Scavengers feast on a dead cow, of which there are plenty in the park as the drought continues to bite: we’ve still got an estimated month to endure.
Historically Nairobi National Park was always a dry season refuge for the creatures of the Athi - Kapiti ecosystem. Why? WATER -permanent dams, rivers & springs, whatever the weather……
As you can see, this year is no exception, with deadly drought affecting most of the country. The question is, will our water points hold out?
Cattle in the park. KWS continue to be unable or unwilling to keep cattle out of the park, which is littered with stray herds, especially calves, untended & with the bodies of those which die…..
The Athi Dam. This area of the park has been seriously neglected by KWS & is seriously overgrazed, covered in wind blown litter & full of livestock.
A precedent has been set & the local people freely graze their livestock in the park.
KWS do nothing. Doing this article there were calves in the parking lot at the Hippo Pools. I don’t think visitors payong 40$ wull think they are getting their money’s worth….
The drought has brought in the thousand or so gnu we have into he park. How they manage to survive (they look very healthy!) in the moonscape above the Athi Basin shows they well adapted to short grass plains they are….even in the dry season!
A thin & thirsty waterbuck sucks up some of the last water in a pool still miraculously to be found on the top plains, which are covered in thousands of grazing kongoni, gnu & zebra.
Luai (which is the Maa word for Acacia drepanalobium -whistling thorn) -or Empakasi - Dam, getting very low, but with lots of thirsty zebra lurking in the thorn thickets nearby.
One of the double dams (Karen Primary Dam) on the way to East Gate, with marabous fishing for catfish in the rapidly diminishing water….
The water in Middle Dam -its not marked on my map of the park -is nearly gone.
Despite the cattle invasions, we have at least 2 groups of new ostrich hatchlings -I think this small clutch had been attacked, because one of the young birds had lost a wing & in addition, ostrich clutches are usually more numerous than what we see here…
Wildebeest & other grazers using the wetlands along the stream below Hyena Dam, which flows into the Mokoyeti, which is still flowing (just.)
Hyena Dam, overgrown with water weeds owing to nitrate enrichment from outside the park……..do hippoes eat this stuff?
Nangolomon Dam below the Langata Forest. Even if all water sources were to dry up, the park would still have this large body of fresh water,the source of the Mokoyeti River.
Olomanyi Dam is nearly dry -the water you see is just inches deep…..
A Bohor reedbuck at Olomanyi.Because the park is so opened up by grazing (mainly cattle) these skulkers are much easier to spot. Many of them were translocated into the park from Western Kenya.
Kingfisher Dam still has some water in it.
Warthogs have made a spectacular comeback to the park. Here a couple enjoy the last pool in one of the 3 dams in the glades of the Langata forest in the west of the park, all of which are about to dry up…..