Our eager group started off the day on Lake Naivasha. We split up into two groups to take boat rides across the lake, where we tempted African fish eagles with fish. Unfortunately, not many of us were able to get fantastic shots of the eagles, but we gained a quick hands-on lesson about how difficult it is to photograph moving birds.

Pelicans near the shore of Lake Naivasha

One of many of Naivasha's hippos

From the shores of Naivasha, we began our hike up Barton Hill, where we had the opportunity to witness wildlife literally with every step.

After lunch and a lecture about digital photography and Lake Naivasha, we piled into the van. We met with Simon Thomsett, who is currently studying cheetahs under the employ of National Geographic. As a hobby, he works to rehabilitate raptors. He showed us several species, including the tawny eagle and the African fish eagle, two of the birds that we are specializing in studying for this course.

Simon's tawny eagle

Dinner time!

Noticing our awe in these majestic birds, and Kenya in general, Thomsett cautioned, “I try to knock the awe out of whatever awestruck students I meet. Kenya is a beautiful place, but it has its fair share of problems.” This insightful message seems to foreshadow what we will learn over the course of the next two weeks.

View of afternoon landscape