Samburu National Game Reserve
Samburu Travel Blog› entry 44 of 81 › view all entries
In the morning, we found a herd of forty elephants half a mile from camp. While several elders kept a tight formation around a sleeping infant, most fed on trees and foliage along the river. We watched them break strips of bark loose with their tusks, grip it with their trunks, then peel trees bare. Others snapped trees to the ground to feast on green branches. It was easy to grasp the ongoing problem of keeping their population in control to preserve the limited forests. Such destruction by their ever-increasing numbers could easily tip the delicate balance of the savannah's eco system. Since aggressive anti-poaching regulations of recent years, elephant numbers had increased alarmingly.
We stopped at a lodge inside the Samburu National Game Reserve and lounged on their nice deck.
After filling water jugs and getting another flat tire repaired, we made an afternoon game drive further up the river scanning the rocky hillsides for leopard. It looked like prime country for the big cat but we saw none. Sighting what looked like an antelope hanging from a dwarf acacia tree, we alleged that a Samburu hunter was dressing out a kill. Scott cited venison in the Upper Peninsula; Richard, kangaroo in Australia, and wondered how the meat would compare.
A duiker browsed lower brush nearby and we approached close enough to fill our viewfinders with that pygmy antelope which stood only twenty inches tall. Along with several giraffes in the area, we were impressed that these three species were able to feed on the same vegetation without conflict or competition. Each had evolved to survive in the arid, bleak African bush.
We set up camp inside the reserve on sloping ground. Deep grass between us and the Isiolo River deterred our exploring its bank for fear of snakes, crocodiles, and low-lying predators.