Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Back to the beginning. . . . . . . . . . .

We're home again. 
Another long journey for the return. Left Nairobi at 11 PM, arriving at Heathrow, 
London 8 hours later just at sunrise. A layover of several hours prior to the
 almost 9 hour flight to Raleigh, arriving here at 2 pm.
Unpacked  and did a ton of laundry and odds and ends.

Now want to get going with posts and share so much more about this
 fabulous trip. . . . . . . . . . so I'll start at the beginning again, leaving Nairobi
in a small 12 seater prop plane, crossing the escarpment of the Rift Valley
and the flat bush plains, heading west.

Nairobi, the capital and largest city in Kenya, is famous for having the world's
 only game reserve - Nairobi National Park - found within a major city. 
The name Nairobi comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, meaning
"cool water".  Situated at 5,889 ft above sea level, it is 87 miles south of the equator.
 This city with a population of approx. 4 million, has changed so much since its
 founding in 1899 by the colonial authorities in British East Africa as a rail depot
 on the Uganda Railway. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a center
 for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry.

After the fun visit to the Giraffe Center and Karen Blixen House
both just outside the city, we were driven to the small Wilson Airport for the
 hour long flight to the Maasai Mara and our camp named Mara Plains.

This was the airstrip for our camp - just a flat area of bush on the top of a plateau. (This
 plane was actually ours landing to pick us up when we left).  Pilot, co-pilot, 12 passengers
 and a stack of duffel bags and back packs, with several flights coming and going daily 
back and forth to Nairobi.

Our friend Paula, and guide Tirian, met us for the drive to camp, Paula having arrived
 earlier in the day from her side trip to the Mt. Kilimanjaro region. I thought I had
 ridden over some pretty rough roads in my life, especially on former trips to Africa,
 but the road to the camp was even rougher. 
That big safari modified Toyota Land Cruiser really took a beating on the
 ride. . . . . . . . and all the others in the days ahead!
All I can say is, someone was looking out for me and my back, Bob's too, and we
 survived the rocks, gullies, boulders, river crossings (not a bridge to be seen!) hills,
 valleys etc., with dear Tirian calling out H.O.T. - hang on tight - so we were prepared
 when the roller coaster rides became unbelievably tough.
On the ride to camp that late afternoon we were thrilled to see animals immediately.
The fighting pair of Hartebeest (above) was amazing, it was over territory - and
 thankfully it was not 'to the death'. Eventually they ran off, a little bloody and very tired.

Paula and Tirian tricked us by saying they knew we were hoping to see
 the Great Wildebeest Migration, which this year has been unusually late
 due to the grassy areas remaining green because of rain.  Before cresting a hill
 they said we may just see a few, but suddenly the plains surrounding us came
 into view and there were hundreds of thousands of those odd looking animals
 (also known as the Gnu) everywhere, it was amazing.
  Did we see one of those long-awaited river crossings?  I'll keep you guessing for
 a little while!

 Wildebeest and Hartebeest - living in harmony.

As we reached camp the sun was low in the sky and our beautiful accommodation was
awaiting us - more on this with pics later.

. . . . . . . . and the sunset was perfect over the bush with a visiting lion to liven up
 the scene. What an amazing evening to get settled in, meet the staff, kick off
 the dusty boots and relax.
Daytime on safari is full and exceptionally busy, a lot of energy is required.
 The evenings are all about what was viewed during the daylight hours, sipping
 drinks and enjoying a tasty dinner.


  1. Welcome home! I am looking forward to hearing more about your fabulous trip!

  2. Thanks dear, there will be a lot more once I've had time to sort through so many photos! Wildlife was awesome and every day we saw so much - took probably a couple of thousand photos.
    Good to be home - Bob's out seeding the lawn and it's really hot and humid here.
    Mary -

  3. Great photo's but I like the first of the sunset

  4. What an adventure Mary and your photographs are stunning .... even the light plane is a wild animal !!!!!
    Welcome home. XXXX

  5. What a wonderful time you must have had. I look forward to seeing more of your 'camp', it has such a luxurious look!

  6. Look at that wonderful lion ... just hanging out by the Wildebeest :)
    They are all, every single on of those creatures, magnificent. It breaks my heart to think people kill them for sport. What a wonderful memorable trip this is for you .. anyone !
    Thank you so much for sharing with us ..

  7. Oh wow! You always take such magnificent photos. What an experience that trip must have been.

  8. I thought you must be headed home since haven't posted in a few days. I thought the plane ride was to bypass all the ditch driving. That part sounded horrid. But, what a treat when you got there. Can't wait for more.

  9. I am loving reading about your trip. When I read about it, I just keeping thinking how brave and adventurous you are. And the photos are nothing short of amazing...can't wait to see and hear more!

  10. Wow and wow! Welcome home Mary and Bob. I'm glad you had a fabulous adventure to Kenya and arrived home safe and sound. The photos are fantastic! So clear and such gorgeous scenery. Have a good day! Hugs. Pam

  11. Dear Mary - really pleased that your trip was such a great success and that you are both back safe and sound. Your photos are amazing along with your interesting dialogue, and it makes me feel as if I have almost been there with you.

  12. Mary, your photos are just fabulous. What a trip.

  13. I am enjoying your wonderful photos and commentary so very much. Thanks for telling us all about your wonderful trip. So glad you were able to make this journey....and now share it with us. Thanks.
    Farm Gal in SW VA

  14. So happy to see you have made it safely home again. What an amazing adventure this must have been. The little glimpse is spectacular.

  15. Welcome home, Mary. Stunning images of your Out of Africa adventure, looking forward to seeing and hearing more.

  16. Fabulous! I don't think I'll ever go on a similar trip myself, but I enjoy reading about it here and looking at the spectacularly great photos you have taken.

  17. Glad to hear you're safe and sound, Mary. What a trip! And what astonnishing photos - I have just been flicking through them. Almost speechless (which is unusual, as you can imagine).

  18. Welcome home! How quickly such trips end, but we shall all enjoy the extended trip via your posts about your journey. Feels as if I am still with you there.

  19. It been a few years but I have found you again and getting chance to catch with all your travels. I see you are have the best time and enjoying some incredible trips and adventures.

  20. Welcome back! Amazing photos! Looks like you had an wonderful trip!

  21. So glad you had the perfect trip back home. Thanks for sharing another beautiful chapter of your travels. Stunning photos as always.

  22. Mary, I've been MIA of late so catching up on all your wonderful posts this evening. I love traveling along with you!


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