Welcome to Africa

Visiting the African Continent has been a much cherished dream for its famed wildlife. Our first day of the wildlife safari proved to be a long one as we exited from the Jomo Kenyatta Airport at Nairobi. We are welcomed by James from the Africanquest safaris and introduced to our 4 guides cum drivers who would be with us throughout the trip. With a hearty "Jambo" (how are you in Swahili), our guides cheerfully load our baggage into the vehicles that would serve as our  transport cum game viewing station for the next 7 days.
Our first destination is Samburu Game Reserve 0 deg 37' North of Narobi. It is a drive of 240 kms via Nyeri- Nanyuki- Isiolo and finally to the Samburu GR. We are moving across the equator from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere. It is quite a while before we are out of the smoky environs of Nairobi  and its traffic jams. A redeeming factor is that we spot the Marabou storks in the city and later some of the endemic birds of Africa - Pied crow, hooded crane, Superb starling, Common fiscal etc.

On the way we stop at a charming place off the beaten track called Kengrill Trout for a bush lunch. It was  wonderful to experience the real African bush and of course our birdwatching starts right here. So time to whip out the binoculars & cameras and go watching and clicking!
Some of the birds seen here include the Hartlaub's turaco - a beautiful greenish bird high in the canopy as well as the Grey cuckooshrike (see picture) and the Streaky-headed seed eater (pictrue below).

We proceed onward and reach the gates of Samburu GR in the evening. Samburu is an exciting place where we get our first glimpse of the African wildlife.

The variety and frequency of game in Africa is unmatched and one can spend the whole day admiring and adding to one's list of lifers species unique to this continent. Whoever referred to Africa as "the dark continent" obviously knew litle of colours. Indeed, from its people to its animal and birdlife, Africa is a riot of colours!
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This blog contains a selection of the nearly 800 photographs taken by me. We managed to see 29 species of Mamals, 202 species of the approx 1000 bird species in Kenya (compares very well with the 1250 bird species in the Indian sub-continent) and amongst the reptiles - it was the Nile crocodile. A full list of species, guide books  and other details about Kenya are given at the end of this blog.

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