7 September 2018

Can it be called a crossing?

Masai Mara National Park, Kenya

Day 9

We came to Kenya in September to see the Wildebeest crossing the Mara River on the annual migration route. There didn't seem to be the numbers and so far we hadn't seen any cross the river. Would we see any before we had to leave?

Many balloons out at sunrise
Lappet-faced vulture
Lappet-faced vulture
Lappet-faced vulture
Maribou Stork
Tawny Eagle
Landing gear down
The feast that everyone has come to join
Two wildebeest cross the Mara river right in front of a sleeping crocodile
When these two wildebeest decided to cross the Mara, the rest of the herd stayed behind. One of them walked half way across and then couldn't decide if he should go back, which he did, but changed his mind again and eventually crossed. It was a crossing, but not what we hoped for. When they go on mass, it is just amazing.

Rüppell's vulture
A birthmark, not all cells make it into stripes
Hippos choose the same route everyday. They go out of the river at night to feed and stay under the water to keep cool.
We thought these zebra would cross, but no, they were just thirsty
Grey Heron
Female and male ostrich
I'm assuming a male and female lilac breasted roller or maybe the lower one is a juvenile
I just couldn't get them to line up straight
Baby Impala
Bee eater
Lilac-breasted roller 
Lilac-breasted roller

Day 10

Our last day in the Mara. We only had time to do a morning game drive as we had to be at the airstrip at 3:30pm for a 4:15pm flight. The plane sometimes comes early so you need to be there as this is the last flight of the day. I'd forgotten to print off or write down the hotel we were staying that night. I'd got confused when Conny had said they were staying at the Sheraton on their last night, so are we I said. Except we weren't! I'd forgotten to bring down the emails in my Kenya folder in my emails so I couldn't check, although I'd actually left it in my inbox but hadn't noticed. I did see an email they had sent me when I joined the Hilton Honors club, so realised that it was the Hilton we were staying in. Brian had given us $2000 Kenyan shillings to go from the airport to our hotel. Did we have enough to this hotel? It was near the airport and he said that usually it was $KS2000 from Wilson airport to the International airport but there was a fuel strike on so it could be more. Our hotel was close by the airport, so we had a pretty good chance that we would have enough. Lindsay approached a cab driver and asked if he would take us to the Hilton Gardens for $KS2000 shillings. I knew there were two Hilton's in Nairobi so I had said to specify the "airport". Yes, he would. Perfect. The hotel was only six months old, so very new and really nice. And yes - they had a booking for us, phew. Conny and Dirk had a different experience the next day. They had asked a cab driver to take them to the Sheraton near the airport but he took them to the one in the city and refused to take them any further without more money. Luckily they were able to reason with him and they eventually got to their hotel.

Basking in the morning sun

Mum, can I have.....
Lion and 2 cubs
He wasn't even letting his mate have any
The thought the male lion might join the female one for a drink. He had pulled their kill to the bushes over a long distance but I don't think he was willing to leave it even though he must have been very thirsty

The male and female lion walked right passed our cars, not in the slightest bit interested in us. The female was about 30cm from my left foot with the side of the Landrover cut away for photographers to get down low if they wish, looking at me as she walked passed. Yes, I know you could jump in and yes you could eat me but luckily they don't.

Yellow billed stork eating a slug he had found in the water
We finished the day off with a family of elephants. The little one was still testing out what his trunk could do.

6th and 7th of September 2018

Day 1 & 2: The rains of Africa
Day 3 & 4: An unlikely trio
Day 5 & 6: Lion's prize
Day 7 & 8: Very special lion day