19 August 2009

The Safari 8/20/09

Jambo! Means hello in Swahili. A very touristy greeting. So we heard it often when we went on Safari. Which safari means journey in Swahili. We had an incredible safari. It was totally worth it. I almost backed out at the last minute because I didn't want to leave Elisha and I knew it'd be a tough trip to take him on at his age. But I was glad to leave him with Violet and Hollie. They took great care of him.

We started our Safari early Friday morning. We left by 7am. We loaded up in two 9 passenger vans. About an hour out and we had to have our break pads changed. Just about a 30 minute delay. Enough time for us to drink some tea and coffee. Off we continued on our long road trip. We finally made it to the Masai Mara around 4pm. The climate and atmosphere was so different. When we got a few hours from the place we stayed, the scenery started looking more like west Texas and less like beautiful lush rolling hills. And might I add, the roads were horrible! If we ever going again we're flying there! So, as I was saying, it started looking like west Texas. Flat, brush, cactus, not so fertile. But then we began to see ostriches, acacia trees, cactus trees, and people from the Masai tribe, it wasn't so much a west Texas scene anymore! About half an hour from the place we stayed, we started off-roading to get there. Not that it was much different from the main road we had been traveling on. We were pretty tired by the time we got to our camp but not too tired to go out for our first Safari. It was nuts. We drove about 15 minutes from our camp, not through any fence or gate, and began seeing wildlife. We went from seeing these little boys herding a huge herd of cows to seeing a herd of giraffes and wildebeest. Only about 5 minutes apart! Now this place is what you think of when thinking of Africa. Kitale is not what you picture Africa to be. In Kitale its cool, nice weather, mountains, lush, flowers everywhere, etc. So on our way here's what we first saw...

About an hour into the drive and we're told by other safari vans that there's lions nearby. There were three brothers. Our guide knew that because they weren't in a pack and they weren't all sitting together. He also said by the way they were sitting, they were hungry. So when we drove about 5 ft from the lion, well, I was being a mother and trying to protect my herd.

And not long after we discover we have a flat. So we go about 100 meters away from the lions and change it.

While changing the tire, we hear one of the lions roar and look over to see him walking. Thank goodness he was just walking over to sit by his brother and sleep.

It was bed time.

Beautiful Kenya sunset

The next day we were up and out on our full day Safari by 8am. Here's what we saw first...

There was one point we were watching this eagle. The van in front of us was talking away when our driver looks to the other side and finds this right next to their van.

This is one of the best months to go to the Masai Mara. It is one of the seven wonders of the world. One of the reasons is because of the thousands of wildebeest that migrate from Tanzania to Kenya every year. We went right in the middle of the season. Here we are interrupting the migration line.

These are the vans we travelled in. It was nice to have the top pop up so we could stand up and see everything. Here is just a glimpse of the wildebeest. It was insane how many we saw.

It felt like we didn't see anything for awhile so I slept for a bit. I then got woken up to check out the elephants...

And then we had a rare sighting of a leopard. They said its super rare to see these, especially during the day.

And then we went to where the party was. We drove up to one part of the river and found about 30 other safari vans and vehicles sitting at the banks of the river watching the wildebeest and zebras. This was like national geographic stuff. We've sat and watched this on national geographic and to see it live was amazing! Here is where the wildebeest and zebra are crossing from the Tanzania side to the Kenya side. This isn't to boarder but it wasn't far away. You can see these few were brave to take a drink here...

There's the other side. We'd wait and wait and wait for them to finally go take a drink in hopes that they'd cross over and see the crocs attack. There were people there that would go and wait ALL day to see this.

This is what was on the other side though. I'd take forever to cross too!

One got brave and went for it!

Here's a close up. We could hardly believe this guy made it across and didn't die! He was the only wildebeest to cross at this time and there were about 4 crocs on his heals. It was a sight. People clapped for him after he made it. This is all we saw though. We ate our lunch there and then continued on.

Close by we found a few lions under a tree. They were obviously full and lazy.

Our vehicles didn't phase them. There were about 5 vehicles parked right up close to them.

This lion totally had a fo-hawk!

"you guys are boring me"

Then we came up on a cheetah. Such a beautiful animal. So we were on the trail and our drivers along with another vehicle, decided to go drive right up to the cheetah. As we were driving, the other van snuck up on an impala (or something similar).

The cheetah got excited and ran after it. Unfortunately it was the wrong angle to chase it and he missed. Oh well, it was cool to see.

The last morning we got up super super early and went for a drive for 2 hrs. It wasn't too eventful but we did come up to a part in the river that had about 30 hippos! They're nasty. The stuff on top of the water is their poo.

And that's it! We left for Nairobi right after our morning game drive. We got to Nairobi at about 4:30pm and took our team for some tourist shopping. We finished off the trip by eating at Java House. Oh yum! Good American type food. Off they went to the airport. Unfortunately they had a lot of delays and missed flights. Kenya airways was on strike so they had to get on a flight at 3:40am instead of 11pm. They missed their flight in London and had to stay the night. Then some of them missed a flight in the states. I'm not sure the full details on what happened in the states. Bud and I spent two nights in Nairobi and got to spend a full day there relaxing and spending time together. We took public transport back and it took about 7 hours to get home. When we got home we found out it took all the same time for the team to get home! I think we got home the same time they made it back. Anyway, it was nice to have a day away with Bud. We went and watched the proposal. A must see! It was nice to be in a westernized theatre, eat popcorn, and laugh a lot. We also hit up our favorite restaurant to celebrate my birthday. It was still my birthday week! Or month? It's definitely great to be back home though. I missed Elisha SO much. He was super excited to see us. We got to snuggle up and watch toy story 2 last night. (i saw previews for toy story 3 coming next year!)

As for the pregnancy, it's going great. I think I'm over the morning sickness part. Or at least I hope. I can't believe a week from Friday and I'm on my second tri-mester. We'll then go to our next Dr. appointment. And that means the week after that one of my greatest friends will be here! Hollie's parents and Lauren Caldwell are coming for a week on September 7th. I'm sure I've mentioned this a few times or more. ;) Love yall. Thanks for keeping up with us.



Nene said...

Wonderful Safari pictures and you make a great tour guide! Thanks for sharing with us. Now I'm SURE that you all are in Africa, haha!

Emily (from JoMo) said...

Wow Kimberly!
Those are awesome pics!
Looks awesome!

Rody and Wendy Chesser said...

Those are absolutely amazing pictures! Wow- thank you for sharing and thank you for allowing us to follow you on this journey and to pray for you!

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