Last week we took 32 Samburu women from Westgate Conservancy on a safari to Samburu National Reserve. The ladies had never been before! A few had driven through the Reserve on their way to Archers Post, yet they had never seen wildlife close-up. We asked the women what they wanted to see – some said buffalo – we quickly told them this would be difficult as buffaloes disappeared from Samburu in 2009. Most of them however said they wanted to see lions and leopard!
We set off early in convoy – there were four cars filled with animated, beautifully dressed women who were excited about their day’s adventure. We met with the warden of Samburu, Mr Gabriel Lepariyo, who chatted to the women about the Reserve, its wildlife and its importance as a tourism destination.
We quickly moved on in search of the big cats. By 11 am, we had not seen much and there were no signs of lions – we had a few close up views of elephants – and a few crocodiles. But the women were quiet – they kept asking “Koray simba?”… “Where are the lions?”. We were determined to find them and with four cars out, we decided to split up and cover huge ground in search of the cats.
Finally, we found some tracks and followed them keenly. At last! We saw Nanai and Nabulu. They were feeding on something which was hard to determine as they were in thick bushes. The women looked through binoculars and chatted amongst themselves about what it could be. Some said waterbuck, others said warthog. Eventually it was clear what it was – the lionesses were feeding on a baboon! We hoped that Nanai’s cubs were in the area as we would have loved to show the women these 3 little cubs, but they were nowhere to be seen.
The women got to see other rarely seen animals such as greater kudu, reticulated giraffe and had several close-ups with big bull elephants. What none of us expected was to see an elephant give birth! We will write about this soon.
It was a great day and the women returned to Westgate singing loudly about their safari and their day’s adventure. We look forward to many more adventures with the women in the future.
We thank Sasaab Lodge and David Daballen for their support and participation in this Women’s Safari.