Doum Palms line the river, and we are excited to see the life that masses here on the Ewasyo Nyiro River.
We have made our way to the semi desert location of Samburu National Reserve. The Samburu name for the Ewasyo Nyiro River is brown or muddy water, unfortunately the river is bone dry. When the river flows it comes down from Mount Kenya to water the dry plains that stretch east from the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. The river provides the life source for all that live in the region, but today it only provides some puddles on the surface.
We witness elephants digging into the sandy river bed, so as to gain refreshments from the water table below the surface.
The land is parched and heat immense, the semi desert location is rugged with a breathtaking beauty. The flat-topped Mt Lololkwi a prominent feature for the locals and it gives us our bearings to camp.
Here the wildlife is abundant, with a selection of unique animals to this region.
Grevys Zebra – They have distinct thin stripes, large rounded ears and white underbelly, very different to the more common Burchells Zebra.
Gerenuk – the unique long-necked antelopes, that feed at higher reaches than most other gazelles and antelopes. They stand erect on their hind legs, with their long necks extended, to browse on tall bushes.
Somali Ostrich, with their beautiful blue necks, unlike their more common relatives with pink necks.
Reticulated Giraffe – with exquisite patterns, very different to the Masai Giraffe.
Dik Dik (smallest antelope), timid and shy scamper amongst the thicket, whilst Elephant families browse by the banks of the river, my heart saddens that the water is not plentiful for them to cool, drink and refresh in.
We are lucky enough to see the extremely handsome Bateleur eagle that has come to drink at one of the smalls pools of water in the river bed. What a magnificent sight. His showy red beak with yellow tip stunning. He is certainly a beautiful specimen.
On our last morning we are elated, it has rained in the mountains and the river is flowing. My mind is full of images of Ellie’s running to the water’s edge to refresh themselves in the cooling waters, it is a joyous day for all the animals of Samburu. My heart is filled with happiness.