LUTMAN'S KENYA 2006 BIRDING SAFARI TRIP

ph_Report 1

Tuesday Oct 31, 2006. Out of San Jose.

San Jose International Airport. Sharon's waiting to load up for our 6:40 am flight to Chicago, then the second leg to London.

 

Wednesday night, November 1, 2006. In-flight live map near end of London-to-Nairobi leg. Is that AFRICA? Pinch me.

 

Thursday, November 2, 2006. All Day with Gacheri.

Sharon and I got up early and did some birding on the hotel grounds.

Nairobi morning traffic, from our hotel room balcony.

We also did a little when we were touring the countryside with daughter Tara's friend Gacheri.

Daughter Tara's friend Gacheri, who could well be President of Kenya someday. Just my opinion. A wonderful lady, in tune with her country. Will run for parliament again next year. Finished highest among new candidates last election. She and Tara call each other 'sister' now. They met at a global women's leadership conference at Santa Clara University. Everywhere we went in the countryside and villages around Gacheri's family home, people came up to greet her. They clearly love and respect her. Alcoholism is rampant there, and Gacheri asked Sharon to talk to a couple of groups, which she did.

 

Sharon jumped at the loose invitation that it was ok to bring candy and small toys for the children. These are school kids near where Gacheri went as a child. They were delightful.

 

Some of these kids are great-grandchildren to an old woman who lives in this dwelling. The elderly woman's daughter is on the faculty of Santa Clara University, and is a highly respected professor of religious studies of some kind. Remarkable story...

 

... and here is the elderly woman. Grandmother in Kikuyan is "sho-sho". As in, "That's my sho-sho."

 

 

These kids, unbelievably, all sleep in three rooms of a shack of an orphanage compound -- no electricity, no running water, no heat, no windows, you can see through many cracks in each wall. They sang us a song, designed to teach them to learn some English words. Made my heart hurt.

 

Friday, November 3, 2006. All Day in Nairobi National Park

 

Huge herd of Cape Buffalo from an overlook.

 

I'd say we saw at least 1000 zebra this day. These are Common, aka Burchell's Zebras.

 

They like the road too.

 

So do the warthogs, which are actually grey, but root around in red dirt and mud.

Closeup of a Cape Buffalo. The most dangerous animal in Africa.

 

Baby Giraffe. A brother or sister was just out of this shot, and mom was off to the right, waiting and watching. And eating, of course. Leaves from high in a tree. This is a Masai Giraffe.

An Eland. We liked the spirals going up his antlers.

 

I took this shot standing in our van, a twin of the white one on the left, with the popup top. When we are in game parks, we get out of the van only a couple of times during the day -- at designated safe areas, with toilets and picnic facilities. There may be lions or cape buffalo around.

 

A Beautiful Common Waterbuck..

 

Just to prove we did actually see some birds. This is a beautiful Yellow-billed Stork, with the back of another one visible just to the left, over the rise. You can see that Nairobi NP is close to civilization. It's only about a twenty minute drive from our hotel, the Panafric.

 

A Spotted Hyena, also called Laughing Hyena.

 

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