Thursday, September 22, 2016

Here's looking at you. . . . . . . . .


It's 5:30am, another cool Kenya morning. 
My game drive leaves at 6:15am and I'll be bundled up, BUT by around 11am
 the sun will be hot as we go in pursuit of more beautiful animals.
I love to capture the faces of animals, and birds, when they seem to be looking
 directly at you, or at least in your direction. Here are some photos from the current 
safari trip which I was able to add last evening - hope you enjoy!
Thanks for all your lovely comments on the lions in the last post. They really are
abundant and breathtaking in this area.
Must run now - have a great weekend - we leave the camp tomorrow and return
to Nairobi.

Cheetah
Burchell's zebra
Lioness
Vultures
Lioness with kill
Baboon
Ring-tailed mongoose
Crocodile
Giraffe
Hippo
Hyena
Wildebeest
Yellow-billed stork
Dik dik
Bull elephant

Don't be scared!

Mara lions from sunrise to sunset. . . . . . . . .


Up early this morning for another spectacular day in Kenya.
It's hard to show you here just how amazing the Maasai Mara landscape is.
Very different from the other African countries I've visited on wildlife safaris. 
Much more open, with fewer trees and vegetation therefore game drives become
hours of animal viewing. The most incredible lion sightings have been nonstop,
starting before dawn - we are out of camp by
6:15 am each day - and lasting until sunset just before 7 pm.

Internet continues to be sporadic and slow, takes a while to load photos,
 so for this post I'll just share some of my shots of the Mara lions and
 lionesses. . . . . . . .and some adorable cubs.

Sunrise

This is how close lions often come
to the vehicle - that's the guide's
seatbelt in front of me!



Dear old Mohawk - more about him later.








Sunset - on our arrival evening - with a few of
the thousands of wildebeest we've seen.

Enjoy these beautiful big cats - and there will be more!





Tuesday, September 20, 2016

African guides. . . . . . . . .


One cannot enjoy Kenya's wilder side without great guides and drivers, often
the same person.
Tirian is our full time Maasai guide/driver here at the Mara Plains safari camp.
  I will have so much to share about this very special man, his Maasai community,
 family, and friends, when I have more time and better Internet service here.
Tirian Koya, wearing traditional Maasai shuka, many years Paula's friend, our
 wonderful new friend!

Photo via Paula

Bob. Tirian and me ready to set up bush breakfast in the cool of the morning
 on the Maasai Mara.


This is Ken, our fabulous African Horizons driver and guide around Nairobi.
 He drove us from the airport when we arrived in the evening, and made sure
 we arrived safely at our hotel.  Next day he collected us after breakfast and took
 us to the Karen Blixen Museum (see previous post), then to the Giraffe Center
 where it was fun hand feeding those handsome tall animals. We then went on to
 lunch in a very nice outdoor restaurant before driving to the small Wilson Airport
 for our one hour flight to the Mara.


Giraffe Center




We enjoyed Ken's company very much and, although together just a short time,
 learned a lot about Nairobi's history and present day happenings.

Every day here is so special - we have seen unbelievable wildlife and are
busy from dusk until long before dawn!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Out of Africa. . . . . . . . for real!



I've loved getting my hands on any books, articles, even memoirs of people who
 lived in Kenya back in the early to mid-1900's when life here was so much different,
and the country was known as British East Africa.
Danish author Karen Blixen wrote Out of Africa under her pen name
 Isak Dinesan. One of my favorite books, it was followed by the magnificent
 award winning movie which was probably the catalyst for my interest in 
 Kenya and wanting to know much more about this country, the landscape,
 its people, and of course the animals who inhabit what has to be a paradise
 on earth. 

A dream came true for me during our day to explore Nairobi and surrounding
 areas. A guide drove us to the actual home and gardens of Karen Blixen standing
 at the foot of those same Ngong Hills, 7Km from the city on land where she had
 her coffee farm from 1917 until 1931.
This lovely house, with the wrap around veranda which was used for scenes
 in the movie with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the lead roles, is now a
 museum, donated as a gift from from the Danish Government to Kenya in 
1964, and was opened in 1986 as one of Kenya's national museums following
 the huge popularity of the movie Out of Africa.
Guided tours of the house (no photos permitted inside) display a lot of Karen's
original decor, her furniture, plus many of the props used for the film, including
 the gramophone! 
Do see the movie if you haven't, or rent it again as it's so wonderful!




Museum Guide Henry.
Karen's Original Farm Tractor, a 1922 Fordson Model F
for my farming friends in Utah, Gina and Gene.






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