A Sunday Full of Elephants

Elephants, elephants and more elephants!  That’s how we could describe our final safari drive.

We went a different direction out of the Lodge this time…heading towards a bridge that would take us across the river.  When you see how dry the river bed is, you wonder how all of these animals are going to find enough to drink until it rains again in November!   You understand why a watering hole is so important in Kenya.

One extra note on the elephants at the Lodge before I get to the safari drive.  When we walk to our rooms at night, we have to be accompanied by a security guard, in case the elephants have come up from the river, or through the gate. There is evidence everywhere that they are here – including Kelsey and Kelly’s account of seeing one at the pool!  The security guard told me last night, and others have heard this too, that they allow the elephants to come up onto the grounds between midnight and 5 a.m. when the guests are asleep.  As the guy who was walking with me said, wisely, this is their territory after all.  So as long as they aren’t causing trouble, the elephants are allowed to come up and eat some grass and trees.  I think that’s kind of neat.

Talking about a healthy elephant population…we saw more than 70 elephants on the other side of the river today!  At first it seemed like a bit of a bust, except for the one elephant patiently waiting outside the gate.  But after travelling for about 45 minutes, we hit elephant pay dirt! There were big groups of them, including lots of babies.  We were happy to see the young ones because it means the herd’s future is, for now, secure.  We watched them pull up grass, after first kicking it with their feet.  They also ripped pieces off shrubs.  One older elephant seemed to have some kind of collar on. We got very close to the elephants, without disturbing them, of course.   We were so close that one of them flapped its ears and we all jumped!

We also saw impala, giraffes, baboons and more termite hills!  (there is a photo of one)

Kelsey spotted a leopard briefly but otherwise no sign of the big cats.  And according to the chatter on the two way radio, no one else saw them either.

We were sad to climb out of the Combi after our last drive.  But it has been truly magical.  I keep using that word because it’s hard to describe the impact of seeing these animals in the wild.  It is truly wonderful.  Lion King and Planet Earth mixed together but seen through our own eyes!

We have some time to relax this morning then we are heading two hours back to Meru. We will have supper at Jennifer’s again tonight with Salome and Stephen Mwenda and others.    Then tomorrow and Tuesday we are back at a couple of schools, including Buuri, before we head back to Nairobi on Wednesday.

Kwaheri – bye for now!  Asante sana.

Nancy

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