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March 7th 2009
Published: March 12th 2010
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Edge of the Rift Valley, Kenya
Hi Everybody!
After leaving Uganda we headed back to Kenya. Long journey. Stopped in Eldoret again for two nights at Raj's place. We stayed there on our way to Uganda, so nice. Bill Gates and his entourage stayed there while we were there. We actually saw him in the parking area. His security crew arrived a week before he did, there were so much extra security it's crazy. He pulled in with a group of black Nissan suv's with black out windows. Raj was so thrilled, he took Aaron and I with him to Bill Gates room after he checked out, and Bill actually signed his guest book. He was in the country doing work for his foundation.
Back to Nairobi, our whole group went to the Carnivore and pigged out. The next day we left for the Masai Mara Game Preserve. It is so beautiful there. Your classic wide open African savannah teaming with wildlife. It was right out of The Lion King. The camp we stayed at provided us each with a safari tent that was complete with it's own bathroom. Way more and way nicer than we were expecting. We went for an evening game drive after arriving
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Sunset in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
and it was so amazing. Aaron finally got to see a Leopard in the wild after looking three and half years. We actually saw the Big 5 in just a couple of hours. The big five includes lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino of which we saw the much more rare and harder to get close to black rhino. The Big 5 as they were named by early white hunters were thought to be the most dangerous animals as while you were hunting them they would actually return the favor and hunt you.
The next morning we were out early for an all day game drive and we actually saw 2 Cheetahs hunting together, it was so cool. One was chasing a Hartebeest (antelope) towards some bushes where the other one was waiting to ambush it. They didn't get it though, it veered off into another group of bushes before reaching the ambush point. So they just lay down together to catch their breath, and let us take pictures.
We saw so many Lions. We came upon a female with a fresh kill. She was huge pregnant, full, and completely worn out. She paid absolutely no attention to us. We
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Zebra at watering hole-masai mara
also came across a pride with a big male, two females, and five cubs. Their family interaction was so incredible to see, the noises they make deep in their throats communicating with each other is unbelieveable. We were able to sit and watch them a long time. We ended up seeing three prides of Lion and quite a few lone males and groups of hunting females.
We also saw two big Hyena out during the day. It's really interesting how animals know when they're safe from being hunted, these two Hyena were just sauntering right through the middle of a big mixed herd of Wildebeest and Zebra. The Wildebeest and Zebra never moved a muscle, just kept on grazing while these predators walked right through the middle of them. The Hyenas stomachs were bulging with their earlier feast and the grazing animals knew they were safe.
We stopped for our sack lunch by a river that had a lot of Crocodiles and Hippos in it, very cool. Plus we were surrounded by cute Monkeys in the trees and little golden Pygmy Mongoose in the grass. The Masai Mara is amazing. It is so vast.
Kenya has been in a drought
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Wildebeest-Masai Mara
for a couple of years and the Masai people are herders. They measure their wealth in how many cattle they own. These poor cows are so skinny. There are carcasses literally everywhere. Their bodies lay right where they drop down and die, the land is so overgrazed. The Masai don't eat the cattle, they drink a mixture of their milk and blood. Now they are starting to graze their cattle inside the game preserve and when a Lion eats one of their cows they go out and hunt it down with spears. It's a really big issue going on.
The Masai Mara was so amazing and we saw so much wildlife it was staggering. It borders the Serengeti game preserve, this is also where the big migration of Wildebeest and Zebra takes place twice a year. You just can't imagine how many animals and the variety of them that live here. I'm thrilled that there is still a place like this left on earth. I wish we could have stayed longer, or driven all the way across it.
This is the end of our Gorilla Tour group, some of us our getting off in Nairobi, 11 new people are joining,
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Mara River (hippo heavan)
some are on the truck all the way down to Capetown, South Africa. Some are heading to Thailand. We have had so much fun with our group and I'm really going to miss them. I think it's pretty rare to join up with a group of 11 other people and really like all of them and feel like they are all your friends. It's been great. Let us hear from you!
Carolyn & Aaron


Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


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Crested Crane
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Vervet Monkey-Masai Mara
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Mother Vervet and Baby-Masai Mara, Kenya
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Lion Club
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Cubs Feeding
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Cheetahs
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Giraffes-Near Narok, Kenya
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The wild west, kenya
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Feeding Giraffe, Karen Giraffe Center-Kenya (look at that tongue)
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Giraffe-Karen, Kenya


12th March 2010

Leopard!!
Well done Aaron! Finally got your leopard!!!
14th March 2010

hello
Sounds like a wonderful safari. Your pictures are amazing. They remind us of our trip out there. Hopefully, we will get back there one day. All is well in Farmington. When do you guys come back? Are you guys coming back? What an adventure. We enjoying reading all about it and can't wait to catch up with you both in person. Safe travels!

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