We have joined up with Absolute Africa on the truck named ‘Kifaru’ (Swahili for Rhino). Twelve others are with us, ranging in age from 18-30 made up of three other Kiwi’s, two Brit’s, a Dutchie, one Canadian and four Ozzies.
Day 1 saw us go to the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Centre. We got to hand feed several giraffes. Mitch managed to open mouth Lini, a giraffe, with a pellet in between his teeth. A giraffes tongue is up to 20 inches long so made for a good slobbery kiss.
From there we visited Sheldricks African Elephant Orphanage where a many elephants aged from 3 months to 3 years were raised to be reintroduced to the wild. A caged blind rhino, ‘Maxwell’, was of much interest until he crapped and kicked shit all over those near the enclosure!
Our first campsite at Karen was all enclosed in a compound with a guard dog Alsatian and a few other tour groups. After a nice cooked chicken meal the jet lag set in and we went straight to sleep, waking several times to the heavy rain. Tam didn’t seal off her bottle and tipped it in the tent, saturating her mattress. Mitch wasn’t too impressed having to share his…
Day 2 saw us travel southwest to the Great Rift Valley and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Through Narok we saw some harsh living, corrugated iron and plastic bags littered the landscape, connected by rutted roads. Many small stalls were set up selling plums on the side of the road. After lunch we entered the Maasai, brushing off women selling beads and trinkets and in anticipation of what we would find in one of the great game reserves.
It didn’t disappoint, with immediate sightings of zebra, Thompson’s gazelle, giraffe, water buffalo, warthog, banded mongoose, antelope, vultures, secretary bird and impala. Over the day, some of the rarer sightings we eventually found including, the hyena, African elephant, cheetah, lion, ostrich and wildebeest. We tried in vain to entice the cheetah into a sprint and chase down some prey. The lion was visibly more agitated. On arrival to the camp we set up our tents and enjoyed our game of UNO and dinner of spag bol to the sound of laughing hyenas and roaring lions through the night.
Day 3 we travelled back north to Naivasha, again on a game drive. We saw more of the wildlife, aggravated another cheetah and even saw a dik-dik (small 4 kg antelope). On exit of the Maasai, we were invited to a Maasai tribe village. Mitch entered into a jumping contest with the local warriors and Tam sung a song with the local women. We were invited into their cow dung and ash houses, shown around the fence that protects cattle from wild animals and then promptly escorted to the gift shop…
In all, the last few days have been a blast, with the next few days expected to be very exciting in the geothermal area of Naivasha.