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Kenya Wildlife Safari National Parks 

Kenya Wildlife Safari National Parks unnamed Copy Kenya Wildlife Safari National Parks 

Africa’s famous “Big Five”

Kenya is home to Africa’s famous “Big Five” (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo) Kenya is the best place in the entire continent to see these Five magnificent species in their natural environment. Furthermore, Kenya has an incredible range of wild habitats, each one with its own unique range of species. Open savannah, deep forest, soda and freshwater lakes, alpine meadows, coral reefs, caves, beaches, river deltas and even more.

Finest Natural Attractions

Kenya also offers some of the finest natural attractions in the world including the seventh natural wonder of the world, the wildebeest migration that starts from July of every year combined with an excellent network of hotels and game lodges that give visitors value for business and pleasure.

Kenya Wildlife Service Parks and Reserves

With her national parks, game reserves, marine parks, biosphere reserves, archaeological sites, pearly beaches and flora fauna, Kenya is a natural tourism magnet and renown for her Safaris. The most popular attractions are wildlife at national parks. Please find the list below of the National Parks and Reserves.

 » Aberdare National Park» Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

» Chyulu Hills National Park

» Kakamega Forest National Reserve

» Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

» Kora National Park

» Malindi Marine National Park

» Marsabit National Park & Reserve

» Mombasa Marine National Park

» Mount Elgon National Park

» Mt. Longonot National Park

» Nairobi National Park

» Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

» Saiwa Swamp National Park

» Sibiloi National Park

» Tsavo East National Park

» Watamu Marine National Reserve

 » Amboseli National Park» Central Island National Park

» Hells Gate National Park

» Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

» Kiunga National Marine Reserve

» Lake Nakuru National Park

» Malka Mari National Park

» Meru National Park

» Mombasa Marine Reserve

» Mt. Kenya National Park

» Mwea National Reserve

» Ndere Island National Park

» Ruma National Park

» Shimba Hills National Reserve

» Tana River Primate Reserve

» Tsavo West National Park

 

Photography tips: How to shoot motion

Motion blur may be a little passé these days but, done well, this easy-to-master technique can transform travel and wildlife images into masterpieces.

When you take a picture, light reflecting from the subject hits the camera’s sensor and is recorded. If the shutter opens and closes very quickly, there’s no time for light from moving portions of your image to “˜smear’ across the pixels of your sensor. However, as shutter speed slows, the “˜smear’ of light increases. Many photographers use this to make fantastic images.

With moving subjects, shooting slow exposures from a tripod can emphasise the movement of your subject relative to its background. The subject in motion is blurred while all around it is pin sharp. Think of those shots you may have seen of ghost-like waterfalls and rivers.

Pan with your subjects

Another simple technique is to pan with or follow your subjects. This means that, relative to your camera, the subject in motion is steady and the background is moving. Consequently, the subject in motion is sharp while the background is completely blurred. Think of wildlife photographers shooting moving animals or herds, or motoring journalists trying to emphasise the speed of a car. Ironically many of the motion shots used in car adverts are shot using very slow exposures while pushing the car by hand.

The amount of blur is dependent on four factors:

    • The angle of motion relative to the camera: subjects moving perpendicular to the lens blur more than subjects moving towards the lens.

 

    • Speed of the subject: the faster the subject, the more it blurs.

 

    • Magnification of the lens: the bigger the focal length of the lens, the more the subject will blur.

 

  • Distance from the lens: the closer a subject is to the lens, the more it blurs.
Do it yourself

Firstly, find a suitable subject; cars passing on a road in the early evening work well. Set your camera to aperture priority and select a high f-stop (a small aperture – try f11 and above) that results in slow shutter speed. See below for the shutter speeds at which certain subjects will begin to blur.

Try both techniques. With your camera on a tripod, shoot scenes of passing cars and watch how they blur and the lights streak. Next take your camera off your tripod and pan evenly with your subject as it passes, snapping shots as you go.

Guideline shutter speeds

Approximate shutter speeds for a short zoom lens – 55 to 90 mm – that will begin to blur on a subject moving at the following speeds approximately 30 metres away.

Walking 1/30th
Running 1/60th
60 km/h 1/125th
120 km/h 1/250th

Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

sauti za busara 1 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Zanzibar wraps its reality around you like a lingering fairytale. This tiny archipelago of Indian Ocean islands that once lured sailors, Sultans and slavers to its far-distant shores is so charismatic that it sweeps you into its shadowy romantic past and sunlit present all at once, and finally sets you down, all sun-bronzed and laden with spices and island art, and memories of an exceptionally sparkling and colourfully abundant sea.
Zanzibar pic1 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
The main island is small and easy to explore, with glorious white sand, palm-fringed beaches rewarding you for just a couple of hours’ drive to the North coast and the same to the East, along mainly hopeless but endlessly fascinating roads flanked by simple homesteads, roads worn more by foot or bicycle and frequented by chickens.
 
There is a time warp here, this place where the past is so responsible for the present, where mobile phones, internet connections and television are all relatively recent, and where the history and culture is so imbued that you can simply stretch out beneath the dappled shade of the coconut palms and soak it up. Welcome to Zanzibar, and a world apart.
Zanzibar pic2 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Sailors and traders from the first century AD came to the lands of ‘Zinj el Barr’, the Black Coast, bringing beads, porcelain and silks to trade for gold, slaves and spices, ebony, ivory, indigo and tortoiseshell. They waited for annual monsoon winds to fill their dhow sails and bear them across the Indian Ocean; today’s visitors usually arrive in a small ‘plane or ferry from Dar es Salaam.

But these still afford a measured approach, allowing a breathtaking vision of sparkling cerulean waters over sandbanks and reefs, and then into Stone Town, the ancient island capital, still more of a town than a city, a maze of winding pedestrian streets in a hotchpotch of rooftops, a mass of corrugated iron overwhelming the historic stonework beneath.

Helplessly entwined in its own history, the people of Zanzibar are the Swahili, evolving from the influx of mainly Arabian and Persian immigrants who settled on the East African coast and islands to trade and escape the political upheavals of the Gulf two thousand years ago. Their cultural history was founded in sailing dhows, similar to those that glide by its shores today, boats that brought people, language and cultures and long centuries of power wrangling.

Zanzibar pic3 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
The Arab immigrants were overthrown by the Portuguese in the 15th century, until the Sultan of Oman finally saw them off for good in 1698 and started building the Stone Town of today; the Old Fort on the harbour was built on the remains of a Portuguese church dating back to 1600.
 
Visitors to Stone Town still encounter the grandiose vision and dominant architectural style of a confident young Sultan who transferred the seat of his sultanate from the contentious capital of Muscat to the breezier climes of Zanzibar in 1832, and then began palace building in earnest, and seeding the coconut palms and clove plantations which soon defined Zanzibar as the ‘Spice Island’.
Zanzibar pic4 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Driving through the island centre now, it is worth stopping to explore the spice plantations, where a guided walk for passing tourists is likely to be more lucrative than vast crops to export, but it is a fine sensual pleasure to crumble cinnamon bark straight from the tree, to breathe the scent of cloves drying in the sun, to taste and guess the spice from a handful of pods and powders.

These are well used by the chefs and kitchens in beach hotels, where fishermen daily bring the catch of the day to be grilled, baked, battered or blanched with assorted Zanzibar spice.The coast is dotted with hotels, self-contained beach hideaways that relish their privacy and provide various levels of style and comfort.

I have been to most and head north by choice, to the northernmost peninsula which is occupied by Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel. The name is a very literal Swahili translation, but it says nothing of how this beach is secluded and the coral sands are blanched very, very pale. It does not tell how the wonderfully translucent and clear the sea is here, where a coral reef surrounds the shore creating a shallow wide expanse to explore until the tide rises high and then turquoise waves crash onto the beach. It is a naturally beautiful place.

Zanzibar pic5 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs when the moon is full, and the surrounding reefs are a thriving colourful world to snorkel and dive. Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel is essentially respectful of its place, each room constructed from local wood and coral rag to create a number of thatched round houses along the beach, with lodge rooms in gardens behind.
 
Soft sand pathways link the central thatched and open-sided restaurant to the rooms, pool and dive centre, providing the comforts of a fine hotel with a rustic, beach hideaway style. This is a fine place to lie back and soak up Zanzibar, crack open a coconut, watch the dhows on the far horizon and look forward to spice-scented, star filled African night.

Osim Country Lodge The Lovers Nest

Osim Country Lodge The Lovers Nest

romance tree 10214 main Osim Country Lodge The Lovers Nest

Osim Country Lodge The Lovers’ Nest 

The Lovers’ Nest is honeymoon suites perched on a tree, has a bed, a toilet and shower and two chairs for the lovers. The bathroom floor is tiled and the bedroom floor is wooden. Osim Country Lodge rooms are strictly for lovers who want to enjoy themselves in a unique environment. Couples who have spent their time in the treetop room say the experience is unforgettable.

“The whispering of the acacia leaves, the chirping of the birds, and the gurgling waters of the Ewaso Ngiro River as it meanders its way down stream has a really soothing effect for the lovers,” said Arnold from Australia a client visiting Osim Country Lodge for the second time. He said the room is perfect for couples looking for a unique experience. He says the house on top of a tree that does not touch the ground gives a new meaning to love.

The signpost to Osim Country Lodge, which loosely translates to a place where there is no loneliness in the Maasai dialect, invitingly declares, “Jichinjie, Jichomee, Jienjoy.” “We give our patrons a chance to also slaughter and roast the goat for themselves. This is another unique thrill that we are sure has put us ahead of our competitors,” he says. The lodge manager Joshua Taekwo said holiday lovers are also offered an opportunity to do sport fishing along the river banks and game drive.

Osim Country Lodge is bubbling with life. A group of tourists from Holland are shooting a movie called “An African Adventure” as some children ride happily on powered Formula One motor bikes. Some other children are having fun at the jungle gym as their parents watch the Ewaso Nyiro River lazily snakes its way downstream. The scene is breathtaking.

Africa Forest Elephants

Africa Forest Elephants

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Africa Forest Elephants May Take Almost a Century to Recover from Poaching – Report

Africa’s rare forest elephants which play a key role in replenishing the central African rain forests will need almost a century to recover from an onslaught by ivory poachers because of their slow birth rate, a study published on Wednesday said.

The study by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society is the first analysis of the demography of an elusive animal that is hard to track because of its remote wooded surrounds.

But the thickly-forested tropical range it inhabits has not deterred poachers, who reduced its population by a staggering 65 percent between 2002 and 2013 to meet red-hot demand for ivory in China and other fast-growing Asian economies.

“In the intervening time we are down significantly from that 100,000 – it could be as low as 70,000 now,” Peter Wrege of Cornell University, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters.

“To come back to the population it was before 2002, based on their natality rates, it could take nearly a century to recover,” Wrege said.

Much more is at stake than the fate one animal’s population: forest elephants are regarded by biologists as a “keystone species” playing a crucial role in the robustness of central Africa’s wooded ecosytems, the study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, said.

Plant species depend on elephants to disperse their seeds in their excrement – big animals travel widely, eat a lot, and produce vast amounts of dung. The gaps that their bulk and diet create in thick vegetation also provide smaller creatures with pathways.

“The structure of the forests would change if they did not have the elephants doing this dispersal,” Wrege said.

The health of the central African rainforests has global consequences as they are the planet’s second largest carbon sequestration zone – which means they soak up carbon, slowing climate change.

“Forest elephants are experiencing the greatest levels of poaching in Africa with potentially as much as 10 to 18 percentof the population killed per year,” the study said.

One of two species of African elephant – the other is the more numerous and larger Savannah elephant – the forest dwellers can hardly sustain this kind of lethal pressure because few other mammals reproduce so slowly.

The study found females begin giving birth when they are around 23, about a decade later than their Savannah counterparts. And female forest elephants only produce a calf every five or six years, compared to the three- to four-year interval of their Savannah kin.

Some of the worst poaching is taking place in forest-elephant range states such as Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo – poor countries that suffer from bad governance and conflict.

The findings come ahead of a major United Nations’ meeting in Johannesburg at the end of September where Zimbabwe and Namibia will push for permission to sell ivory stocks, a move opposed by many other African countries.

Those seeking to open up the ivory trade argue it will raise badly-needed funds for conservation, but others say it would provide cover to poachers and make products that threaten species such as forest elephants socially acceptable.

Overall, the illicit killing of elephants in Africa is believed to have declined from a peak of 30,000 in 2011 but remains far too high, according to a recent report.

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