2 stories to complete
DAY 9, Friday, April 06 - MASAI MARA
""Dawn, morning and afternoon game drives in the MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE,
Kenya's best and most scenic game park. At the northern extremity of the unique
Serengeti ecosystem, blessed with a permanent water supply, the Masai Mara has a
thriving, permanent population of plains game, augmented in the dry season by
the migration of 2 million gnus and zebras from the vast, parched Serengeti
plains. Of the hunter's "big five," elephant, buffalo, lion, and
leopard are quite common. While even the much rarer rhino might come out of the
thicket for you. Hyenas are plentiful and the cheetah, a 60-miles-per-hour
daytime hunter, is often seen. During your stay you may opt for an early-morning
balloon flight followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush (approx. US$400). (FE,L,D)""
For most everyone, wake-up time was 615 am, with breakfast at 630 am, then
off at 7:30 am for the game drive. They would return for breakfast, then
off for another morning game drive, to meet us ballooners at the other lodge in
Masai Mara. We would all return to Samburu Serena for Lunch, , then an
evening game drive at 4 pm, and finally dinner. But this is the SHORT
version of the day, this was a week of adventures packed into 12 hours!!!!!
Thanks to Janine, I was awake up by 4:45 am, meeting in the lobby of the
lodge (with it's huge central fireplace) at 5 am, for a quick 1/2 cup of
coffee. Then Dad & I, along with Leonard, we headed into the predawn,
in the Land Rover that couldn't get stuck, with Joseph driving us to the Balloon
Launch Site! The plan was that we'll be in the air by 6:30 am, and after
an hour ride, would enjoy a 'Breakfast in the Bush' at 8 am.
Meet at bar- 5:00, Depart 5:15
In the air by 6:30
Breakfast in the bush- 8:00
Meet game drive at the other lodge- 9:30
Now for one of those life events ! This was the highlight of the safari
Picture Index for the day - Roll #BAL1
18-: the launching of the hot air balloon, Isabelle, piloted by Michael (from
IL, been in Kenya since 88, ballooning for 27 years), tipo, hyenas (rear one had
redio collar), the views
Picture Index for the day - Roll #BAL2
: the lions, a pride with lionesses feeding on a kill, cubs seen, and the
males demonstrating theIr dominance, more Grazers and Views, giraffes, landing
and breakfast in the bush.
Picture Index for the day - Roll #19
3: Gnu Wilderbeast
-5: Topi (related to Hartbeast)
-12: cheetah hunt
-20: mating lions
Picture Index for the day - Roll #20
-2: Widow bird
-5: Sausage Tree
-14: mongoose mound
-18: dung beetle in action
-29: from the pool, the scenary, blue-ball monkey, secretary bird (with the
storm approaching), ELEPHENTS
How Kombo went the extra mile, just for us !!
Picture Index for the day - Roll #21
-15: ELEPHANTS, we were in the middle of a herd of 32 elephancs, a family!!!
Then rushed off to see 2 brother lions, not 10 feet away! Heading back to the
lodge, a cheeta after a kill, then a hyena.
-25: getting stuck on the road on the Lodge, 10:00 pm feeding of the hyenas
Picture Index for the day - Roll #22
-2: 10:00 pm feeding of the hyenas