Day 33 (July 28, 2011): Safari in Our Backyard

July 28, 2011

Kenya is known for its abundant wildlife, so much so that thousands of tourists from around the world travel here every year to see it for themselves. Today we’ll give you a front row seat of our daily safaris, right here at Olorgesailie.

Two adult and two juvenile common zebras stand close together in the yellow grass near thick bushes Zebras, known locally as punda malia, which means “striped donkey” in Swahili. These are Burchell's, or common, zebra.   an eland walking to the right, stops to look at the camera An Eland, the largest antelope in Africa, strolls by an area near the Site Museum

 

a gerenuk ( a brown antelope with long neck and legs ) is viewed from the side as it looks curiously at the camera Gerenuks, such as this individual here, are often seen near camp. The word ‘gerenuk’ comes from the Somali language, meaning “giraffe-necked".   a herd of white and brown goats graze on the camp cliff around the green canvas tent A common sight at Olorgesailie is a herd of goats, followed by a Maasai boy. This time, unattended goats wandered into camp for a visit.

 

two light brown and tan antelope with horns stand on top of a ridge looking left Two Grant's gazelles walk along a ridge near the Site Museum. Grant’s prefer open, grassy plains, although they frequent bushy savannas.   A large brown and tan striped grasshopper, ~5-6 inches long,  hangs underneath the brim of a woman's kakai colored field hat, just a few inches away from her left eye When it comes to wildlife, let’s not forget the awesome insects. Here, Jennifer Clark sees eye-to-eye with a grasshopper.

 

Two Jackson's hornbill ( large black and white bird with a large red-orange bill) sit on a bare branch atop a tree Two Jackson's hornbills sit at the top of our camp shower tree. The hornbill has an undulating flight pattern, typical of other bird species in its biological family.   Three giraffes look at the camera. viewer can only see the upper half of their bodies and necks because they are standing behind bushe Maasai Giraffes Giraffes seen on an excursion just south of Mt. Olorgesailie.

 

Two pied crows (a large black bird with white chest) sit in the shade on the lower bare branches of a bush on the edge of camp cliff Some, but not all, members of camp find these Pied crows entertaining with their variety of calls ranging from traditional “kawr”, to a snoring “khrrr”, a creaky, growling, “urrrrrrrkkk” and a deep throaty “gulp.” When not flying over-head, or perched on   Two adult baboons, with dark olive colored fur, one sitting and one on walking in short, yellow grass. behind them is a large, dark,  heat-cracked, half-buried boulder These Olive baboons travel around in troops of around 50 individuals, and are a common site in the Olorgesailie area


 

Two brightly colored (blue, green, and orange) Superb starlings sitting in the lower bare branches of bush Superb starlings must be named for their plumage. In bright sunlight the back and wing feathers are iridescent blue and green, and with their orange belly and bright white eye, they are superb indeed.