NAIROBI PARK DIARY

The log mess mudster

A slow drive leads to a rare sighting

In Summary

• Mud-covered snake basking in sun in a puddle gives the impression of a log

African Rock Python
African Rock Python
Image: GARETH JONES

We entered the park early one morning and decided to try driving down what is left of the eroded muddy main road (or should I say, 4x4 track), down the eastern boundary from Kingfisher picnic site right down to the Hippo pools in the Athi basin.

We were progressing quite well until we came to a long watery boggy muddy section near the Masai gate. I took a careful look at this obstacle and decided it was drivable, as I engaged the 4x4 mode. 

As I was about to drive through, I suddenly noticed what looked like a log positioned across the road in the watery mud. It was a strange-looking log as it was perfectly round and symmetrical.

Then amazingly, the log began to move. I looked through the binoculars and had a fascinating sighting. It was a fairly large African Rock Python (Python Sebae), maybe about 4m long.

The snake was completely covered in wet mud and the early morning sun was reflecting on the surface of the water. This effect gave an almost mythical appearance as the python raised its head, looking a bit like the famous lake monster photos in Scotland.

My imagination ran wild as I named this python the “Log Mess Mudster”, not to be confused with the legendary “loch ness monster” in Scotland. Ok! Well, this “lake” was a mere puddle in comparison, but we were treated to a rare clear sighting of a python relaxing and then slowly moving off the muddy road. Wow! What a rare sighting.

It is always good to slow down when driving in the park, this action allows for the driver and passengers to increase the possibility of seeing special sightings, like the rarely seen mythical  “log mess mudster",  or should I say, python. Take care out there.

For more information on the park you can link to the following website www.kws.go.ke