Elephants crossing

elephants (22k image)

Reporting back from another exciting weekend away camping with Christine and Shauna…

I saw my first African Elephants, this family was crossing the road just behind us.
Maybe a camera without optical zoom wasn’t the best choice for the Land of Big Game, but they’re my memories…?

truck (38k image)This time with Shauna’s big new 4WD truck.

truklow (28k image)buck (16k image) We’re watched by these little fellows, possibly Bush Buck (any ideas?).
When you have a vehicle, its amazing what stuff you can take camping: stove, saucepans, food, mattress, blankets, beer, Vodka, …

cooking (51k image)

campfire (24k image) I got to build a fire from firewood gathered from the bush. Christine taught me the “tee-pee” method.

roastShauna (26k image)I sat and played with the fire until late. The ladies went to bed in the tent (then opened the flap so they could look out on the camp). After a while I heard noises behind me and scanned the camp-site with my Petzl…

Eyes! Staring at me out of the darkness, refelcting bright. My heart raced, we had heard baboons in the distance earlier in the evening and did not want those tent-shredders in our vicinity. The eyes moved… my back tingled with panic!
“Hey Guys, there’s some wildlife out here”, I said to the ladies in the tent.
“What kind of wildlife?”
As the creature moved I could see its outline, it was somethink like that Bush Buck above, its legs had horizontal stripes at the tops that we could make out in the dim glow of our head-torches.

Once I had relaxed from that encounter I joined the girls in the tent. The flap stayed open for air and so I could observe the embers of our fire through the netting of the inner. I saw more Buck-like creatures come and sniff round the hearth. At one point when I was almost asleep I heard footsteps nearby. I moved to look out of that observation flap. There were hares near us on the grass. I finally decided the baboons wouldn’t come and went to sleep but before long I had to get up and go pee. I actually had to shoo the deer-like creatures away (I’m shy).

franklins (25k image)At breakfast these fowl (Franklins?) came and searched for our left-overs (all round the camp, up on top of the truck, etc.).

threeManFaff (35k image)On Sunday morning the car wouldn’t start. The Kenya Wildlife Service men didn’t have a vehicle. One hiked down from the gate witha pair of pliers, the other brought the battery from his solar panel in a wheel-barrow. We started the truck with the solar battery and then hot-swapped the flat battery back once it was running (**after** trying to bump-start it — MAN that’s a heavy truck!)

mechanic (31k image) On the way into the park we’d been going seriously off-road. There had been a road but it had just faded away after years of neglect. A plate under the truck started making clanking noises and I tried to tighten the bolt with my fingers (we had no tools with us). Everything down there was hot! My finger burned and got a lymph blister which broke when I was pulling dry branches out of the bush for the fire. So when I lifted the battery out of the car I got battery acid in the broken blister and ran off back to the camp-site looking for the spigot and swearing. Hence the rubber gloves in this pic.

On the way out of the park we saw these warthogs; Just like Lion King!
warthogs (20k image)

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