Safari - The Masai Mara

This IS the airport!

Our Transportation

Local Masaai children

...take their livestock out to graze by day.

These children tend their cattle while they play.

Gnu

Gnu... and more Gnu, grunt and graze. We visited the Mara during migration season. In the early part of the day, you could see gnu in single file from horizon to horizon.

Proof that you are what you eat. Vultures are ugh-ly.
Although, I have to admit, they have a magnificent wingspan.

Our table at the Fig Tree where we ate three squares a day.

Most of the servants are Masaai. This one is paid to just stand there and look traditional. Can you imagine living out in the middle of nowhere and then tourists start coming and in one generation, your life becomes a fish bowl.

Our driver has a family that lives between Ilula and Nairobi.
He spends 3 months working on the Masaai Mara and
three months home with his family.

 

The gang's all here, wait, where's Jayne? She is taking the photo.

This lioness has three children following her. She is teaching them to stalk prey.

The cougar was sunning herself on this termite mound. She was oblivious to us at first.

Eventually she wanted to know what we were all gawking at.

She found us tedious and boring.

Eventually, she spotted some gazelle. We saw gazelle, she saw breakfast.

She decides to pose for the cameras before she goes.

She accommodated us for quite a few clicks.

"Cheese"

 

She debates if she really wants to work that hard.

What happened next was exciting. We watched as she slowly crept up toward a small group of gazelles. We would loose sight of her for a while and then her little ears would pop up and give her away. Eventually a trail of gnu's were heading toward where she was hiding in the brush. The head gnu caught wind of her presence and herded the line away from her. Up until now, I thought the gnu were pretty stupid.

Beautiful, graceful animals. They remind me of ballerinas.

Note the birdy on his back

He galloped away when we got too close.

This meal was killed earlier. This young guy was still hungry and since they failed at getting fresh meat, he is chowing down on these remains. The vultures are patiently waiting for the leftovers.

Mom leads her cubs down to the water. The road we were on dipped through the riverbed at this point and the lions are standing in the middle of the path we had to travel to get back to the Fig Tree. We had to wait for them to finish drinking their fill.

Note the lion above Bethany's right shoulder as we pass
through the riverbed where mom has led her cubs.

These Masaai are dancing and singing to a beat that sounded like a mating dance to me. It reminds me of the song they sing during Nemo's inititation in the fishbowl.

They carry a birthday cake to me.

And then they proceed to sing a unique version of Happy Birthday!

We are told by our guide that these two lions are on their honeymoon.

The babies are always protected. They are prey for the lion. The lion does not mess with the larger elephants.

The baby hides behind mom as they cross the road right in front of us.

This one is trying desperately to catch up to mom whose legs are longer than his. He kept on trying to grab her tail as she lopped along.

Peek-a-boo, I see you. I felt like a paparazzi invading the lives of these animals.

Oops, I didn't mean to catch him dropping bowling balls.

We call these God rays.

This elephant bone is actually quite heavy.

Here we meet up with the honeymooners again.

They look exhausted.

One of the many hot water heaters throughout the Fig Tree.
Workers stoke the fires three times a day with coal.

 

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