Wildlife Thrives in Ziwani, Tsavo West

BIRD WALK AROUND SANTE RIVER

Seen during the recent bird walks around Santé River are Knob-billed Ducks (Sarkidiornis m. Melanotos) back from Lake Jipe, Spur-winged Geese (plectropterus g. gambensis) and Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus).

 

 


CROCODILE PREDATOR
The Nile monitor (naranus niloticus) is Africa’s largest lizard and a powerful swimmers.
Two years ago, I watched a female crocodile transfer her young ones to shallow waters and as soon as she left, a monitor lizard made haste to feast on some of the new hatchlings.
A few days ago, l watched once again a Nile monitor lizard plunder a crocodile’s nests while the female was away. Our guests were amazed to watch the raid in the wild.

 

SNAKE EAT SNAKE
Recently, we saw a Sand snake devour a green-coloured water snake. A few days later we saw a Stripped sand snake (Psammophis Subtaniatus Subtaniatus) on a termite mound while on a nature walk.

 

 

Lesson: Never sit on abandoned termite hills because they can be occupied by snakes.
On a later nature walk, I spotted an African rock python in the act of swallowing a Hadada Ibis on the River bank. The guests were very excited to see this rare sighting.

 



HIPPOS BIRTH PEAK
The oncoming rains were the start of the calving season for the hippos as conditions were perfect – plenty of fresh grass to graze on. The hippo cow moves away from the herd when she is ready to calve and gives birth in shallow water or close to the river bank.

 

We were lucky to see a cow gave birth by the Camp’s fishing platform in full view of our guests during
breakfast.
We hope our resident hippo population will recover from the drought of 2009, including surviving the crocodiles.

JUMBOS OF LAKE JIPE
A visit to Lake Challa and Lake Jipe revealed lots of elephants in Jipe feeding on the reeds. While photographing them, we noticed a female without tusks. I wonder – could this be a new species coming up?

 


MAN EATERS OF TSAVO
On a night game drive, action started at the main gate with two bush babies chasing each other, the nocturnal ant-eating aardvark on the grass plains and at Lake Solomon a lion crossing the road.

 


Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages one luxury camps on the western edge of Tsavo West National Park – Voyager Ziwani CampLocated on a private sanctuary on the western edge of Tsavo, the camp sits on a secluded dam on the Sante River – home to turtles, crocodiles and hundreds of basking hippos.   Reports and pictures by Salim Ibrahim & Stephen “Chameleon” Lekatoo, Voyager Ziwani Camp ©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/
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