Trip Start Jul 26, 2012
16Trip End Aug 22, 2012
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Where I stayed
The bridge was finally opened around 3.30pm after five heavily armed police forces moved in and a government official was flown in by helicopter to try to come to some agreement with the Masai. Once the bridge was open, all the vehicles raced as fast as they could as we were all way behind schedule. The dust was thick as masses of vehicles sped through the Mara on the dusty roads. It was difficult to open the windows without letting the dust in. We saw two large herds of giraffes on the roadside with probably 30-40 giraffes in each herd, but there was no time (or space) to stop to watch them.
The roads in the Mara were the worst. Potholes everywhere and sections of road all boggy and unusable from the rain the night before. We had to take a different, longer route to our lodge (which added an extra two hours to the trip) because the roads were so bad after the rain. The plains were covered with thousands of wildebeest and zebra on the migration route, heading to cross the Mara River
We saw vultures and a jackal on our game drive the next morning feasting on a wildebeest carcass. We also saw zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, impalas, waterbuck, vultures, hartebeest, dik-diks, crocodiles, hippos and so much more. Two adult male lions were resting under some bushes. We spotted a female cheetah with four young cubs playing next to their Mum. We saw a spotted hyena which we hadn’t seen up until now. The countryside in the Mara was so much like Australia… except for all the wild animals in it. It’s a constant effort to remember that getting out of the vehicle is unsafe and the animals are all dangerous – you can’t just go up and pat and cuddle them!
We were a bit late to see a kill take place, but we did see a lioness feasting on a fresh wildebeest and thoroughly enjoying it. Another lioness had obviously had her fill as she was sound asleep in the grass next to it
The drive out of the Mara was phenomenal. Fortunately it didn’t rain the night before so we were able to take the "short" route and save two hours travel. We went through the area where the film “Out of Africa” was filmed. Once through the exit gate to the national park, we had to travel a “road” like no other we have EVER travelled!! We were barely moving at 1km per hour, the road was so washed away it was basically just large rocks we had to climb over while dodging the areas that had been washed away with the rains. Plus the road was uphill which presented another challenge. But our wonderful and experienced driver handled it like a pro – it was just us novices in the back which were somewhat hesitant about it all! We drove to the border to cross into Tanzania from Kenya and our driver advised us that that is the quickest trip he has done in four years and we were two hours ahead of schedule! Wow, we thought it was slow going as it was, imagine it taking an extra two hours on top of that!!!
After going through border control and immigration, we changed drivers and transferred into a 4WD landcruiser as the roads in Tanzania are worse than Kenya! How could that be so, given what we had just driven through???