Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chyulu Part V: Videos

Following are a few short videos of giraffes bending to get a drink of water, zebras, elephants, and scenery.  Enjoy!  If the videos don't work, you may need to change your browser.  Chrome works for me but not Mozilla Firefox.


Chyulu Part IV: Sunday Services and Home to Nairobi

Sunday morning we arose early to watch the animals gathered at the water hole.  Then it was off to Makutano for Church and then home to Nairobi.  We love the new flat we live in.  Now that we're on the second floor, we don't have people doing their laundry 6 inches in front of our window!!  Nice to have more privacy and beautiful views and good neighbors (not that we had bad neighbors before!)

Lovely view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from our balcony at Kilaguni on this Sabbath morning.

Close-up of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is known as the "rooftop of Africa"
Are these elands or oryx?  I need to research it but not tonight.

The elephants here at Tsavo are red due to the red soil that they roll in.

Impala in the early morning light

Elephants have been for a drink at the water hole.  Such interesting, social animals.

I get nervous when I see a lone elephant because we know that lone elephants leave the herd when they are old and about to die.  They die when their last teeth are worn out and they can't eat anymore.

Interesting that the elephants at Masai Mara are grey and the elephants here are red.

This zebra must have been killed by lions in the early morning because it wasn't here beside the road yesterday.  Hyenas are known to chase away lions from lion kill.  Hyenas can clean up a carcass in about an hour.

Poor little zebra.  But that is the circle of life.  These two hyenas will be full for a while.
I guess one hyena has eaten his full and is off.
Cute black-backed jackal.

Two cute black-backed jackals

Grant's gazelles running across the road in front of us.

And now we are seeing my beloved baobab trees.

It's a nice, sunny morning and we are on our way to Makutano.

Note that other trees still have their leaves, but not the baobab.

Three baobab sentinels.

They look kind of monster-ish, don't you think?

Now we've arrived at the church and children are playing outside, awaiting the start of Sacrament meeting.

Eating suckers and posing for a picture.  The boy on the left was particularly wanting his photo taken.  The chapel is huge with high ceilings.  But there were only four rows of chairs so the congregation was quite small.

Cute little member girls

After church, we're on our way again and taking more pictures of baobabs out the truck window.

Can't get enough of the trees

Carts loaded with fire wood

And pulled by cattle (oxen?)

Mud brick homes and buildings

The people are well dressed and look very clean in spite of walking on dusty roads.

This picture is to remind me that in this area, they make bricks.  I missed taking a picture of bricks drying in the sun.

The baobab tree across from this one (which unfortunately I don't have a picture of) was 40 feet in circumference according to LeRon's footsteps.  Huge!

More baobabs dot the landscape.

Baobabs are everywhere starting about 2 hours drive west of Tsavo.

Bikes are a popular form of transportation although many people have motor bikes.

Can't get enough pictures of the baobabs.  Kind of like my thousands of pictures of zebras!

As we got closer to Nairobi, there were five huge dust devils kicking up red dust.

So interesting to see a red dust devil.

The high speed train between Mombasa and Nairobi is now open for business.  You can travel between the two cities in about 4 1/2 hours.  The normal train takes 12 hours and to drive, it takes 10-12 or more hours.

Chyulu Part III: A Drive Around the Park

LeRon was tired when he got back from Makutano but we only had a couple hours of daylight so off we went to see more of Tsavo West Park.  It's a gorgeous park.

Ostriches are absolutely huge!

This is the only baobab tree we saw in the park but I'm sure there must be more.

We would have liked to examine this hole in the baobab tree but you are not to get out of your vehicle due to things like . . . lions, and leopards, and other big cats.  The Area Seventy, Elder Miranda, whom we met at the Lodge (see previous post), said that he was at a park and got out of his car (after carefully looking around the area) and walked a few feet from his vehicle.  He looked back at it and three lions were trying to attack the vehicle.  It was a miracle that he wasn't killed that day.  God knew he needed to live to fulfill the upcoming assignment of being an Area Seventy!!!!

The hills in the park are all volcanic, being among some of the world's youngest mountains. 
Lots of termite mounds.  Wikipedia says that
Inside the mound is an extensive system of tunnels and conduits that serves as a ventilation system for the underground nest. In order to get good ventilation, the termites will construct several shafts leading down to the cellar located beneath the nest. The mound is built above the subterranean nest. The nest itself is a spheroidal structure consisting of numerous gallery chambers.

The flat-topped acacia trees say "Africa" to me.  I have become an Africa fan.  My brother Bruce and his wife Sara also served a mission in Africa (in Mauritius, an island off Madagascar).

I wasn't fast enough to catch the head and horn of this oryx but I'm putting this picture in anyway to remind me that we saw one.

I would love to have a dik-dik for a pet.  It's about the size of a huge rabbit but much cuter.

At the beautiful Mzima Springs you can get out of your vehicle and go for a nature walk.  Not sure what we would do if saw a crocodile though.  You are supposed to stay on the path, but we know for sure that hippos are in the area.  But since they usually stay in the water in the daytime, I guess tourists are safe.  We felt safe anyway.

The crystal clear water of Mzima Springs comes out of the ground at a rate of 250 million liters per day.  This is the very spot where it bubbles out of the ground.  Lovely.

And nearby were Vervet monkeys.  When I was a kid, I wanted a monkey for a pet.  I love the way they swing from their long tails.

The black bird on the left is an African Darter I think.
I was excited to visit the "observation chamber" which was advertised but it was a bit of a disappointment.  It sits on the bottom of the pool and the windows you look out of are very dirty and you have to bend down to see anything.  The water is so shallow that you don't see much.  I thought we would see hippos and crocodiles.  Oh well.  The book said you would see hippos but no . . .

I did see a few fish but no crocodiles.  The observation chamber was disappointing but the walk was lovely.

Gorgeous pool formed by the Mzima Springs

And there is our hippo!!  Click on it and you can see the ears anyway.

LeRon and I loved being out in the cool air.  Good for the soul.

We also loved the rounded volcanic hills.

And the Chyulu Hills in the distance on this pleasant evening.

I wish a camera could see what our eyes can see.

Hard to believe we are halfway around the world from our home and that we are in AFRICA!  We love Africa!!

Another termite mound.  You can see why people build with cement and stone here.

An eland

Gorgeous evening light

The sunlight across the red soil washes everything with a golden light.

My lovely zebras again.  The first ones I've seen here in the park away from the water hole.

I always loved Red Rock Canyon in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada.  When I was a kid, our family went there every summer and then when I married, I wanted the same tradition for our family.  LeRon's family didn't go to Waterton much so it was not their tradition.  But it has become the LeRon and Colleen Torrie family tradition.  Red Rock Canyon is a small canyon with gorgeous red everywhere.  Now here we are in Tsavo Park and there is red everywhere and I love it.

Click on this picture and you will see two darling dik-diks.

Evening sunlight on the crater of this volcanic hill was lovely.

Sunset was gorgeous.  I couldn't set my camera to get both the sunset and the tree, so I chose the tree!

We drove across this air strip where small planes bringing tourists land.

Another sunset picture with the Chyulu Hills.

Now we're back at the Lodge, which is just south of the equator.

The two nights we were there, elephants came to drink at the water hole.  Later on the second night, the elephants left as two hyenas came to drink.  I like hyenas ever since I learned about them during a lecture at the Serena Lodge in Masai Mara.