When You’re on Safari, It’s All About the Animals: Part II

Thanks so much for all the comments on Sunday’s post where I shared many of the animals we saw during our safaris out into the Kenyan bush on a trip to Africa in fall, 2015. In this second post, I’m sharing a few more of the beautiful and amazing creatures 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.


Cute baby!


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 we saw out on safari was the Waterbuck pictured in the center of this photo below. Waterbucks are another type of antelope. They are typically 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 was something on our truck. I think it was a compass, or something like that. Anyway, that gives you an idea about how close we were able to get to some of the animals. That’s Zebra and Topi feeding in the background.


I love the Waterbuck’s heart-shaped nose! They look so furry, don’t they? Would love to see how they feel, if they feel as soft as they look.


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 frequent 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 stripes seem to go all the way underneath their bellies, while on others you could clearly see where it stopped. Notice the light brown stripes 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 enjoy a 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.  πŸ™‚ 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.



You’ll find a video of me feeding endangered Rothschild Giraffes here: Rothschild Giraffe and here: Having Breakfast with Daisy.


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


When I fed the Giraffe at Giraffe Manor, one of the main things I noticed was their long eyelashes and their huge, soulful eyes. They are so beautiful in person, just stunning creatures!


On my last day in Kenya, one of the Mahali Mzuri guides took 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

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  1. Your photos are excellent. It looks as if a professional photographer took them. Some animals seem to be posing for you. Isn’t it miraculous how God has created so many varieties of animals and then so many species of each one.

  2. I’m humbled by this evidence of God’s creations.
    And equally appalled that these creatures are
    hunted for their horns etc.

    Your photos are wonderful. TFS……it’s almost
    like being there!

  3. Rose Mary Lee says

    Love all of the pictures especially the horse in the striped pajamas!!! Thank you for sharing your travels with us!

  4. bobbi duncan says

    Beautiful pictures, Susan! Loved the tour. Hugs!

  5. I’ve wanted to go ever since you posted about it, beautiful photos. My husband and I are leaving Monday for Israel, I’m excited for that and can’t wait to see how your trip goes for you. Keep traveling and keep posting Lena

  6. Love these pictures. Can’t wait to start on your scrapbook album. Hint, hint, hint!!! I have something I need to send you but I keep forgetting. It is almost too late in the winter for you to use it but I will try to get it mailed this week.

    • I’m getting there. Now I have to go through the gazillion bird pics I took! lol I don’t think that will take as long as the animal pics have. I still have a few more animal pics to go through.
      You are so sweet, Linda! Love you!

  7. Beth Francell says

    What a wonderful world we are given. I don’t understand why so many people refuse to see we must take care of this earth our home. There are so many ways we are destroying our own habitat. All this beauty will not be here forever if we don’t take some responsibility for the care of the planet. I love your photographs. It is like I am there with you.

  8. Love these pictures! Beautiful !

  9. Susan, beautiful photos of magnificent wildlife. I hope you are getting some of these framed. I still think the leopard is a beautiful creature…thanks for sharing!

    • I need to do that. I was thinking of framing some and placing them here on the wall in the office, but I think the hat rack is going there. Oh, I bet they would look great on the walls of the upstairs hallway just outside my office. Those walls are all blank so that would be a great place for them. Thanks, Pam!

  10. Baby elephant tiny pink tongues, heart-shaped noses, and lots of stripes and spots–GORGEOUS photos. So glad you are sharing these, thanks much!!!

  11. Absolutely beautiful photos. Some animals I’ve never seen or heard of. Indeed, a trip of a lifetime. Thank you so much for sharing. I know you are eagerly awaiting your next trip. This world of ours is so amazing!

  12. Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful pictures of the beautiful animals.

  13. Loved your leopard photo’s…..really all were wonderful and I pinned a few to my Pinterest. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Kay from Kansas says

    Your photos are beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I do follow you on Instagram, went to it and found the Lion video but it would not play. Do they only play for a short time? Could you please link it to your blog so we can hear the roars? Thank you!

    • Kay, I’ll upload it again to YouTube. I’ll also upload the one of the male lion roaring when he was communicating with the other lions that were just around the corner from him. It will take me a few days since I have an eye appointment tomorrow and they’ll probably dilate my eyes so I won’t be able to do anything tomorrow. But I’ll get those uploaded to YouTube sometime soon. Thanks!

  15. Cyndi Raines says

    Yes, indeed that was the trip of a lifetime! How wonderful to see them in their own habitat. (I too have never liked zoos — I can’t stand to be in tight places and my heart has always gone out to these beautiful animals.) Loved the eye lashes on the Dik-dik – like she has on mascara! The giraffe too has long eyelashes, but the leopard is a beauty! I want to pet her! haha Just think in heaven, the lion will lay down with the lamb, and so we will be able to pet them there!!

    • Good eye, Cyndi! So glad you saw those…aren’t those eyelashes amazing! Yes, that was the thing that most struck me at Giraffe Manor when I was able to get so close to the giraffes…they have long eyelashes and the biggest, most soulful eyes. They are just beautiful!

  16. Marvelous photos.
    You might have mentioned this before, but Mahali Mzuri means “good place” in Swahili.
    When I was at Naivasha and outside Machakos, giraffe would graze among the cows and we could walk quite close. And it was something to be in a matatu and see herds of zebra along the side of the road–like deer in the U.S.
    Despite a constant battle with poachers, Kenya has managed to protect its wildlife. When I went to countries in West Africa, there were no animals just out in the countryside.

    • That sounds wonderful! Yes, I do remember now reading that it means “Good Place.” Love that! πŸ™‚
      Yeah, the poaching makes me sooo upset to think about. So sad to hear that about West Africa. πŸ™

  17. Bunny Rogers says

    What a trip! Your photos are wonderful. If you are interested in giraffes you might want to be on baby watch live for April to give birth. She is overdue and some folks are getting really worried. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piqnQemDAto

  18. Wow, Susan, you have some really fantastic photos! I love all those frontal views – the elephant, topi (!), common eland, zebra and giraffe. And the leopard shots! What an experience. I haven’t forgotten your comment of recent travels, stating the safari was probably your favorite so far. I love that.
    Happy March!

  19. In addition to the beautiful photographs, what is the music playing in the background at Rothschild Giraffes? Very soothing….

    • Do you mean the one where I’m feeding the giraffes? It’s been so long, I don’t remember what it was called, but it was one of the songs that YouTube makes available to use (they have hundreds) when you upload a video. I just looked to see if it would show me the info/name of the song if I pretended I was going to edit it or change it, and it did. It’s says that it’s called: At the Shore-The Dark Continent by Kevin MacLeod.

    • I just googled that name and it looks like his music is available to purchase on itunes, including the Dark Continent album, here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dark-continent/id942694967

  20. Good evening Susan…your pictures make me want to pack right this minute and head to Kenya. I didn’t start reading your blog until 6 months ago so I didn’t follow your preparation and so forth for your trip. Did you go alone? And if so did you meet up with a group? Would you share those details and how you arranged your trip? Or maybe point me in the direction of your posts about this trip. I really would love to go so any info you have would be great! Thanks

  21. Pam Matheson says

    I did a similar trip in 1983 sponsored by Zoo Atlanta with my husband and our two boys, ages 7 and 10. Yes, just what you said, the trip of a lifetime.

  22. Just love the fabulous pictures. Can’t believe your not a professional. Thank you for sharing.

  23. I have thoroughly enjoyed these two posts with all of the beautiful animal pictures. Looking forward to your post with the bird photos. Thank you Susan for sharing this trip of a lifetime!

  24. Susan, are you following on FB the giraffe that is about to deliver her fourth baby? The news reported this morning that she should deliver within the week; she apparently is on live-feed on FB.

    • Thanks, Linda! So exciting! Another BNOTP reader had left a link recently and I visited the site last night. I’ve seen other giraffe births online on YouTube and it’s amazing how fast they are able to stand and walk! Can’t wait to see April’s baby!

  25. What exactly do you do for employment that you can afford all of these wonderful trips. I looked into what it cost to stay in the tents that you stayed in when you traveled to Africa, and they were at $1700/night! So crazy to me, despite the beautiful surroundings! I’m jealous!

    • I didn’t pay anywhere near that. The travel agency I mentioned in one of my posts about Mahali Mzuri, booked everything for me. I remember the travel agent who booked it said MZ was running a special where if you stayed X number of nights, you got one night free, I think it was stay 3 nights and get the 4th free. Anyway, I don’t remember now what it cost now since that was over two years ago, but it definitely wasn’t $1,700 a night…no where close to that.

    • Kim, here’s a special they have going right now on their website that’s $1,604 for three nights. http://www.maasaimara.com/entries/easter-special-mahali-mzuri-stay-3-nights-pay-for-2
      It’s totally worth that and more! To this date, it’s my favorite travel experience of all the ones I’ve taken.
      That’s definitely not $1,700 a night. Where did you see $1,700 a night? Can you give me the link? I’d like to see where you read that.

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