Sunday, October 20, 2013

Short Safari

Today we experienced a short safari, and it was magical. We took a game drive in the Nairobi National Park.  Who could believe that you could see African game just outside the city?  Apparently the National Park was founded before the city was really a city.  The National Park was created in 1946 to help protect African wildlife from hunters.  They have everything except elephants.  We spent a magical three hours in a Land Rover being driven by our guide Keriuki.  He opened the top of the vehicle so we could stand and see out the roof.  At first we felt blind.  He could see the animals and point them out, and we struggled to see where he was pointing.  But we soon got the hang of it.  With a camera in one hand and  binoculars in the other we felt like we were returning to the Garden of Eden.  At first we saw giraffes.
Then we saw buffalo, antelope, eland, impala and zebra.
The going got rough. The road had incredible ruts and we bounced around so much we had to hold on.  Keriuki called it a "safari massage."
After seeing so many animals, we drove a long way without seeing much.  The shadows lengthened and we accepted the reality that lions are elusive and stealthy and we probably would not see one. We spied a hippo at a distance, and to get a better look Keriuki backed up a bit. After getting a look at the hippo we prepared to continue when Peter turned around and said, "I think that's a lion"

We turned, and there, in front of a car that had followed us was a female lion in the road.  We watched in awe as a hungry mother and her two adolescent cubs paced up to our car, stared at us through the window and proceeded to lie down in the road in front of us.  Keriuki said they were very hungry and on the hunt. Such lions are dangerous.  He told us to close the windows and not stand to look out the roof.  Finally they bounded through the brush looking to catch one of the other animals.  

We headed home to our own meal of Tilapia and rice.

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