Kenya 2013 Diary: Day 5

17th February

We got up again early the next day for a dawn game drive. Having seen all five of our Big Five (gotta catch ’em all!) I wasn’t expecting anything to beat yesterday. It was a difficult morning as it had rained overnight so some tracks were cut off. We kept driving and came across plenty of pretty birds and two hyenas heading home after a night of hunting.

Things got really interesting when we were up on a hill and saw some vans congregating again just below us so we followed down the track. A cheetah was casually walking towards us and moved off into the bush as we approached. Another perfect position by Amos got us some great photos. There’s a type of bird which has a specific call to warn gazelles etc etc of a cheetah’s presence and you could tell she was getting quite annoyed at it, looking for it in the trees. It’s a tough life being a cheetah, everything but speed and agility is against you.

We came back for breakfast and some much needed relaxation by the pool before our final game drive at 4pm. A safari isn’t a relaxing holiday – early starts and long journey times between national parks take its toll, but it’s most definitely worth it.

I was hoping to get some general scenery shots since we’d seen all the major animals. It was peaceful just driving along as the sun slowly descended towards the horizon. With more luck we saw two very full cheetahs sleeping in the shade [PICTURES] and a male and female lion getting jiggy.

When we found the lions they were asleep under the bushes but Amos (with all his terrific knowledge) suggested we wait a few minutes. For the first three days of courtship lions will mate up to 80 times and it is always the female who initiates it. We only had to wait two minutes for her to wake up, walk over to him and give him a headbutt like domestic cats do and they were at it. 30 seconds later and they were asleep again.*cough*

Further on we met some more giraffe and elephants, but there’s only so much time you can spend watching the same animals. That sounds quite spoilt, but I would’ve been quite happy to sit and watch them but we had a 7 year old with us who was impatient and excited to see something different so we moved on. The last thing we hadn’t seen was an ostrich. Just as we were commenting on it, there some were by the road.

 

Making our way back to the lodge for 7pm we went through a huge herd of buffalo. There must’ve been 40-50 of them all crossing the road, complete with ox-peckers eating the bugs off of them. Many a disgruntled look did we receive!

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