For some reason, taking an African safari has never made it to the top of my vacation wish list. But work brought me to Kenya, so clearly now is safari time. Lucky me.
This weekend Steve and I had a two-day break (no Labor Day here in Kenya!) so we headed to the Masai Mara, Kenya’s most famous game reserve. Bordering Tanzania’s famed Serengeti reserve, the combined Mara-Serengeti boasts over 2 million animals. Spotting these storied creatures in their natural habitat doing their natural things – mostly eating – was simply amazing. Our timing was also perfect because we are in the midst of the annual wildebeest migration. Roughly 1.4 million of these hilarious looking animals migrate from the Serengeti to the Mara and back again. They travel in giant herds, and when the cross a river in search of better grazing, it is a sight to behold.
The local community is the Masai tribe. Among many fascinating attributes: their primary currency is cattle; their diet is mainly milk and blood, which they extract from cows without killing them; they are polygamous; and they jump incredibly high from a standing-still position. Strange and beautiful people. Below are some shots from my African safari. Enjoy. (The shot above is me preparing this blog entry on the "tarmac" in the Masai Mara.)
Next up: The Dadaab Refugee Camp in east-central Kenya, home to more than 200,000 refugees and one of my organization’s operations. Most of its refugees come from Somalia, having fled radical Islamic militants. Dadaab, sadly, is growing.
A pride of lions. Hell, if I looked this fierce I'd be proud too.
Watchful mama. I could stare at the elephants all day long. Wonderful, amazing creatures.
Even more watchful cheetah mama. An awesome sighting.
Sunrise over the Mara (and my tightly cropped head).
Giraffes. So graceful and amazing.
Black rhino and cub, through our vehicle window. Rhinos are highly endangered, and one of Africa's most thrilling sightings.
If these animals are noshing all day, why shouldn't I join them? A meal at my phenomenal tented camp, called Bateleur.