Thanks so much for all the comments on Sunday’s post where I shared many of the animals we saw during safaris into the bush on a trip I took to Kenya in fall of 2015. I’m back today to share the other wonderful animals we saw during our many game drives.
We came across so many groups/families of elephants while out on safari. There were always babies around so we kept our distance since elephants can be very protective when a baby is present. I’ve seen videos on YouTube of them actually turning vehicles over!
The babies are so adorable and stick very close to their Mom.
They love to munch on the foliage of Acacia trees, as seen below.
If the foliage is too high and they can’t reach it, they will simply push the tree right over. We saw a lot of trees bent down or broken where elephants had done that.
One of the cutest and shyest animals we saw was the Dik-dik. A dik-dik is actually a small antelope.
They are really small, only 12-15 inches tall and only weigh around 6-13 pounds. They can live up to 10 years and their name comes from the alarm call that the female dik-dik makes.
One of my favorite animals that we saw on safari was the Waterbuck, another antelope. Waterbucks are always found along rivers, lakes and valleys because they graze on grassland and can’t tolerate being dehydrated during hot weather.
The black thing you see sticking up in the bottom part of the photo is something on our truck. I think it’s a compass or something like that. Anyway, that gives you an idea about how close we are able to get to some of the animals. That’s Zebra and Topi feeding in the background.
I love their heart-shaped noses! They look soooo furry, like you would just love to pet them.
Posing for the camera… 🙂
When we first came across this beautiful leopard, she was curled up in the grass, sound asleep. You have to be patient when you’re out on a game drive. Good things come to those who wait.
After a little while, she woke up. It took her some time, but she slowly began to open her eyes more and more. Finally after a bit of time had passed, she sat up. Her eyelids were still very heavy, though.
Gradually she became more and more alert. It was wonderful watching her wake up.
She walked through some bushes to another area and we followed keeping our distance. Then out of the blue, she walked the distance over to our truck and lay down right in front of it. She seemed to understand that we were okay and could be trusted. After a while she got up and wandered off, probably to hunt for something to catch and feed to her babies. Our guide had seen her with two babies just a few days before.
This is the Common Eland and I think they are anything but common. I thought they were just beautiful!
The Common Eland is the 2nd largest antelop in the world, slightly smaller than the Giant Eland.
I love the striping across their backs and their mythical looking horns.
Of course, we saw a lot of zebra during my trip to Kenya. They were a common visitor to the area right around our camp, like these guys who were down in the valley just below our tents.
We also saw them during our game drives. They would never let us get very close.
I was fascinated by their stripes because each zebra seemed to have his own pattern. On some zebras, the strips seem to go all the way underneath their bellies while on others, you could clearly see where it stopped. Notice the light brown striping in between the dark stripes on this zebra. They are so beautifully symmetrical!
We usually took two game drives each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was almost always dark by the time we returned to camp, so we caught some great sunsets.
I love this photo taken as nightfall was approaching. There is nothing like an African sunset! It’s so different from the ones I’ve seen here. They aren’t more beautiful than our sunsets, just very different.
This was one of the sunsets we enjoyed one evening out in the bush. We had stopped to drink our sundowner before heading back to camp. That’s African Buffalo there on the horizon.
We saw a lot of Topi (another antelope subspecies) during our game drives. Our guide called them the bluejean antelope. Apparently, they get that nickname because of how their legs look a little like they are wearing blue jeans. 🙂 I think this one is playing “King of the Hill.”
You see a lot of photos online of topi doing this…standing atop little hills. I guess they like the view it gives them of the surrounding area. Those are wildebeest there in the background.
Africa is the land of exotics, so many creatures including beautiful birds. This is the Agama Lizard and he is just stunning in person. His beautiful colors are almost iridescent!
I don’t know what it is, but I have always loved giraffe. They are just so endearing with their spots and ridiculously long necks.
One of the first videos I filmed in Kenya on a game drive was of these giraffe feeding. You’ll find it here: Giraffes Feeding
On my last day in Kenya, one of the Mahali Mzuri guides drove me back to the grass landing strip where I would be boarding a small plane to fly back to Nairobi for my flight home.
As we drove to the grass strip airport, this was what we saw en route. This picture more than anything, shows what it’s like to spend time in Kenya. Seeing a herd of giraffe casually wander across the road is just a natural part of every day. We have to drive to zoos to see this here, but in Kenya it’s an everyday occurrence. If you’ve never been on safari in Africa, consider going. It will be a trip you remember and talk about the rest of your life.
If you missed it, you’ll find Part I of this African Safari here: When You’re On Safari, It’s All About the Animals