Kenya: Tryst with our wildlife adventure Part II
Our last blog was about Aberdare National park and Lake Nakuru and now we come to the main part of the trip i.e. Masai Mara.
We left for Masai Mara early in the morning from Lake Nakuru which was around 7-8 hrs away. I would like to give award to our driver to remember the road leading to Masai Mara since there was no road at all, we went through water bodies, potholes and felt as if we were riding in a mud racing car. The ride of 3 hrs shook every part of our body to the core. At last we reached our camp named Masai Mara Leisure Camp at around 2:30 p.m and were welcomed by warm towels and chilled welcome drinks.
We had our lunch, dumped our bags in our tent and were all set for an evening game drive to Masai Mara nature reserve. The sunset view of the Savannah is something to cherish for lifetime. The beauty of nature clubbed with the rawness of the Savannah makes it a must visit place.
We caught a glimpse of warthog, zebras, topi, wildebeest, 5 Cheetah brothers, Thomson's gazelles, giraffe, Imphala and various other animals. We also spotted a pride of lion having a feast of wildebeest and vultures waiting for their turn. After the evening safari we came back to our camp for tea and snacks. I took my camera and went out to capture some birds before the sun sets in.
We had our dinner and were told to get ready in the morning at 7 for a full day safari. Accordingly we went to sleep early but to my shock & surprise the resort people shut down the power supply from 12 am to 5am in the morning. Since the resort was in jungle keeping your eyes open or closed didn't make any difference....it was pitch dark. I could hear the voices of wild dogs and Hyena’s could sleep only after an hour or so.
We are excited to start our full day safari in Masai Mara Jungle. We woke up at 5:30, got ready and went for breakfast at 6:30 at the reception. After our breakfast we left for game drive at sharp 7 am. First Ray's of sun were just making there presence felt and the views of Savannah was far more beautiful than words could ever describe. As we embarked upon on our journey we could spots zebras, hyenas, wildebeest, deer’s, Thomson's gazelles, Topi, giraffe’s, tuskers, ostrich, lions, vultures and various different kinds of birds. There is never a dull moment in Masai, you continuously see animals around. We in all saw around 40 different species of animals in our Safari. The best part of the day was the live hunt of gazelles by a Cheetah.
Our driver saw a gazelle anticipating an attack and he stopped the canter. With the help of binocular we spotted a Cheetah behind the bush and we waited for nearly 2 hours watching the hide and seek game but the gazelle was quick enough to run away. Heart broken we suggested our driver to move ahead but he was so sure that the Cheetah was hungry and he would hunt that he did not bulge and we waited for next 10-15 minutes and what we saw next was just magical. The same Cheetah went behind and hunted one baby gazelle, we took a u turn and went behind him as he caught a baby gazelle by neck until he was lifeless, kept him under a shade and hunted one more baby gazelle. For a moment we thought the same hunted baby gazelle got up and started running but unfortunately it was another one. I would definitely say that those 10 minutes were the most exciting moments of my life. Every time I watch National Geographic Channel, I go back to Kenya, the same scene of hunting is always elaborated by the wildlife channels showing mother of the hunted one and her emotions behind losing her child. But when you watch it live it is different feeling all together, as they say “Survival of the fittest".
After the exhilarating experience we moved forward to see some more animals. We were given packaged lunch in the canter itself and later one of the forest ranger took us for a walk to watch Hippos and Crocodiles. Our game drive came to an end by around 5 and we were dropped at our resort by 6-6:30, we were free to enjoy the evening by ourselves.
We left for our last leg of the trip i.e. Nairobi, capital city of Kenya. It's a beautiful city with lots of sunshine. We reach Nairobi in afternoon and after lunch, we did a city tour where we checked out the residential palace, parliament building etc and we had leisure time to go shopping. If you have to shop here, your bargaining skill has to be in place.
Since we had time before we leave for airport to catch our flight back to Mumbai, we went to visit Nairobi National Museum. Though there was a lot to see in the museum we had to leave early due to time constraints. If you have time in hand you can also visit the Giraffe center around 20 kms from the city. The center is a beautiful place where you can have your meals along with giraffes by your side. The place is a rescue center for the endangered species of giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa.
We left Kenya with a heavy heart as we had the most memorable trip of lifetime. Waiting for another trip to this beautiful African continent, as Rudyard Kipling once said, “One cannot resist the lure of Africa"
- Radhika Thankar.