Tuesday, November 6, 2012

These giraffe were leaving a water hole and heading up the side of a steep hill.
There are many different kinds of gazelles...
These funny trees look like they are growing upside down.
In Mombasa we went to where the wood carvers work.  There is a shop where you can buy hundreds of different carvings.  It was amazing to watch these people work.  The designs are in their heads and they carve free-hand.
The most basic tools are used to carve...saws, chisels, knives and sand paper.  Nothing is automated.
This young man carves giraffes from a sold piece of wood.
This is looking out from the Scott's balcony...tough assignment, huh?
Mombasa is a huge seaport  and the fort there is called Fort Jesus.  If you were to look at the fort from the air, it would look like a cross.  This is where the slaves were kept... waiting to be shipped to places unknown.
This is the first time we have seen people having fun in the water since we came to Kenya.  This is the Indian Ocean.
There is a lot of diversity in Mombasa not only in culture but wealth.
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Pictures don't do justice to what we saw in Tsavo.  Miles and miles of scenery out of something like National Geographic.  It is beautiful and wild.
This is a tree at the Kilaguni Lodge where we stayed.
Each family stayed in their own area and didn't mix with the other elephants.
After a while, they started playing in the water.
This was fun to watch the little ones try to keep up with their mamas...Their ears and trunks were flapping around.
When they were full, each family left and travelled together into the sunset...
Giraffes came around the water hole but never came close enough to drink.  They just passed by.
It was incredible to be so close and watch these wonderful animals in the wild.
Tsavo National Park is where we stayed on our way to Mombasa.  We travelled with the Halls, Kellems, Scotts, Richardsons and Holmes.  There are many elephants in this park.
We stopped at a lake to see if we could find some hippos.  We found them...and monkeys and crocodiles.
This was a beautiful spot.  The water was clear and we could see many fish swimming.
This crocodile was laying with his mouth open, letting the water run into it.  He stayed in this position for as long as we were there.  I think he was waiting for a fish.
It's late afternoon and the elephants are starting to come to the water hole to drink, bathe and play.

This is the only creature that shared the water with the elephants that night.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

This is one of the many termite mounds you see along the sides of the roads.  Most of the people in Kenya build their houses out of clay, mud or metal because the termites will eat your house if it's made from wood.
There are nests hanging from the branches of many trees in Kenya.
We climbed a volcano called Oloonogot (Longonot) near Naivasha.  It is a pretty steep climb to the rim and then we hiked around the rim and back down.  The view was spectacular.  There were a few steam spouts coming from the inside  walls of the volcano.  The interior is a dense forest where many baboons live.  From start to finish, it took us about five hours.  The first time our guide climbed it, it took him 2 hours and 20 minutes.  He was 16 years old and there was a prize offered of 2000 shillings ($20) and a large Coke.  He won.
This is looking down into the volcano from the rim.
There was a small crater not far away.
Lee at the summit.
Longonot means many mountains and that's exactly what we saw.  It was beautiful.
Mt. Killamanjaro is near Arusha, Tanzania and is the highest peak in Africa.  It takes about a week to hike and you need a guide.  The cost is about $2000.  People from the U.S. compare Arusha to Jackson Hole.  We were on our way to Amboseli National Park when we took this picture.
We drove 76 km over a rough dirt road to get to Amboseli National park.  All along the way we saw Masai people.  They live in temporary houses because they are nomadic; they herd their cattle to wherever there is food.  They live on milk and blood from their cows.  They are very colorful people...they guage their ears and wear much jewelry and almost always dress in red...with a red robe over their shoulders and carrying a club or sword. 

After our long dusty drive, we were met at the Serena Lodge by people who gave us clean, wet washcloths and glasses of cold juice to refresh us...what service and what a beautiful oasis.  This monkey came up and visited us on the patio.

He just made himself at home.
After lunch, we drove out through the park and saw many, many elephants.
Right in the middle of the desert there is a big swamp that is lush and green.  The elephants were up to their bellies in swampy grass eating and having a great time.  Incredible to be there watching them in real life!
There was such a contrast in the scenery in Amboseli. 

This group of elephants were standing around an elephant on the ground.  We watched them for quite a while but could never decide what was happening.
Look at the grin on this happy elephant.  He has been in the swamp eating and playing in the water.
Baby is trying to keep up with mama.  This mama has a wonky tusk.
This elephant was showing a little aggression towards us.  We were too close for his comfort.  They are HUGE animals.
We saw several baby elephants.  It's fun to watch them trying to keep up with their families and playing with the other babies.
This is a view from an overlook area.  It was in the late afternoon.
The elephants are now leaving the water and heading out through the dry places for the night.
Here's Mr. Lee Safari Man...
What the...none of us are in safari clothes...except for Lee in his new safari boots.  Where are these people from, anyway?  Don't they know the rules?
We think this big guy might be stuck in the mud.
We counted about 15 hippos in the water near the bridge we were crossing.
Because there are so many tall buildings in Nairobi, we rarely see sunsets so this was a treat for us.