Sunday, 21 July 2013

Kenya Day 5 - to Ol Pejeta Conservancy

 We started off the morning with a short game drive, and a new companion in our vehicle. Erin had missed her flight, and thus joined us on the trail.  The drive from Samburu to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy was relatively short as these things go.

Once we arrived, we started off well by seeing two types of animals we hadn't yet: African buffalo and white rhino.   There were many herds of animals, and we enjoyed seeing them on the plains.

We arrived early for lunch, so before heading to the Sweetwater Camp, we got to see Baraka, a blind black rhino who is being cared for at the conservancy. The best part of this is that tourists are allowed to feed and interact with him. Normally black rhinos are somewhat hostile to humans (and who could blame them, really?), but Baraka seems to understand the quid pro quo relationship. We feed him, and as he eats, we can pet him, and marvel at the feel of his tough hide. I have a suspicion he neither notices the contact, nor would care about it if we did.

After a brief tour of the people suck exhibit information centre,  it was time to head to the camp to check in. On the way, we paused at the equator for pictures.

The camp is nice, although our tent turned out to be almost as far as possible from the main facilities. It had good amenities, though, although there was no room safe, and I had to check my valuables at the front desk (accommodations at tented camps do not always lock).

After getting settled, and a tasty buffet lunch with soup service (it was a bit chilly), we headed out to the chimpanzee sanctuary before our evening game drive. They don't let you feed or touch the chimps, which is probably a good idea.  And we are separated from them by electrified fences. 

After a tour through the next people suck exhibit information centre, it was time to head off on our next game drive. Oddly, they didn't take donations at Baraka's enclosure; they tell you to do it here.

It was starting to rain, and we were on our way back to camp when we finally saw the animal Andrew had been yearning to see. Unfortunately, they are shy and it was dark, so we didn't get very good pictures.

We also managed to see a few more magnificent animals, pretty much as we mentioned we would like to see them. Thus was the legend of the magic hat born.

 After we returned to camp and had a pleasant dinner, and some truly wonderful Irish coffee, we headed back to our tent to retire. On the way, we saw a rather interesting fellow the rain had brought out. I know it's hard to tell the scale, but that slug was about 6 inches.

 And on that high note, we went to bed, and discovered they had been kind enough to include hot water bottles in the turndown service. Since it was damp and chilly, this was very welcome.