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Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

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Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Safariman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:00 am

After all the big cat cat posts, a change of pace with some zebra and giraffe photos taken on my recent trip to Meru. Although I love the big cats, for me, zebras and giraffe epitomize Africa. Unlike the rest of the wildlife, you will never see them or anything like them anywhere else except Africa. So whenever I see a photo or film of them I immediately know that it will be about Africa my favourite continent. The giraffe of Meru are the Reticulated Giraffe, unique to the northern part of Kenya, and with a very distinctive pattern that stands out particularly against a blue sky. Meru has the common zebra, although I do not think that you can call a zebra common and a few (6) Grevy's zebra which are an endangered species.



Common zebra



Common zebra



Male reticulated giraffe



Male reticulated giraffe



Grevy's zebra





Common zebra



"If we all keep our heads down he will never see us!!"



Common zebra foal still wearing his woolly jacket!!



Common zebra with Meru red mud.



Female reticulated giraffe



Common zebra running


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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:19 pm

I agree Safariman, I love the big cats too, but there is so much more to Africa. Giraffes and zebra are definitely up there with the wonderful animals associated with Africa. Your photos of the Reticulated giraffe are lovely, I especially like the heads down, what great timing to catch them all doing the same thing! I never tire of looking at zebra, whether Common or Grevy, their unique markings make them so beautiful and they seem to have such expressive faces.

Thanks so much for sharing more photos from your visit to Meru.

Lai Very Happy
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Doogs on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:28 pm

I also agree there is more to Africa than the big cats (which I totally adore) but I also love looking at the many other animals and birds there is 'on show' over there. Reticulated Giraffe are one of the most beautiful animals I have seen, they literally took my breath away the first time I saw them in Samburu in 2006, stunning. Also love Impala, such lovely faces and there's just something about the Wildies that I adore I love you That's just a few but there's more !

Lovely selection of photos Safariman and I was delighted to see your reticulated giraffe Cool Great shot where they all look like they are ducking Laughing Some lovely shots of both the Grevy and Common zebra the little ones when they are still brown are so cute I love you Thanks for sharing cheers
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  gregrowlerson on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:40 pm

Amazing photos yet again Safariman, and I especially agree with these comments:

"Although I love the big cats, for me, zebras and giraffe epitomize Africa. Unlike the rest of the wildlife, you will never see them or anything like them anywhere else except Africa."

You will find puma's in North America, panthers in South America and leopards in other parts of the world; but there is nothing at all like zebra and giraffe anywhere else.

Especially the giraffe Very Happy

I would have to check again, but I don't think they are considered one of Africa's big five affraid

We must start up a petition and rectify this oversight!
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Safariman on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:22 am

You are right GR they are not part of the Big Five. The Big Five are"lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino". They were called that as during the heyday of the "Big white hunter" they were thought to be the most dangerous animals to track on foot and kill (we call it poaching now) in the bush. It had nothing to do with them being the most charismatic!! Unfortunately most people on their first safari feel they must see the big five and that is what the guides tend to concentrate most on finding. Just as fascinating are the "little five" which most safari goers have never heard of let alone seen.

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:12 pm

Good point Safariman - so here's some info.

Most people who’ve been on safari will have heard of – or even better seen – Africa’s big five animals of Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino. However, did you know Africa also has a group of “little five” animals? They’re a little harder to see than the big five, making them more of a challenge to spot, and made up of the Rhinoceros Beetle, Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, and the Antlion. Here’s a picture and short overview of each of the little five:

http://www.safarisafricana.com/little-five-african-animals/

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  whitestarling on Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:58 pm

You never see much mention of the little 5, but they are more difficult to find that the big 5. There was a quiz on Petes Pond Web Cam Chat a few weeks ago, and there were loads of questions on the small 5, and that was really informative. I love the sounds of the Zebra, and Wildebeast to me they are the sounds that are the essence of Africa, I bought a CD of the sounds that are supposed to relax you of Africa, and they were my favourites. By
co-incidence the Grevy Zebra were featured in the opening sequence of Africa this week.
WS

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  gregrowlerson on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:32 pm

Good point Safariman about the list being nothing about charismaticness!

Or uniqueness.

I guess a five that could compete with the official 'big' would be zebra, giraffe, hippo, cheetah and...wait for it...

Kudu! I kinda like them Very Happy

You could even throw hyena in or the fish eagle. Africa just has so many distinctive animals.

Nice link on the little five Mrs Kipia. I like the leopard tortoise - if I went to africa and couldn't see a leopard then this would be my substitute Laughing - and that elephant shrew is quite a cutey Very Happy

WS, that soundtrack of African animal sounds sounds really interesting. Did you find that in a shop or buy it online? I wouldn't mind getting something like that for a different experience. The only 'animal cd' I've got is that at the end of a Laura Marling album there are birds chirping for about two minutes. Nice way to close an album Very Happy

Oh, actually I also have the cd Animal, but that's by Kesha Laughing
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:58 am

I like your 5 GR - Kudu being one of my most favourite African animals (Sessia leading the way for her kind)

Here's a leopard tortoise taken by Pete on this last safari. No photos of the other 4 sadly.

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Safariman on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:13 am

Nice photo of the Leopard tortoise Lai, Pete must have got down to ground level to take it. I also have pics of the tortoise and I have a included a pic of a white-headed buffalo weaver taken in Meru. The others I have not seen.
For birders there are the Big Six,consisting of Martial Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pels Fishing Owl, Saddle- billed stork, Ground Hornbill and Kori Bustard.




White-headed Buffalo weaver

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:11 pm

We were walking for a bit Safariman and came across the leopard tortoise - walking is great for seeing the smaller things and the birds as well.

Great photo of the White headed Buffalo weaver - I do love birds, and have been lucky enough to see all of your big 6.

Lai

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  littlewid on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:14 pm

Loving that Tortoise Lai, it's a smashing picture that Pete captured. I have never seen a Leopard Tortoise before so thats a first for me and to be honest I do love the big cats etc but I do love to see the other animals of Africa too, somehow they always seem to get forgotten, whether it's because of different peoples passions or whether they are just not seen as exciting but for me a Leopard Tortoise would still take my breath away and make me smile.

Safariman, the White headed Buffalo Weaver is another first for me and what a stunning bird and what a fantastic capture too, thats a brilliant photo I really do love birds and I would be extremely excited to see the big 6 for sure.

Thank you both for the pictures cheers

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  gregrowlerson on Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:56 pm

Great pics Lai and Safariman cheers

And that you have seen ALL of the big six birds Mrs Kipia = WOW & You the man
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  whitestarling on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:19 pm

Two great shots there of the Leopard Tortoise by Pete, and your White-headed Buffalo weaver Safariman.
I have photographed the Fish Owl, Saddle- billed Stork, and the Kori Bustard, on the web cam at Petes Pond, although I was'nt actualy there in body, I suppose I could claim they were live, because the shots were taken on a live web cam.

WS


Last edited by whitestarling on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:17 am

Thanks GR - I guess it shows how many times I've been to Africa (I think it's my second home Laughing )

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Doogs on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:59 pm

Great additional photos, love your tortoise shot that Pete took Lai and also Safariman's White-headed Buffalo Weaver with lunch Cool - he won't have been hungry for a while after eating that locust/grasshopper whatever it was !!!

Thanks for the info on the little five, can't say I remember seeing that before and the Birders Big Six, also not heard of that so that was nice to find out about. I'm sure I've seen them all apart from the Pels Fishing Owl and I don't recall seeing your photo subject, the White-headed Buffalo Weaver before.

My Leopard Tortoise effort from 2011 . . . .

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:36 pm

Doogs. Nice shot.

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  littlewid on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:01 pm

Thats not an effort Doogs, you captured him in Motor Mode Very Happy he was obviously on his way somewhere, bless him, it's a nice photo of him I love you

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  whitestarling on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:28 pm

Great photo Doogs, lovely that people take time to photo to phorograph the smaller animals of Africa.
This is the Video, and Photo I got of the Kori Bustards from Petes Pond





They are the heaviest known Birds capable of flight, the male can be upto 5ft in length, 4ft tall, and a wingspan of 9ft

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Safariman on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:48 am

Great shot of the tortoise Doogs and it is amazing what you can see on the various web-cams that have been set up WS.
Like Doogs I have not yet been lucky enough to see Pels Fishing Owl but have managed to photograph the others.



Male and female Saddle-billed Stork. The male has a black eye and the female a yellow eye.



Lappet-faced Vulture



Martial Eagle with its enormous and deadly talons.





Kori Bustard



Ground Hornbill
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Laikipia on Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:48 pm

Safariman, thanks for sharing your lovely bird photos - great to see them all.

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  Doogs on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:12 pm

That was the first time I'd seen a tortoise on safari WS so had to take a photo of it !

I remember seeing those videos of yours WS, good captures Very Happy

Lovely additional bird pictures Safariman. I'm sure we saw the Martial Eagle on our first visit in 2006, very impressive bird Cool
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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  littlewid on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:01 pm

Those are all very impressive birds Safariman but my favourite is the Martial Eagle, what a bird Very Happy I love the Ground Hornbill. They are wonderful photo's cheers

I too remember your video and picture WS, it was a great sighting at Petes Pond, they are large birds and nearly as tall as me affraid

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Re: Zebras and Giraffes, Meru National Park, Kenya Dec. 2012

Post  whitestarling on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:43 pm

More great shots Safariman thanks. I really love the one of the Martial Eagle, you've really captured the essence of the Raptor in that shot, so intense, and focused. It also betrays the power of the Bird, like a tightly wound spring ready to release.
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