Monday, 22 September 2014

Day-19 Masai Mara

Our last day was the most amazing day. It happens like that to make you want to come back! First up was a stunning sunrise, then the Rekero lion pride with the 9 cubs were playing out in the open. 

Then we got word that the cheetah cubs were playing out of the restricted area. It was a long drive there and there was a possibility that we would miss all the action, but we were rewarded, we had quite some time. The cubs were playing with each other, over logs, with mum. Fantastic. Later they moved into the restricted area and the Ranger made us all leave. 

Word on the bush telegraph told of a pair of leopolds quite some way away. Again, a long drive. The pair had conspired to bring down a Topi, which is quite a large prey for a leopold. They had been mating previously but we missed it. The female is shy and was hidden by the time we arrived. The male leopold, which is quite elusive, and the first one we had seen, was fending off the vulchers from it’s kill. Finally the need to find shade won over keeping the kill and he gave it up. The kill was too big and it was too far for him to drag it to the trees and take it up the tree.

Male Leopold
We then heard about a black rhino. We had spent quite some time a few days ago looking in the bushes for black rhino to no avail. Did we want to try and find it Simon asked us, absolutely! and we did.

Black Rhino
It was getting near lunchtime so we started heading back to camp. We came across a family of elephants bathing in water holes, then while we were watching them a leopold walked unobtrusively and sat under the shade of a bush to sleep.

We had our final lunch, packed our bags. We had organised to have a shower for after lunch as we wouldn't be there at the end of the day.

From an airstrip about half an hour away in the park we flew in a small plane to Nairobi's Wilson airport. A car was waiting for us to take us to the International airport. As we enter the airport there are signs that say that you are not allowed scissors, nail clippers - basically the normal sharp objects you can't have in hand luggage - you can't have in checked luggage either! a bit cruel. It was a long eight hour wait - six hours before we could check in our luggage and go and sit somewhere comfortable. We were so exhausted we couldn't eat on the plane, the flight stewards must have thought we were strange. A few hours stopover in Istanbul, then onto Los Angeles. Phew, what a day!