Thursday, February 28, 2013

Masai Mara

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While it's still fresh, I need to note the highlights of an amazing day.  Some of the highlights were a family of lions with two young cubs, a couple of cheetahs, many elephants, gazelles, hippos, bat-earred fox; but Yata and I both really enjoyed the giraffes.  After a full day of driving the most spectular landscape;probably the furthest panorama ever, over rolling grasslands; we then visited a Masai village.  The young men did a welcome dance with song for us. They demonstrate some of their native skills and took us into a dung and stick home.  It was very dark and cramped. They say the whole village leaves and builds a new one every nine years because the termites cause their homes to fall down.  There are large termite mounds around, in fact one of the cheetahs was sunning himself on one this morning. We are doing the safari with an international group: Paul, Ukrainian world traveler (fifty countries so far), Slim and wife from Tunisia, Sam, a young British/Belgian here volunteering in an orphanage near Nairobi (he got mugged leaving his Nairobi lodging the morning we left and has a big knot on his forehead-he fell) and Leon a Sri Lankan from Dubai who has a professional cameras.  Everyone is getting great pictures.  It was an eleven hour tour.  We left at 7:30 am and by noon stopped at the Mara river for  lunch. This is the border with Tanzania.

We're sitting in camp now having a Tusker beer and waiting for dinner to  be served.  We get up for a six am game drive, come back for breakfast and then headed back to Nairobi.  Glad we made this trip.  At times it's challenging, lots of spine jolting and head snapping roads. But we've been taking Tylenol prophalactically and I think it's really helping..

We sleep in a fairly large canvas tent with a tin roof over it and a tiled bathroom attached to the back.  The camp is nicely wooded site, we have hot water in the shower and electriciy for about five hours a day so you have to strategize your phone and other battery charging.
Of course the bed has a mosquito net. We even sleep under one of those at Ella & Ken's mainly because they don't really have screens on any windows here, just bars for security.
More on security in the next blog.

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