Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's too much

Where do you go for an outing when you live in paradise? Living in Kimwarer Valley which is peaceful, lush and green after recent rains and many different birds to enjoy, you almost feel as though you don't need to get away! However, while we're here in Kenya, we intend to visit the country and this weekend was the start! We did a morning trip to Bogoria Lake and spent the night on Island Camp in the middle of Lake Baringo.

Entering Lake Bogoria National Reserve a little before 8am on Saturday, within minutes we were driving along the dirt road skirting the lake. I had previously heard about the beautiful sight of the flamingoes in and on the shores of this large body of salt water, but nothing prepared me for the utter magnificence of the scene.

Zebra graze in the open thornveld while the flamingoes on the lake create a beautiful backdrop to the scene

 The vegetation around the lake is composed of dry bush, grasslands and riverine forests. Animals can quite easily if you drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled! These include buffalos, zebras, impalas, dik dik (very small species of deer - see photo) . The lake is the perfect spot to see the rare greater kudu. We didn't see buffalo or Greater Kudu but several other antelope and zebra showed themselves.


The antelope (male Impala above) either stood in the shade of  bushy vegetation above or...

...relaxed in the open thornveld. This male Thompson's Gazelle was keeping an eye on his small herd of females grazing nearby

This very small antelope species, Kirk's (Damara) Dik-dik, is being hunted ruthlessly in Africa. Although  previously they'd dash across the road as we travel through the mine, I've never seen more than the back-end of this little fawn disappearing into the scrub.  It was a privilege to see so many in the reserve and to be able to photograph them standing quietly in the shadows

Cattle Egret are found all over sub-Saharan Africa, and despite the name not ALWAYS found in association with cattle and wildlife. The birds above are in breeding plumage, the one on the left more advanced.  I don't have a photo like this and I just had to include it! (apologies, I'm not sure what the little wader in the middle is)

A lone Marabou Stork rests in a stork-like stance!

And now for the stars of Saturday's show at Bogoria!

Flamingoes in their thousands, lining the shores, paddling the waters of Lake Bogoria

Flamingoes taking off, flamingoes flying in to land, flamingoes feeding, flamingoes in their thousands, honking !

 Lesser and Greater Flamingoes occur at the lake. Above are Lesser Flamingoes which are smaller than the Greater Flamingoes. They also have deeper pink plumage and a dark red bill, tipped with black

 Due to fluctuations in Lake Nakuru’s level, many flamingoes migrate back and forth between Nakuru and Bogoria in search of better feeding grounds. At times around a million of them can be found in Lake Bogoria where they give a pink haze to the horizon.

Graceful, beautiful and mesmerizing!

As the title says, it's too much to tell you all in one post. More later about the Greater Flamingoes and the hot springs of Lake Bogoria as well our ultimate night out on Lake Baringo.

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  1. I love the zebras. How fantastic it must be to live there.

  2. What an amazing series of shots!

  3. This is an Awesome Nature Reserve, so much diversity. But that many flamingos together is really over the top. Truly a pink haze. Can't wait for more.

  4. Oh My Gosh, Jo... This may be your BEST set of pictures EVER... I am so impressed.... Zebra, Antelope, Egrets, Stork, and Flamingos..... OH MY HEART... Those Flamingos are amazing!!!! I'm so jealous... Wish I were there with you...

  5. Lovely...the scenery, animals, and, WOW, the Flamingoes!

  6. It must be lovely to be so near nature unlike me living in big city fill with high rise buildings, roads and vehicles everywhere

  7. Hiya jo,
    What an eventful existence you have!
    Such a variety of wildlife on your doorstep. Camping in the midst of flamingoes must be one of the highlights of anyone's life.

  8. Me again, forgot to ask:
    Is the reason for shooting those antelopes the same as for the Tibetan ones: their skins being used illegally for shahtoosh shawls?
    Gruesome practice.

  9. Great pics Jo - you're so right about living in paradise ...

    ... the Maribou Stork is such a strange bird ... so ugly up close and yet so fascinating ...

    ... strange that the word verification word I have to type in is 'inedis' ... In Eden ...

  10. You got some fantastic photos of my favourite bird in Kenya, the flamingo. Wonderful :-)

  11. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, Jo! How lucky you are to be there in person...and thank you so very much, also, for sharing this beauty with us!

  12. OMG Jo, the flaminoges are amazing. What a sight to see, I wish I could have been there with you to see them too. I can almost here them. WOW, the sounds must have been really cool. Awesome photos from the Reserve. I loved all the animals. Thanks for sharing your world.

  13. What a fabulous experience for you. The animals and flamingos are amazing, like we see only in documentaries. You lucky girl.

  14. Oh WOW Jo!!! Love these!!
    What a Wonderful place to be! I know you are enjoying your time there!!
    Be Safe!

  15. What a great adventure! Love the magical sight of all those flamingos!

  16. Oh, you know I love this post, Jo, and your first line says it all! How funny we're posting Dik-Diks at the same time! As soon as I saw the A - Z challenge, I knew I would feature a different African animal each day, although I have nothing so far for K, Q, U and X...not sure what I'll do...LOL. Several of your captures are similar to the ones I will be posting soon.

    I'm not familiar with Bogoria Lake but will go in and learn about it now. So lovely to hear from you...

    Imagination lane

  17. Jo what a wonderful wonderful sight! Can you believe you are experiencing all of this! You deserve it, my dear sister!
    love and hugs

  18. You do live in paradise, and the many wild, exotic animals you see shows that clearly.

  19. wow! what a stunning sequence of shots - such a beautiful place!

  20. I would just love love love to visit there, Jo. Dick is crazy about photographing flamingos and if he knew the dik-dik is being hunted ruthlessly, he'd be most upset. LOL
    Came here via the link in today's post, which took me to your post before this one. I guess I missed these as I was in Europe at the time.
    We'll see how I do with next week's flight to St. Petersburg, Russia, without stopping overnight for me to rest. It will be a good test to see if I can travel to Africa. :o)
    Luv — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel


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