After a restful sleep under the mosquito net, we woke up shortly before 6am to get ready for our day.
It’s beautiful to see the day break over the horizon. With it being wide open plains, sunrise’s first light dissipates almost immediately to give way to the light of the day.
Though we didn’t know it yet, today would be a great day for seeing animals, particularly the Big Five. So here they are in the order that we saw them today: First up, Cape Buffalo. We could make a lot of burgers out of these bad boys, but I would not dare cross it.
For the first time since owning a camera, I wished I had a telephoto lens. As I usually photograph in urban settings, I’ve never really felt the need to change from my short-range lens. Also the idea of carrying more gear never really appealed to me, as it seemed like a recipe for disaster given my propensity to lose things. But looking at these mating ostriches in the distance, I really wished I had one.
A lonely gazelle.
As we were reversing the van to get back on the main road, we heard this angry chirping. Looking at the ground, we saw that we stumbled on to a mama bird protecting her egg. Look at that amazing camouflage!
More zebras! Including a baby one that I wish I could just pack into my suitcase.
It’s amazing how many animals all live side by side. Even the predators aren’t really paid much heed if they’re not hungry. We ran into a trio of hyenas, just like in the Lion King.
Yes, yes, they’re evil. But they’re so cute!
Saw the hippos peeking out. I wanted to go take a leaf out of their books and find me a cool spot to nap in as well.
We also saw zebras crossing the Mara river, as the water level was so low. Everyone at the resort was telling us about how the rains were really late this year.
Again, zebras crossing in a straight line.
We also saw a koodo (Coke’s hartebeest) family making it across the plains.
By 9am, we were back at the resort for breakfast. After tucking into fresh fruit, custom-made omelets and other goodies, the boys decided to go take a nap while I decided to lounge by the pool with a book. After a few hours of not doing anything, it was time to eat again and take a nap before heading out on our afternoon drive.
We started our afternoon drive by spotting another strange bird by the side of the road.
Saw some marabou storks.
Loved these solitary trees poking out from the horizon.
Ah, finally we spotted the elephants! After only seeing them in the distance so far, we had the good fortune to see a whole family of elephants up close, including baby ones.
We were by the watering hole. Look at these amazing feats of bird construction! And yet another unnamed bird.
I was too busy looking at the pictures from the day to notice the lions lounging in the river bank, so just use the picture below as a reminder of what lions look like.
Again, we heard the radio squawk excitedly. By now, we knew that this meant something big was on the horizon and we sped off.
The dusk was setting in and it was gorgeous. We were in high pursuit of the van ahead of us, following its trail of dust.
And there he was!
Low in the grass, the leopard was majestic. And what a rare treat to see him on the ground, instead of up in the tree as is his usual practice.
What a great way to end our day!