The Herds are Back…

By Will Knocker:

After months of greenery & long grass, the Park has turned tawny & the migratory herds are back: eland do not go far: across the Empakasi into the Sheep & Goat land. This is one of Kenya’s significant populations..

The NNP kongoni (Coke’s hartebeest) population is a conundrum: it used to consist of 2 populations, resident & migratory. As the migratory population has been confined to the Park (the remaining dispersal area is short grass plain-unsuitable for this sp. which is adapted to long grass areas) the population has shot up, in spite of record numbers of lions, for whom kongoni are a favourite prey sp.  …

The Plains zebra are back! In a year of good rain such as this, our population of up to 4000 roam as far as they can in the remaining dispersal areas. However it seems that even these remarkably adaptive creatures, able to deal with the suburban conditions (fences, people, dogs) outside the park have had to overcome their fears about lions & have come back in small family groups & some bigger migratory mobs consisting of hundreds of animals…the lions will be happy!

Up until the turn of the century, such sights would have included thousands of wildebeeste, but alas the last few hundred like the short grass plain of the Sheep & Goat land & only venture into the park if pressed by drought conditions….

NNP remains the last pristine corner of the Athi Kapiti Ecosystem, now a truncated shadow of what it once was. It is so encouraging to see the herds of migratory species come back to the park safe & sound after the Rains…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Rhinos

By Will Knocker:

Nairobi Park is undoubtedly one of the best places to see the Eastern Black rhinoceros & last weekend was no exception….

There are nearly six hundred of these super large megaherbivores, most of them in specially protected sanctuaries such as NNP

KWS have made increased efforts to keep up surveillance & patrols in the Park to safeguard these iconic animals, priceless to the Tourism Industry. Keep up the great work you do on behalf of our rhinos!

Mostly noctournal & difficult to find, Browse rhinos live in well-defined territories defined by the bulls, seen here pissing horizontally to mark his territory….

On the alert: these animals have to be, unable to live in areas where there are people. This is what makes Kenya’s Protected Areas so vitally important for these animals & many other species & especially large mammals….

For rhino afficianados in Nairobi, you can come out looking for these magnificent animals with me, see http://www.silolesanctuary.com/guidedtour.html  for details

The sadness is that these incredible forms of Life have few areas where they can ‘BE’ rhinos & get on with life undisturbed by people, many of whom want to kill them……