We are now waiting to go to the airport. Our plane was a De Havilland twin otter and held exactly 18 people which is our group. I am very glad that I have had this opportunity to see nature work the way God intended. It is a very different feel than how it is often portrayed in documentaries. For example, I thought I didn’t like hyenas or warthogs. Both have become some of my favorite animals. In fact, I bought a warthog statue made out of olive wood from the Masai. Our driver calls the warthog, the Kenya express, because they run with their tails held high so their babies can follow them through the grass when it is tall. In fact all of the animals have endeared themselves to me except maybe the croc. I am working on that one.
I forgot to mention that many people come here just to witness a crossing, stay for several weeks sitting the entire time by the river, and never see one. Our Naturalist Guide has only witnessed 10 crossings this migration season. In another week all of the zebras and wildebeeste will have crossed and be on their way. I consider we were extremely fortunate to experience this phenomenal part of the Serengeti Migration which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It is considered the greatest natural spectacle on the planet. There are over two million animals that migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pasture of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Their journey runs clockwise in a circle and the animals cover a distance of around 1800 miles. It is a tough journey and every year an estimated 250,000 wildebeest don’t make it. The herd of 3000 we saw yesterday have now made their crossing this time and are on their way. They walk in long lines. They will be back in about eight months to cross the Mara River once again, and the crocs will again wait in anticipation of an easy meal. I guess the true phenomenon is that there is no real reason to make the dangerous crossing except instinct. Their migration feeds many animals as well as fertilizes the plains keeping the grassland nutritious for all of the animals. Oh the elephants do their part too. They mow down all of the trees to keep the plains open for the wildebeest. Wow!
I haven’t yet mention baboons. Watching their actions on the plains has been fun. They just look like trouble waiting to happen. Our driver is not fond of them because they often jump in the vans causing all sorts of havoc. We have heard many stories of them inside the hotel rooms. They have a blast with all of things they find. I can just imagine the mess they make. (Tom) As a footnote to yesterday’s trouble with the Kenya Police, this morning when I tipped our guide I showed him the picture I got standing on the roof. Yesterday he wasn’t really overly thrilled with me because I almost cost him his license, but his first words when he saw the picture of the croc taking down the widlebeeste was “It was worth it”. Then he asked me to please send him a copy of the picture because he has never seen one like it. I e-mailed it to him tonight. All is well that ends well.
We are now in Amboseli and checked in at the lodge. Tonight before dinner we sat outside on the patio and had before dinner drinks while listening to an African singing the Beatles and John Denver. All of a sudden an elephant walked by about 20 feet away followed by a hyena going the other way. Africa is an amazing place. Tomorrow we do a before breakfast game drive followed by another game drive and the following morning we try for another hot air balloon ride followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush. Then we leave for Tanzania.
…the first step shall be to lose the way. Galway Kinnel