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Janine & Dusty Britton, Smyrna, Delaware


Kenyan Safari - Day 9

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!!!!!
The Balloon Ride thanks to Transworld Safaris Kenya Ltd.
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 for me!

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

-22: Hartbeast

-25: Elephants

Picture Index for the day - Roll #20

-2: Widow bird


-5: Sausage Tree
-10: Elephant
-11: Hammercop

-14: mongoose mound

-15: tawny
-16: tortiouse
-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.

Lion Walking: Low Res (Low Bandwidth)    Hi Res (High Bandwidth)

-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


On to Day 10...

I've tried to link to any businesses or organizations mentioned, including their website addresses, so you can visit them to learn more.  If you want to learn more about these safaris, I invite you to visit Jacko Africa Safaris!

All double quoted comments ("") come directly from our Tour Itinerary.  Please contact me if you have any questions or corrections, at dusty@bwci.com