We started on the 1st of October, from Chennai to Mumbai. From Mumbai, we flew to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. It was an evening flight, so we landed at night. We stayed the night there, and the next morning we met our guide- Richard, and drove to Masai Mara, our first park.
From Nairobi to Masai Mara was about a five hour drive. On the way, we also had a tire puncture, which was really really deflated. We also saw many locals, as well as rural villages. We found it similar to driving in rural India. We reached our lodge – Mara Sopa Lodge. Our stay there overall was so wonderful. We were spoiled for choice when it came to food.
Masai Mara is regarded as one of the best wildlife parks in the world. We were there during the end of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Tall grass which lions and cheetahs could be hiding inside. You can see so, so much. The park closes at 6 PM, and we had left at 4:30, and it also takes time to go to the park from the lodge, so we were in the park for an hour.
In this time, we saw our first lion and watched it for about 15 minutes. It kept making some sounds, like soft roars. It looked like it had just entered adulthood. We saw a couple of lioness too, with a few cubs about 500 metres away from the previous lion. We also saw 2 cheetahs, lying down for an evening nap, quite tired. We saw very few Wildebeest, Thomson’s Gazelle and Impala (A type of Deer).
On our second day there, we decided to stay in the park till about 3, so we got our lunches packed. We saw herds of Wildebeest, Gazelle, Impala, a Jackal, Topi (Another type of deer), African Buffalo (A major on our list!), herds of Zebra, Various Birds, A cheetah feasting on a small animal (not clear), 2 lions, Olive Baboon, A waterbuck (Another type of deer), A serval (Like a Jackal), Hippo, Spotted Hyena, African Elephant and Ostrich.
You can tell the difference between a leopard and a cheetah by two basic differences : 1. A Cheetah has a small head, and slim body. A Leopard is more like the body of a tiger and its head is like a tiger too. 2. Cheetahs have tear-like streaks on their face (2), whereas leopards don’t.
On the second day we saw a giraffe that had died naturally as well (Only its skeleton was left) as well as some vultures eating a dead (naturally) zebra.
On our third day (OUR BEST DAY), we saw what we came for. First, we saw giraffes, more olive baboons, buffalo, gazelle, topi, giraffes, warthog. And now, for the big thing : We saw 3 lions for one to one and a half hours! It was absolutely amazing!
First, there was only one lioness, on some rocks, near some Buffalo. It was lying down, not intending to kill. Then, another lioness and lion came down from the slope. The three of them lay down on the rocks, and didn’t care about the Buffalo. Then, one of the lioness and the lion got up and crossed the road. We were so busy taking pictures, we didn’t realize where the other lioness was. It went behind behind us and onto the tall rocks right next to us! It was less than a meter away! Then, it went and sat in some grass on the left side of the road. The other lion and lioness were on the right hand side. We ate lunch right next to the left hand side lioness, a meter or two away. Then, after half an hour or so after it started raining, the single lioness got up, walked over a huge rock, and disappeared. The other two followed after 5-10 minutes, but after, we followed them until they sat in some grass.
Before we saw those lions, we saw a group of three, not too clear, which were sleeping, probably after eating a lot. And after we saw another group of three, in some grass.
The next day, we left the park and went to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is famous for Rhinos, Flamingos and Tree-Climbing Lions. We saw 2 Rhinos (We were so lucky!), we were not able to see flamingos close (they were very far), but we saw a lioness climbing a tree! When my father first told me there were tree-climbing lions, I thought that they climbed tall trees. That’s not true. They climb short trees. We stayed only one night there. We also saw a normal lion.
The day after that we went to Amboseli National Park. We were there for three days (Including arriving and departure day). We went for one safari each day. Amboseli National Park is famous for Elephants.
The evening we reached, we went on a safari (A short one). We saw a gerenuk (giraffe gazelle : It has a long neck), very few elephants (they all would have gone to the center of the park because of the night), three cheetahs (they were playing and lying down).
The difference between African and Indian Elephants is that African Elephants have larger ears, and tusks are very common. Indian Elephants have a larger body, smaller ears, and tusks aren’t common.
On the second day, we were very lucky to see Mt.Kilimanjaro, which most visitors don’t see because of the clouds! It was around for very little time, but at least we saw it! We also saw Ostrich, many birds, elephants and hippos.
The third day (our last day), we decided to take a safari and go out of the top gate, back to Nairobi. This day we saw Mt.Kilimanjaro again and elephants. The Elephants (A herd of about 24) were around the area, then crossed the road, right in front of us! It was so awesome! How many times in your life are you a meter away from a group of African Wild Elephants? We were also able to see a HUGE group of flamingos in flight as well as a spotted hyena.
We stayed a night at Nairobi, and then flew back to India, for some Indian adventures. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Check out my parents views -> Amboseli National Park ,Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara Remember, keep smiling :))