Sorry for no posts the last two nights. We’ve been away from Internet access for the last two nights, as we’ve been staying in huts at Mara West. The camp is located at the edge of Masai Mara game preserve, an extension of the Serengeti. We arrived there around lunch time on Thursday, ate lunch, then went out for a sunset safari. Friday we went on an all day safari.
The word “safari” means “journey” in Swahili. What a fitting description of the last two days. This was the part of the trip that just makes you think, NOW I’m in Africa.
While on the safari, both Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, we saw so many animals. None of us could believe just how much we saw. I’ll share some fun stories later in the post, but first I’ll give a list of which animals we saw over the course of two days:
Zebras, baboons, water buffalo (or cape buffalo), elephants, mongoose, black bellied buster (bird), hippos, giraffes, lions (both male and female), water bucks (like an antelope), many different kinds of impalas, rhinos, jackals, warthogs, guinea fowl (bird), crowned cranes, crocodiles, wildebeest, Tori busters (the heaviest flying bird in the world), hyenas, and ostriches. Pretty much the only things we missed were cheetahs and leopards, as they are much harder to see. Quite a list, huh?
Alright, now for some stories. Thursday evening, we watched as a female lion stalked a water buck that was lying in the grass. She was so patient, creeping forward so slowly. When she finally decided to strike, the water buck (who was huge!) got away easily. It didn’t run far when it turned around and started challenging the lion! The lion knew it had no chance (it was hunting alone, and lions typically hunt in groups), so it walked off in defeat. Very cool, and a total twist to the predator-prey stories we imagine.
Friday, we sat at the river awhile watching the crocodiles, when we noticed a large herd of zebras nearby. They seemed very nervous, and we soon realized why. They wanted to cross the river, to migrate to different pastures. The only thing was, there were hungry crocodiles in the river. So, we sat and watched as, sure enough, those zebras started swimming across the river. We were cheering for them as they made it across. A few times a crocodile would take a snap at a zebra, but they were being very picky about which zebras to attack. We think they were watching for a baby or an old zebra. There was one small zebra we thought for sure was a goner, but it managed to get away from the crocodile and make it to shore. It was definitely tense, and the crocodiles are every bit as mean as they look on TV.
These were the two main events that we’ll be talking about for a long time, but there are just so many other stories to share that I’ll have to tell you at a later date.
Lastly, the camp we were staying at had no fence around it, so each night we could hear zebras snuffling around our tents. It was really neat. Apparently there was an elephant outside last night, but I didn’t hear anything. I was the only one to sleep through the trumpeting of the elephant.
We also got up to watch the sunrise both mornings we were there. It was absolutely gorgeous. You know the opening scene of the Lion King, where the sun rises over the savanna? Well, it was pretty much like that, just minus all the animals congregated in one place like they a in the movie. Did see some elephants while it was rising, though, so that was neat.
Probably this will be my last blog post from the trip. We will be in Nairobi until Sunday night when our plane leaves. No idea what our plans are for our time here. We should be arriving back in Fort Wayne around 4ish on Monday. Pray that all our flights go smoothly and stay on time for us. Thank you for your support throughout the trip with your comments and prayers. We’ll see you soon!