Continuation of Kenya……….if you are reading this on Facebook please get on to WordPress and read it!
6 am saw our groggy selves head out to breakfast and then for the morning game drive. This game drive this am was scheduled to be a long one as decided the night before.. It having lasted for approximately 5.5 hours was no surprise to any of us.
As we left camp and headed out into the Savannah we came across a ‘Secretary Bird’ which waddled and strutted in style- rightly named because of the crest on it’s head. A few pictures later we drove off in search of our goal- the king of the jungle and at least one of the 20 leopards present in the Mara..
Multi-coloured balloons were high above us.. as people took early morning hot air balloon rides to view the Mara. As usual the Gnu were in abundance- one actually felt like the Mara was infested with them! We were finally radioed and informed that there were lions round the corner and Fred went in search of them.. In front of us lay our first Lion in the midst of the wilderness. The Lioness hunts and lays down food for her master while the Lion sits eats and relaxes for the next 48-72 hours.. What a life!
It started to drizzle and before we could even worry about being soaked to the skin, Mr. Lion got up and walked around, coming in close proximity- within a few feet of our vehicle. After a while we set out in search of other animals and thought we saw a herd of elephants which turned out to be our Gnu friends! Driving on, our sight fell upon a few gazelles- a species which never fails to amaze me and some mongoose too! We finally came across a group of travelers stuck in the muddy Mara.. Fred got out to go help them but our evil selves stayed put.. He came back in 5 minutes tops, entered the van , turned around and drove off… back to the Lion.. who was now with his female compatriot. He kept nuzzling her and following her around! oooh lah lah!!
It was then that Fred informed us about the ‘act’ which takes the Lion a maximum of 20 seconds. While we waited for them to mate we looked around and would’ve almost missed their 5 second mating session- more a ‘ wham bam thank you ma’am’ kind of a thing. On getting done he just got onto all fours and walked off without giving the lioness a second look. How rude!! I’m sure she mustv’e had something to say to him!! Possibly- ‘No dinner Mr. Lion’!
Now that the Lions were done we went in search of more animal friends and came across game. So many Gnu’s and one dead shouldn’t really make a difference.- it balances the eco system doesn’t it?
Fred then got a message on the radio informing him that a leopard was nearby. Our excitement died off when we realized that the leopard was high up in a tree and everyone was parked below the tree waiting for him to move.. He didn’t move.. However, after a short wait- we did manage to spot him thus completing our quest for the big 5!
A few minutes later we headed further into the Mara and saw fresh kill stashed by a tree. From everything we read before the trip and our general knowledge per se, we knew that a lioness would be close by within a span of 20 feet from her kill, and hence looked for her. Sure enough we found her in a cave like underground structure, looking thoroughly relaxed.
Moving forward- more kill!! and this time a committee (yes that is what it is called) of vultures feasting upon the kill, The mere smell of it totally grossed me out- Weak hearted me couldnt stomach the smell and marked buttons till i would very possibly faint. Luckily, Fred got the hint and moved forward. I find rhe picture in itself a little disturbing.
A few minutes later an ostrich crossed the track to go meet his female companion who was grey in colour and not as attractive as the male. Weird are the ways of nature! Aren’t women always more attractive than men? But no- it is the other way around with beast.
The drive, the air and especially the lack of something interesting lulled me to sleep when everyone spotted a herd of elephants and a mommie and baby elephant walking together. Awake from my brief revierie I delighted in the sight, while Fred headed to camp. We were nearing Ashnil when we saw a vehicle flashing it’s lights at us, off the track in the middle of the Mara- We drove towards it and lo and behold there in front of us without a care in the world or worry about humans staring at him, lay a magnificent cheetah. He sunned himself, got up strutted around, tried tot get away from the sun and then lay down in the brush.
That done.. we headed back to camp and decided to meet up for lunch in a n hour! Of course some of us never did land up trekking back to our rooms but instead preferred to stay, grab a couple of drinks and visit the in-house gift shop to pick up a few knick knacks!
Our evening safari was canned and you shall soon know why in my next post………………..as usual I’ve gone on writing without having realised that this one is too long!