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Published: November 8th 2008
View over the Masai Mara
The trees are pruned by the giraffes into this distinctive shape.
The next day, we left for the Masia Mara National Park, after a delicious breakfast at the camp. I rode up front with Humphrey, our driver. We took small detour to view the Menengai Crater just outside of Nakuru. We took an unmarked dirt road and came to a breath-taking view!
We were on a highway for the first hour or so, and then the roads changed to sporatic pavement and very bumpy dirt....they were rebuilding the road and this sometimes made it easier on us and at others much harder! There were few private cars once we left the highway: mostly trucks, matatus and safari vans. Ours was a poptop. Humphrey was an amazing driver, dodging potholes, goats, cows, and and the odd human....for hours on end, through dust and rain and construction....
Note: The lives of many people here are beyond our imagination or experience: carrying heavy loads long distances is a fact of life for many. Water, charcoal, wood, food, and other daily needs are carried on backs or pushed up 5 mile long hills on an old bicycle.
Shortly after leaving the main highway, we were in Maasai gtrazing land and started to see
The Ngorongoro crater
Legend says that there was great Maasai battle here and the losers fell to their death below. A minister recently commited suicide by driving off....
herds of cattle watched over by the distinctly garbed Masai men, wearing various types of red cloth.
We drove for hours through the grazing land, passing through small villages, Maasai camps, and a few larger towns. As we approached the camp, we quickly transitioned from scrubland to jungle, since the camp is on a small river. This camp was much bigger than the previous, but the grounds were beautiful and the tents luxurious.
Each day we would get up for a drive at 6:30 am and another at 4:00 pm. Meals were buffet style with much delicious vegetarian Indian food for me!
The first day, we checked in, ate lunch and left at 4:0 for our first drive around the park. (The camp is in the park and fenced in, so lions don't eat the tourists.) We first saw zebra and antelopes, and then got close to our first giraffes. Then we heard there were lions to be seen. (The drivers tell each other of sighting by two way radios). We were able to join other vans right next to the sleeping lions: three younger males. There was also another male on his own and a group
These are some of my sarfari companions: a group of Swedes who graciously let me join in on their trip...even though I am married to a half Norwegian! I really enjoyed traveling with them... We were taking photos of the crater...
of females and cubs!
Next we came across elephants: one small herd with three years males who were tussling with each other and the later another herd with newborn babies. With both the lions and elephants, they seemed to take little notice of us...
The afternoon continued with animal after animal, as you will see from the photos, as did the next day.
That evening, as we went back to our tents, screams came from on of the Swedish couples' tent: a bushbaby has snuck in and scared them, and they scared it! Wish I had seen it...
We had heavy rains the last night..crashing thunder and downpours...it made me sleep very well...
I will add another entry with pix from day two and another about the Maasai.
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