Despite our big plans to hang out, drink some wine, and play cards after dinner, my tukul-mates and I ended up showering and crawling into bed, safe under our mosquito nets. Our day had been very long, and we were scheduled for an early morning (6am) Game Drive to look for some of the amazing animals that live in the park.
Blurry Oryx, but so close to the car! When you see an oryx alone, you know he is an older male who is alone because, in the words of our guide, “he has given up on life.”
A pair (male and female) of oryx.
Mama and baby warthog
The balls in the tree are bird nests! Some trees had what looked like hundreds.
My personal favorite animal we saw, the tiny Dik Dik. They are like deer, but with stubby little horns and about the size of small dog.
Another oryx, but not so blurry!
We then stopped to check out a scenic overlook at the site of what was a camper spot owned by Germans. They even had a pool and restaurant, with the pool having this view:
The Blue Nile meeting the Awash River to flow on to South Sudan and join the White Nile
Listening to Mohammed, our guide
Kelly Konjo! (You can see what used to be the swimming pool to the left.)
Vina, and a really great jump photo if I do say so myself! (Vina interns at ACDI with me!)
These are the interns I hang out with the most (We all got hooked on the show Nashville together), minus Camille who was in the field!
Far, far below, we could see some Dafar people herding their sheep and goats to drink from the river.
Sitting on the side of abandoned swimming pool hearing Mohammed’s tales about hot air balloon safaris in Tanzania and Kenya.
Why doesn’t anyone develop this camp-site, or make a new resort or lodge there? It turns out, whoever purchases the facilities would have to pay the back taxes all the way back to the early 1980s, when the German owners abandoned it! Not the most forward thinking or investment-focused mindset, I must say.
Some sort of African eagle
The Korie Bustard, the largest flying bird in Africa. (It spends most of it’s time on the ground, with another smaller bird on its back…this one has two red ones)
After the drive, we parked at park HQ where they have a small museum full of stuffed animals from the park, skins, and skulls. It was very interesting, if a bit gruesome. From HQ, we left on a short walk along the river to see the vervet monkeys and look for turtles and crocodiles.
These are the kind of monkeys that weren’t super creepy. Just wait til you see the baboons…
I didn’t catch the name of this stork-like bird.
You can’t see the babies clinging to her back but they’re there! (Holding on for dear life)
A boy and his pet camel (not exactly wildlife, but close enough)
After our walk, we returned to the tukul to pack up and check out.
A shot of our beds and mosquito nets inside the tukul, just to give you an image of what it looked like inside.
We had time for one more short walk down to the base of the waterfall! It was so nice to feel the cold spray on what was a hot, hot day. (And of course because we were all used to Addis weather we packed sweaters and fleeces instead of tanktops and shorts!)
At the top of the falls
As close to the edge as I’d get…
Descending to the base of the waterfall, aka the baboon lair…
Large mama baboon (their babies hold on to their stomaches while they walk)
Baboons everywhere! (They blend so well into the rocks)
Brandon hung up his hammock in the tree. The lodge used to take guests down the river in that boat, which didn’t look all that seaworthy!
Relaxing and reading by the base of the falls
Goodbye, Awash Falls Lodge!