We left camp at 7:30am after having breakfast. Since we purchased the entrance fee the day before, it was good for 24 hours. So, we headed into the Mara. We spotted the same animals from yesterday. Only today we saw more. Giraffes, buffalo, lions, hippos, cheetahs, etc.
One epic scene was where we saw heads of buffalo charging a lion and a lioness that were on their honeymoon (they were in a secluded rock, but not too far from the gang). However, the buffalo stopped when the lions were alert.
There were lots of tour vans/buses that surrounded these animals, so the animals were on extra alert. There were some group of loud private tour cars and we felt it was best to drive away from the crowd before we saw a person get attacked by the lions and/or buffaloes. Buffaloes are unpredictable, so it’s best to stay far.
Around these animals we were told to be quiet as not to draw attention. We drove off and came across a wounded lonely hippo. We got closer to get a picture, when hippo sensed our presence, stopped, stared at us and we told the driver to drive off because the hippo looked pissed. Hehe.
We continued the drive deep into the savanna and it is just beautiful the way the mountains and plain lands mesh. Wildebeest, zebra and Thomson gazelle co-habitat. We continue to drive when we spotted a small landing site where planes come in. I guess you can fly into the Mara because not too far were some camps inside the Mara.
Then, we saw an elephant by some camp sites and we kept on driving till we got to the Mara River for a rest stop and lunch. By the river, were some sleeping hippos, so we stayed far from them. But the rest stop was above the river, which was good. At the rest stop was a gate that crossed over towards the Serengeti (northern Tanzania).
We were at the west border of Kenya and the gate was the East border. So, crossing over would’ve taken you to Northern Tanzania. The gate is guarded, so to pass through, you had to show your East African visa (entering a different country). We saw some National Geographic guys crossing.
Anyways, depending on the package you got, each package came with a packed lunch given to you by the lodge you stayed at. Since, we lodged cheaply, we had chicken/vegetarian sandwiches, juice, banana, boiled eggs, chips and half a chicken. Around the rest stop sites, some tourists had more fancy meal of burger and such. Oh wells, lunch was good.
After lunch, we were heading back to camp, when our tour guide, Lucas, spotted three male lions. He decided to drive closer to them. He stated not to make noise as I was like “brah, I don’t want to die.” While everyone was taking pictures, I was praying not to get attacked. When suddenly, two of the lions got up and started walking towards the bus. Apparently, they had spotted a wildebeest miles away. So Lucas reversed the car as to give the lions space to hunt. Man, we were literally five feet away from the lions and our roof top was opened.
Everyone was enjoying this national geographic moment of the lion hunting for its meal, when suddenly they turned their sight at us. By this time, I had lost it. Remember we just had lunch and oh, the roads in the Mara are not paved (except you want to get eaten, it is best to let nature pave the road).
So, my lunch hadn’t digested and I was already feeling nauseous. Package that feeling with anxiety and fear, it was go time. My stomach began to hurt and I was about to throw up. However, Lucas told us to be quiet because these animals were hungry. So, as not to attract more attention to us if I threw up in the bus, I literally had to swallow my vomit. NASTY! YES, but I needed to survive. I was sweating and shaking and everyone wanted to stay a little longer. I looked at Lucas and with pleading eyes whispered for us to get out of here.
Lucas heard my desperate plea, but two seconds later he stopped for us to take a picture of a lioness chilling on a tree branch. I was like “wtf, we have enough pictures of lions.” We finally drove away and off we went. We spotted more elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, MORE LIONS. Lucas said that lions in the Mara don’t usually kill humans unless aggravated of course as compared to the man-eating lions in the Serengeti. Those, tour guides don’t try to go close. I am sure those are from Mufasa’s clan. Haha
Next stop Maasai Village.