Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kenya Update - 12/18/07


• We got up at 5:30am to get ready for our morning game drive…we grabbed some coffee and then headed to our land cruiser to head out into the Mara to see what we could find.
• It didn’t take long and we came upon another pride of lions…this time though there were 4 huge males and 2 large females just hanging out right next to our vehicle! Their paws were gigantic and I was just amazed as I stood there looking at them! There was a heard of about 100 buffalo about 200 yards away but they weren’t interested at all…they did have an interesting stare down with a hyena though that was pretty funny to watch…guess who won that one?
• We then drove all over the place looking for things and saw a ton of different kinds of animals…
o Zebra
o Buffalo
o Wildebeest
o Jackals
o Foxes
o Vultures
o Hyenas
o Monkeys
o Secretary Birds
o Giraffes
o Elephants
• As we were driving along we saw another pride of Lions, this time they were gathered around the carcass of a wildebeest having breakfast…they were chomping away, and it was amazing how they were sharing and taking care of each other with the catch.
• It was funny because just over the ridge we could see the lower species on the food chain beginning to gather to get some scraps that might be left behind…hyenas & vultures waited patiently as the lions pulled and ripped and chewed…The food chain at work.
• As I’m writing this I just heard a loud snort and it sounds like a hippo is nearby! God’s creation is amazing!
• On the afternoon game drive we were taken about an hour away to the border of Tanzania (we actually crossed into Tanzania for a little while) to a section of the Mara river where the hippos & crocodiles hang out and wait for the migration of wildebeest to cross…when we drove up to the river bank the smell was pretty pungent and then I realized why…there were hippos and crocks in the water surrounded by bodies of wildebeest…there were about 20 carcasses just laying in the water…Jonathon told us that over 10,000 animals were killed in the migration this year as they tried to cross the river! We then went a little further down the river to a bridge and as we got close to the river the smell of death was not only pungent, it was RANK! I’m talking about the worst smelling stench imaginable! We continued onto the bridge and soon found out why…there were hundreds of carcasses strewn as far as you could see. In among the bodies were hippos and crocodiles hanging out enjoying the spoils of a successful migration (from their perspective)…I then looked to the other side of the bridge and there were several hundred dried up carcasses and bones everywhere. It was an incredible sight to see and smell.
• We the turned around and left the area for a sweeter smelling section of the Mara…it wasn’t long and we came upon a family of Giraffes grazing on some very tall trees…it was fun watching them leisurely stroll about the meadow (what a difference between them and the crocks and even the Lions)…while I was getting some video of them Jonathon said “hey, there’s a Rhino!” sure enough there he was in the bush just walking around…they are very hard to find, but we saw him for short time and then he was gone…it was definitely the top find of the day!
• We got back to the lodge and attended a Massai Tribal presentation and lecture which was very interesting!
• After the presentation we headed for bed and enjoyed a good night’s sleep!

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