Karisia Walking Safari - Day 2 & 3

At 6am, we awoke as hot water was delivered to the washbasins just outside our tents.  We emerged into the growing light of dawn just in time to see a pack of wild dogs running in the distance in pursuit of prey.  We felt lucky as we were told that this was the first time the dogs had been seen in three months.   Breakfast was served as the Samburu crew started breaking down our tents and packing up our team of camels.  They would soon embark on the journey to our next campsite but in order to get there ahead of us, they would be taking a more direct route.  

After breakfast we had little time to wash up before leaving camp.  With Gabriel and Shillingi leading, we forged into the brush, followed by two camels and their caretaker trailing behind us.  We passed herds of the now familiar common and Grevy's zebras, which we could more deftly distinguish on our own.  Shortly thereafter our guides spotted a handful of oryx feeding among the bushes.  Their horns appearing to be far more impressive and striking in person.

We continued on our way until we crept up on a large family of giraffes.  Gabriel and Shillingi instructed us to stay close to the camels so that we may venture closer to them before being discovered and scaring them off.  Crouching low and creeping steadily within the dry grass while almost daring not to breath, we observed baby to elderly giraffes resting and feeding just a few meters ahead of us.  It was a pretty exciting experience and we eventually tore ourselves away feeling all the more validated in our decision to go on a walking safari. 

As we set off looking for more game, Mom and Dad decided they wanted to rest their legs by riding the two camels that had been accompanying us.  On two and four legs, we continued on until we reached a rocky hillside from where we enjoyed a snack of nuts and juice while scanning the horizon for elephants.  Soon we were on our way towards camp again, this time with T and I trying our hand at riding the camels.  In about 30 minutes, we strode into camp, pitched along the shady and sheltered shores of a river.

As we waited for lunch to be served, we asked if we might be able to take a peek at the "kitchen."  We had been thoroughly impressed with the food that had been served thus far and being food lovers ourselves, we were curious to know who our chef(s) were and what they were working with.  When we took a look, I must say we were pretty astounded.  The kitchen wasn't much more than what one would typically expect to find in the bush: a wood fire and a couple pots and pans.  Yet we were being served full course meals including fresh baked bread, stuffed peppers, and roast chicken.  We walked away with awe and appreciation for the ingenuity and skill that we now knew went into each of our meals.  Lunch was served soon thereafter, after which we were once again invited to lounge the afternoon away until the hot Equatorial sun became more forgiving.

At around 4pm our guides took us out on another 2 hour game walk.  After about an hour of wandering and finding little more than old baboon tracks, Gabriel and Shillingi spotted two young elephants in what seemed like an impossibly far distance.  Nevertheless the chase was on and we swiftly trekked through bushes and tall grasses until we arrived back along the river bank just in time to see the two elephants shuffle into the trees on the other side of the river.  Darkness fell as we returned to camp where a warm fire and meal awaited us.  Most impressive on the menu was a passion fruit meringue pie which seemed all the more astounding now that we knew what the kitchen staff was working with.  We enjoyed our dinner under the sliver of a moon before retreating into our tents and dozing off to the sounds of the swishing river. 

The next morning, we awoke early as hot water was again delivered to our wash bins.  Breakfast was promptly served after which we started packing up our bags.  Someone from the team had driven our car to camp the night before so we were able to load up the car directly.  We said our goodbyes to the Samburu team and thanked them for taking such good care of us.  Then we piled into the car and started heading back towards the big city of Nairobi.  While it was nice to come back to the comforts of home, I think there will always be a part of me that will miss those precious few days we spent with Karisia Walking Safaris.     





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