graciously hosted in the office of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Rev Godfrey M. Nguru. I got a chance to talk to some students Elizabeth & Martin about photojournalism and their current project on which they asked me for help in finding any pictures I have of Kenya's green country. I toured the kitchen and met David from Sudan who is a student Diane & I have helped to sponsor. What a wonderful kid with an amazing story and a blessing of hope that Daystar has given to him and his family.
When it was time to leave we had to drive to Nairobi to take me to the airport and we encountered a huge traffic jam. What transpire next was like the scene from Star Wars where Luke Skywalker was navigating the Death Star Trench, in this case our pilot was Nyamu who fearlessly (at least for him) steered us through heavy traffic sometimes creating 4-6 lanes where I saw only 2! It was breathtaking to say the least and we did arrive safe and sound and on time to the airport where we all had dinner and I departed.
I am home now and will be working on my photo gallery to be on my website soon.
Stay tuned...............

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Day 11 Masai Mara - Intrepid Tent Camp


My last Safari Day started right away seeing many lions including the pride that hunted. We saw the lion cubs playing, a Hyena Den with babies, a Kori Bustard with chick (very rare to see), watched Impalas running and jumping very high. We then took breakfast by the Mara River's main migration crossing with Hippos, Crocodiles and Egrets. My last shot was of 2 lion cubs going for a drink and playing. We had dinner and said farewell to our guides David & Felix. Once again they were the best! Roger did a fantastic job of setting this up and it couldn’t have been better. Tomorrow it's back on a small plane for 45min. back to Nairobi where I will be dropped off at Daystar University to visit.Look for my photo gallery of this trip soon on http://www.eicherfoto.com/ , I will also update this Blog again when I get home with touchups and final thoughts, plus my visit to Daystar! Thanks again to Diane for letting me come and "watching the fort" (Love You!)

See you soon,

*** Make sure to visit Roger's website at http://www.natureworkshops.com/ ***

Day 10 Masai Mara - Intrepid Tent Camp

By breakfast we had seen all 4 major cats. (Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Serval Cat) Both my first and last shots of the day were both of Leopards. The late evening shots were brief as it took off in the bush after 2 warthogs, only 1 came out.... We saw a hippo pool and 2 new animals for me; the Serval Cat and the Bat Eared Fox. I also saw some Weavers, bright yellow birds that build upside down nests. So far I would have to say Kenya has been better than Tanzania for variety of wildlife.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Days 8 & 9

Day 9 Masai Mara - Intrepid Tent Camp

Wake up call this morning was with hot coffee served in the tent, then off at 6:15 for morning game drive. Got our first great shots of a Leopard! Our guide Felix was told where the leopard was by a local impala! The guides can get tips from the animal’s behavior as to where the predators are. Wonderful sunrise, birds in flight and newborn Cheetah cubs with mom. Saw hippos, crocs, Eland and more. Great Day so far....! I met the Executive Chef at lunch and we exchanged cards so we can exchange reipes and menus.Afternoon ChaseDavid our guide got a tip on a pride lions, 3 males, 5 females and 8 cubs! We observed them stalking some zebra, the 4 females took off to hunt while 1 stayed back to keep the cubs away so they wouldn't spoil the chase. The males watched from hillside. The 4 females started to outflank 2 lone zebras from the herd as they were grazing with their backs to the approaching lions. 2 of the lions picked up speed to catch then bring down 1 of the zebras. I got the whole sequence shot with my Canon 1DmkIII at 11 frames per second! David our driver took off immediately after the chase and sped off-road past all other observers, we arrived first on scene and took shots as the zebra still struggled. When the kill was done one of the females broke away and summoned the cubs to eat. Eventually the males came but only one (presumably the strongest) ate while the other two surveyed the perimeter. As we headed back thinking our day was done we spotted 3 male cheetahs standing beautifully in the waning sunlight. After our shots we realized they were stalking Impala. The impala spotted the cheetahs; they gave chase but were not successful this time! I gave a big sigh of excitement as we headed back to camp. What a big plus being in a small mobil group arranged by Roger and to have Silver level certified guides like David & Felix. The long hard hours of study, schooling and training is way more than evident!To have guides like this and Roger's Africa experience along with his photography guidance is making this one of the best trips I've ever had.

Day 8 Masai Mara Travel Day

This day was all about off road driving. We game drove all morning to our new camp seeing plenty of wildlife while traversing through grassy plains and through streams and rivers with narrow steep rocky access. What fun! Intrepid is another excellent camp, gourmet food, nice people and even a hot water bladder placed between your sheets to warm the bed!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Days 5,6 & 7

Day 7 Masai Mara - Keekorock
Today was "Eating The Kill" Day, we saw 2 sets of lions & cheetahs eating their assorted kills. Plenty of cubs getting in on the dining action! Photographed many birds and a very colorful lizard. I also saw a "hanging in the tree kill" but still no leopard yet.Day 5 Drive to Masai Mara
Day 6 Masai Mara - Keekorock
Happy Valentines Day!Saw 7 male lions this morning, a cheetah mom and cubs and the largest herd of elephants I have ever seen migrating from Tanzania. We could see the hills of the Serengeti in the distance (only about 10km away)

Day 5 Drive to Masai Mara
Started with a game drive out of Lake Nakuru, saw rhino baby, baby baboons and many heyenas. Drove about 6 hours to Masai Mara wher we will spend the week in 2 locations. Thee Keekorock Lodge is great, beautiful rooms and a viewing catwalk that overlooks a hippo pool. They told us to be careful outside our rooms at night for that is when the hippos come out and eat.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Day 4 Lake Nakuru


There were lions outside my room when I got up at 6:30 for Breakfast and a Game Drive. We saw a leopard but all too breifly as is the case with them. We saw rhino with baby, flamingos, buffalo, gazelle, warthog, zebra and many new birds by lake Nakuru.Lion cubs were outside at a distance off my back porch when I got back. Dinner then on our way to Massai Mara for 2 locations tommorow over the next 7 days.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Day 3 Samburu to Lake Nakuru


Started out catching the tail end (no pun intended) of lions eating a baby giraffe.Made our way to Lake Nakuru about a 5 hour drive and right away saw 2 male lions, white rhino and giraffe. It is a big lake with lots of birds, herds of buffalo, zebra, warthogs, antelopes and waterbuck. Checked into Lake Nakuru Lodge overlooking the park. You are advised to keep the doors and windows closed so baboons don't get in.