Clinton Richardson, our guest author, leaves Amboseli and heads for Porini Rhino Camp in Ol Pejeta Conservancy where his adventures continue …
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This series of blogs will take you on Clinton’s safari in Kenya as he travels from Atlanta (USA) to Nairobi National Park, Selenkay Conservancy (Amboseli), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Laikipia) and Olare Motorogi Conservancy (Maasai Mara). Let’s join him on his journey as he shares his insights into the conservancies, Porini Camps and the people (and animals!) that he meets along the way. All images are from Clinton’s TrekPic.com photo site. Blog entries are from his Venture Moola blog at ReadJanus.com.
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We are five days into our trip and it is time to pack up and head to our next camp. Before we do, I stop in the small Maasai shop on the camp property to make a purchase.
The handiwork of the Maasai is displayed in a plain wooden shack with no lighting. I chose and item and negotiate an acceptable price but it takes some doing. There are no fixed prices here and I am not surprised when the asking price starts at four times what we see the same item for in a fixed price shop in Nairobi. The back and forth is in good spirits making the experience part of the fun.
We do not leave as early this time, giving us time for one last short game drive at the Amboseli camp. We are pleased to get a last look at the Amboseli giraffe who are grazing near the spot where we will meet our bush plane. The photo below show an adult female and the five young she is caring for.
Maasai Giraffes Near Amboseli Camp
Our travel plans take us back to Wilson Airport in Nairobi and then by separate plane to Ol Pejeta and the Porini Rhino Camp. Two other guests from north of Mumbai join us on the flight. They are headed to a different camp but will rejoin us at the end of our journey.
As the engine starts up, we begin talking about the interesting history of our spotter in Amboseli (above with the green sweater). As a boy, I learn, he and others were out watching their livestock graze when a dog they had with them began barking wildly at some nearby elephants. One of the elephants took offense and charged the dog causing the dog and the boys to run for their lives. Unfortunately for Daniel, the dog followed him as he ran and the elephant caught both stomping on Daniel in the process. The result was a badly broken leg.
The gentle Maasai who would not hurt a fly on our walk had been the unwitting victim of an elephant’s rage. A reminder of just how wild and unpredictable the wildlife can be.
Elephant Tails in Amboseli
Our flight to Nairobi and then to Ol Pejeta was uneventful, except for the late arrival of our friends from Melbourne and their challenges with making a connecting in Nairobi. If you remember, he is the one who stores his passports in his underpants. They were the interesting couple who had left South Africa for Australia decades ago to raise their kids.
Any while he was quick witted, He was also forgetful and travel-connection challenged. Thankfully, the good people at Gamewatchers made sure that travel and connections in Kenya were always chaperoned.
View from our tent at the Rhino Camp
As we did in the Selenkay, our flight to Ol Pejeta landed on a grass landing strip. This time with a herd of zebra and wildebeest next to the strip. After loading into our land cruiser, our driver and spotter drove us into the herd and after several passes managed to move the animals off the landing strip long enough for our plane to take off.
It was a short drive to camp through open plain and then high grass. Once there we were greeted by our hosts and shown to our tents. The dining tent opens up to a waterhole across a stream with a fire pit nearby for evening sundowners. Our tent was nearby with a view of the same waterhole.
Young Elephant at the Rhino Camp Waterhole
That afternoon we took our first game drive in the Ol Pejeta conservancy. Before we left, however, a small family of elephants visited the waterhole. The young one above was intent on making some improvements.
Our drive immediately yielded sightings. In short order, we saw gazelles, impala, zebra, jackal, white rhino and cape buffalo. In each case we also saw newborn among them. The rains had been good earlier this year, breaking a drought cycle, and the animals were taking advantage of the tall grasses and plentiful water.
Young Gazelle Near Rhino Camp
True to the camp’s name, the rhino were plentiful. This white rhino and her attending oxpecker was one of many we saw that first day.
It’s Always Mealtime
We also came upon a male and female white rhino with an exuberant calf. A group of rhinos is called a crash but more about this crash in next week’s entry.
First published 29 Nov 2018. All photos and text are © Clinton Richardson. All images are from his galleries at TrekPic.com
About Clinton Richardson
Clinton Richardson has been writing and taking photographs for decades. His books include the critically acclaimed 5th edition Richardson’s Growth Company Guide 5.0 and the award-winning book about social media and ancient coins called Ancient Selfies. His images, including images taken on his trip, can be viewed at TrekPic.com. His Venture Moola blog can be viewed at Readjanus.com.
See Other Blogs in this Series:
- Safari Countdown: Prepping for Kenya
- Safari 1: The Hunt
- Safari 2: Off to Nairobi
- Safari 3: Tented Camps & Conservancies
- Safari 4: Passports in His Underpants
- Safari 5: Night Lions to Amboseli
- Safari 6: Amboseli to Selenkay
- Safari 7: Pooh on You
- Safari 8: Eaten by a Lion?
- Safari 9: The Maasai
- Safari 11: Crash on the Grass
- Safari 12: Sundowner Surprise
- Safari 13: Stalag Panzee
- Safari 14: Bump in the Night
- Safari 15: Dry Season Showers
- Safari 16: How Many Wives Would You Like to Have?
- Safari 17: Distracting His Highness
- Safari 18: How to Eat a Tree
- Safari 19: Hunting with Children (well, cubs!)
- Safari 20: Blue Jean Symphony
- Safari 21: African Nights