We started our safari adventure on Monday July 12th with a 10am flight to Mara. After an early morning breakfast we drove to Wilson Airport where all private jets for safaris leave from.
Small safari airplanes
The airplanes are typically very small that carry no more than 20 passengers. Baggage is limited. Each passenger is only allowed one duffle bag or carry-on plus a backpack. Each bag is weighed before loaded onto the plane. Wilson airport offers lockers for those who have larger suitcases and need to leave them behind for further travel.
Arrive at Mara!
Everyone was beyond thrilled to arrive at Mara and the start of our safari adventure!!
Driving to our camp site we see within 5 minutes hippos, giraffes and elephants!
After being introduced to our driver Paul who will be our designated driver and guide for the next 3 days, we hit the road to check in to our camp. What a welcome sight on the road to our hotel! We immediately came across hippos, giraffes and elephants!
This elephant herd casually came out of the trees and crossed the road right in front of our jeep.!
Elephant Crossing LOL
A once in a lifetime experience
What we saw next on our drive is like nothing we expected to see. As our driver pointed out, seasoned safari travelers have come multiple times and have never seen a kill, and we got to see it within 15 minutes of arriving. It was heart pounding and sad, yet humbling to see the circle of life at work.
We saw a Mama lioness and her Mother spot and kill a zebra right in front of our eyes! It happened in the blink of an eye that if you even turned your head you’d miss the kill.
The images are too gory to show in color, hence we switched to black and white. Sorry all the hundreds of photos are bloody and I don’t know how you all feel seeing those pics.
What happened next is even more fascinating
After the daughter and Mother killed the zebra we saw the daughter walk away as the Mom stayed behind to guard their kill from hyenas. We followed the daughter for a good mile as she walked and walked and walked and went down a ravine to where she had hidden her three cubs!
The cubs then followed her all the way back to the kill to partake of their food.
Here’s another strange observation
As the lions were eating the zebra a herd of giraffes just stood close by watching. It was all very curious. The giraffes watched for over and hour. Paul explained that not only were they curious, they were mourning as well.
All this action within 15 minutes of landing in Masai Mara! What other adventures were in store for us we had yet to see! After a 2 hour detour from our original plan to drive straight to the camp we finally arrived at Governor’s Camp Il Muran.
Il Muran Governor’s Camp
This camp site is on the banks of the Mara river where hippos in the hundreds reside.
Time to freshen up and relax a bit. Then grab lunch at the main dining hall tent.
In the evening we drove out with our guide to view the sunset all served with cookies, tea, coffee or hot chocolate. We view a beautiful sunset by a river with hippos happily lazing in the water. As the sun subsides it gets chilly and we all grab our shukas or masai blanket to keep us warm.
Capturing the glow of the sunset!
Pic with the entire gang and our driver Paul
Sites on the drive back to our camp
More elephants, zebras, lion, buffaloes and Thompson gazelles. And waterways filled with sea cabbage.
Dinner by candlelight
Let’s just say our first night of our safari was beyond anything we could have imagined!
Tomorrow’s Post: Day 2 of our safari – Balloon safari, bush breakfast and the world famous migration.