Saturday, January 18, 2014

Maasai Mara, Kenya

This post, while likely to be posted from the airport in Nairobi, was written while sitting in a wildlife viewing hide on the plains of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in southern Kenya on January 16, 2014. Christina and I are sitting on the edge of a small stream near a salt lick.

Our time on Safari has been quite a bit different from what we expected. We booked a tent camp and expected that everything would be in line with that. Instead we have the most luxurious tented camp you could possibly imagine. Our room has a king size bed, flush toilet, shower, double sink, etc. Above that we are waited on to a near comical level. We get every meal prepared for us (and not just prepared, but amazing quality). Every drink is brought to us. We get 3 meals a day and 3 other snacks. Our dinner is always a 3 course meal at candlelight out on the plains or near a fire. We never eat the same thing twice. Our tent gets the shades lifted and dropped while we are out. Our bed is made, turned down and heated (with physic defying warmth). We fall asleep to the sounds of Kenya's wildlife and are awoken by the local birds.

None of what I've described so far has anything to do with the actual game drives which have been amazing. We go out every morning and evening for 4 hour drives. Some of the most interesting things that we've seen so far are lions eating a giraffe, vultures finishing off the giraffe the next day, a cheetah having a rest, dozens of giraffes together, lion cubs, large groups of hippos in the water and a hippo trying to hide from us.

 The amount of animals is frankly astounding. I completed underestimated the quantity that we would see. I've got a list and rough amounts of each that we've seen through 2 days. I took a few photos with my phone so I could share some of the game drive experiences.

Water buffalo

Wart hogs
Water bucks


Grand Gazelles
Thompson gazelles

Random stories:
1. We took a tiny airplane (11 seater) from Nairobi out to the conservancy. It was bumpy.
2. When our plane landed (in the nearby national reserve) we were immediately met by our guide Daniel who gave us the option of going out on a drive immediately or going back to camp. Seeing as we were in a reserve we weren't supposed to be in (a result from the one day delay in Paris) we thought we would take advantage. Literally 5 minutes after we got in the vehicle we had seen the elusive cheetah.
3. There is a convoy of zebras walking in front of me right now.
4. I did not bring a computer with my so I can't properly share any photos from the trip while we are gone. 

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