From Diary 2, the story
Day 9. It lights up behind the lake, Mount Kenya stands in pink, covered with a slight haze. The first of my travel compagnions appear, real sleepy. There is a mist above the lake's surface. The sun appears over the horizon 6.28 and 6.30 it is all the way up.
The Xylophone sounds, and we eat breakfast, and hurry out to the waiting bus, so we get off before the others. On the way out through the park, we see some tropical weavers, crowned hornbilled and a small herd of beautiful colobus monkeys.
Hanne mentions for fun, that it is possible to
fly over Serengeti in hot air balloon for about US$ 300. We look at
each other and ask: When?
The front car is driven, the other one is
filled up and shipped in advance, and will then return after us.
Since we have to open the back door, to get our luggage, it is
blocked. Good cars ?!
We fly with an 18 person plane, not the
quietest plane to cross three mountain ranges in. Hanne spends most
of the flight with her head in my lap; she is very little excited
Runways are also a gravel strip here, just
inferior to the previous one. We are several times getting stuck on
the dirt road from the runway. In one of the waterholes, a swamp
turtle appears terrified, as we sail through.
After two hours of game drive, we arrive at
Masai River Camp. The outdoor lunch is interrupted by active
hippos on the other side of the river.
We stand watching the hippos in the river as
one suddenly jumps all the way out of the water, like a fish.
Several people I speak with, who have come here through several human ages, say that it is the largest total wilderbeest migration, that has ever been. Weather factors such as El Nino have a decisive impact, and this year has been very special.
We interrupt our hunt for a leopard to drive down to the river. As far as the eye reach, from horizon to horizon, all around us, there are closely packed with wildebeest. Some are scattered on the plains, others go into dense columns, most reminiscent of army ants on march.
Last year, Hanne and some photographers had been sitting for three weeks, waiting for the wildebeest to cross the river. This year, some photographers have waited two months. They start right as we arrive: Throw then selves down the cliff, leap into the water, and fight up the other side. Some do not reach; giant crocodiles get their annual meal and the vultures take care of the many drowned animals.
The trees along the river are filled with
vultures and they sit and tear in the stranded bodies. We eat our
packed lunches on the shore, 50 meters from the vultures.
We get to the other side of the valley and
book into Mara Sarina Lodge at 12.30.
Since we traditionally have to touch one, we
find out they can be kick-started. We also learn that Lines T-shirt
is a sun-top. Jesper suggests; the tip of the iceberg, and get a new
We have lunch and enjoy the view of the legendary Serengeti plain. There come abdin storks, common storks, paradise flycatchers, hunters' golden birds, South African flycatcher and I catch a beetle of 4-5 centimetres, which raises quite a bit of attention.
At 15, there is game drive, we drive down to the river. Here lies one group of hippos after another. Many lie and sunbathe up on the shore, others in the river. In total, we see about 50-70 of these ungraceful but fast animals. Morten sees two sprinters at one of the camps, which according to Hanne reaches 40 Km / h.
We see one of the giant crocodiles, which is totally stuffed on the riverbank. Here are numerous wildebeest. They are everywhere, some walking peacefully on the savannah, others in long columns. At some point, we stop and look at one. It comes from one horizon and continues into the other. There are about 100 animals passing per minute, and that just continues. Again, most of them are reminiscent of overgrown army ants, there are just more!
At some point, we get on the push safari; we are stuck in the mud in the middle of the dirt road. Elsewhere we find a lion mother with her two young cubs, eating a wildebeest. We stop for a long time and see the cubs' attempts to get the tongue, among other things. The dead wildebeest refuses to open its mouth, so it looks like it is being kissed by the lion cub.
After the meal, they play with each other and
the cubs sneak in on a grazing zebra flock, until their mother calls
them back and then picks them up.
During the diner, the staff comes out singing
with cake to the gold bridal couple and the rest of us.
They fly for an hour and then get a champagne breakfast in the middle of the savannah. For a long time, they fly at 2 meters altitude, Jesper asks how high it can go and they rush up to 1000 meters. He is fare from keen on hights, and hate him selves for it. On the way home, they see a lot of animals.
I have slept badly: Line has started snoring and, when I turn to her, she talks in her sleep! We are all worn down by now. When me meet all the white-headed fellow travellers in the airport, I feared how we would have to take care of the older one. Now, I start to fear I can't keep up!
The rest of us go to the game drive, and Hanne offers a breakfast, including champagne in between. We see a wildebeest I can recognize; it is the one the lions gnawed in, yesterday. There is nothing left, but the skin and the backbone. The hyenas have been here. They also eat the bones, they can gnaw a femur, eat it all to get the marrow, and the only thing that happens is that their stools are literally white. The 60 kg animals can run 40 Km / h - 6 hours in a row.Stomach contents are also left. Here, a group of scarab beetles are rolling balls.
The vultures are gathered down by the river,
where there is the very large take-self table. White-headed, ear,
monk, ruble, and white-backed vulture. A single gray tower falcon
does not appear much between 100 vultures.
We head out on another game drive in the
afternoon, but in addition to the usual 1½ million squirrels and
many other known animals, the only news is a snake eagle. A giant
lone elephant bull roams the green hills.
An uncommonly beautiful sunset to one side,
while the lightning lights illuminate the otherwise black sky to the
other. We sit on the terrace listening to the leafy frogs before
diner. The rain stops, and Jesper and the undersigned go on
night-safari - in the lodge's garden. Big centipedes, big slugs, big
scarab, other beetles and beautiful crystals. There is not as much
creep as in the Far East. Out of the savannah, there is a deep roar
from a male lion, from the pond come the song of frogs, crickets and
We pass two Large Bustard and a few secretary birds. Gazelles, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, birds of prey, tobies; it is teeming with life, wherever you look. We reach the edge of the park and continue towards Nairobi. Along the way we make a stop at some woodcuts where the last souvenirs are bought.
On the outskirts of Nairobi, we visit a
famous restaurant where I indulge in zebra, ostrich and cow gazelle.
Book into the hotel and enter the nearby mall. Some things are
really cheap, others near Danish prices. The rest of the city does
not tempt, which is pretty messy and lost of smog.