Thursday, 8 August 2013

Day Five ~ Farewell to Tsavo East

Today we had to be out of the Park by 1:30pm so we arose early and had a quick breakfast and said our goodbyes to the wonderful staff at Ndololo Safari Camp. We then headed first to our favourite place, Kanderi Swamp. A family of Elephants was gently brousing in the early morning light. As the babies began playing push and shove, the idyllic scene reminded us why we love this place so much.

Elephant family in early morning light at Kanderi Swamp

From Kanderi, we took the Voi River route to Aruba Dam again, seeing plenty more wildlife along the way, including Baboons, Impala, Waterbuck, Elephant, Zebra, Grant's Gazelle, and Helmeted Guinea Fowl. Near Aruba, there is a borehole with a wind-powered pump that creates a waterhole which was being used by many Elephants today. One young baby got stuck and had to be given a helping hand to get back out of the muddy hole.
Heading back towards Voi, we stopped for one last visit to Kanderi Swamp and then headed round to the pipeline road, where we found the same three Lionesses we had found a few days before, resting up in the long grass about a kilometre from where they had been previously. In the distance a herd of Kongoni were browsing and the Lions kept one eye on the herd to see if they were coming within range but it would be a long wait and we did not have time to waste, so we headed back to the Voi Gate and left the Park, heading into Voi to meet Tiju at her shop, where she had our new Safaricom mobile modem dongle waiting for us. After a good catch-up, we headed for Ngutuni Lodge, where we will be for the next two nights, before we head to Tsavo West National Park.

Helmeted Guinea Fowl having a scratch
Baby Elephant gets a helping trunk out of the muddy waterhole
With Tiju outside her shop in Voi

On arrival at Ngutuni, we were greeted with wet facecloths to remove the Tsavo dust and a glass of fruit juice. Ngutuni is a fantastic place with lovely, spacious rooms that each have a balcony looking onto the waterhole. The restaurant and bar has a terrace that also provides a great viewpoint onto the waterhole and it is quite possible to spend a whole day's entertaining game viewing from the terrace, with a cold Tusker to add the final touch! Shortly after we arrived, a large herd of Buffalo came in to drink and they had no sooner left, than a family of Elephants arrived. Very soon more Elephant families arrived until the waterhole was surrounded by dozens of Elephants. There was some argy-bargy as families argued over who should have access to the best water but this soon calmed down. We finished the evening with a lovely dinner in the restaurant, which provides food as good as you will taste anywhere. We can especially recommend the Roasted Tomato Soup and the delicious lean minute steak, which are both out of this World!   

The waterhole and terrace at Ngutuni

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