After several weeks “on the road”, a free morning in Nairobi provided a wonderful opportunity to spend some hours with friends visiting Nairobi National Park. It is many years since I was last there, and people have said that building encroachment as well as the new railway and roads are increasingly affecting the lives of the wildlife. However, following two days with rain and an early start, we were very fortunate to have a sunny morning during which we saw a wealth of animals and birds. I very much hope that the images below capture some of the beauty and richness of Kenya’s wildlife.
Vistors should, though, be warned that passports/identity cards are needed to enter, and that payment (currently US$43 per foreign visitor) is required by card rather than cash. It was amusing to reflect that the introduction of digital payment means has led to lengthy queues; although it may have reduced fraud, it has certainly lengthened the time it takes visitors to enter the park!
Many thanks to Pauline who collected us from the hotel, and our driver John who did a great job in locating the animals!
Thanks to the generosity of friends, I had an amazing opportunity to drive up to Nakuru National Park from Nairobi for a few hours, circumnavigating the lake and seeing some wonderful wildlife. I hope that the pictures below capture something of the beauty of the place. It was interesting to see, in particular, how the lake has increased in size in recent years, leading to many acacia trees being flooded and consequently dying. The decrease in alkalinity of the lake has also been blamed for a reduction in the number of flamingoes, and so we were especially fortunate to see them, as well as a group of lionesses!
The park has been hit heavily by tourist concerns over potential terrorist activity, as have all of Kenya’s tourist destinations. This is so sad for the Kenyan economy, and all those people who earn a living from tourism. However, it did mean that there were very few people there, and so we were able to get some excellent views of the wildlife.
Thanks Juma, Peter, Mika and Robert for a great – albeit tiring – day! Peter – you were a fantastic driver – thanks so much for being behind the wheel for so long!
Staying with friends in Costa Rica provided a wonderful opportunity to spend Sunday exploring something of the landscapes and wildlife of the country. The photos below, mainly from the Carara National Park on the Pacific coast, provide an interesting comparison with those that I took recently in the tropical rain forests of southern Sri Lanka. At least we avoided the leeches this time!
A short holiday in Sri Lanka has enabled us to visit the wonderful Yala Nature Reserve covering some 98,000 hectares in the south-east corner of the country. A seven hour drive from Colombo on Saturday has meant that we can spend a relaxed Sunday exploring the Park, and chilling out by the sea! Yala is renowned for its elephants, leopards, deer, wild boar, buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys, jackals, sloth bears and some 135 species of birds. Setting off at six this morning, we saw most of these – apart from the sloth bear! We were amazingly fortunate to see a leopard keeping a watchful eye on a group of deer drinking from a pond, just too far away for it to pounce on them!
The photos below show just some of the rich diversity of wildlife to be found in this peaceful haven – definitely worth visiting for anyone who is coming to Sri Lanka!