We spent two full days here....

We spent two full days here….

Two days is a long time to do ‘things’ in!

We undertook a game drive each morning, and then did a different activity in the afternoon to break the ‘vehicle’ routine.

Lions seemed to feature considerably in our ‘wildlife collection’, and we were fortunate to find three different prides on one day!  Surely an amazing feat. I know one can spend days looking for the big cats to no avail. At night distant roars reached us from the rounded mountain south-east of the camp. General plains game was in profusion and elephants wandered about in small breeding groups as well.

Part of the drive was a visit to a Masai manyatta. We just arrived and the guides asked the residents if we could enter and spend some time learning about their culture.   I think the family got a surprise at the positive response to this casual entry!

The women made the female members of our family join them for a short sing-song.

The women made the female members of our family join them for a short sing-song.

Belts and bling hold a rung too.

Belts and bling hold a rung too.

The family spent a morning in a balloon on a flight over the Mara, and with some great glee told me they had had THE most incredible experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That afternoon we had a shooting competition with a bow and practise arrows, at a cardboard box placed 10 yards away.

Tea was a delicious cake whipped up in the kitchen and served by Hannah.

Basic skills can be fun.

Basic skills can be fu

Bow practise before tea.

Bow practise before tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea time!

Tea time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You mean we really are going to sleep in a tent……in the bush? But there’s lions here….

Richard’s Camp is a classic!   Located in an isolated valley overlooking a small water course in the Mara North conservancy. Kenyan’s do create great bush camps and have some of the greatest locations in their lovely country. Hosted by Finlay and Hannah, and their Masai staff the family had the most wonderful first ‘bush camp experience’. The Masai guides showed them lions within the first 10 minutes of being on the track back to camp! Spoilt, I said……’Camp’ was finally reached after a two hour drive over typical post-rainy season tracks, with topi, zebra, gazelles, giraffe ….lions……interrupting our passage.  That afternoon we were enjoying a sundowner…as it should be, when some (more) lions we had seen (with 12 young cubs between four lionesses) decided to stalk a buffalo we had been watching over the rims of our G&T’s. Chaos ensued…..as we packed/drank/cuddled glasses and scrambled back into the vehicles to see what the outcome of their chase was…..they missed!

Richard's Camp, dining room and lounge area overlooking the water course.

Richard’s Camp, dining room and lounge area overlooking the water course.

Richard's Camp tents are all 'river facing' with great views.

Richard’s Camp tents are all ‘river facing’ with great views.

Over the next few days we covered considerable ground, including a balloon flight over the Mara river. Wow….was a common comment. (All these superfluosities…) All manner of plains game, and elephant too filled our days and memory cards. It was outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the highlights here was after we had taken a long walk with the Masai over hill and dale, dotted with classic flat-topped Acacias and gazelles. A herd of confused wildebeest stared at our noisy happy group as we neared the fire and snacks which was a surprise. Thanks guys!   Hyenas sloped past us as sat around the fire to a busy den a few hundred yards away. There were fifteen pups, sub-adults and adults around it before we left. The little black pups resemble teddy bears and galloped around the den interacting with each other and the older animals with equal familiarity. Amazing!

The half light before night.

The half light before night.

 

The end of the walk...and sundowners at a fire overlooking the plains.

The end of the walk…and sundowners at a fire overlooking the plains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner was served under a different grove of trees, with the chairs arranged before a small pan, ringed by lanterns…..another total surprise moment. Thank you again….ALL the staff of Richard’s Camp. You set the bar for the trip!

Contemplation

Contemplation