Saturday, January 7, 2012

[Alessandro] First news from Mpala!

For someone, the journey didn't actually kick off in the best way. Three of us (Marco, Camillo, and myself) got delayed in Milan and didn't make it to London in time for the connecting flight to Nairobi. Luckily enough, we were put on a nighttime flight, so yesterday we were able to make it to Kenya in time for being transfered to Mpala. From that point on, nothing but awesomeness.

Waiting for us at the Research Center was a delicious and generous late lunch, which gave us the strength to overcome our jetlag and be ready for the first tour of the reserve. We went off on two vehicles, crowding the roofs with our cameras and binoculars, ready to catch the many wild creatures that populate the ranch. First came hippos, then mpalas, gazelles, zebras, giraffes, elephants, and others! For the unexperienced, me included, it was an unbelievable display of nature, in all its gorgeousness. Back to the center by dusk, we were served a very good dinner and then off to bed, to get some rest in preparation for our first full day at Mpala.

Adam, Khairi, Emma, Mike, and Jacob watching and photographing Oryxes from Dan's car.

This morning we visited some of the diverse habitats of the reserve. At the "Black Cotton" plains, the attractions were the ants populating the domiciles on the acacia trees. Jacob desperately tried to get bitten by one on its fingers, with no success. Frustrated, he put one of the ants on its tongue, hoping that the soft mucose would be more vulnerable. As expected, he drowned the little bug instead. After lunch, we briefed on projects (more to follow on those) and then off again to find some fungi on acacias and some old bomas! It goes by itself than during the whole time spent out in the field, we kept seeing the most amazing wild animals, which we religiously proceeded to photograph.

Giraffe and zebras at dusk.

And here we are, after another amazing dinner at the center. The staff here is great: happy, cordial, and helpful. What to desire more?

Part of Mpala Research Center in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment