Kenya

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Tsavo East National Park

Have you ever seen red elephants? The biggest population of elephants in Kenya lives in Tsavo East National Park. The elephants love to take dust bathes in the red soil, that’s why their skin looks red. Tsavo East can be reached from the Mombasa beaches by car. We booked a private one-day safari trip in May. At that time the NP was not crowded at all.

Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation areas in Africa, renowned for its large populations of lion, leopard, cheetah. We saw some cheetahs well hidden in the high svannah gras and spotted many elephants, giraffes, zebras, numerous antelopes and wildebeests.

We were lucky to see this baby giraffe standing right in front of us while its family was grazing at the nearby creek. I don’t know how old it was, but obviously pretty young.  Newborn giraffes are 1,70 -2 m tall and can run within a few hours after birth.

If you come to Kenya you should not miss Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru National Park is situated just around 160 km northwest of Nairobi. The soda lake is a bird sanctuary, home of thousands of flamingos and other rare bird species. It is also home to more than 50 mammal species. The ultimate highlight for me were the rhinos. The park is a rhino sanctuary with a population of around 60 white rhinos that are by rangers around the clock. Do you know the difference between white and black rhinos? It has nothing to do with the colour. White rhinos have a wide (in Africaans wyd, in Dutch wijd -thus it came to white) mouth and feed just on grass, while black rhinos or  hook-lipped rhinos in contrast – have a pointed mouth and feed on leafs from bushes and smaller trees.
Rhinos are critically endangered – first of all by poaching and the illegal trade in the rhino horn. Although the horn consists just of keratin  -exactly the same like human finger nails !- it is still believed in some Asian countries to have a healing effect.