Published: July 24th 2010July 22nd 2010
Where are all the animals?
After four days of "quarantine" in Kampala Brent had a good coating of itchy spots all over his torso, arms, down his legs and a few in unmentionable places. However, after a while Cath "internet self-diagnosis queen" did not think the spots were progressing as they should be. So we returned back to our original doctor at The Surgery and she confirmed that yes, Brent did NOT have the chickenpox (hurrah!!). However, she wasn't sure what he did have (nor her colleague who she asked for a second opinion), but she said it was not contagious and gave him a couple of bottles of Scabisin (no, I'm not making this up!) to rub on the spots.
We returned a day later to get a medical certificate so we would be able to rejoin the tour and saw a third doctor, who was finally able to make a diagnosis straight away that Brent had been bitten by a hairy caterpillar (no, I'm not making that up either!!) which had caused the reaction. Apparently it's low season for caterpillar bites, so he was very unlucky. The good news was as it was not contagious we were able to rejoin our
The eyes have it
I'm coming for you!
We had been in touch with our insurance company ever since the night we had to leave the tour and they arranged for us to fly from Kampala to Nairobi where the tour would be for two nights picking up some more people. So that Saturday we officially rejoined along with all the newbies. This included Lea and Lara from Scotland, English Ed, Chris, Vicky P, Vicky, Becky. Canadian Mark and Adam from the US. It was great to see all our old buddies back again, plus Australian Kate, who joined the group the night we left in Kampala.
We had a nice easing back into camping life in this leg of the tour. We were split into three groups and put into little vans with pop-up roofs (for game viewing) and taken into the Masai Mara, a big game reserve in South Western Kenya, where we would spend two nights in permanent tents - a relative luxury compared with our little tents.
We had a private tent to ourselves with two single beds and bedding. Outside were two separate little tents, one with a toilet and one with a shower. The
I'll have mine EXTREMELY rare please
campsite also did all the catering for us, so no chores for two days...hurrah! After a six hour drive we arrived at camp and went straight on a game drive before it got dark. The drive didn't prove too fruitful, except for a gorgeous sunset and a bit of entertainment when an elephant started charging at one of the vans after deciding it had gotten to close to its baby...that driver could not reverse fast enough!
The Masai Mara
is home to the "Big Five" animals - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros - as well as the Masai people who live off the land but don't hunt the animals. One of the drivers gave us a detailed run down on the Masai at dinner which was very interesting. They still allow pologamy so a man takes on man wives, and also male circumcision, which can occur when men are as old as 20. It's performed as a ritual and the man cannot cry, or make noise, or show any pain or he is not a man. Fortunately female circumcision is now illegal here, but there are still places where it is still carried out.
We were up
Preferably not washed down with a few tourists..
at dawn on the second day and straight into a full days game drive. It had rained quite heavily overnight so the ground was very muddy and at times we were sure our little van would get stuck in the mud..we also skidded around a lot which created a few nail biting moments...particularly as there were many things to bite you if you had to evacuate the van!
Not long after setting off we came across two female lions feeding on a wilderbeast which looked like it had been killed the day before. We were very lucky as they kill was right next to the track, allowing us to get as close as two metres from a feeding lion!! You could hear the noise of the bones crunching under its jaws...uuuggghhh! We spent a good part of an hour watching one lion eat the behind of the dead animal while the oher lazed on the grass sleeping off its meal. Then after driving off less than five minutes later the other two vans got stuck in the mud!! One managed to get out quite quickly but the other was well stuck. So depsite having just come from watching lions
He he he he he
What's so funny?
chew flesh ahd chomp on bones everyone got out of one van to push the other (why everyone did not get out of their own van to push it is beyond us - perhaps they were the smart ones!!) After a bit of man (and woman!) power we were all on our way again.
We were also were the only van (one of three) to get a good view of a hyena. We also saw plenty of giraffes, zebra, elephant, giselle, and some rhino. Still eluding us was leopard & male lions.
The next morning we had another quick game drive before leading back into Nairobi for the next leg of the tour - the [b[Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater.
There are more photos below