In Masai Mara we arrived late in the afternoon about 16 hours, or more precisely, we were brought to the camp which is located right near the border of the reserve. Although darkness should come at about 19, but we are still going on our first safari, or as it is called here a game drive.
Today, on our way to the Masai Mara we saw wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle and giraffe. But these were unique animals, and every new animal was being perceived with great enthusiasm. Even donkeys grazing near the road caused create the desire to photograph them.
We stayed at Miti Mingi camping. It is located near the village of the Maasai, in a series of pretty the same campgrounds and five minutes from the entrance to the park. We quickly choose put our things in a stationary tents with beds, linens and a private bathroom and loaded back into the car. While we were settled in the tent our minivan blew off the roof - or rather, our guide picked her up to let us watch the animals in standing position. Another 10 minutes and we are at the entrance to the park. Only Richard, our guide stopped the car and went to pay for entry, as we are surrounded on all sides by the locals offering to buy everything from bracelets and ending Maasai blankets. Of course the prices are not the best for souvenirs, but haggling is possible to reduce the price in 2-3, and even more times.
Just entered the park and almost immediately we got a small group of zebras, and then wildebeests. It will take quite a bit of time and we will be very lazy to respond to such popular ungulates like wildebeests and zebras.
In the distance on the hill seemed to cluster machines, so there ire should be something interesting. Tour guides were talking to each other and share information about where someone found something interesting in this moment. Guides together divided the park area on parts and gave them names, so now it is easy enough to say where they are.
In our case, the point of interest was a fairly large group of elephants, about 10 individuals. Moms-elephant, dad elephant and several children-elephants of different age. All of them are not paid almost no attention to the car and slowly moved from one bush to another, allowing you to take pictures of themselves on all sides.
After meeting with the elephants no one even thought to sit down on the seat, all stood and looked out for more and more new animals.
And no wonder ... We saw a couple of lionesses that slowly stole up to the lonely warthog - pumba. Pumba is not paying any attention to them and peacefully grazing. Lionesses leisurely approached closer, the warthog did not react ... And only one moment that was known to him he ran away so quickly and unexpectedly, that as long as people have took cameras he was away. By the way, Pumba runs just like in the cartoon The Lion King, with a bald tail raised high.
Soon we arrived at the creek where at first glance there was no one, but the piles of "stones" in the middle of the river stir! So it's not a big stones - these are hippos!
Some more, some less, they moved slowly, sometimes diving, chewed some plants in the water and blinked. At this time, none of hippos did not want to show us his mouth and allowing to understand why they are considered among the most dangerous animals in Africa.
A little bit further down the river there is a group of buffalo, and even further loomed another cluster of machines. What is there?
It turned out a group of lionesses and cubs located bask in the evening sun and relax. When another machine arrived none of the lions haven't even raise his head to look around. Animals in the parks are so accustomed to the machines that are no longer notice them. Moreover, they are sure that the machine is not a danger for them. And they are right.
Having driven further through the park, and revising many interesting places we have to go home and then in the distance there was a giraffe, it seems he was asleep, sitting on the ground and dangling his neck to one side. But when we drive closer, we saw that he was sleeping the eternal sleep ... What has happened to him is not known, but the body remained whole, but the neck and head were much gnawed by jackals or hyenas. The harsh truth of life.
Dinner at the Camp was perfectly well! Lots of great food, fruits and good company made the evening even more pleasant.
The morning started not too early, because today we have a whole day on a game drive in the Maasai Mara.
The plans to get to the Mara River, which is the place of the great migration of ungulates from south to north and from north to south. It is on the Mara River played terrible and beautiful events that crocodiles attack the ford flock. But this time we were not destined to see it. In 2016, the migration took place unusually early...
On the way to the river, we met big herds of ungulates. Even hard to imagine how many of them there accumulated before the migration.
A herd of wildebeest, zebras and buffaloes stretched leaky rows to the horizon.
And here again, we have accelerated for some reason, but it usually happens if Richard knows something about. So it was at this time we got to the tree, where in the shade resting peacefully pair of cheetahs. They did not react to the car, but apparently sometimes animals are annoyed with a large amount of attention too and they are gone...
On the road again met the elephant family, bird secretary ran down the slope, and here we are near the river. It is not very wide, but it is enough wide that crocodiles have possibility to get a couple of antelopes for dinner.
Driving along the coast, we saw three large crocodiles, as well as already old bloated corpse of wildebeest in the water. Probably it had a lot of meat ... And only marabou and vultures circling nearby.
It's lunchtime and Richard took us to the site for lunch. We arrived first - a large clearing in the middle of a sprawling tree, a few minutes later another car drove up. While we were having lunch, I noticed in 400-500 meters from our accumulation of vultures and marabou. And if they are gathered in one place then there is the corpse of an animal. After asking permission, I take a walk in their direction.
Birds with appetite ate greedily someone hidden grass, but at some point, a few of them took off, and I noticed some movement in the background. It is a pity that it happened so far, but on the photographs can clearly see the one who disturbed their meal. It serval, felines, was nearby. Passed, sat down and disappeared. It is a pity that it was only once, when I saw the serval.
Just finished lunch and after driving quite a bit, we stumbled (and perhaps Richard knew something) for a couple of lionesses with brood, who gladly enjoyed the freshly killed wildebeest.
Anything could help to antelope, but the kind of lion snouts smeared in the blood caused only tender emotion. At least, I do...
We took some pictures and raced on. And it quickly became clear why - lions, males. So far we have seen only females and cubs, a maximum - young lion with a small mane. And here are two handsome lions in the dawn of the forces. Although they are just lying on the grass and occasionally rolled from one side to the other showing their belly.
We were almost at the exit of the park, when we have a flat tire. One call and just a couple of minutes around us there were several cars, someone brought tire (our spare we gave to another car during the lunch), someone gave us his best jack and someone just helped to change the wheel. And after 10 minutes we were again ready for off-road driving.
By 5 pm return to camp, we should have a break, but now plans are another - visiting Maasai village. It is very close and we go on foot, followed by the son of the leader.
Before the village we are waiting for its inhabitants in traditional dress. After gathering $ 10 from all visitors, they invited us to their village and danced a traditional Maasai dance. Welcome dance ends with jumps. Seamlessly our guys integrated into Maasai mens group. Some are trying to compete with the Maasai in the height of jumps.
After all, the one who jumps up higher than others can count on the best bride for a smaller number of cows.
After the dance, we were shown corral - a place for cattle. Then we went inside Boma. Boma - is limited space with houses Maasai surrounded the perimeter of the branches of thorny bushes for protection against wild animals. We were shown a common way of life, and then divided into parts were disassembled by locals to show us their homes.
House is very small, dark, it does have a couple of conventional rooms, fireplace and couches. The Maasai is nomadic tribe, and every few years moved to a new location, but close to, so that children can go to school. They move because termites eat wood beams houses, and of course because of the pastures. By the way, in houses building only women are engaged .
After visiting the house, we certainly have offered to buy souvenirs, the money from which will go to children (yeah, the starving children in Africa). Just leave them did not work and after a short trade, we nevertheless had to buy a pendant around the neck in the form of a tooth for $ 5. As it turned out later, we were more fortunate of all. Australians bought suspension, although slightly different, for $ 35. Later, in another place selling the same pendant 3 pieces for $ 1. But we reassure ourselves that we helped the local population.
Then we waited instantly unfolded market and school. By the way, the Maasai are in school from 9 am to 9 pm with a break of a couple of hours in the afternoon. A classroom for 50-60 people...
Today, we decided not to stay after dinner for a long time because tomorrow we have a meeting of dawn in the savanna. This is optional, and our Australian friends decided to stay in the camp to sleep off.
We left at 6 am to meet a dawn. Richard took us to the panoramic hill, where already gathered a few cars. But there are a lot of places and no one interfered no one. After a meeting of dawn we drove to savanna we greeted old friends elephants and some new ones. We also saw hyenas and jackals. Early in the morning predators have not hidden and are more active.