|A cool morning in the bush.|
With a picnic basket sitting on the passenger seat in Anderson’s Land Cruiser filled with wide selection of delectable hot breakfast items for the six of us and Anderson, we took off for our last morning drive at 6:30 am .
|A cool guy in the bush.|
Oddly, I didn’t feel a sense of dread in it almost being over, since I had chosen to live in the moment, relishing exactly what was at hand, than projecting leaving the next day.
|As we left the area of Camp Olonana, cows were in abundance. In the Maasai, Mara cows serve as food for the Masai tribes. (A story follows soon about their lifestyle and their low carb, grain-free, starch-free, sugar -free diet)!|
As we bounced along in the vehicle, animated conversation wafting through the air, I said, “I feel like I have an “E” ticket at Disneyland and the day is just beginning!” Everyone laughed, so in agreement with the joyful anticipation, we all felt. Anderson, who’d never left Africa in his life, required an explanation which I gladly provided.
|Hot air balloon rides are common in the Masai Mara. We’d considered this option but decided we’d rather spend the time on the ground with better up closer photos opportunities with the wildlife.
With the air nippy early in the early morning at 5000 feet above sea level, we were glad Anderson had warned us to wear jackets. For the first time since leaving the US, we brought out the Scottesvest Parkas, perfect for this chilly environment.
Unfortunately, my parka was bright blue, my only option in my size at the time of purchase long ago. Blue attracts tsetse flies of which there were none in the Maasai Mara but that we’ll find plentiful soon in South Africa. Tom’s was a perfect Khaki green.
|The eland antelope, fairly common in the Masai Mara posed for us in the morning sun.|
I’d imagined we’d search for a few morning treasures and picnic by 8:00 am. But, the distractions of the wildlife kept us from wanting to stop until one of our safari mates cried hunger around 10:30 am. We could easily have kept going with little regard for food or coffee.
|Mom and baby eland.|
|Anderson busied himself setting up our breakfast only allowing any of us to set up the camp stools. Notice his well-equipped picnic basket. The stainless steel containers were filled with our still warm breakfast, thoughtfully prepared by Ambrose, the chef, very early in the morning.|
But, we were in a group after all and we didn’t protest. We so enjoyed our companions, we didn’t give it a thought, knowing once the food and drinks were set up, we’d join right in.
|With room for 4 at the small table, some of us sat nearby eating our breakfast on our laps. There were croissants, cold cereal, pancakes, eggs, sausage, and
a wide array of fruit. Although I could only eat the eggs and sausage, I was content.
Anderson found a perfect spot under a tree where the grass was short, away from any potential danger. Also, the spot he’d picked had a nearby huge rock that provided modesty for all of us to “check the tire pressure” before we’d hit the road again after breakfast.
|Bending over the table was our safari mate, David and to the right were sisters, Susan and Linda, all experienced travelers.|
At this point, I’d become rather adept at managing my own “tire pressure checking,” in the wild, a feat I’d never considered before embarking on this experience. See…we’re never too old to learn new tricks!
|From left to right, on the ground first: Tom, Anderson, David, Linda. In the truck from left to right, is David’s wife Cindy and Linda’s sister Susan. Obviously, I took the photo.|
Anderson had observed the prior morning, that I have asked for “real cream” for my coffee of which there was none. Here we were, the next morning and he proudly whipped out a can of fresh cream. I couldn’t have been more appreciative of him for remembering.
|Anderson took this next photo of us, a little blurry but worth keeping, the only shot we had of our group of safari mates.|
On the road again after breakfast, we had much to accomplish before our morning drive ended. Anderson had promised we’d go to Tanzania to see the tail end of the Great Migration.
Beside myself with excitement, I could hardly wait to get back on the road. Tomorrow, we’ll share the photos of another round of rhinos we found that morning and our subsequent exciting trip to Tanzania, another highlight of our adventure.
|This hyena, not the cutest creature in the bush, stopped for a morning pose, curious as to our intentions.|
|Cheetah blocking the road.
|Females and young lions lounging in the shade of the tree. Our perception had been that the male lions hang out with the family, not so the case. Once these young males mature they’ll go off on their own to hunt, to mate, and occasionally hang out with their male sons and siblings.|
|Taken at quite a distance since we had little time to chase down an ostrich. None the less, it was fun to see.|
|Most likely a mom and a maturing baby, butt to butt, in quiet repose.|
|Our safari mate, Susan, was so excited to see this turtle. With hers and Linda’s new giant cameras in hand, none of us minded stopping for a photo op.|
Before noon we were on our way to Tanzania with more exquisite sightings along the way. We hope we still have your interest in our safari as we attempt to wind our way down. Yet to share:
1. Rhinos and our trip to Tanzania including a few amazing lion photos along the way.
2. The dinner hosted by Camp Olonana in the bush, a surprise treat, Masai singers and dancers, and a feast pleasing to any palate.
3. The trip to the Masai village and our visit with Chief Richard, his two wives, and many children and extended family.
4. The review of Camp Olonana, Sanctuary Retreats, to where we’ll someday return and hoping to visit their other worldwide locations sometime in the future.
5. Our return flight and musings of our entire journey.
We are holding stories unrelated to the safari that we’ll share as we move along. So far, Africa has proven to be a world unto its own, leaving us breathless and hungry for more.
|It would be worthwhile to go on a bird-watching safari with wide varieties. Focused on the larger creatures, we often missed bird photo ops. Had we more time, we definitely would have taken more bird photos.|