Have you ever traveled to any of the National Parks in Kenya?
If you answer is yes, I’m sure you remember the feeling you got when you saw the dazzling beauty of that very special place in Africa.
If your answer in no, why not? Everyone’s eyes deserve to be blessed this way at least once.
I was extremely fortunate to visit 4 of Kenya’s iconic national parks in February this year. I co-hosted the Big Cats & Tuskers Safari with Gerry & Grant, if you want to learn more about that overwhelming experience, feel free to go read a blog a wrote about it, “My First Safari In Kenya”.
When I used to be a lodge based ranger I’d always ask my guests somewhere during their stay, what emotions did they have while flying to Africa for the first time? What was running through their head when they got onto the safari vehicle for the first time? Seeing the wildlife for the first time?
The heart filled responses where always so interesting and my response to them would always be; “I wish I could get that feeling,
the feeling you got visiting a wilderness destination
the feeling you got when you saw an elephant for the first time.”
This happened for me in February as it was my first time traveling to Kenya. Only then did I understand where all my prior guests heart filled responses came from.
SO many feelings and emotions!
If you have not experienced it yet, it will be very difficult to understand.
To now finally get to the point, this blog is about the very first sighting I had experienced on our very first drive in the Masai Mara.
We drove for a short while seeing many antelope and zebra in the distance. The endless rolling plains alone took my breath away. Eventually we came across this spectacular queen of the plains and her two youngsters.
We spent a good 2 hours or more with the three cats and in this time we could figure that mom was on the hunt continuously scanning the wide, far spread plains.
After a long period of waiting to see if she was going to be successful we noticed that the sun was very low and we needed to get back to camp.
As we started the vehicle, mom suddenly ran towards the south and chased a young gazelle out of a thick patch of grass.
The whole time we were under the impression that mom was the one wanting to hunt but after she had chased out this youngster the cubs were put in charge.
After zig-zagging, running up, down and in circles for a while the cubs finally pulled the gazelle down and enjoyed a well deserved meal.
We were blown away but the fact that we had just witnessed these two young cubs take this last, very challenging leap to their independence and was sad to think that this could have been the last meal the three enjoyed together.
Nothing was going to top this I thought to myself.
Then out of, literally nowhere, a spotted hyena came running in to see what she could score out of this deal.
Mommy cheetah had decided that NOTHING is taking what was well deserved by her cubs.
So the second mind-blowing thing we had witnessed is a cheetah that had chased off a hyena. This does not happen every day!
To be honest, in all the years I have never heard anyone tell me that they have seen or heard of a cheetah chasing off a hyena.
After mom did what a mom is meant to do ( watch over and protect her children),
she then decided now that her babies are well fed but extremely dirty after the days activities, bath time was up next.
Spending good time with a certain species is a better way of doing things rather than racing around looking for something new. Reason being is that you don’t only get to experience different behaviour and learn more about the animals, most importantly, you allow yourself to appreciate it more!
To describe how I felt after the day lying in be that night in two words;
We still had a whole safari ahead of us, knowing that is started with such a massive bang.
I could not help but wonder, how will anything be better than that day one?
Well it sure knocked my socks off!
The Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and the Amboseli provided not only something different everyday but also something extremely special everyday!
This you can go check up on in the blog I mentioned earlier.
So to conclude this, all I can say is that the Big Cats & Tuskers Safari is not only the best of Kenya but is also like a box of chocolates, you never know what will pop up next.
I do know that what ever decides to pop up, is going exceed your wildest expectations and make you appreciate the brutality, calmness and pure beauty of the area you are fortunate to be in.
I look forward to spending many special moments in Kenya with you some day soon.
Big Cats & Tuskers Safari
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