This last weekend, the 22nd-24th, we made the long and bumpy trip down to Masai Mara to go on a short weekend Safari. The distance to Masai Mara from Kijabe is not a long one (around 160km) but because the roads are only paved half of the way, the rest being comparable to any off-roading experience that requires a 4x4 vehicle, what could have been a short trip ended up being a 5hour journey. The bumpy trip was worth it however because the hotel/resort that we stayed at was like an oasis in the desert. The only way we were able to afford staying at this was because out of the seven of us 5 are medical missionaries which cuts the rates considerably. Our rooms, which were giant tents with every accommodation of a regular hotel room, sat atop a twenty foot bank of a river that was filled with hippopotamuses. Again, pictures do more justice to this place than any of my words can.
We spent most of the next day and a half out on game rides searching for the Big5; lions, elephants, water buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopards. Of these we saw all but the leopard which managed to evaded us and this I half expected because if nature shows that I have watched where the professionals have a hard time spotting them during the day and they have all the time in the world. We also saw many zebras, giraffes, jackals, hyenas, the many different types of gazelles, and a number of strange but interesting birds. We didn't see any major action, as far as some animal killing another, but we did see some Thompson Gazelles chasing a jackal and I was fortunate enough to catch the lead female give the jackal a head-butt on video. As a group we took around 700 pictures and I filmed about 2hours worth of footage, so there will be plenty more to share on this trip when we get home.
Our second and last evening there we participated in the hotel sponsored Masai dinner. This included a bar-b-que of traditional Kenyan and Masai foods and we were briefly entertained by Masai warriors dancing around the fire. Because it was outside of the hotel fenced compound we had an armed guard to protect us in the case of a predator attack. However, this guy was only armed with single shot, brake-over, ancient Italian made 20gauge shotgun so I doubt he would have been much help in the event of an actual emergency. Quite honestly I believe the Masai warriors did more to detour any animals that night with all their hooping and hollering.
In all this was a great trip and one that will be best described by pictures and videos.
Coming up this weekend: Jodi and I will be hiking up a volcano because you know we cant have an idle weekend. That simple wouldn't do!
For any of you who were wondering how to pronounce Mwangi it is: Mwahng-gee. With the last part being like in Runge and the first part you figuring out on your own:)