20 February 2001

Sunrise illuminated very distant mountains. A hyena whoops nearby long after the sun has risen.

Soap taken from Gigis tent last night by hyena. Off on game drive at 815 wend our way slowly around the backside of Magadi Hill and find the same lions (Magidi Pride) at the river crossing. One of the young males comes into the shade right near our lr. photo op.

Lion Cub Resting

Starts to be a lion jam so we continue. Black bellied bustards and flying ground hornbills. Around the Moru kopjes we go until we reach the Ranger Post, Rhino Exhibit. Last year there were 5-10 in the area, and 2 yg!! Now there are 20!! Good sign. Looking for some of the rhinos in all wrong places but we spot a ranger on the top of a kopje so we think that there must be some within sight. No luck. Stop at the Masai paintings-- on bikes of all things.

Little swifts nesting. one vey big bat.

Next we go to Gong Rock for Agama Lizards, ostrich family walking by, gonging, and another blessed quiet time.

Gong Rock

A kopje

Mama Simba (Janet Hanby) at the musical "Gong Rock"

Listen to "Gong Rock"

Back to camp for a late lunch and then Mama Simba is interviewed by the Mike and Michael show. Check the UCB Alumni Mag. for the article. Our last bit of wildness before we head back to civilization tomorrow. I do like to camp except for those pesky bugs.

Twiga (Giraffe)

Six of us go on a game drive. See the same lions in the same tree + 2= Total of 8. We get our daily giraffe dose. red-cheeked cordon blue, gray breasted spur fowl (endemic to the region,) Harlequin quail. The Magadi pride are also up in a tree, including the 2 cubs. Wow this has been the lions-in-the-trees trip.

Lion pride in a tree

Over to Lake Magadi for hippos and birds and perfect light. Spotted redshank, Kitt plover, little stint, wood sandpiper, Egy geese, Cape teal, bl winged stilt.

Spotted Red Shank

Meanwhile the rest of you are relaxing. Starting to read all the articles that I have hauled around since Cal.
We meet around the fire at 7 for a brief talk on Human Origins.

Here is a compendium of previous talks that I and Jeannette have given:

Human and chimps closely related split 5 MYA. gorillas next closest to us. 3.5 mya Laetoli footprints in volcanic ash were upright hominoid with small brain and probably nekked. 2 MYA at the base of Oldv gorge in the basalt was found Austral. booisi or nutcracker man- big guy with strong jaws. At same time was Homo habilis, the tool maker which eventually evolved into Homo erectus. He was 1 million to 500K yrs ago and left Africa and peopled other parts of the world became what we now call the Neanderthal man. Big big brain. BUT the next one out of Africa from H. erectus was Homo sapiens- the modern "wise" man. He also spread out of Africa and may have 1) killed or wiped out H. erectus or 2) interbred with him. People in modern Ethiopia apparently were returned Africans. The genetic and languages differences are greater within Africa that any other place on earth. People have been here longer. Evolved white skin the northern latitudes to get more sun to make Vit. d and k. Language is substitute for group grooming therefore can create and maintain stability in numbers greater than 50 (the upper limit in Chimp and Gorilla groups). Bob wrote a paper on it in college.

At dinner Mike says to Gigi "maybe you have fleas." She replies "well I ordered a bottle of white wine. " You go figure. They have been communicating like this for 30+ yrs.

Last Modified 12.2.2002