Leaving Amboseli for Tsavo West National Park brought about a renewed energy in the group After five nights exploring and photographing the open plains and swamps of Amboseli, the volcanic landscapes of Tsavo were guaranteed to offer up new and exciting photographic opportunities.
Arriving at the gate it was immediately clear that we were in a far more remote and less frequented park than Amboseli. The short drive to the lodge left us all in awe of the harsh landscape which was punctuated by volcanic hills and the ancient shetani lava flow. The view from the lodge was just as spectacular overlooking a waterhole and the Chyulu Hills.
Over the next couple of days we saw some beautiful birds (most of which were new to me) and some special wildlife including Dik Dik, Lesser Kudu, giraffe, and a pair of klipspringer which certainly knew how to pose for a photograph.
We also visited the Mzima springs where underground rivers punch through the surface revealing the fresh clear streams of water which have made their way from the foot slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to this otherwise dry and barren land.
This served up some pretty unique photographic opportunities, the highlights of which was a group of roosting epauletted fruit bats and a crocodile laying in wait in one of the fast flowing streams.
This was the perfect place to kick back and enjoy our packed breakfast.
The combination of the spectacular landscape and patchy cloud made for some incredible light during the late afternoon and we made sure that we took advantage of any and all photographic opportunities.
On our final morning before heading back to Nairobi, an otherwise quiet drive was turned on its head as we spotted a massive male leopard keeping a watchful eye on two lesser Kudu and a Coke’s Hartebeest.
We didn’t witness any action but it was an absolute privilege to have even seen a leopard in such a beautiful setting.
This was my first time to Tsavo West and it certainly wont be my last. Next year we will be adding an additional 2 nights to the region at a different lodge which will really fit the title of “Essential Amboseli & Tsavo” by combining 5 nights in Amboseli with 4 nights in two separate areas in Tsavo West.
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