I Don’t Think My Driver Likes Baboons

At breakfast this morning, I was almost excited when my waiter brought me a banana. The best banana I’ve ever eaten in my life was in Uganda, so I knew it would be good.

I heard a whoosh of a noise and saw something in my peripheral vision. I looked up and there on my table was a small monkey with speedy black hands. In a flash, he had stolen my banana and rushed away.

I learned in Australia that when the locals warn you about the neighborhood animals that they should not be taken lightly. As soon as I arrived here I was advised of the “monkey menace” (those are the words they use), and have been very careful to follow the instructions I was given. Still, I thought I would be safe while sitting at the table with my food 18 inches away. (The picture is some entirely unrelated baboons from the drive – baboons are also not to be trusted.)

I was mistaken.

After that incident the lodge stationed a guard holding a slingshot near the restaurant.

The night had been interesting. There was no rain but I woke in the middle of the night to the repeated call of an elephant and the powerful roar of a lion. I was relieved to think of the electric fence encircling our compound.

After breakfast Sammy guided us across rocky, sometimes muddy, terrain toward a different exit from the park. Along the way we said goodby to these oryx – this is the last we will see of them. Apparently we will continue to see impalas, however. Impalas are everywhere – they’re like pigeons with horns.

After a long drive, stopping for lunch midway, we arrived at lake Nakuru. I chose to include Nakuru in my trip because of the many birds that can be found here. Such as this fish eagle.

This yellow billed stork who looks like she’s dressedin a pink ermine coat and ready for a night at the theater.

This marabou stork, on the other hand, appears to be up to go good whatsoever.

These spoonbills mostly kept to themselves.

And this pelican was very dedicated to cleaning herself.

Although this place has been known for flamingoes, the lake level has changed and there were only a few, quite a distance away. The paucity of flamingoes may also be influenced by time of year.

Still the highlight of my day wasn’t the birds, hippo, or rhinos, or even buffaloes.

It was these water bucks playing at sparring (although their horns never hit). I wonder if maybe one is teaching the other.

And it was these impalas actually sparring. Hearing their horns hitting made my heart race.

If I haven’t said it yet, I should be clear. Kenya is completely breathtaking. There is so much to see here, that I’m barely able to keep track. I have photos I can’t even identify, I’ve taken so many. And only the smallest fraction gets posted.

It’s overwhelming.

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