We set off for the Greater Kruger with a buzz of anticipation. The aircraft dipped and swayed a little over the escarpment, the edges of the Drakensberg sawed the air beneath us, clothed in green. The bush veld revealed itself as a sward of dappled olive, touched with new-leaf greens and oranges, laced with sandy tracks and periodic triangles of brown, rainwater-filled dams. At last, the streak of the runway and we corrected our course, paused and then landed bumpily. The rangers were there to meet us, and terra firma was a relief to many!
The lodge exceeded the ladies expectations, and after a late lunch and a nap, away we went on the first game drive. The prize that afternoon…a wonderful past-prime male leopard, snoozing fitfully in the new grass. What a TREAT!
So trusting…with one ear open
OK, lets go.
After that, sundowners by lamplight. Not bad for a first day out.
We left Nairobi behind, grateful for the fun time we had enjoyed the previous day, but thankful for the safari still waiting to unfurl.
We made it to the Wilson Airport in 20 minutes! Surely a record!
Checking in was easy…….paying for our extra luggage weight was painful.
After a minor panic, because Linda had mislaid her passport, we were eventually called for our flight and we lifted into a cloudy sea and headed north. Mount Kenya appeared above the cotton wool after 35 minutes or so, and we collected some interesting images of the mountain, with a tiny smear of snow near the twin peaks.
The peaks of Batiaan, Lenana and Niliaan
Breaking through the clouds were banked over a brown grassy landscape, with two patches of evergreen reeds and yellow fever trees. A herd of buffalo were scattered through the thorny woodland and two giraffe appeared like dinosaurs waving their long necks in a solemn dance as they browsed on a red trunked acacia bush.
What an amazing day! The sun shone and a cool breeze stirred our hair as we stood in line for the ‘loo’. Grevys’ and Common zebra grazed together nearby, reticulated (or ‘matriculated) giraffe browsed amongst them, Grants gazelles stood militarily to attention watching us suspiciously and a vortex of vultures spun in a slow motion of power against the sky. Alex, our driver guide greeted us all first, and gave us a quick briefing on the reserve and our next hours journey to camp. Camp was ‘Lewa Safari Camp’, located on the edge of a steep re-entrant facing north towards Samburu, amidst Acacia sayal and some broadleaf woodlands.
Head to tail……
Lunch was by the pool, and after a short siesta we set off to find something interesting! Black and white rhino, lions with cubs and of course more zebra and gazelles. What an afternoon!!