Just in case you were wondering why I’ve been a bit quiet…
I was kidnapped, but rescued by a bloodhound, so everything is fine. No, that’s not right, that’s a friend’s amusing title to this photo. It’s actually me in rapture with the anti-poaching team at the Ole Pajeta Conservancy in Kenya, on an animal behavior focused safari. These brave men have had a significant effect on the poaching of endangered rhinos, thanks to this bloodhound, trained to track people, and an adorable springer spaniel (out of the photo), trained to find guns and ammunition. No poaching attempts in three months. These guys are my heroes, doing a dangerous and vital job!
FYI, I had planned to do a lot more writing, but I sliced my thumb pretty badly last night and typing makes it worse. So, sorry, going to have to go with just photographs for this week. Lots more next week, with lots more details. But, here are a few more appetizers (some photos by me, some by Jim, we didn’t keep track):
Momma vervet suckling her young. Vervets were everywhere in northern Kenya, including on the porches of our tents. We had to padlock the zippers to keep them out.
Some might say that these are Grey Crowned Cranes, but in truth they are animatronic creations of the Kenyan tourist industry and Disney’s incredibly talented staff. Because, they couldn’t be real, right?
Cheetah brothers, about to begin a hunt. (We left them to it.)
Elephant babies everywhere. This one was probably about a month or two old. (We saw a newborn later who was learning to walk. Massive oxytocin rush all around.)
Dark Chanting Goshawk with a small frog.
Lion pride beside a buffalo they took down earlier that day. The light was very low, I took this with my iPhone. Lousy resolution but it all fits in with the other-worldly quality of it. (Yes, one of the females has a radio collar. More on the plight of lions next week; suffice it to say we felt privileged to see them.)
More next week, sorry can’t write more, but my thumb is getting pissed off. I’ll just say that it was a fantastic trip, AND I am soooo happy to be home, I missed the dogs more than I like admitting. But there it is. Dorothy was right: There’s no place like home.
Glorious Photos!!! Thanks for sharing them. Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures and wishing your thumb a speedy recovery.
Absolutely amazing pictures! But I love your comments even more and I’m really looking forward to reading more about your trip (esp. the anti-poaching team).
So my wishes for a speedy recovery for your thumb might be a little bit selfish. Sorry.
Wow, Africa has been a dream of mine for many years! What kind of camera did you use? Glad you’re back safe!
Beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing them with us!
We have a Canon Rebel T4i, but I bought a new 18-400 mm Tamron lens last year for it. It is a huge improvement over the lens we had before, which came as a package deal from Canon when I bought it many years ago. I’m happy too with the quality we are getting from it; at least for the price.
Can’t wait for more photos and narration. Heal up and enjoy being home!
So wonderful to hear that the anti-poaching teams are effective. I was in So. Africa 9 years ago and poaching was a huge problem.
It’s so magical to witness these beauties in their habitat. Thank you for sharing!
Trish – I love your hair like that. Or maybe it’s the glorious bloodhound nuzzling it :). What a fantastic trip and awesome job with anti=poaching!
Carolyn Grodinsky says
Thanks to all the brave anti-poacher crew!! Lovely photos!
Did you encounter any Cheetah-protecting Kangal dogs?!
Lesley Osborn says
A wonderful presentation of a remarkable trip!
The photos are exquisite as is this beautiful Bloodhound!
Always being greeted by my dogs when I return home (not from Africa, of course), rather a quick trip into town – resonates with your words…
There IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!!
Elaine Cooper says
Thrilled to see photos from Africa and to see the fabulous anti-poaching efforts there. I go on my first African safari in August–to Kenya and Tanzania with the Smithsonian. You’ve inspired me to upgrade my camera lens with your magnificent photos!
soyoung kim says
amazing!! my sister works for the rainforest alliance, and after a work trip to visit tea farms, her and her colleagues visited ol pejeta conservancy, too, and she was also blown away. she knows i don’t enjoy international travel, but she kept telling me, “i think you really need to go there,” because of the work the brave guides and protectors do gave her a lot of hope, and of course, because she knows how much i love animals. beautiful photos!!! thank you for sharing!
Hilary Paull says
Hopefully will get to Kenya next year. Look forward to more insights.
Anita Holcombe says
What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing these photos!
What fabulousness! What an experience!!! Lucky you. And we’re all so lucky there are people out there dedicated to stopping poaching and preserve the wildlife.
I am totally smitten with baby elephants now that I discovered Sheldrick Wildlife Trust…. they rehabilitate elephants, rhinos and giraffes- but mainly elephants it appears and they are reintegrated back into the wild.
For a very measly one-off sum I have “adopted” (me and heaps of others) a female baby elephant for the year and I get monthly email updates and insta updates that usually make me tear up as they’re so sweet. E.g. the one that told us the newly orphaned baby elephants have a keeper sleep with them throughout the night so they’re not alone…. and they get meals etc.
Glorious photos and such important work to support. Crying at the baby elephants…..🐘🐘 🥰
Hope you are all well.
Kay East says
So enjoyed this post, bringing back precious memories of my photo safari trips, back in a time where poaching technology was in its infancy. Looking forward to more pics and your interesting narrative!
Irene Toropin says
Wonderful trip! I am new to your blog, but I have been reading it for ages and love your books, thank you for sharing your amazing work and life!
I would like to share YouTube link, it is about importance of socialization. https://youtu.be/Etolmd369YU
It is in Russian, the guy is the owner of safari zoopark in Crimea, (there is a lot of controversy about this park on the internet, however it is unique and interesting behavior experiment). In this video he says that he and his staff hold and play with lion cubs from infancy and they are not scared of humans, compare to the older one on the video who was not socializated.
I hope I am not intruding