10 October 2014

Spotting Stripes On Safari

In addition to be the home of reticulated giraffe, Samburu is also the only place to see the Grevy's Zebras. Thanks to the book Lauren got me I know all about the differences between plains and Grevy's zebras! For example, Grevy's are the largest of the zebras, the bellies are stripe-less, and they're actually asses, not horses.

We'd briefly seen a zebra on our way into the park but the following three game drives were all zebra-less. By the time of our final morning drive we'd seen lots of giraffes, elephants, lions, sooo many types of antelope, birds, monkeys, wild pigs...but no zebras. I was a little worried it wasn't going to happen until, still riding our elephant/lion spotting, M (who was the best of us at spotting animals) pointed out a couple zebras. A couple zebras that turned out to be stragglers of a large mixed herd!

The other half of the mix were Thomson's Gazelles which we also hadn't seen yet. One in particular seemed to have been waiting for us and posed for all he was worth.

I was busy clicking away at the zebras when I was distracted by two of the gazelles. We really had some amazing luck on our game drives. E&M told me that on most of their previous drives they spotted a few animals here and there but not groups like we were seeing. And groups meant a lot of great interaction: playing babies, fighting giraffes, and now fighting gazelles!

I spent a lot of time with my camera glued to my eye but I also spent a fair amount of time just looking. They were breathtaking; completely mesmerizing. I could have stood in that van and watched them forever. And yet, I couldn't help but think...those lions were really really thin; maybe we could go back and try to herd them this way. Zebras and gazelles are sweet but I always cheer for the lion during the hunt.

And unbelievably...there's still more to come!

No comments: