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Day 3 (Tuesday, 7th November)

We packed the safari bus at Samburu, and left the lodge at 8 in the morning, but only after adding a few more species to the trip list, with early African Mourning Dove and Speckled Pigeon just outside of the room. As opposed to the sedate drive through the reserve of the game drives, the intention this time was to make headway towards our next destination, so we zipped past herds of Impala, Grantís Gazelle, and Gemsbok to the delights of the rough track southwards. We again stopped at a curio shop half way on the journey to lunch, and more diligence here paid just rewards, with what looked like Brimstone or White-bellied Canary singing from the wires above, and a pair of African Citrils subsequently landing on the same spot. A rather dingy and washed out Kenyan Rufous Sparrow was on the entrance fence, while Common Fiscal hunted from its perch across the road.

Grounds of Outspan Hotel

We eventually reached the Outspan Hotel, which serves as the reception and base for Treetops, and offered a more than acceptable lunch overlooking impressive and lively gardens. Various birds could be seen as we sat and munched on lunch, which left ĺ of an hour or so to wander and seek. Most prevalent were Variable Sunbirds, which had to be seen well to separate from Collared Sunbird, due to the local subspecies here having yellow belly similar to the latter species. A stunning Scarlet-chested Sunbird also appeared amongst the flowering plants. Within the bushes were a couple of pairs of Yellow White-eyes, as well as a shy and retiring Tambourine Dove. The suitcases had to be left at the Outspan, due to restricted space in the rooms at Treetops, and about 100 or so guests were pinched into 3 medium sized buses for the half an hour transfer. Just as we entered the boundary of Treetops, a Blue Monkey (probably the Kenyan race Ė Sykesís) was spotted rooting around in the trees.


 

Treetops balcony

Treetops water hole

Treetops is very much a novelty, looking like a wooden built artefact from the past, and functions as a sort of sleep over superhide, with water holes either side of the viewing balconies. Despite being offered the chance of a 2 hour safari around the reserve, for the sum of £20 each, the decision was made to use the uniqueness of the place to observe the animals coming to us. This meant that from 4pm until darkness fell, which was around 7pm, a selection of mammals were scrutinised, including various antelopes, a large troop of Baboons, the first Warthogs of the trip, which eventually turned into tens of Warthogs strewn around the reserve, and a hefty party of African Buffalos. The vigil also produced an interesting if limited number of bird species, with a healthy colony of Spekeís Weavers nesting on both of the water holes, with the odd Baglafecht Weaver occasionally joining them. Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starlings were also self evident, with plentiful Little Swifts in the air, presumably with nests within the wooden structure somewhere. With patience, a smart African Green-pigeon landed on the salt lick next to one of the water holes, with a Cape Wagtail and a small number of Black Crakes amongst the reeds. A single Silvery-cheeked Hornbill landed on a large bare tree in the distance. Once it was dark enough for the floodlights to be switched on, an Elephant strolled in on the scene. Just before we were about to go to dinner, a pair of Spotted Hyaenas put in a sinister appearance, the first of the trip.

After dinner, some of the animals put on a bit of a show. The earlier Elephant was added to by a second, with an African Buffalo joining the group. It is said that Elephants have a poor tolerance of other animals at water holes, but the Buffalo had other ideas. Despite the Elephants squaring up, the Buffalo was immovable. A Black Rhino entered the scene at about 10:30pm, edged its way around to the spot where the other behemoths were residing, and the Buffalo repeated its belligerence by seeing it off, whereupon it left the vicinity completely. On the opposite side of the lodge, a larger pack of four Hyaenas looked constantly as if they were up to no good, and they eventually left the area just before midnight. Shortly before retiring, a small herd of Elephants appeared, including small calf and larger juvenile, and mooched around the saline water hole before ambling into the distance and the dark.

Baglafecht Weaver

Speke's Weaver

Baglafecht Weaver

Speke's Weaver

Common Bulbul

Common Fiscal

Common Bulbul

Common Fiscal

Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling

Pied Crow

Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling

Pied crow

Speckled Pigeon

African Buffalo

Speckled Pigeon

African Buffalo

Bushbuck

Warthog

Bushbuck

Warthog

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Species list

Text only