Africa 6 : The Masai Mara

[It has been so long since I’ve blogged because I have had these Africa pictures hanging over my head. John took over 6,000 photos and that is an insane amount of pictures to  weed through. I think I may have gotten it down to a manageable (and interesting) few.]

When we went on safari in 2008 we spent the whole time in Kenya. This time we knew we wanted to go to Tanzania, but we also really wanted to revisit the Masai Mara. Even though the Serengeti is contiguous with the Masai Mara, one can’t just drive over to the other side–at least not legally. To get there we had to take one plane to a Tanzanian airstrip close to the border crossing at Tarime, get into a van, go through immigration on the Tanzanian side, get back in the van, go through immigration on the Kenyan side, get back in the van, and take another plane to the Kichewa Tembo airstrip in the Masai Mara. Happily, Abercrombie and Kent took care of all the details so all we had to do was follow very helpful people from one place to the next. And we were to our lodge on the Mara River by lunch time.

Click on the pictures to really get a good look.

That was one of the best naps of my life. That’s Rachel Ray open face down on the day bed. (This photo was taken on a phone so resolution isn’t as good as the others.)
This is what I was not looking at while I napped. (This photo was taken on a phone so resolution isn’t as good as the others.)
Mom and son waited near the airstrip to welcome us.
Elands are the largest of the antelope.
That would be a lot of lawn to mow. Just have a few thousand herbivores have at it.
Stood watching these two while they change a flat tire.
Young ladies enjoying the view.
These wildebeest were protesting cuts to bus routes.
How cute is that?
Baby going…
…in for…
…a little snack. At least I assume that is what is going on. I haven’t Googled elephant anatomy to see if that is all happening in the right place.
Sticking close to mom.
Hours-old, we were told.
Contemplating life over breakfast. (More like wondering where the hell John had gotten to.)
The Mara River.
Masai woman.
A hyena doing its best to look like a cute dog playing with a stick.
Enjoying the sunshine.
When one of these looks into your eyes–or it looks like they are looking right at you–it is breathtaking and a little scary.
One of these in Dupont Circle would take care of the rat problem.
Another Lucy moment.
Baby hippo right across from our tent.
Lookin’ good Sammy.
Giraffe are probably my favorite animals to just quietly watch.
I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for some Acacia leaves today.
We took a hot air balloon ride. But that ain’t us. We were already off the ground ourselves.
It was actually kind of underwhelming. This bit where we were higher up only happened toward the end and it was the most interesting part. For most of the ride they kept us really low to the ground to spot animals. Since it was our 12th and last day on safari we had seen tons of wildlife and didn’t feel the need to spot more. Plus, there wasn’t much wildlife around to see.
A large group of elephants literally almost crashed our post-balloon breakfast.
Youngsters playing around.
I am hippo hear me roar.
Move that ass. My feet are getting wet.
This was the family of hippos who hung out just across from our tent all day. They go out at night to graze. During the day they hang out in and near water.
Hippo naps are the best naps.
Our final game drive.
Commence mom snuggle sequence in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
You okay pumpkin?
So cute
That’s gotta be cozy.
Looks like mom still wants to nap.
I feel like this one needs a soundtrack.
So lovely
The infamous eland uber for birds.
Goodnight Kenya. Sleep tight.

10 thoughts on “Africa 6 : The Masai Mara

  1. Karen K. September 26, 2017 / 4:25 am

    Stunning! It looks like an amazing trip — glad you got some napping and reading time. Thanks for sharing these, they’re just beautiful.

    Like

    • Karen K. September 26, 2017 / 4:26 am

      Also I love your captions.

      Like

  2. Jeane September 26, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Wow, gorgeous pictures. I have always wanted to go there…… someday. Are those green colorful birds bee-eaters? And yes, elephant moms have breasts between their front legs!

    Like

    • Thomas September 26, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      I’m not sure what the birds are. The undersides of their wings were bright yellow but that was pretty impossible to capture on film. We have a bunch of pictures of all kinds of birds. I might have do a separate post just on birds.

      Like

  3. Mary Arth September 26, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Thomas, did you ever feel unsafe? You were there right after the political unrest with the election. We are to go in January but not sure if it is safe. Mary Arth

    Like

    • Thomas September 26, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      We were going so soon after the election we were worried about that. The violence this time wasn’t half as bad as it was in 2008, which is, when we were last in Kenya. In general the aims of those perpetrating the violence is so unrelated to visitors to the country it seems unlikely to impact a tourist. Two things helped as well: 1) we trusted Abercrombie & Kent to keep us out of harm’s way (although that could have been false sense of security); and 2) we had been in the bush for 12 days prior to our one day in Nairobi so all news/talk of violence was at least two weeks old and wasn’t on our minds (also false sense of security).

      Like

  4. Susan in TX September 26, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Wow. Just wow. Kudos to John for the gorgeous photos.

    Like

  5. Michelle Ann September 27, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Have throughly enjoyed this virtual safari! Thanks to John for the great pictures.

    Like

  6. Grier October 2, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    Wow, splendid photos! I loved your captions, as well as your Pym and Lively references. How was Rachel Ray? I have TBR.

    Like

  7. Joyce F in Kansas USA October 6, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Amazing pictures and a good job of putting them together! A really good pictorial safari!

    Like

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