Day Four- July 2017
It’s hard to remember it ever being easy waking up at 5:45 in the morning, but there is no hesitation on these days. We can’t wait to see what activity we find on this morning! Of course our daily morning escort is waiting for us!
We have stumbled upon 1,000 of Wildebeest in our camp area now. It is amazing to see how this area was nothing but golden grass and a few days later to see it filled! The migration at it’s best! The sun was rising and it was super cool to see!
Our first big cat encounter is of two lioness, one enjoying a wildebeest breakfast, and the other stalking a zebra waltzing by. Luckily for this zebra, it was just far enough away, that it did not become the lioness’ next kill.
Interestingly enough, a few hundred meters past our cat encounter, we experience a flat tire. Imagine changing a tire in the middle of this setting… luckily for us, we let our superheroes do the work.
As we stroll a bit farther, we come across another incredible site, three cheetahs lurking as they watch the migration pass in front of them. The mom and her one year old cubs, are patiently selecting a gazelle or a small wildebeest.
We decide to carry on after a bit of watching, and head out toward a new part of the Mara for a special treat this morning: a visit to the nearby Maasai Village. Along the ride we see loads of topi, impala antelope, warthogs, ostriches, and of course, wildebeests everywhere!
After another enjoyable stop for breakfast on the Mara, we head to the edge of the park. We were very excited to experience how a local tribe lived (Massai Tribe), and once again, we weren’t disappointed!
We were welcomed by dance, and eventually encouraged to join in the festivities. The men partake in a jumping contest, and invited Scott to join (video coming soon).
After a bit of chanting and jumping, we are escorted around the village. We are explained about the importance of the cows in their village. They drink the milk, the blood, and eat the meat. That’s right, they drink the blood (this does not kill the cow)! Maybe not everyday, but on special occasions, or if the cows are not producing milk. Cows are how they survive. When one wants to go to University, the family simply sells some cows to send them.
We are taken into the holding area for the goats, where we get to hold a couple that are weeks old, while we are standing next to a mom who just gave birth thirty minutes earlier!
Our visit includes being taken into a village house (made by the women in the village), shown and attempted how they start a fire out of sticks.
It was the ladies turn to welcome us, through singing, and Katie quickly joined in! Our last stop in the village was to peruse some of their hand made jewelry in their market. We were more than happy to support the local tribe, through donations and a couple of purchases.
Our morning game ride was complete, as we drove back to camp we witnessed a Thompson gazelle giving birth! It’s NEVER a dull moment.
We head back to camp for a relaxing afternoon. Sala’s Camp provides painting supplies in the room. I didn’t want to take a nap so I decided to give it a go! Ha! Our sundowners inspired me.
It’s time for our last evening game ride in the Mara. We head out from our camp on the Sand River, toward the Mara River. The famed Mara River is known for the wild crossing of the migration, as the wildebeest and others encounter massive crocodiles waiting a bite to eat!
Well, on this peaceful evening, the migration had not made it quite this far north at this point. So we enjoyed watching the many hippos roam the river, as well as the massive crocodiles occupying the banks. We were fortunate to encounter a herd of 15 elephants enjoying the water and lush greenery of this region.
There are hundreds of Hippos. Hippos are statistically the highest rate of death in humans. One chomp and you’re dead! They come out of the water around dusk to graze on the grass.
No game ride is complete without a plethora of animal sightings, and this one included: a troop of baboons, gazelles, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, topi, elands, warthogs and of course………some Tusker!
Back to camp for one more enjoyable dinner on the river. Sadly, we will wake tomorrow for our last game ride out to the airport. Of course, we couldn’t end the day without our last Sundowner! Family photo!
Day Five our last day in the Mara
For the first time during our stay at the Sala’s Camp, we decide to ‘sleep in’ till about 7:30, eat a leisurely breakfast, then head out on our ride toward the airport. Maybe we should say peaceful breakfast, because everyone else at the camp was out on a game ride, so we had the whole lodge to ourselves!
Our last ride was a little less eventful, although we still saw plenty of buffalo and wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, baboons, jackals, and elands.
Our journey to the airport was quiet, as we were sad to leave the Masai Mara. We were fortunate to have an amazing driving, Steven, and a fun, energetic spotter, David. These guys made our five days memorable!
The only mishap we had in our five days, was leaving. This isn’t exactly your ordinary airport. It’s a path of dirt, with small planes, and your name on a printed piece of paper. We jump on a plane, much smaller than the already small plane we took out to the Mara, only to be told that we weren’t on that list. That’s okay, the plane was tiny and looked shaky.
So we head back to hang and wait for the next Safari Link plane. Well, about an hour later, our luck has it, the piece of doo doo plane that we got on accidently, was back for us.
The next 40 minutes to Nairobi was filled with sweaty palms and racing hearts as this plane teetered its way over the savannah. Thankfully the longest 40 minutes of our trip ended safely and we were back in Nairobi for a two night stay at Giraffe Manor!