Located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Kenya, the Samburu National Reserve was our first stop of ten day safari. After being on Kenyan roads for half a day, while driving from Nairobi, we were both really tired but extremely thrilled as soon as we entered the game reserve. As our tour guide stopped at the entrance gate to open the roof of our four wheel drive….the childlike sense of wonder and excitement filled us both.
Our afternoon game drive was right after lunch. There was excitement of looking for wild beings and watching the tour guides communicate with fellow guides on radio. The landscape of Samburu was beautiful….the huge Acacia trees, tall grass, hills in the backdrop and driving on dirt roads….only thing missing was the animals. Not for long though! As we were slowly driving….we saw a head popping out of the tall bush….and there he was! Our first giraffe sighting, and this was just the beginning!
Soon after, in a span of three hours, we had seen zebras, elephants, monkeys, baboons, different species of antelope, jackal, leopard and dozens of colorful birds!!!! We watched a leopard in hiding, trying to catch his meal. We watched elephants eating the bushes and wandering like no one can mess with them. We saw gazelles, waterbucks and zebras get alert and still to any unfamiliar sound. Observing these unique and beautiful animals in the home was eye watering….all our lives we have admired them and watched them in the zoo, locked up in a small cage of a size nowhere compared to the expanse of these national parks. Now, after having seen them roaming around freely and experiencing the nature, this concept of “zoo” seems ridiculous and selfish. And as we did more and more game drives, we our resentment towards man made habitats for these wild beings intensified.
We spent the next day doing morning and afternoon game drive as well. The whole experience left us speechless. Standing up in the four wheel drive, searching for the animals, watching them eat, sleep and walk around freely was an extraordinary experience. We both were in awe of these beautiful wonders of nature. And this was just a start….a very memorable start of our safari.