Our last day on the Mara, and for Mum and I, also the last day of our safari. In order to make the best use of the light, we set off from camp a little earlier this morning, so that we could get into the park as soon as it opened.
We drove down to the river, where we found a huge pod of hippos, all grunting away, just like we heard at the start of our trip, when we were staying in Tsavo.
We stayed a little while with the hippos, and then headed off in search of cats and other excitement.
Driving through the long grasses, I was amazed when we saw the sunlight glinting of a large shiny body in the grass… could it possibly be? Yes, a hippo, quite a long distance out of the water. As soon as the hippo saw us, he did exactly what hippos are supposed to do in such situations and ran towards his safety zone – the river. A very good demonstration of why you don’t want to get between a hippo and the water. I didn’t really manage to capture the speed, but it was faster than you might expect such a large animal to move, and he soon disappeared.
Continuing on, we ended taking an enforced stop in the middle of nowhere specific for our breakfast, as the other LandCruiser got stuck. After unpacking the blankets and breakfast, our LandCruiser was called upon to tow the other one out.
Meanwhile, the rest of us used the opportunity to have a bite to eat, and to photograph the zebras.
Just when I was beginning to think that we were going to have to head back to camp, without a single cat sighting on our final day, we struck lucky – we saw a vehicle ahead, stopped by a pair of ‘honeymooning’ lions. The pair were totally unperturbed by our presence, and got down to business as if we weren’t there. The female was definitely leading the show, after resting for a few minutes, she’d get up and the male, rather resignedly, would follow.
As if to fit in with the theme of procreation, after moving on from the lions, we came across a couple young animals – a suckling zebra, and a newborn gazelle. If yesterday was a day where we came face to face with death, today was the day for new life – a wonderful note on which to finish our safari.
Back at the camp we took lunch before heading off on the long drive back to Nairobi. After about 5 and half hours of hard driving we dropped off the main group back at the airport, before returning to the city centre to our hotel, for our last night in Kenya.