Location | Kenya

Maasai Mara Arrival

Africa | 10.22.11

After three amazing nights in Lewa, we jumped on another tiny plane and headed to the Maasai Mara and its vast expanse of green plains dotted with herds of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, and all the predators who feed on them.  As we left the airstrip and headed toward Serian Camp, our driver veered off toward a patch of trees.  He had spotted a female giraffe that had just given birth less than an hour before we arrived (you can tell because the birth sack was still hanging from the mother, which apparently drops off within the first hour.  She cleaned her baby as the calf wobbled around getting used to standing on its long, unfamiliar legs.  It was such an incredibly sweet moment to witness.  I actually blew up the black and white closeup shot and have it hanging in my children’s room today.

After driving for a little over an hour, we arrived at Serian Camp, located right on the Mara River.  This was glamping at it’s finest.   You are staying in actual tents, but they are permanent and are located on their own concrete slab with your own private bathroom.  All day and night you could hear hippos making their distinctive grunts as they kept cool in the water below.

However, the bathrooms were located a short walk away down a few stairs, and had an open wall that faced the river.  This was very cool during the daytime, but I must admit I never got the courage to make the trek in the middle of the night.

We got settled, had another amazing meal (I was consistently blown away by how delicious all the food was), and we were off on an afternoon game drive.

Our guide staked out a spot for our sundowners that night right next to a hyena den.  There were tons of pups there who were SO insanely cute (ignoring the fact that they probably could have ripped us to shreds).  But look at these faces!

Fun fact – all hyenas are born with black fur, and they get their spots over the next few months.  There was one baby in this pack of hyenas that our tracker told us was around 10 days old.

 As the sun started to set and the hyenas were getting a bit more curious about our (open) truck, our guide made the wise call to head back to camp for dinner and bed.  We had another early wake-up call for our first morning drive on the Mara the next day.

 

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