Friday, September 07, 2007

16 August: The Masai Mara

Today I was up super early for the ultimate trip finale, a Hot Air Balloon ride over the Masai Mara. Although this cost me more than my flight to Kenya and back, it was totally worth it! An amazing and indescribable experience that someone who has never traveled by balloon could understand.

The ride lasted just over an hour as we watched the sun rise and soared over (sometimes not very high over, either) the migrating Wildebeest in their masses. They looked like ants from way up high! This spectacular experience was concluded with a 5-star champagne breakfast in the middle of the Masai Mara, surrounded by the distant migration.

After that we got to enjoy a bit of game driving en route to our pickup point not in the overland truck, which is worth mentioning. This was fabulous because we all stood looking out over the roof of the very dodgy old Land Rover. And while waiting to rejoin the rest of our group, we watched a few hippo mating - there is not much to see of the girl except her nostrils above water as the boy mounts her. Amusing.

During the rest of the day we also saw 2 male Lions with a young Wildebeest kill. They had completely gorged themselves and were fast asleep with their huge full tummys under the only tree for miles :) And then we visited the Mara river again, in the hopes that perhaps now the Wildebeest would be crossing, but unfortunately they'd last crossed 4 days before and although they were starting to crowd the banks, no one was making a move (alhtough we did consider pushing one over to get them started, but it just wasn't viable ;) )

Unfortunately there was more rain on the way back to the campsite, which does not bode well for our drive to Lake Naivasha tomorrow as the roads are likely to be badly affected!

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