Coke & Som Smith Photography & Travelogue

Expedition to Northern Kenya & Ethiopia


  The view of the Acacia savanna in Samburu.

 

During the mid to late 90's I had the privilege of traveling to Africa a number of times and on one of those occasion I participated in a safari to northern Kenya & southern Ethiopia.

The trip involved safaris to various parks and reserves. We spent about a week and a half up in Samburu-Shaba and Buffalo Springs Reserve as well as Mount Kenya.  After some time in Samburu-Shaba, we traveled overland through the northern stretches of Kenya and even crossed over in to Ethiopia to visit Omo National Park in the south west region of the country.

The adventure was both spectacular and grueling.  The roads in this part of Africa are atrocious to say the least.  Much of the habitat we traveled through was fairly disturbed but there were stretches of the far north of Kenya where game was spotted well outside the game reserves which have become biological islands surrounded by devastated habitat.  But this was more than a decade ago and things do change (usually for the worse) in Africa.

 

The images below represent some of the animals we saw on our journeys to these areas.

 

 

To see more amazing images of Eastern and Southern Africa, click the below links:

Eastern and Southern African Mammals

Eastern and SouthernAfrican Birds

Eastern and Southern African People & Landscapes

 

 

 

 

One of the main reasons I wanted to travel to the northern areas of Kenya and southern Ethiopia was to see the assemblage of species that can be found only there.  One of these species (actually subspecies) is the Reticulated Giraffe seen here.  These giraffes were commonly seen in almost all of the reserves visited on this expedition.

 

 

The Gerenuk is another species found in the northern parts of Kenya and southern Ethiopia.  I thoroughly enjoyed observing numerous herds of these strange bovids.  Watching them stretch their unusually long necks to feed in the higher reaches of the Acacia scrub made me recall my early evolution lectures in college and the topic of Lammarckian directed evolution.


 

 

The Grevy's Zebra is one of Africa's three species of zebra.  Their range starts in northern Kenya and stretches through to Ethiopia.  We observed numerous herds throughout the expedition.

 

 

One on early morning game drive, I had to relieve myself from the morning's dose of coffee.  I instructed my game driver to stop and I immediately hopped out of the jeep and took a leak.  The driver quickly scolded me as we were in "lion country"!  I told him that I didn't see any lions and all was fine....and then we drive about 5 meters around a patch of scrub and these two young male lions were napping their morning away.  That was the last time I ever took a leak like that!


 

 

One of the things I noticed about the elephants in northern Kenya was their overtly brown or reddish brown color, no doubt due to the particularly red soils in this region.  This young bull was seen strolling along the side of the road near the Ethiopian border in the far north, well outside any game reserves.

 

 

 

The Beisa Oryx is the subspecies of Oryx found in the northeastern parts of Africa - mainly northern Kenya and Ethiopia.  Many herds of these striking antelopes were seen during much of the expedition. 


 

 

Northern Kenya and Ethiopia are blessed with striking landscapes and sceneray.  This massiff was photographed near Samburu National Park.  Note the unbroken Acacia scrub forest stretching as far as one can see.

 

 

The Samburu River cuts right through the Samburu-Shaba Reserves.  Filled with Nile Crocodiles, the river is a dangerous place for crossing animals.  We spent countless hours spotting game along the banks of this and other rivers in the area.


Be sure to check out our Photography pages for spectacular images from Africa and many other places around the planet!

 

To see more amazing images of Eastern and Southern Africa, click the below links:

Eastern and Southern African Mammals

Eastern and SouthernAfrican Birds

Eastern and Southern African People & Landscapes