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The Animals of Kilimanjaro

KENYA | Wednesday, 6 May 2015 | Views [443]

After settling into my lodge at Kilimanjaro, I was back in the jeep and off to watch some game.

 

 

We kept a lookout, and firstly spotted plenty of buffalo grazing among the grass.

 

 

A few zebra started to creep in too. They all seem to get along remarkably well.

 

 

We headed out to the drier parts of the ancient lakebed, where we were told the elephants were migrating.

 

 

I noticed the ground in Amboseli was pretty pale and dry. Apparently it was once an ancient lake which dried up, leaving a salty, crusty bed. Depending on the season, there are usually some grassy, mulchy swamps where you can find hippos! The salty lakebed attracted wild elephants from afar, and they have settled and grazed this land ever since. Other animals have since followed suit.

 

Speaking of which, our awaited guests were about to make their appearance!

 

 

 

 

 

'Hello friend!'

 

 

 

 

Sad yet adorable how the little one gets sent to the back!

 

 

 

Once the elephant herd had moved along, we had another call to head to the swamps. More elephant groups, buffalo and hippos!

 

You couldn't help but feel at competition with the other safari jeeps. We did end up in a few hairy Hollywood races with one another! 

 

 

Looking backwards, we could see Mt. Kilimanjaro slowly unveiling itself from its cloudy veil. I was scared it wouldn't, so great news!

 

 

 

 

Spotted! Hippos, chowing down in the mulchy, grassy swamp. They were pretty far away from us, but you could steal hear their chomping and gnashing!

 

 

 

We waited around the swamp for a while.

 

 

 

 Then something amazing happened. The hippos were joined for lunch by the elephants!

 

 

 

And the buffalo came along too. Group feast!

 

 

The swamp was packed with animals, all coexisting without any drama.

 

 

Elephants really intrigue me. A lot of animals exist in social groups; it's essential to their survival. Most animals wouldn't stand a chance without some kind of social cohesion. Elephants, on the other hand, seem to have a strong social network, yet you'll still see the odd elephant strolling along in lonesome, as though it doesn't need anybody.

 

 

'A lonely grey elephant. "Oh Look", cried Ned. And then the kingdom was his forever. The End.'

 

 

 

This one decided on some solitary beautifying, by coating itself in some black mud, fresh from the swamp.

 

 

'Girl, who did yo' hair?'

 

This particular elephant found itself a birdie friend.

 

 

Best Friends Forever!

If interspecies friendship isn't enough to warm an icy heart, then two smooching elephants should do great honours.

 

 

And, by chance, the sunlight on the swamp left an incredible sweetheart-pink glare over our elephant couple here. It was meant to be I guess...

 

 

 

Watching elephants eat is pretty baffling. A lot of dexterity goes into cramming mulch into their mouths, or spraying themselves with mud.

 

 

I could have watched them for hours and hours...

 

 

 

The sun was starting to set. It was time to make our way back to the lodge for the night.

 

 

The journey back was going to reveal a lot more animal goodness!

 

 

 

First point of interest - we came across a dead elephant. It caught our noses before it caught our eyes. It's sad to see the remains of such a beautiful animal being picked apart by vultures, but I guess it's a cold reality of life.

 

 

As the sunset grew darker and more amber-like, the scenery became incredibly golden and intense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STOP!

 

Zebra Crossing!

 

 

 

 

Beautiful.

 

I wonder where they were going in a hurry.

 

 

 

 

And by our luck, we were called to a cheetah sighting which was right near our position. Sadly, we arrived too late and missed their kill, but we saw the two ladies post-murder, tucking into their meal and still looking pretty menacing!

 

 

And that was it; the end to our Kilimanjaro game drive! It was back to the lodge for yet another cool shower, dinner, a swim, sitting around the camp fire and absorbing the tremendous memories I would carry forever. 

 

I ended the night in my tent; the door sheets were hitched up, I was sat on the porch with a beer and staring up at the stars above Kilimanjaro.

 

 

I had never seen so many stars in my whole life.

 

It was bed-time for me. There was no need for air conditioning here; if anything, it was pretty cold on the savannah at night! The hum of the crickets and cicidas made me feel assuringly warm though, like the sound of a log fire on a winter's night.

 

The next day, I got up at 5am to watch the sunrise over Kilimanjaro. The grand mountain was soaked in a gorgeous morning light - morning light is always the prettiest - and framed by a harmonious gradient of colours. One of the best reasons I've ever gotten up before 6am...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the sky had woken into a cerulean blue, it was time for me to pack my scruffy little rucksack and make my way back to Mombasa. 

 

Only this time, my journey time was much shorter...

 

 

Hope you found my safari adventure interesting! If you're interested in any of the locations, tours or accommodation mentioned in my post, write me a message and I'll tell you anything you'd like to know.

 

Have you done a safari in any other African countries? I've heard South Africa is pretty good! Or have you done the famous Gorilla treks in Uganda?

 

I'd love to know what you thought of those!

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Anthony :)

Tags: amboseli, anthonyshock, kenya, kilimanjaro, safari

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