We must have been tired from our stay in Morocco as we ended up sleeping some thirteen hours. The news in Kenya was all about the terrorist attacks in northeastern Kenya. We had the day free and we decided to stay on the hotel compound.
The Wife is a big "Out of Africa" fan so she was stoked that we were in the Lord Delamere wing.
We ate lunch, swam in the pool, and the Wife got a facial (The person who gave the facial did not wear gloves and the Wife said it felt wonderful ... like unprotected sex).
The weather in Nairobi was near perfect - sunny in the 70s. You wouldn't know it by how the Kenyans were dressed. Most of them were in heavy coats, hats, and gloves. We were in shorts and t-shirts.
That night something caught up with the Wife. She became sick as a dog for most of the night. Fortunately it didn't last long and she felt better in the morning. I suspect the British Airways sandwich.
Today the tour/safari officially started. We met the couple who we would be travelling with for the next ten days - a very nice couple from Pittsburgh (Ls and Gg).
We were picked up my our guide and driver and headed first to the Giraffe Center for our up close encounter with the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. While these were technically wild giraffes, the fact that you could hand feed them took away from the wildness.
|A baby elephant.|
After watching them feed the elephants it was time for us to feed ourselves. We were taken to The Carnivore restaurant. We were brought a diverse selection of sauces to dip the meat in and then came the flood of meat of all types. The meats varied from the common (chicken, beef, pork) to the less common (ostrich, crocodile). They kept dropping off small servings of each onto your plate from a long barbecue skewer. If you got overwhelmed you could tip over the small sign signifying you needed a break. The only non-meat product served was soup and a baked potato. We finished it off with a dish of non-meat ice cream.
From there we headed to the airport to catch our bush plane to the Maasai Mara. Unfortunately the Wife and I hadn't been informed of the weight restrictions on the bush planes. While we were below the 50 lb (23 kg) per bag limit of most flights, the bush plane limited us to 33 lb (15 kg) per bag. Fortunately we always carry small duffels to carry extra souvenirs. We packed a couple of days worth in the duffels and left our big bags locked up at the airport.
The 12 seater bush plane was fairly small but the flight was not long and we had a chance to see the Kenyan countryside before we landed on the dirt airstrip. We stretched out legs and looked at the tiny shop while we waited for the next plane that was bringing two more people who would be riding with us to the lodge and would be with us on our Safari drives. That was all there was at the airstrip - bathrooms and a shop. The guys,Ol and Gt, arrived on the next flight and were awesome guys who made the next few days even better.
|A yawning hippopotamus.|
|To cheetah at the base of an acacia tree.|
|I loved the acacia trees. They are so cool looking.|
|Inflating our hot air balloon.|
|Sunrise from the hot air balloon.|
|Hippopotamus wallowing in the Mara river.|
An excited exclamation point which mirrors how I felt.
When it was time to land the pilot looked for a dry spot. It had rained the night before and the land was swampy with almost an inch of standing water. The balloon slowly descended. We assumed landing positions (sitting on the benches in the basket holding onto straps) and prepared for the bumpy landing. The landing was just like our pilot had described it before we launched. The basket bounced and hopped a few times until we stopped. We were going to congratulate the pilot for an awesome landing until the basket slowly ... very slowly ... tipped over onto its side. The roll over was so gentle we didn't even splash in the watery mud - I was expecting a mud shampoo. We all laughed a bit before we carefully climbed out of the basket.
Jeeps picked us up and took us to a long table set up along the Mara river. The table was dolled up with fancy linen and silverware and we all enjoyed a champagne breakfast.
|A cape buffalo with riders.|
|Elephants as far as the eye could see. The green mound is a termite mound - they were everywhere.|
|A large elephant.|
|A white rhinoceros who was accompanied by three armed guards for its protection.|
|Cubs nursing so very close to out jeep.|
|Loved the giraffes.|
|African Wild Dog.|
A sampling of the pictures of Nairobi and the Maasai Mara can be found in my Kenya 2014 Flickr album.