NAIROBI PARK DIARY

Repeating the roads

Sometimes nature reveals itself when you least expect it to

In Summary

• Many vehicles drive fast and far with lesser rewards than the slow and patient

Hunt pose
Hunt pose
Image: GARETH JONES

I entered the park through the main gate. Everything looked so green and alive after the recent rains. Right then, I decided that my drive was not going to be fast and far, but rather slow and short.

My thinking was that “repeating the roads” on the exact same loops often reveals completely different sightings. The drive was very rewarding, with so much game around the Hyena dam area, and the lush green growth being very attractive to many animals.

Birds were also wonderful. I saw a flock of about 50 Eurasian bee-eaters, baby ostriches in the road, many water species and a rare rufous-breasted sparrow hawk. When approaching the No 1A junction for the second time, two cars stopped and pointed excitedly in the direction of the rocks near the stream.

Yes! It was a lioness. She got up and began to walk towards the tar road. I waited opposite the junction so I could see both directions. Then suddenly, she appeared behind the 1A junction sign, and even jumped on top. The lioness surveyed the area carefully. Then, just when it seemed she was relaxing, she suddenly spun around, crouched and jumped off quickly, running down the gully leading to the rocks. I followed and saw a glimpse of a surprised warthog, running at high speed. The lioness missed an opportunity and disappeared into the thick bush.

So once again, my method of slow “repeat the roads” for a short distance proved very rewarding. Many vehicles go through the gate and drive fast and far for many hours in the heat and dust with lesser rewards. So, why not try the “repeat the roads” method? Hopefully, you will enjoy many interesting sightings.