Rhino Retreat

Artists for Conservation

Dec 6th - After an early breakfast we headed out for a game drive in the park. The birds here are unbelievable!! Rosse's and Hartlaub's Touraco sailed across our path with bright red wing patches glowing in the morning sun. Overhead both Marshall Eagle and African Crested Eagle circled. These are big birds of prey! Marshall Eagle is big enough to take small antelope and the Crested Eagle will take monkeys. They are both magnificent birds. New mammals for me were Suni, a tiny little forest antelope (Marshall Eagle food) and Giant Forest Hog. The forest hog is really big.


Artists for Conservation

Dec 6th - Today we began yet another grand adventure! Guy had arranged for us to stay in a small cabin way up in the mountains of the Aberdares National Park called "Rhino Retreat". It is a small outpost built by the Kenyan army in the 1990s. The cabin was created for the use of a gallant group called "Rhino Ark" that formed to make a last ditch effort to save the remaining Black Rhinos in this giant national park. Murray's Dad was a founder of the group and Guy's Dads soon joined in the effort.

Linda's Birthday

Artists for Conservation

Dec 5th - Today is December 5th, my wife, Linda's, birthday! It was bad enough missing Thanksgiving with my family, but missing my wife's birthday was too much. I wish this trip did not fall on her day. I had to come up with a way to send a birthday greeting that would clearly show I was thinking of her and how much I cared. So before I left, I arranged for her to receive a gorilla-gram birthday greeting at her workplace.


Artists for Conservation

Dec 4th - Today was our planned visit to Nakuru National Park. Akeley was one of the first to document with photography, the spectacle of thousands of flamingos at Lake Nakuru , so I , once again, was anxious to follow in his foot steps. After purchasing more food and supplies in nearby Nakuru town, the fastest growing city in all of Kenya, we entered the park. The park is noted for it's efforts in desperately trying to protect the last remaining rhinoceroses in East Africa. One Black Rhino's horns are worth $350 thousand US dollars on the black market.

Lake Elementaita

Artists for Conservation

Dec 3rd Upon waking and arriving at the breakfast table on the veranda, in the morning sunlight, the reality of being on the African plains struck home. Standing on the veranda, a view of overwhelming beauty stretched on forever with gleaming Lake Elementiata in the distance. I felt like I was back in New York standing before the "Plains" diorama. A Pleistocene landscape lay spread out before me in which herds of big mammals grazed and wandered.


Artists for Conservation

Dec 2nd - After an early breakfast and some shopping for food and supplies for the week, we drove out of town and started our descent into East Africa's Great Rift Valley, vast valley plain and volcanic region created by the slow spreading of plates in the earth's crust over millions of years . This was the same route that Akeley would have taken in 1926, during his last trip to, what was then, British East Africa. He writes in his journal how disturbed he was with the dissapearance of game during his visit way back then.

Flame Trees of Thika

Dec 1st - - Flying from Kigali to Kenya impressed upon us the environmental change we had traveled through. Rwanda was higher in elevation and green with heavier rainfall. Kenya lower in elevation, drier and gold and ochre with savanna grass. We were met at the airport by Guy Combes, fellow Artists for Conservation member and native to Kenya. His cousin, also born in Kenya, Murray Combes was to be his teammate and, with Guy, our guides while in Kenya.

Hail to The Good Guy

Artists for Conservation

The Land Cruiser is rocking with laughter. Five ripe guys are crammed in the seats. A massive pile of luggage and groceries pressing from the trunk. The air is hot and uncomfortable, as the African sun beats down on us. But we don't give a damn. We are in Africa and we are surrounded by Zebras.

A Surprise Around Every Corner

Artists for Conservation

I am running three days behind on these blogs. I will continue to try to catch up. Having trouble getting Internet connection. It will take me two days to get home.. so I should be all caught up by the time you all see me.


Farewell to DRC

Artists for Conservation

November 30 - Morning, once again, dawned clear and cold, so we broke camp and packed all our gear in preparation for meeting our porters who were hiking up from the nearest village to help me get my painting equipment off Mt. Mekeno. If it wasn't for these guys I would not have been able to pack my gear up to camp myself, as my altitude sickness became more pronounced when I was hiking with a heavy pack and I had three! Our porters were supermen who could carry great weight at these high elevations, often with bare feet.

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