Kenya 2012 Day One

Wow have we been so busy that this is the first moment I have had to test the blog from Lewa House in Kenya. Let’s see how it goes…

On Tuesday morning, shortly before noon,we arrived at the airstrip in Lewa Downs via a Safari link flight. There we were met with Joseph, our guide for our 4 days here. Immediately we began what amounted to a game drive on the way to the lodge. First up, no more that five minutes after we were underway, a herd of elephants that included several youngsters crossed out path. Spectacular! We watched them dust themselves and nurse the young on the way to water in a nearby swamp. As we let them pass, we were descended on by a group of Grevy Zebras that let us take their pictures.
We followed them as they too were headed to water in the swamp. Rewarded for our efforts by watching a mother zebra nurse her young, we moved to a blind that Lewa has built into the swamp.

There we left our vehicle and grabbed our camera gear where we settled in the blind hoping that the elephant herd we saw earlier would water there. Again we were rewarded by photographing elephants so closely we could almost fill the spray as they gulped the water through their trunks. Not only did we get up close and personal with a big bull but also the young baby elephants that we saw earlier came and drank right before our eyes.

Hearing the lodge call to see if we were going to make lunch, we gathered our camera gear and moved on towards the lodge. But moments later, we were interrupted again as we came upon a Marshall’s eagle that had a fresh kill of likely a rabbit that it was devouring up in a tree. Cameras out and shutters clicking as the incredibly beautiful eagle put on a show.

Marshall Eagle with a fresh rabbit kill

Now that we were late for lunch, we reluctantly moved on ignoring the rare black rhinos along the way. What a start!

At the Lewa House which has only been opened for two years, we were delighted by the hospitality we received (but that is a story for another day). After a wonderful lunch, we dumped our bags and headed out on our first game drive on our return to Africa. In short order, we came across a number of Reticulated Giraffes that are incredibly beautiful and rare. They posed and “necked” for us along with showing off a juvenile. But wait, something is climbing a fallen tree about 500 yards away. Our guide Joseph says it is a lion! We head over immediately and not only was one lion climbing the fallen tree but six. What a rare treat! We photographed and watch them for awhile and then followed them hoping they might be hungry… but perhaps they had eaten as they were more that ready to lie down in the cool grass to sleep.

Lions surveying the area for dinner

Leaving them we found more of the rare black rhinos and settled in on a group of three. Joseph, who clearly has worked with photographers before, skillfully moved us into place to capture the best light. There we saw that one of the black rhinos was nursing so we took our time, kept a respectful distance and photographed the spectacle.

As light began to fall, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset with our sundowner drinks. And then returned to the lodge for a fantastic dinner.

Truly an incredible day leaving us so appreciative of the “wonder of it all”

Have to go now that catch the light

Lewa is indeed a special place with low traffic and great game sightings…