“Joys Camp is a special place”, a phrase you’ll hear from many Kenyans in the know. The safaris in Shaba are like no other. The air of anticipation is the theme as my guide ‘reads the morning paper’, as the cliché goes, scanning the dust for predator tracks. As for sightings of predators, don’t hold your breath. Vehicles are very few and the animals are shy and not as numerous as other parks. You are here for the environment, the sacred mountains, the plentiful birds and rare herbivores such as the strange looking gerenuk (pictured above) and Grevy’s zebra.
You will also see elephant, buffalo, giraffe and thousands of weaver bird nests just begging for that golden hour photograph of their brilliant little hanging houses. That said, there are a lot of cats around. Lion can be heard roaring in the night not far from Joys Camp. We saw hundreds of fresh lion, cheetah, leopard and even serval tracks. Knowing they are near increases the mystery and my guide was just as excited as I in the search for a cat, any cat.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the walking safari where you’ll experience the bush from the ground, learning all about every creature and tree while trekking through the heat to the most rewarding, luxe breakfast by the river.
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“Where is your wife?” asks Sally, Manager at Joys Camp to the male dik-dik who calls one half of the lodge ground its territory (the other half is another dik-dik couple’s domain). These charming little antelopes are monogamous, travel in pairs and very territorial. Near my tent a tiny family of three circled all day, giving me a shy but friendly look. They appreciate the human presence as we give them a safe harbor from predators. Smart little (no more than 16inches tall) guys considering they are leopard and cheetah appetizers!