Kenya (12) – Maasai Mara

On the road again early this morning. We arrived at the airport at about 6.30 where we met up with Chris, wildlife photographer and our tour leader, and met another of the participants.

We had a bit of a wait for the rest of the group – Arie arrived in from Amsterdam on time just after 6, but the flight coming in from London was delayed by about an hour. We quickly came to the conclusion that Nairobi International Airport isn’t the best place to kill time.

Eventually the whole group was assembled – 9 participants in total, and we filled up the 2 LandCruisers and set off for the Maasai Mara. We had one brief stop at a viewpoint over the Rift valley, where we were hassled by locals to come and look at their curio shops, and then we continued the journey.

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The journey ended up being longer than expected – about 7 hours in total, and we were all very relieved to arrive. As we’d been warned by someone we’d met in Amboseli, the last couple hours of the journey were along a very potholed road, thanks to which we had to make an unscheduled stop to replace a tire. For me that brought back memories of my time in Namibia, especially the rather painful moment when a side panel, along with the jack, fell off the LandCruiser and landed on my toes.

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We’re staying at a tented camp again, albeit tents with beds and showers! We didn’t waste much time settling in, but ate a quick as we could lunch (hard to make it fast when every meal is 4 courses!) before going out for our first game drive.

At the start of the drive we came across many of the critters that mum and I had already seen, so I did my best to restrain myself from pressing the shutter. One thing I did have to capture though was a bit of warthog mating!

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We drove on, and very quickly came across a huge pride of sleeping lions – 5 females, 3 males and 11 cubs. We sat and watched them until the sun went down and we had to leave the park. When we arrived the cubs were being babysat by a couple of the males, but slowly the females arrived back, and were greeted by great excitement from all the cubs who ran up to them. The reunions were accompanied by a lot of licking, rolling and very cute little growly noises. Unfortunately the light was poor and just as we arrived we were hit by a heavy rain shower. It didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the lions though.

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