13 October 2017 Friday - Masai Mara – Day 4
Even though the lodge compound was supposedly fenced in and protected from the wild animals, last night, we could hear the sounds of hyenas walking around outside. They make this strange creepy whoop-whoop sound. The staff tried to tell us they were outside the compound gates, but I didn’t believe them. They sounded much closer than that. At one point I peeked out of the tent and saw a monkey running down the sidewalk.
Today was another busy day in the Masai Mara. In the morning we did a half-day game drive. The only animals we didn’t see yesterday that come to mind are: we didn’t see leopards or male lions. We were hopeful.
Every day we’ve been switching guides, so today we switched from George and Moses to Big John. Big John is teaching us some Swahili: We say “simama” when we want him to stop the car. We say “Sawasawa” (okay) when we’re ready to go again. Also “hakuna matata” means “no worries.”
We saw warthogs sparring.
Another black rhino:
More marabou storks
A short time after we started, we found a dead cape buffalo with vultures playing “King of the Mountain” fighting over it. Our guide said that some predator, like a lion, must have killed it and not eaten it for some reason.
Finally, after searching a long time, our guides found some leopards. They were hiding deep in the brush, so it was very hard to see them. We sat there a long time waiting for them to move or become more visible. There were several land rovers there, so everyone occasionally moved to give the others an opportunity to see them.
After the excitement of seeing the leopards, the day was downhill. We saw Guinea Fowl.
And other birds I didn’t recognize
At one point, we took a break. Kathy was fascinated with yesterday’s driver, Moses’s, fancy earrings.
At mid-day we went back to the lodge and are lunch. After lunch, I took some photos of the lodge, its swimming pool, flowers and such. We also walked to the back of the compound, where the lodge had a private garden. We were accompanied by a security guard who made sure we were safe from animals who could get in.
Kathy and I briefly walked outside the gates of the lodge and found a bunch of local Maasai women selling various trinkets at the side of the road. I suspect they were the wives of the local workers.
Later, our primary guide, George, gave us a long talk about the Maasai people and their customs. It was fascinating. He showed us the traditional shields, spears and leather clothing.
George also invited a group of Maasai women to show us their dress, and talk about their lifestyle.
Then we went outside and saw a traditional Maasai hut, and the same women we saw at lunchtime.
This time, the women tried to show us how they made some of their wares.
We saw a cape buffalo. He seemed a bit timid, then did his best imitation of the famous “Bullish” statue on Wall Street.
Our last stop was to check on the local pride of lions, but we didn’t find a male lion. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.
The rain-threatening skies made for a beautiful sunset.
On the way back to the camp, as it was getting dark, we saw the local people herding their cows back home after a day of grazing.
During dinner, a bunch of local men from the camp did some cultural dancing, which involved them repeatedly jumping as high into the air as they could. It was amazing to see. It was like they were using a trampoline, but they weren’t. I can’t imagine how hard it is on their feet.
Then we headed back to our tent for the evening.