Safari in Kenya

“I woke up at 5:45 and at 6:30 we left for the morning safari. I like the sunrise at Amboseli. Fortunately I was not sleepy, so I could photograph elephants, gazelles, buffalo, zebras and baboons. I never imagined how interesting the life of animals was. Locals are the best people to describe it. Steve, who belongs to the Kikuyu tribe, continuously explains to me the story of every animal we meet.  In front of us there is a herd of seven elephants.

Mount Kilimanjaro in the background and a family of elephants, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Mount Kilimanjaro in the background and a family of elephants, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

To satisfy us, Paul, our driver, moves in closer and an elephant throws its trunk on the jeep. This move has surprised mother, who with a clear ‘oh!’ falls back on the seat, and simultaneously Paul moves behind. Why did this happen? Because two of the elephants are very small. The mother elephant is very aggressive and protective of her children.  Did you know that elephants mourn for two days! when one of the group dies and the mother elephant seven days for her baby. They live to almost 90 years of age and, when a member dies, they do a lap round and bury it with tree branches.

Giraffes and elephants have something in common: they walk in the same way. At each step, they move the forelimb and back leg simultaneously. Fallen trees in Amboseli are the work of elephants! Going forward, Paul brakes again. What has happened? In front of us, a giraffe is killed. A tremendous spectacle!
Going ahead again we scared some zebras.

Zebras drinking water from a pond, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Zebras drinking water from a pond, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

This gives us the opportunity to admire their beautiful running, but we end up face to face with the huge, lazy buffalos. There are about ten of them and some little, white birds are resting on their backs. The fear with buffaloes? They must not see you get out of the jeep and move because otherwise they will exterminate you. These gentlemen are the only ones in the animal kingdom that know when their prey has been killed. They are not satisfied merely to injure you, they want to kill you completely. How greedy!”

From my travel journal 35 years ago

The Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge as I remember it, with Mount Kilimanjaro soaring majestically in the background, Kenya

The Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge as I remember it, with Mount Kilimanjaro soaring majestically in the background, Kenya

Barbara Athanassiadis