After nearly a full week on safari in Kenya at two incredible locations, we headed out early in the morning on what would be our final day of game drives. At this point, we had seen A LOT of animals, so as one friend put it, “Unless they were fighting, mating, hunting or eating I’m not interested.” 🙂 I was still very impressed by the awesomeness of nature in this special place, but I definitely didn’t feel the need to take a picture of the millionth zebra we saw. Then as we were driving around our guide stopped the car and told us to close our eyes (weird, but we did). He said “Elephants. Keep your eyes closed.” Then after about a minute he told us to open them, and we were surrounded by a pod of the most enormous elephants we had seen on our trip to date. The craziest part about it was that when they were walking they were almost SILENT. The deliberate, slow movements of their big padded feet along the lush grass of the Mara made them pass by so quietly, that when our eyes were closed we didn’t even know they were there. It was so surreal.
This mama elephant below and her baby calf were so cute – the calf wanted lots of trunk snuggles from mom. I have this picture blown up and framed in my kids room too. 🙂
I loved looking out onto the horizon dotted with these cool trees.
Not long after we saw the elephants our guide noticed buzzards circling nearby. We drove over and found a few lions enjoying a wildebeest meal. Or rather, the male was eating while the females were waiting. Finally, one of the females had had enough and went in to get some food for herself. The male did not appreciate that and a food fight broke out.
Claw to the FACE. That one had to hurt.
But then she got pinned.
And the big guy went back to eating his lunch, while the female went back to waiting forlornly.
Our guide set up one last lunch in the bush for us. I loved these picnic meals out in the open plains – it was so peaceful.
As we headed back to camp we stopped along the Mara River and saw a ton of hippos. Our guide told us that hippos are actually the most dangerous animals for a person to encounter. It’s hard to believe because they look so cute and chubby, but these things are deadly and can run at speeds up to 30 mph. They are known to charge humans when they feel threatened (especially true of a mother with a young calf).
Which is exactly who we were bothering here with our picture taking! I loved this little baby hippo with her mama though (and we kept a relatively safe distance).
We made it back to camp for sundowners and one last amazing meal, packed our bags, and were ready for an early morning trip back to the airstrip as we bid farewell to safari and said hello to the beach.