Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Day Eleven - Back on Track

True to their word, the guys from Roving Rovers arrived with a replacement vehicle at 7.30 this morning. As they arrived, we were just heading out on a foot safari with Kayan. This was a fascinating walk, as he showed us how his people make cups from Elephant Fruit, took us to the cave where he saw a Hyena with cubs, pointed out tracks of Lion, leopard and Baboon and took us to a viewpoint where we could look down on the whole Rhino Valley and Ngulia Bandas.
Kayan leading the bush walk

You've seen the waterhole from the Bandas - this is Ngulia Bandas from the waterhole
Sharpening his spear on a flat sandstone
Kayan demonstrating how the Masai make cups from Elephant Fruit

Once we got back to the Bandas, Kayan demonstrated making fire the traditional way, then had all the guys try it out.

Jason getting a lesson in making fire the traditional way

It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning, especially being out on foot instead of in a vehicle. After lunch, we walked around the Bandas, photographing Lizards, birds and Rock Hyrax.

Rainbow Agama and friend

We then decided to take a drive along the line of waterholes that follows the Mukui River and park at some of them to see what came along. We ended up with photos of Buffalo, a Masai Giraffe with a wonky horn, several species of Plover, an Hadada Ibis, a pair of Yellow-Billed Stork, Eland, Kingfishers and a Tawny Eagle to name but a few.

Wonky Horn eating his lunch

Buffalo wallowing in the mud

Hadada Ibis

Courting Go-Away Birds

Herd of Eland

Giraffe and Zebras

We then headed over to the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, where part of the National Park has been fenced off to give Black Rhinos there extra protection from poachers as part of a massive breeding and reintroduction program that has seen over a dozen Black Rhinos successfully reintroduced to the wild from the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is only open from 4pm till 6pm, so we arrived just before it opened. Unfortunately we were not able to find any of the 77 Black Rhinos currently in there but that's life, nothing is guaranteed.

Tomorrow we leave Tsavo West for Nairobi and the next day on to the Mara. We have had a fantastic few days here. Ngulia Bandas (Rhino Valley Bandas) is a wonderful place to stay, with friendly, helpful staff, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife and being almost central, is within good reach of everywhere you might wish to go in Tsavo West. We cannot recommend this place highly enough and will be very sad to leave.

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