Right away, the 111 on the rear end of the impala flashes before us--the easiest way to ID them-another Lilac Breasted Roller--such soft, pastels to compliment the early morning sky. A kneeling mother warthog nurses her babies, and this makes even the old mama look absolutely tender.
A gorgeous female lion with her cubs. They nurse, and she's seems in absolute peace--even with us spying on this delicate moment. The cubs finish, and she gets to take a stretch. I think I still lose my breathe every time I see a lion up close. I struggle to describe the feeling of being in the presence of such a burly, yet regal beast. She's AMAZING! The cubs wake up, roll around, and y...a....w....n!
There's a bit of action this morning. A lone wildebeest runs across the savannah, then out of nowhere, a hyena takes off after him. The wildebeest zig-zags across the grass, looking over his shoulder at his assailant as they disappear off into the horizon. Most likely, the wildebeest got away, even though it's usually a death sentence for one to be separated from the herd. A little jackal decides to harass a crested crane--who's about four times his size. He annoys the bird, but it doesn't go much further! We finally spot al eland--biggest gazelle in Africa. Such a solid, grand animal--but it has the strength to even lead over a car!
On our drive that night, it's a long ride into another part of the Mara we've never been. Our driver, Dennis, doesn't say anything, but we think he's heading for something special out here. Then we see it! A dead impala, ribcage opened, hanging from an acacia tree. Leopard! (Leopard are the only cats that drag their prey up a tree using their strong jaws. They can eat it for a week--even if the carcass is full of maggots.) The tree is surrounded by other vehicles, but eventually, we spot the sleek animal. It's a mother and her cub. The baby climbs up the tree to give us great photo opp. They are royal and mysterious, like the lion, and we wish we could stay all day.
It's such a calm drive. Light clouds in the sky, the red road before us. Then nature gives us another gift--double rainbow! (no, i'm not going to do the double-rainbow dance, sorry!) But is is sacred and welcoming, and a beautiful way to say farewell. Looking out into the vast savannah, accompanied with the movement of the vehicle, puts me at complete peace--almost like I'm gazing into an endless sea.
Dinner that night is perfection. Another scrumptious soup (this time, butternut squash,) plus mandazi bread filled with veggies, and our chipati bread once again. And don't forget the hot chocolate and chai! It's been an incredible 3 days. We miss our families, and are ready for home. But not easy to say goodbye to such a miraculous place.
That night, we're sent off with an incredible lightening storm. Explosions of electricity in the black, black sky shock and thrill us. Before it all hits, Nicola is able to get a few gorgeous shots of the sky. So rich and textured, I'm ready to jump right in. (thank you Nic, for sharing your photographic patience and talent!)
The sounds and lights are a perfect way to celebrate all we've seen, all we've done, all we hope to do.
Thank you sky. Thank land. Thank you rain and light.
Kenya. We will be back.
My non-profit is in the works! Keep you posted!