I wasn’t sure if we could beat the experiences of the previous day but I couldn’t be more wrong!
I was awoken abruptly at what seemed like some ungodly hour by a very loud “grunting” noise. Opening my eyes I realised t was still dark and the fact that I hadn’t heard my alarm (set for 5:45 local time) I assumed it was really early and tried to go back to sleep. Unable to settle due to the heat I strained my eyes to see the time, thinking that it would say 4:23 or similar but was shocked to read that it was 6:21 and my alarm hadn’t gone off I struggled out of bed and threw on some clothes before heading to breakfast at 6:30.
Breakfast was like every other meal – a buffet of hot and cold food. Not feeling too hungry/awake/adventurous at such an early time I decided a simple cooked breakfast of pork sausages baked beans and potato would do. The potato and beans were nice but the sausages had a much better flavour than they had texture!
The morning safari drive started at 7:10 and it was so cold that I needed a jumper to keep warm. We started off in a completely different direction to the previous day’s drive and standing at the front of the van I managed to spot a couple of jackal and gazelles. Shortly after this we saw a collection of birds sitting in the nearby trees. Tom identified these as Marabous and Vultures. not content with seeing them from the road, we were taken right up to one of the trees the vultures were sleeping in. It was amazing to see the huge necks and wingspans that these birds have.
Soon after this started to see similar sized herds of wildebeest and zebra that we had seen yesterday. However when we came over the next peak we were confronted by endless numbers of wildebeest all migrating from Tanzania. There were so many it was impossible to keep track of them all. However there was still lots of young males fighting over their “space” and this kept us entertained.
The further we drove, the more animals there seemed to be and soon all we could see in the road ahead was a dark cloud as the wildebeest had filled the entire track for at least 700yds. As we slowly made our way through the mass of animals they jumped and leapt out of our way. Suddenly there seemed to be very few wildebeest blocking our way and Tom took a turning that led us around the back of the herd.
Until now we had only seen the herds of animals and a pride of lions, however nothing seemed to be attacking other species like you see on the wildlife documentaries. We thought we would get to see some fighting when we managed to spot a lone hyena lurking near the edge of the wildebeest but sadly it seemed content waiting so we moved on.
Tom was getting lots of chatter over his radio and while it all seemed to be complete gibberish he started to use more minor tracks and cut across the plains. We saw a number of large birds flying overhead and swooping on the buffalo however this didn’t amount to more than some impressive aerial manoeuvres from the vultures. We did however see a number of vans grouping together ahead of us and we drove closer and just as we arrived saw a female lion sitting in the grass looking around. Tom didn’t stop immediately but drove another 100yds to show us what he had heard on his radio – a male lion with three females. There were many expensive cameras focussed on the male and the closest female. The other females realised that they weren’t “going to get any” so started to walk away. None of the lions seemed to care that we were staring at them – I suppose it must just become second nature to them. The remaining male and female walked past the van and into the grass on the other side of the track, the female lay down and the male decided to spread his “man seed”.
Meanwhile the other three females were getting close to a nearby heard of wildebeest and zebra and from our original position we were able to see them creep through the grass and towards their prey. By now there were a number of vultures circling above and soon enough we saw the herds scattering each way as the lions closed in. Tom took us down to where we had seen the lions go and we managed to see one female relaxing in the shade. Unable to spot the other two we went back to where the original two lions had been. Once again the male decided to show off his mating skills and this time I managed to snap him with my mobile (it’s all we had as Bob’s suitcase hadn’t arrived and Tony’s camera was out of batteries with no charger). I managed to get a couple of other shots with my phone but the VGA camera wasn’t good enough to see much through.
Once we had seen all we would from the lions we started to head on and see what else we could see. our first encounter was with a zebra. Well, half a zebra. I thing it may well have been a snack for the lions. After all this excitement, Tony, Bob, Liz and Tom were all in need of a toilet stop and this gave us all a chance to think about what we had seen.
The next encounter we had also featured death. A group of vultures were dismantling the remains of a wildebeest carcass. Once again I managed to get some pictures of this with my camera.
It wasn’t even 10 am yet and we had seen masses of cool stuff!!!
We drove back through more wildebeest and continued down the track we were on before we detoured to see the lions. Tom pointed out three interesting looking birds in the middle of the track as Crown Cranes. They were so called because of the yellow crest of feathers on its head.
Our next encounter was with 2 adult elephants in the grass. They were happily wandering away from the path but were an impressive sight to see in a relatively empty landscape. With no decent photo opportunity we moved on and soon saw a group of 8 more elephants, including 2 little ones. I managed to get some photos, including my first using the binoculars as a zoom lens. Once everything was lined up it didn’t take a bad picture.
Just after 11 we saw another pride of 10 lions eating in the grass. They were all just amazing to watch.
We ended the morning by going to one of the Masi tribe’s villages. Upon arrival we had to pay 1500 kenyan shillings each, after this we we allowed in. Before we entered the compound the Masi warriors treated us to some of their dancing. We saw 2 dances, the first (circle dance) was used for celebrations and festivals. This involved the warriors “skipping” round us in a circle whilst humming something undecipherable. The second dance consisted of more random hums whilst the warriors took it in turns to stand in the middle, hold their stick and jump to the beat of the music. This was a warmup for pre-hunting and got the muscles ready.
Look round village, lots of poo, si made fire, women dance, look in hut, buy expensive wood then go home.
After lunch swim in cold pool. Leave at 4:30 see monkeys around hotel. See giraffe up close by hotel. See lions hiding in grass. See more lions in same place as day 1. Spot sole female lion eyeing up water buffalo and follow lion along road. Lion spots prey and crouches, prey crosses path, driver of another bus releases air brake and scares prey. Lion gives chase but prey escaped 🙁
See other animals, go home see sunset on masi mara. Drink with hippos, supper, bed