On a recent Kenya Safari we woke up before the sun rose and crept out of our tents and headed straight for the safari vehicle, tiptoeing so as not to awake everyone. Just as we departed the first light of day could be seen peeking over the horizon of the Indian Ocean in Watamu. The early morning was cool and it was good to be travelling at this time of the day, escaping the searing heat. The chorus of birds could just be heard as we arrived at the entrance of the Arabuko Sokoke National Park along the north coast of Kenya.
We entered into the Kenya Wildlife Service office and paid our entrance fees and collected our guide for the morning. For the first part of the tour we set off on foot to the wooded area close to the park entrance. Here we had a good look at a Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrew which is indigenous to this park. Although the shrew was very shy and quickly disappeared once it sensed us we still managed to get a really good view.
A little further into the forest and our guide told us to look up into the tree we were stood underneath, right above our heads were a pair of juvenile African Wood Owls. They were amazing to see, beautifully patterned feathers. Seemingly unperturbed by our presence they casually glanced down at us, probably wondering what curious creatures we were.
We made our way back to the car and set off on a narrow track leading through the forest. The first clearing that we came to looked out over a Swamp. Leaving the confines of the vehicle we continued on foot across the dry swamp until we reached the large water hole. We were rewarded with a myriad of birds including a pair of African Fish Eagles, a Goliath Heron, a Little Egret, a pair of Sacred Ibis and a number of Spoonbills feeding in the waters. Now we can see why a Kenya Safari is always so unforgettable.