Saturday, July 15, 2017

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 his 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.

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.


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