Story & pics by WILL KNOCKER:
Last sunday I went into the park for my customary’ blog-hunt’ & came across the huge gravel pit that has been dug by the roadbuilders improving the tracks above the Athi Basin.
A large herd of buffaloes had meandered up from the Athi River to the plains above.
They were having a whale of a time….
A family of Crowned cranes were using this new wetland area to forage for food… Brian Finch the birder has just identified his 539th sp. of bird in the park, showing how extraordinarily rich (& unspoilt by man) NNP habitats are……
Cranes or ‘kongoyings’ as they are known in my family, have bred well this year in the first 6 month period of good rain: it now seems set to get drier….
Here comes a black rhino: a male (females nearly always have calves for company….)
Zebras join the melee……
Whilst the rhino hangs out with buffalo chums…..timeless scenes on the African plain…….
NNP is a city park, where city folks drive into the park to look for large mammals.
Of course there are many noctournal animals that cannot deal with vehicle headlights after dark.
Above is a zorilla (an African skunk- a member of the weasel family) which was killed on Thursday night.
KWS vehicles zoom along the bottom-of-the Langata-forest where this unfortunate victim of the motor car was found….
Roads have recently been improved in the Park, so vehicles are driving faster.
SLOW DOWN, ANIMALS HAVE RIGHT OF WAY (even if you are not in the park!)
Eland are the largest sp. of African antelope: huge, gentle, versatile (they both graze & browse, depending on what is seasonally available.)
We have about 500 of these superb antelopes in Nairobi National Park.
In the past, they spent wet seasons in the dispersal area: in the Kitengela Conservation Area (so called) south of the park.
Despite the best efforts of the US based Wildlife Foundation to lease land in the dispersal area, much of it is no longer suitable for wildlife (except for the incredibly adaptable Plains zebra.)
At any rate this shy sp., intolerant of noise & other human encroachment on it’s historical range, has voted with it’s hooves.
Apart from on the Sheep & Goat land immediately adjacent to the Athi Basin, eland are now confined to the park.
Thank goodness that this haven for the wildlife of the truncated Athi Kapiti Ecosysten exists…..
Can you imagine the African savannah without this huge, majestic creature?
In most other African countries, it has been extirpated……..
Story & pics by WILL KNOCKER:
In the middle of the road, one of the common cobras of Nairobi National Park: a black-necked spitting cobra
Snakes cannot hear, this one could FEEL something very large approaching….hence the threatening stance
Cobras are usually noctournal & feed largely on amphibians such as toads…
This guy (gal?) was probably sun-bathing in the middle of the road (it is cold & rainy in Nairobi at present)
The snake would not move, so having wound up the relevant window as a precaution, I drove around it, whereupon it slipped off into the undergrowth……
Pictures by DAVE MCKELVIE:
Fine photos of 2 bulls vying for power (=mating rights) in a graceful display of massive power
The protagonists face up to one another
Taking it in turns in this extraordinary ritual, using their giant heads as mallets,they bash against each other’s chests…
These two look to me like young bulls practicing…
The real thing is awesome as these huge mammals bash way at each other until one gives up….
Story & pictures by DAVE MCKELVIE:
Came across 3 lions who were in the process of killing a buffalo
A very large buffalo
2 large males and a female, just next to 4b, they will still be there as they have a lot to eat
Female and a male at back end feasting
Large male had a hold on snout and paws round horns suffocating the buff
Large male buff was still alive, kicking a bit and trying to move his head, but was already weak and on his last breath