Posted in Life

Kenya (July 23 back to Nairobi)

We got to sleep in a little later today and stopped at a Maasai village on the way back to Nairobi. They showed us around their homes, let us take pictures and of course offered to sell us an endless array of carved animals, masks, bowls and jewelry. Traditional Maasai dress, lifestyle and customs meets the traditional tourist stop.

We then drove to Nairobi, about five hours on unpaved and then paved highway. We stopped for lunch at another souvenir-type place, and got back to the Scripture Mission Center around 5.

We went out for supper at Tamambo Karen Blixen Restaurant in Nairobi. Awesome meal. Karen Blixen is the woman who was played by Merrill Streep in the movie “Out of Africa.”

Tomorrow: Elephant orphanage, more shopping and we begin our flight home.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Life

Kenya (July 22 Maasai Mara safari part 2)

Happy birthday to me!

The day started out pretty much the same as yesterday: up early to fight our way to the breakfast table, and a 7:30 departure back into the park. We took a different route through the park this time, in search of some more big cats and larger herds of elephants.

We did see a couple more lions eating the last of a wildebeest before beginning their “honeymoon,” an intense week of mating. I think there were more zebra and wildebeest on the hillsides than yesterday, as far as the eye can see.

 

We rode and rode and rode, not really finding much. We did come across a lone bull elephant and got very close for pictures. Then we drove all the way out to a place where the borders of Kenya and Tanzania come together and we all stood in both countries simultaneously.

 

Driving just a little ways into Tanzania, we did a short walking tour down to the Mara river where we could see two large families of hippos. Hippos are very dangerous animals, coming out of the water at night to feed, so you only go to see them in the afternoon, when they stay in the water to keep cool. A armed guide took us down the river to see them and assure our safety. The closer we got, the more the hippos bellowed, letting us know we were close enough. Walking the other way up the river we saw a few crocodiles sleeping on the bank and some monkeys playing in the trees. Great sightings!

 

 

Back in the vans, we drove and drove and drove, stopping periodically to view some vultures, giraffes and wildebeest. Finally, just toward the end of the day, we saw three elephants with a baby who was nursing. It was a nice way to end the day.

 

 

 

Posted in Life

Kenya (July 21: Maasai Mara safari)

Today was safari day number one. Breakfast was served at 6:30 am. It was tough fighting our way through a group of very rude Italians to try and get some food. On lady took almost a whole loaf of toast from the serving table.

We left for safari with our two drivers, Simon and Edwin, about 7:30. We rode in converted Toyota Land Cruisers that had pop-up tops so we could stand up and see out. As we waited to enter the park, Maasai women pushed their wares on us – bracelets, woven shawls and wooden carvings.

We rode around the park in search of animals all day, with just a short break for lunch. We saw zebra, Cape buffalo, giraffes, elephants, gazelle, elian, topi, zebu, hippos, crocodiles, lions, baboons and thousands of wildebeests. We tried to catch the wildebeests crossing the river, but the presence of too many safari vans scared them off. The lions we saw were mating, which made them very docile and easy to photograph.

The park and views were amazing, but the day was grueling. I wish we could have gotten out and walked around more, but that was impossible.

Tomorrow, a different route through Maasi Mara.