16 February 2013

Kenya: Nairobi Park Diary - a Trio of Bambis

Early one fine morning as I passed the Kingfisher picnic site, I saw a fine herd of impala right next to the road.

Their rusty, red colours shone in the sunlight. A dominant male chased a few possible contenders away while other males stood guarding the rest of the herd as tiny bambi-like lambs suckled on their mothers.

Then a trio of bambis stood innocently watching me as I took photographs of them. They were really inquisitive, wondering what was happening but for me, it was a truly wonderful scene to absorb. Our family has used the name 'bambi' as a term for baby impala ever since I was a child.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term 'bambi', it comes from the 1942 American movie about a baby white-tailed deer. I guess the term just means 'little child' in Italian, as a short version of bambino.

As I watched them, my real hope was that they would all survive and live their full lives as adult impala.

An interesting note is that impala are found over a large area over Southern and Eastern Africa. The early dutch settlers gave the name 'rooibok' (redbuck) due to their deep rusty red appearance.

Even the city of Kampala is named after the impala from the phrase in Luganda 'kampala' meaning (place of the impala ). They are commonly preyed on by leopard, cheetah and at times the lion.

Their method of fleeing from predators is sometimes spectacular as they can leap as high as three metres and bound as far as ten metres with various jinking motions. I guess no antelope likes to be on the big cat menu.

Next time when visiting the park, it is worth sitting next to a herd and just watching events happen at nature's pace.

The park is open daily from 6am to 7pm. For more information on the park you can link to the following websites www.kws.org or www.nairobigreenline.com or on facebook.

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