We have focused a lot on Safiri Kenya and the amazing wildlife connecting the many national parks, reserves and sanctuaries in Kenya. We have also talked a lot about their uniqueness – even highlighted some endemic to a place and others on the verge of extinction.
But never before have we spoken of the Gawkerbeest despite their prevalence in the wilderness, especially in protected areas. Yet the Gawkerbeest is by no means the most amusing of living things you will come across in your holiday escapades in Kenya.
These not-so-rare creatures are known to rise early at dawn and start hunting for their prey alone or in small groups. They dart to and fro on the numerous parks and reserves, seeking their intended targets.
We have noted that when a Gawkerbeest spots prey, it signals its companions who then rush from nearby and far away to surround the victim. The surrounded prey stands no chance as the multitude of the Gawkerbeests descends upon it.
According to our research, the Gawkerbeests then start to ooh and ah as they unsheathe their weapons of choice and start to shoot off, in rapid succession, a multitude of high-resolution digital photos and HD motion clips.
After feasting themselves sufficiently with that particular animal, these insatiable ‘beests’ then roar off in search of their next intended victim as listed in their guidebooks.
In fact, if you are on a safari in one of the top hot spots in Kenya and planning to spot one of the famous Big Five, look out for the Gawkerbeests – they will lead you to the action!
Any good traveller knows that wherever the Gawkerbeests are, there has to be some trophy animal lurking around! If you do not know this, it is not too late to learn that the rule of thumb is wherever a group of Gawkerbeests congregate, there sure will be a game of choice to be sighted.
The Gawkerbeest colony awards special medals of honour to those who draw others to a first sighting of the prey. Among their ranks, intense competition exists for the first spot.
Normally, the curtain comes down in the evening. Precisely at 6 pm when park rules dictate that no Gawkerbeest should be within the confines of the protected areas. At this time the Gawkerbeests head back to their temporary abodes to feast on the buffets laid out before them. While resting by the swimming pools, they reminisce on the day’s hunt, looking forward to the following morning. They savour every moment in the Kenyan wilderness before heading back to Nairobi.
If you have not yet figured out this fascinating creature, then here are some more clues to inspire you:
- You will normally find them inside tour vans or SUVs.
- They tend to carry an assortment of gizmos like digital cameras and high-powered binoculars.
- Most of them own a blog where they would post the spoils of the hunt for others to feast on.
Ring a bell yet? Now, do tell us when you spot one!