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Friday, March 31, 2017

Rhino, Rhino, Everywhere! You Sure They're Endangered?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Before heading out we had some lunch on the's so cool because the animals hang out right outside the fence and you can watch them from your seat

Solio is special because it is situated on a private reserve and no other lodges are built there.  It is home to about 200 black and white endangered rhinos, cape buffalos, lions, giraffes, zebras...and the list goes on and on.  We had our own private game drive, with the whole place to ourselves.  It was amazing.  
Notice the difference in zebras?  The Grevy zebra at Sasaab had stripes closer together.  These are the common zebras.
This is the white rhino.  They are more abundant than the black.  They are also calmer.  The black rhinos are kinda skiddish so we had to be very quiet around them.  The white rhinos don't give a hoot.
Cape buffalo....aren't they cute?
Sorry, I just can't get enough of these guys. They're so cute!

Let me introduce you to Mr. Water Buck.  He was spotted on day one at Sasaab, a million miles away from where we were parked.  The spotter noticed him in the distance and everyone took out their binoculars or zoom lenses, ooohed and aaaahed when they caught a glimpse of him.  But not Leslie.  Leslie is blind as a bat.  I'm not kidding, it must've took me ten minutes to finally see him after EVERYONE in the jeep gave me some kind of landmark to go by.  They said they weren't moving until I found him.  It was kinda embarassing.  This must've happened at least 5 times during the trip and by the time we got to Solio I was a pro, I think only because the water bucks were hanging around closer so they were easier to find.  Sheesh.  I'm getting old.

As the sun was setting we ran into a pride of lions.  This one was really cute, there were a lot of cubs in this one.  There are two prides living in Solio, I can't remember how many are in each pride, it was something like 14 in one, 22 in the other.  So cool!

We stopped in this spot for our sundowner, what a beautiful sunset.  There was actually a rhino hanging around here, and by sundown he was literally about 20 feet away from where we were standing.  It was a little unnerving but he just minded his own business and did his thing.  I wish I got pictures but it was getting dark and yes, once again, my flash was broken.
On the way back to the lodge we used a spotlight to take some night pics

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

We're Off To Solio!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

After our field trip to the preschool we headed off to Sasaab airport to catch our charter flight to Solio.

I'm not joking.  This is the airport that we went to...I guess we don't have to worry about bringing water bottles or taking off our shoes for inspection!
As you can see, Robin doesn't follow directions very well.  He's sitting on the arrivals side :)
It was bizarre seeing William play on a cellphone.  Where the heck do they get it from anyways?  We were way out in the boonies!
When our plane arrive we said our goodbyes...this is the guide and spotter that Susie and Evam had.  I forget their names.  I think one was Sammy.
We landed on another crazy ass airstrip.  Only this time it was grass...
The lodge was only about 15 mins away and the rhino wasted no time to welcome us in
We were then escorted to our rooms and holy hell...this place was HA-UGE.  And beautiful!! I think it was almost as big as our house!
Yes, that is a fireplace.  They light it for us at night before we go to gets quite chilly at Solio!
Look at this bathroom!!
Notice the bucket?  They are very good about water conservation.  It takes a little while for the water to warm up when you take a shower.  They ask that you use the bucket to catch the cold water and they will use it to water plants, etc.  They did the same at Sasaab.

I wish I could've hung out at the lodge a little bit longer, it was so comfy in there.  But we had animals to see!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Samburu Preschool

Monday, March 20, 2017

Today was our last day at Sasaab, we fly out to Solio Lodge later on this morning.  Before we headed off to the airport we were able to visit the local pre-school.  These kids were adorable, the ages varied from the youngest, 2 years old, to the oldest, 6.  Not all children attend school.  It is up to the parents whether they would like to send them or keep them at home to herd the goats.

This is Scott and Nicki, the managers at Sasaab.  Really really nice people and Scott has the most infectious laugh!!
The kids starting running to us when they saw us pull up
Two new naughty students in the back...

So cute!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Traditional Warrior Dance

Sunday, March 19, 2017

For tonight's sundowner we were treated to a traditional warrior dance.  This dance is done during special ceremonies such as a wedding for the warriors to find a mate.  I'm not sure how serious it is, I was told it was something like the bride catching the bouquet...just because she catches it it doesn't mean she's necessarily gonna be the next one married.  It was quite entertaining, but a nightmare for me to shoot.  Super bright light and their backs were constantly against the sun, which means harsh shadows on their faces.  Ugh.  Oh, did  I tell you I broke my flash?  Yup.  On the first game drive.  It fell off my camera, three feet on to the rocky pavement.  No flash for me tonight.  Fun.

Oh in case you were wondering, today was kind of a rest day for us.  After the village we had the whole day to relax and enjoy the lodge.  It was a much needed break.  I think everyone was a bit tired and still jetlagged.

To get to the dance we walked about 15 minutes down the riverbed to the staging area.  
The warriors wasted no time getting into their groove
This is Laurie.  She was also staying at Sasaab with her boyfriend Mark Boyd.  He's a conservationist with the Safari Collection and also does a lot of work with the community.  You can listen to an interview here.  It's quite interesting
The girls anxiously line up
After the girls get comfortable they join in with the warriors
Once the sun goes down they build a fire and the party continues!