2016 Ultimate Kenya – Day 16

SAMBURU to NAIROBI – Safaried out

SamburuFriday – Today is the last day of our wonderful Safari.  Lying in bed before making the effort to get up so that we can photograph the sunrise, I can hear the animals starting to stir and I really do want to turn around and do this entire Safari again.

This morning we’ll be up before sunrise, grab a quick tea or coffee and a biscuit and head off into the ever fading blackness, trying to find ourselves a picturesque classic African ‘flat topped acacia tree’ with plenty of weaver bird nests hanging underneath to put between us and the sun as it pops over the horizon to give us some magic silhouettes – so the itinerary says.

As we head out into the darkness we spot a female lion and her cubs just ambling along without a care in the world.  Unfortunately it is just too dark and they have no intention of stopping for us so we continue to find our flat tops and nests.

When I have a senior moment it is worth the effort and today is no exception. I have left my camera with the wide angle lens and the tripod back in the tent.  Give myself an uppercut for stupidity.  I always manage one of these episodes no matter where I go – I have lugged that bloody tripod all over the place and now it is back at camp enjoying itself.  Nevermind, I have my camera with the big zoom so Jess lends me her wide angle lens for a few snaps – I will have to work out the stability myself.

We have found our tree and as the sun comes up it really is incredible. All’s well that ends well as the saying goes and I do get some great photos. Well, I think they are great. Here is a sunrise photo fest to enjoy – so quiet – so relaxing –

SunriseSunrise 2The sunsets have been wonderful but I must admit the sunrises would give them a run for their money.

SunriseSunriseAren’t these colours just breathtaking?

Sometimes I think that I will definitely get up early in future so that I can capture these wonderful colours – and everytime when push comes to shove – I stay in bed. I will have to stop being such a lazy slug.

There are members of our group that decide a seat on the ground will give them some great shots – but the thought of getting down and not being able to get back up was a bit of a worry so I didn’t and anyway I most probably would have sat on those dirty big thorns just happened to have fallen off a tree!

SunriseSunriseWe have been told to stay close to the jeep – I would have like to have walked around to get some better angles but yet another thought springs to mind – being on the menu for the residents did not please me – so I did as I was told.

Breakfast back at camp is around 9am so we have a little drive – and we spy some Dwarf Mongoose that have taken up residence in a termite mound, their favourite sleeping quarters.

Mini MongooseDwarf MongooseNATURE LESSON : The common dwarf mongoose is a typical mongoose: it has a large pointed head, small ears, a long tail, short limbs, and long claws. The species can be distinguished from other mongooses by its size. It is much smaller than most other species (18 to 28 cm, 210 to 350 grams); in fact, it is Africa’s smallest carnivore. The soft fur is very variable in color, ranging from yellowish red to very dark brown.

The one above right looks as if she is saying – ‘make sure you get my good side’.

A great way to finish our Photographic Safari – some fine feathered friends – –

Bateleur115A0066 cropped115A0071 croppedThis fine specimen is a Bateleur Eagle.  He doesn’t seem to have a happy face – maybe he is not a morning person.  He is not very interested in us and continues to groom his feathers in the warming sun.

Our final set of photos is of the Kori Bustard.  What a magnificent bird and when he is calling for a mate the sound is incredible.

We are lucky to hear him calling to his heart’s content – he is strutting around and then fluffs himself up to make his calls so it is a great way to finish our safari.

Kori BustardKori BustardKori BustardWe get back in plenty of time for brekky – our usual spot under the shade of the umbrellas but no elephant visitors today – still plenty of little winged swimmers who just love taking a dip in my OJ the minute it is on the table – there they are going for their life.  I empty the glass – get some more OJ and they are humming around again.

Bee swimmersIf the native bees are not swimming, they love the jams and the honey.

We have a great breakfast – then it’s time to make sure we have everything out of our tents – our bags in the jeep and then it’s farewell to this wonderful place.  Long way to come back if we have forgotten anything.

We are on our way back to Nairobi – but a small stop at a souvenir outlet sees us buying the usual trinkets – soapstone rhinos, ebony elephants – you get the general idea. They are very helpful – I am sure that they are more than willing to take my money and of course being such a typical tourist – I get some really great items to remind me of my two weeks – –

The Trout TreeDriving along Jess has asked for our lunch preferences so that she can pre-order as we are stopping at a place called The Trout Tree – and of course, on our last day it starts to pour rain.

Back to the Tree – they of course specialise in trout but it is not one of my favourites, I will have the steak.  It is still pelting down as we get out of the jeep – then there is a really dicey walk down stone and dirt steps to reach the dining area.  Nevermind – we take it in our stride – and because it is called The Trout Tree we discover that they produce their own trout – seems only natural to me.  Below are the trout tanks – there are quite a few for the little darlings to grow.

Trout tanksTrout tanksThis looks like a great place eh?  It would be even better in the dry weather – and to make things worse – the rain starts to pelt in on the right side of the table so those sitting there have to move.

Trout TreeThen the rain starts coming through the covers down the far end – how exciting is this – never a dull moment for sure.

Musical chairs once again – this rain is torrential and looking around I cannot see where the meals are cooked.  There was another group beside us and their meals seem to be carried down from the main building up the hill.  We wondered how ours was going to arrive due to the rain but everything turned out fine.

The other jeep arrives and everyone is now seated with drinks in hand- we are served our main meal – this is mine.  Holy crap it is half a cow!

My lunchI am not a big eater at the best of times but this has knocked me for six – there are two slabs of steak on the plate and I am telling you now it was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten.  Problem was the chippies – never one to resist those crunchy morsels – I pigged out then had to force most of everything else down.

We had a lovely time – definitely no desserts for me – time to get back into the jeep – at least the rain has stopped and we hit the road.

To NairobiPassengersIt is a rather uneventful journey – the usual shops, a truck with a load of passengers – markets with people racing out onto the road to sell you fruit or vegetables.  This is a group of photos lifted from my movies – excuse the blur – the roads were not the best.

Markets 1Markets 2School 1Shopping

Have a look at those black clouds at the school.  Sooner or later there is going to be another monumental storm and everyone will be rushing for cover.

As we arrive at The Windsor about 6pm for our last night we are welcomed in Kenyan style – with towels and chilled juice.  This will most probably my last bit of luxury for this holiday so I am lapping it up for sure – I have two drinks. Don’t worry – it is allowed.

Windsor view We are allocated our rooms for tonight – another lovely surprise – I have one by myself and it is about 4 rooms closer to the main part from where I was when this all started.

A great room with a great view – if I close my eyes and wish, maybe, just maybe this will be back at the beginning.  Unfortunately when I open my eyes it has not changed and this is the end – apart from tomorrow of course when I fly home.

Go away BirdThere are no bum shots today – but I do have a photo of a White Bellied Go-Away Bird.  Typical calls are a nasal haa-haa-haa, like the bleating of a sheep and then a single or repeated gwa (or g’away).   OK – time for everyone to practice their bird calls.

Granted – it is not the best photo – right into the sun just about; but he is getting his wish and we are going away.

Highlight of the day – the torrential rain and scrumptious steak at The Trout Tree.

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