Friday, May 11th,
6:30 AM start to our day proved to be very successful, as we had the unique opportunity to watch 2 Cheetahs lazing in the grass and then travelling a short distance to lie beside the road. From about 5 feet we took 100's of pictures while the Guinea Fowl serenaded us!
We returned for a buffet breakfast, before driving about 2 km outside the park to visit the nearest Masai Village. There, we were greeted by an elder dressed in the typical red shuka, carrying his stick. The young Masai warriors proudly performed their ritual dance of jumping to vie for the male with the most girlfriends. We met one young man who had 15 girlfriends, which was exhibited by the amount of jewelry he wore around his head and chest. The chief of the village is 98 years old and we were introduced to his first wife (of 11) who is 87 years old. She was very gracious.
-You can tell how many wives a person has by the amount of houses in the circular village.
-Each wife is responsible for building her own hut, tending to the livestock, retrieving water and firewood, milking cows, and raise the children.
-Each hut has its own opening which is guarded by a warrior at night (15-28 year old boys)
-The Masai is a nomadic tribe where they move every 3-4 years.
-Their diet consists of milk, blood, and red meat (from their domestic animals).
-Each man is able to have as many wives depending on how many cows he has (as he pays 15 cattle per wife).
We enjoyed some leisure time by the pool before going on our afternoon game drive at 4. We were able to experience some one-on-one time with a lioness who was lazing on a rock about 6-feet from our van. A little while later we spotted an entire pride of lions on the prowl for some dinner, but we never actually saw the kill. We then enjoyed a lovely dinner with Raphael getting to hear some of his experiences as a safari guide. Most spectacular moment for him was when he witnessed a python swallowing a gazelle whole.
Saturday, May 12th,
Today is a very sad day, the day has come upon us where we have to depart from our fearless leader of the past week, Raphael. We went for a early breakfast at Sarova Mara Camp, where we witnessed a fearless monkey going after a women's banana, cliche? We thought so. We then headed to meet Raphael for a game drive on our way to the airstrip. Raphael, being the wonderful guide he is continued to search for the leopard en route to the airstrip, although we did not spot one, we thoroughly enjoyed our last game drive with him. Our 10:15 flight finally left at about 11:15. A full 16-passenger flight, Hayley and Shelley were literally close enough to touch the pilots, but restrained. We were greeted by our new driver James, who was wonderful as well, with a great sense of humor. We then drove through Nairobi to Amboseli, arriving in Amboseli where we saw our first hippo out of water. After the game drive we settled into Amboseli Serena Lodge, where we had a lovely dinner sans Jordyn due to illness, and then Mark, Nadine, Hayley, Shelley, and Sandra watched the documentary about Echo the Elephant, where Shelley and Sandra enjoyed an Ostrich kick.
Sunday, May 13th,
After we all got into the van at an early 7:30am, we had the top of the van open due to our game drive on the way to the border. Hayley who had grabbed a banana for the drive had quite the shock when a monkey jumped into the van and onto her lap trying to steal her banana. When she realized the monkey was after her snack, she promptly threw it at Nana. Luckily the monkey jumped out and Hayley was able to save her banana. Hayley: 1 Monkey:0. James sucessfully got us across the border in Tanzania where he introduced us to our new guide Wolfgang. After we piled into our lovely landcruiser we headed to Arusha.
Bye for now! (Kwahale)