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Sweetwaters Game Reserve

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:01 am
by Lesser Spot Finder
Sweetwaters Game Reserve lies some 20 minutes West of Nanyuki, directlly, on the Equator and within the Ol Pejata Conservancy. It is a haven for African Mammals, contains the Big 5 and during the last couple of visits I have managed to see Burchell’s Zebra, Grevy’s Zebra, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Grant’s Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, Reticulated Giraffe, Impala, African Buffalo, White Rhino, Hippo and Elephant. It provides and exceptional ‘Out of Africa’ experience and a welcome respite from NSG.

The bird life is out of this world with a large concentration of Savannah Species. Adjacent to the luxury tented camp is a watering hole which holds Saddle-billed Stork, Grey Crowned Cranes, Marabou, Black Saw Wing and numerous Helmeted Guineafowl.

Passerines are well represented with many Superb Starling, Rufous Chatterer, Rattling Cisticola and finches and Sparrows within sight of the accommodation. An early morning walk last week produced 50+ species in 35 minutes. Shrikes sit atop numerous bushes and Northern White-crowned Shrike proved to be a stunning lifer.

Grassland birds provide a welcome addition to the game. In one game drive I managed to miss a Kori’s Bustard but found both White and Black-breasted Bustards instead whilst eventually becoming blasé about the number of Blacksmith Plover around the various watering holes. Black-shouldered Kite and Tawny Eagle are regularly seen perched on top of the ever present Acacia and Secretary Bird stalk prey below.

Lifers on my last visit included the stunning Purple Grenadier, Violet-backed Starling, Red-winged Lark, Bearded Woodpecker, Red-headed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Wattled Starling, Chestnut Sparrow, Black-headed Batis and Yellow-billed Stork.

Sweetwaters is the place to stay in this area. All high ranking military visitors are accommodated here and I will have spent three nights birding at Her Majesty’s expense before I leave. Thank you Ma’am!