The adventure continues .
From Nairobi , we are picked up by our van driver for the week ,George, and by day three we are all in love with him as ,not only is he a great driver ,a mine of information ,a cool character but he was the only one to spot the elusive leopard . (Although Jacob did have a very close encounter with one on the first evening ,as he followed a warthog into the bush ).
On the first lunchtime we meet our party , nineteen of us in total ,and on the first afternoon we were walking with zebras and giraffes , and on the first evening we were all drinking in the bar – nuff said ,everyone got on great . We stayed in amazing small lodges in game reserves .I can see now why William got all smoochy and proposed to Kate in one ( maybe they had George as a driver ,hence the choice of our future kings name ).In Samburu the elephants and giraffes came right up to the invisible fence just outside our room .In The Ark in Aberdare we tried to stay up all night to watch over the watering hole .In each room there is a coded alarm call for when a (big ) animal is at the watering hole .Sadly that night ,none came , no alarms went off and so no-one appeared in their jim-jams while playing with their big lenses ,but still John and I still got up at 4am to see the beautiful Water Buffalos and the hyenas who were continuously hunting the Black-Tailed Mongeese .It was so peaceful – just us two and Daniel ,who worked there ,and told us all about the animals .
Seven eighths of the worlds flamingoes live at Lake Nakuru- but not last week ..because of the previous weeks heavy rain, the plankton level has changed so they have buggered off to Kensington Roof Garden ( or similar ) -so we didn’t see many there .Although we did see two black rhino .But when we went out on a boat on Lake Naivasha ,we chugged past loads basking hippos – no plankton problem for them . That night our stay in separate lodges by the lake was unique .We were told not to walk to the bar/restaurant by ourselves ,but to dial reception for an escort .I thought this was them being a bit precious , until our guy came, clutching his hyena-basher ( apparently you just bash it against a tree to make a loud noise ,if the hippos come too close ) and in the virtual darkness steered us around the hippos and the giraffes.They were on the paths right outside our lodges- absolutely bloody amazing .The giraffes didn’t really move and you could almost walk under their legs ( not so advisable with the hippos ) .
Finally we went to The Maasai Mara .It was hippo central .Our lodge was on the banks of the Mara ,you could hear them and, from Jacob and Florence’s room , see them .The game drives were breathtaking – lions a plenty .We came across a pack just after a kill ,eating the fresh wildebeest .The way they ripped the guts out with their teeth was as if they were eating spaghetti . We watched them drag the poor old wildebeest to a fresh spot, prepare the ground, then cover their tracks .We saw cheetahs , we saw families of lions and cubs playing and we saw thousands and thousands of wildebeest migrating .We saw crocodiles and hippos lying in wait for them in the river .
We crossed the equator twice .met the Samburu and the Maasai tribes ,laughed a lot and taught The Norwegians Contract Whist .