Masai Mara

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 13, 2012

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 21012 Wednesday

Masai Mara

After an early breakfast descend to the floor of the Great Rift Valley and into the Masai Mara (230 mile drive). Lunch will be enroute to our lodge. A late afternoon game drive in one of the world's richest wildlife reserves will prove to be an exhilarating experience.

We had a very bad night with Kathy. She was soooo sick. I felt so bad for her! Upon waking in the morning I didn’t know what were going to do. She didn’t look at all like she could ride in the van for 7 or so hour drive, but is there any way we could stay where we were and somehow catch up with the group? I woke her about 5 am because we were scheduled to leave at 7 am. I tried to explain what options I had thought up, but she said she would just have to get up and get ready to go. I wasn’t convinced, but I must admit I didn’t have another "good" solution. She got up, I got her a cup of mint tea and we all loaded the vans and left promptly at 7am as scheduled. Kathy looked a little like death warmed over and anytime we got near one of the many diesel rigs that were spewing their fumes she looked even more pale. As the day progressed she began to feel better and by the time we got most of the way to Masai Mara she almost looked normal. (K) I am going to refer to my little bout as the Mao-Mao Revenge. As it turned out, it was a 24 hour thing. Our pharmacy friend thought it was most likely food poisoning but I thought I was going to die and I was really regretting not buying that travel insurance to pay for bringing home my body. Seriously, I laid in bed (or sat on the toilet with wastebasket in hand) trying to figure out how I was ever going to get home because at that moment, I just could not possibly envision leaving in the car with the group the next morning! Fortunately as Jack described, things improved enough for me to leave with the group and after a total of about 24 hours later, I was back to my old self! Hallelujah. Unfortunately, as the day progressed, another member of our group began having similar symptoms of the Mao Mao Revenge so it was not a comfortable ride for her.  I can vouch for that.

It was a long day trip, approximately 240 miles. Most of it was on pavement, but with about 106 kilometer from our destination we got onto one of the most bumpy, rocky, wash boardy roads I have even been on. It ended up we were on this road for over 3 hours driving time! I was sitting in the last row of the van over the wheels and I don’t think my body has ever felt that kind of action before for such a long period of time. How none of our 3 vans didn’t have blown tires is beyond me.

We stopped in a little community prior to getting onto the gravel road to get diesel and we learned that BO won the election. What a bummer! I can’t imagine what 4 more years of him in office will be like! Oh well, enough about the election. Kathy and I are both glad we were away from all that election nonsense of the last week.

After 2 hours we entered the world renowned Masai Mara Reserve. As we were approaching the gate we crossed a bridge over the Mara River, I looked down to the river to see what might be down there, and lo and behold I see 20 or 30 dead Wildebeest in the water. I couldn’t believe my eyes. While our driver was paying for the entry I went down and took pictures. It was incredible. It looked like they had all floated down from upriver and collected on rocks and other low spots in the river. I really didn’t think we would see any signs of the Wildebeest since normally their migration would have been over in the area we were going. However with the late rains there has been more green grass for grazing. Our guide said the unusually high water prevented many weak wildebeests from making a successful river crossing this year.

We continued on for another half hour and slowed down for our scheduled lunch stop. I could not imagine where this was going to take place. There wasn’t a building in sight. The next thing I know we are turning off on a little two tracked dirt road, weaving between trees back and forth. Where the hell were we going I asked myself? Shortly we pulled off to stop with a couple of other vehicles where we were greeted by a Masai Warrior who led us a short distance to 4 tables set up in the woods/shrubs and 3 other tables with food stuffs. Of course the tables all had white table cloths, cloth napkins, nice silverware, china plates and tea cups, stemware, the works! It was something like Out of Africa! It was an incredible setting. This was all proceeded by nice cold wash cloths after the long drive. We also noticed a military person with a rifle standing near the river as we walked up. After being seated at tables next to the river, we looked out over the bank to see at least 13 gigantic hippos! and at least 5 HUGE crocodiles. I have never seen such large crocs. Several I’m guessing were at least 20 feet long!! Thankfully we were located across the creek from all this action and up a steep bank.  I think I got some nice pictures of all this and Kathy took some video. We will see.

We had a huge selection of food to choose from and all of it was good. Kathy just had some broth like soup, her first food of the day. After the most incredible lunch, the setting of which I would have to say has been one of the highlights of the trip so far, we all took more pictures then headed back to the vans. We did a little Game Drive as we headed towards our hotel. Along the way we saw a very large herd of wildebeest grazing on the green grass, more Rothchilds giraffes, elephants, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, lots of impalas, ostrich, and a lot more things I can’t even remember. The topper of the day was when we found our first two male lions, and then 3 female lions! We have now completed seeing the Big 5 game animals of Africa!! Woooohooo! We were a far distance away from the male lions, but the 3 females we were as close as 15 feet! Here we are standing up taking pictures of the wild lions through an open top van and they are only 15-20 feet away. It was completely amazing!!!

We left the lions and made our way to the hotel. Now THIS is an amazing place…Kathy calls it a 5 Star Hotel, Kenya style. We are way up on the hillside and have vistas of the Great Rift Valley for miles. I can’t wait to see it in good sunlight in the morning.

Had a nice dinner, but neither Kathy or I ate all that much. Now KD is sound asleep next to me as I am typing out this blog. We do have wireless internet here, but it is slower than molasses. I’m not sure if I will be able send pictures yet again. We will see.

Good night all. Up early for an early morning photo safari again that leaves at 6:30 am!
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Sue on

Wow. You guys are seeing some amazing sights. I'm glad to live vicariously through you because I am never going there. I could not endur the long trip and van rides. Too old. Sorry you got so ill, Kathy.
I'm slowly getting over my depression re. the election. Stock market has gone to h...., etc. Good news is Ducks and Beavers are on tv today. Raining and pretty cold here this am, 36 degrees.

Laura on

All is well here. Sorry to hear that you had such a rough time Kathy...ugh. I am enjoying the travel blog, thank you for sharing your travel experiences.

I have an interview on Tuesday with a company that helps small businesses get organized...let you know how it goes! I also have three other interesting job prospects, we'll see what develops.

Elaine on

Now that's a cozy room. Kathy deserves it. Sorry to hear of the sick but if there weren't some downside to your trip, it wouldn't be fair to us stay-at-homes. The only extreme excitement WE have experienced lately is Tuesday night and you-know-what. But that's enough about that. We're very happy (and relieved) about your good trip. Your grandkids will be in awe.

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