"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Kenya Journals, Ch. 18: Falling in Love on the Masai Mara

Chapter Eighteen
Falling in Love on the Masai Mara

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.
-Woody Allen

As the time approaches to meet for our first safari out of Governor’s Camp, I gather up the camera gear, extra batteries, new memory cards, and my visor, and head for the vehicles.   I’m was excited about this drive, anxious to see what new things we’d encounter here.

Zebras, topi, lilac breasted rollers, maybe some elephants.  Probably some baboons, too.   We do see those, along with some cool eagles and storks.   What I do not expect is to fall in love.

I’m trying to figure out why the completely open and unfenced Governor’s Camp has a security guard and a gate that he raises and lowers at the entrance/exit,  when we pull out, make a left turn, and stop.  Charlie’s spotted a black-chested snake eagle high in a tree.

Our new driver, Moses, takes us towards a grove of trees but before we get there, we stop to watch the antics of some zebra.

And sure enough, there are baboons in the area.

Just outside the grove, a small group of elephants eat their way through  the famous marsh of the Masai Mara.   Two years without rain means there’s not much liquid around, but I see evidence that water is just below the surface of the ground.

The adult elephant is throwinhg dirt on herself to protect her skin from the insects and the sun.

We find lilac breasted rollers in the trees and photograph these beauties for a while. 

Farther into the marsh, we come across two sleeping lionesses, who couldn’t care enough about our very close proximity to open their eyes all the way.

We see a beautiful saddle-billed stork.

Moses, a photographer himself, has an agenda in mind.   He saves the best of this drive for late afternoon when everything seems to have a gossamer veneer of lustrous gold leaf.

Three young lion cubs are on the beautifully weathered trunk of a fallen tree.   They watch the adult females of the pride, who are sleeping on a grassy mound a couple hundred feet away.


A sibling needs grooming.

With a signal unseen and unheard by humans, all three climb down off the log and make their way towards the pride.   At the same time, one lioness nudges another to wake her.

Oh, time already?

Then, she walks toward the cubs.