We moved here last Wednesday – a little way west across the Maasi Mara – and from where we could see a little more of this vast area from a different perspective.
This tented camp is very nice. It is situated in a grove of trees at the side of the plain and the swimming pool has a view across to the horizon. We can see giraffe, buffalo and various antelope all grazing on the grass across the plain. We are woken up each morning with an early morning call and a thermos of hot coffee in bed. At night, we find a hot water bottle in our bed. Although we are located almost on the equator, our elevation at 1575 metres makes for warm days and cool evenings. We certainly need a blanket in the bed.
As we drove over here from Fig Tree Camp, we encountered the usual range of wildlife and a number of lions. We found an extensive number of hippo in the Mara River, but they have not yet graced us with a big ‘hippo smile’.
Yesterday, we were up a little later and left at 10:00 am for an all-day outing. The highlight was to see thousands of Wilderbeest moving across the plain. We watched from some distance as they assembled to cross the river, but something spooked them and instead of seeing a crossing, they turned and stampeded right past our location, over a little gully where the zebra where drinking, and across to the next area of the plain. There were many thousand of animals in this gigantic movement. We calculated that it took thirty minutes for them all to pass our vehicle.
One of the problems of a long day out in the bush is finding a place to go to the toilet. It is not generally safe to get outside the car, so we have to make a quick visit to the rear of the vehicle. Joseph, our driver, frequently goes to ‘check the tyres’. I also notice that our camp area is well protected. It is surrounded by a high electrified fence, but we also guards patrolling the grounds at night.
On our game drive yesterday, in addition to the Wilderbeest, we found a gaggle(?) of vultures feasting on a dead carcass. God didn’t ascribe any beauty whatsoever to these birds, nor to the Maribu stork that also eats carrion and is often found alongside the vultures. It is a distinctive bird, being over one metre tall and without feathers on it’s neck so that it can get it’s head right inside the carrion that it is eating. It would certainly not be very pleasant to be dying and attaching these birds circling above you!
We have also come across a large family of elephant and large sized herds if zebra that intrigue us with their different patterns and very social behavior.
Tonight we are having a final dinner (for our African portion of our trip) and then tomorrow we return to Nairobi overnight and then on to Zanzibar for a few days.