Kenya – the cradle of human civilization 9th November 20115th January 2020 Mahuya Raring to go on a safari of a life-time! Binay and Joseph (our guide) in front of our safari vehicle in Nairobi. Street view, Nairobi. Dirty, polluted and over crowded – a colonial legacy that India and Kenya share. The Great Rift Valley – the cradle of human civilization. More enigmatic in pages of history and geography textbooks than in reality. Entrance to Masai Mara (Mara in short) – the last animal paradise on earth. Maasai-s in their colorful clothes. The ‘westernised’ among them have learned the art of ripping off tourists well enough. Maasai ladies trying to fob off trinkets as original Masaai handicrafts at exhorbitant prices. Gazelle family – Mara Animals in Mara – the alpha male impala. Animals in Mara – bachelor herd of impalas. Topi, reputed to be the fastest antelope in the world. A herd of Topis with their young ones (Topi-tini?) Animals in Mara – zebras. Animals in Mara – zebras. Despite their startling black & white stripes, they are masters at camouflage. Animals in Mara – the two-legged variety 😉 Animals in Mara – a lone wildebeest. Animals in Mara – the Cape buffaloes. Animals in Mara – a herd of elephants. Animals in Mara – Hyena. Cooling off in the mid-day heat. Hyenas appeared to be quite fond of swampy areas, especially if those are right in the middle of the driving tracks. Spotted Hyenas are not scavengers but intelligent predators that hunt in highly organized cooperative packs. Considered as most effective predators on the African savannah. Animals in Mara – cheetahs lazying in the sun. Cheetahs seem to prefer areas which are open on all sides for miles on end. Notice two of them resting under the tree, almost hidden in the grasses. Animals in Mara – mongoose family. Animals in Mara – Black Rhinos Animals in Mara – hippos Keekorok Lodge, Mara. Here the animals come to visit the humans, and not the other way. The resident vervet monkey in Keekorak Lodge, Mara. The visitor from India in Keekorok Lodge, Mara. Baby’s day out with dad 😉 The lone ranger Tall, dark and handsome – the male giraffe A pride of lions chasing away a would-be usurper…. The would-be usurper leaves the field….probably to return another day. Spot the birds… Ostrich – a little closer. Female waterbucks. Despite their name, the waterbuck does not spend much time in the water, and only take refuge in there to escape predators. Birds in Mara – saddle billed stork. Birds in Mara – grey crowned cranes. Birds in Mara – secretary bird Secretary bird close-up. They prefer stalking on the ground, rarely are they seen on tree-tops. The track inside the Masai Mara National Park that passes for a road. The many moods of Mara – resigned acceptance of human interference. A mock charge towards the trespassers! Strategic withdrawal. The royal ignore. Disturbed during their siesta by human intrusion. Alert and attentive. Affection. Devotion. Quietly accepting of the daily disturbance. Companionship. Tenderness. A cheek kiss. Grooming. Hold your horses, kid! Curious. Enjoyment. The many moods of Mara – hot & bothered. Left all alone. A Salamander showing off his colours. The Mara river – this is one of the places where the spectacle of crocs dragging off wildbeest is played out year after year during the great migration. An African sunset. Appears the African continent took slimming pills to look the way it is depicted on the signboard behind. Lake Nakuru. A vast swampy area teeming with animals and birds. This waterhole right in front of our lodge in Lake Nakuru is a popular haunt of all the herbivores during the day 🙂 Wildlife show from the lodge’s balcony. Lake Nakuru national park supports huge herds of zebras and antelopes. A herd of elephants in Lake Nakuru National Park. A herd of herbivores in Lake Nakuru National Park. Wildebeest, the most abundant antelope in East Africa. White rhinos in Lake Nakuru. The Eland is the the largest antelope found in the African continent. A baboon family. Deer spotting! A caophony of colors and noise – pelicans in Lake Nakuru. A little close – pelicans preening for the camera. Cormorants & Stilts in Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru is a small, shallow alkaline lake about 160 kilometers north of Nairobi. This lake is famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth – millions of fuchsia pink flamingos interspersed with the oranges of pelicans and spoonbills. The famed flamingoes of Lake Nakuru. The different bird species seem to share a perfect rapport among themselves. Spoonbills in Lake Nakuru. Lounging by the lake! A splash of vibrant colour – a starling. The king and queen of the jungle with their brood. Resting after a hearty dinner, completely oblivoius to the pack of humans surrounding them. Black striped jackal, Lake Nakuru National Park. Thomson Falls. Arrivederci! Mt. Kenya Safari Club, straddling the equator with amazing views of Mt. Kenya offers a luxury that may well be experience incomparable! Mt. Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Mt. Kenya with its imposing conical peak provides a perfect backdrop to the sea of green in the foreground. Long way from home 😉 Peacocks were specially imported to brighten up the environs in the Mt. Kenya Safari Club. A local market in Kenya. Marabou storks in a conclave. Picture perfect! The curtain call. African dance – as colorful and vibrant as the land. Maasai dance. A lot of jumps and grunts are the defining features 😉 Africa – a land that will forever be shrouded in mystery and tales of valour!