Another early morning, but I think my internal clock is finally getting acclimated. Since arriving in Kenya, I have not fully recovered from the jet lag and have yet to get a full night’s sleep, often waking up an hour or two before I needed to. The nine hours difference takes a while to get used to.
Today’s game drive started off very slow, only seeing a few animals here and there. As always, there were plenty of zebras, impalas and elands, but after a while, they just become background. It’s kind of like when you go to Europe and after you’ve seen a dozen beautiful cathedrals, it’s hard to get excited about the next one.
After a couple of hours driving around, we spotted a couple of male lions lying in the valley. They were two brothers that looked as if they had recently had a kill and were resting after getting their bellies full. Blood still stained their paws as they preened themselves to clean it off.
That afternoon, after lunch at the camp, we came across a large herd of elephants lumbering our way. The herd was a mix of females with a number of smaller elephants as well. We parked the Land Cruiser well in front of where the herd was headed and waited. Undeterred, the group slowly filed by, almost within touching distance, as they looked for greener pastures. It was a mesmerizing experience to watch.
But the best was yet to come. Duma Wanne! Swahili for the four cheetahs. We had been told that there were five cheetah brothers in The Mara that hunted together, but about a month ago, four of the five turned on the fifth and killed him. So now there were four. We had hoped that we might be fortunate enough to get a glimpse of them while we were here, but these hopes were beginning to diminish. But with just about an hour left in our day, we found all four, lying in the shade of some acacia trees with full bellies, just like the lions. Finally, we had our Big Five!
Tomorrow, we leave the Maasai Mara for Amboseli for the next two nights.
Check out the Africa 2022 Gallery for new pictures from today.