Sunday, September 20, 2009

Africa Part VII: Amboseli - Land of Death and Babies

Our next stop after the Maasai Mara was Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya. On our way, we saw a Gerenuk or Giraffe-necked Antelope. This animal will stand up on its hind legs and stretch out its long neck to reach leaves like the giraffe. I only got a good picture of it sitting under this tree though.

From Amboseli, we had fantastic views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Amboseli was much more arid than the parks we had been to so far and we saw many more carcasses of animals that died or were killed during their migration. While this was sad to see, we kept the circle of life in mind as we saw the vultures feasting on the recently deceased.

Amboseli National Park is where Echo the Elephant lived. She is maybe the most famous wild elephant and was featured in BBC documentaries: Echo of the Elephants; Echo of the Elephants, The Next Generation; and Echo of the Elephants, The Final Chapter. Echo died May 2009, so we were unfortunately not able to see her leading her family. We did see her final resting spot and there were still elephants nearby. Echo was the matriarch of her family for at least 36 years.

We spotted this baby elephant on a game drive and asked our driver if it was unusual to see a baby this small with no adult elephants around. He said that the baby was likely an orphan. We informed the park rangers upon leaving the park and, hopefully, they took care of the baby.

Even with all the death that seemed to be in this park, we also saw quite a bit of new life and families surviving.

We also saw many animals feeding and hanging out in the water around the park.

We saw some of the usual spotted animals......

and some of the not-so-usual spotted animals.

Our driver had to help this driver to get unstuck. We were glad it wasn't us needing help and that our vehicle was a little more off-road appropriate.



Moturoa said...

Loved it- I have been waiting all week to see your latest addition to your blog.

I wonder did you see more than the average visitor?

You got such fabulous photos.


Sarah Grace said...

Thanks Allanah! I knew I had to get at least one post done this weekend since I tweeted that I would! My goal is to get the Africa posts finished before the end of the month. I've got 3 more.

I don't know how much the average visitor sees during a trip like this. I know we were amazed each day with what we saw and how lucky we felt to see so much!


masai mara safari said...

You guys must have had a blast. From masai mara to amboseli? i love amboseli for its large herd of elephants.