Kenya
Ilkeekonyokie Location

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3 travelers at this place:

  • Day26

    Day 20

    May 4, 2017 in Kenya

    Flight from Barcelona went without a hitch.

    Came out from the terminal and there was a young man standing there with our name on a paper... There to pick us up and take us to the hotel (the Saab Royal Hotel). Felix the driver was crazier than a Mexican taxi driver. His philosophy is a good driver is reckless and has guts. He was true to both.

    Day 2 started off with getting onto a Cessna Caravan.  There were only 4 passengers, 2 of which got off first at another camp. 

    Within seconds after takeoff we saw ostriches. Then during the first 40 minute flight we saw a giraffe, elephant, and various antelope.

    After the two Masai, who are our guide and driver for the full stay, picked us up we headed on a game drive that ended up in camp 3 hours later - the only guests for our four-day stay.

    I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

    We very quickly were spending time with a brother and sister lion. The guide told us there was also a lioness and a younger cub somewhere nearby but we never saw them. The flies were irritating us and apparently the two lions as well. They both decided that they should climb a tree to find some relief... it would be cooler and there'd a breeze to keep the flies away. The female tried one tree but didn't make it up. The male made it up his and was trying to get comfortable when his sister decided to join him.  At that point they both looked incredibly precariously perched up there and the situation didn't seem to improve while we watched. However, they were both still up there when we left them.

    We continued on and saw several Cape Buffalo, many warthogs, Thompson Gazelles, Topi, hyena, jackals and bats.... 

    Soon after we spotted a single male elephant who eventually came trotting by us.

    A hippo appeared as did a journey of giraffes. 

    The guides had heard that two other guests had seen a leopard on their way to the airstrip, so we went by the tree... There he was.

    We headed to the camp after that. 

    It was an amazing day. We arrived at camp to meet the two girls girls who would be caring for us (Tanya  from Kenya and Sophie from Argentina), our room stewards (Ken and Edna) and the majordomo Sammy. That night we had a thunderstorm and heard the hippos snorting in the river below the camp. It would have been a perfect day had Val not managed to get stung by a bee that was taking a drink of her wine at  the same time she did. Up her bottom lip and left cheek puffed! After several antihistamines and a night's sleep, she looked almost normal and ready to take on day 2.
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  • Day27

    This morning we started off again at 6:30, the mornings are actually getting easier. We are also acclimating to the high altitude so our return home should be a breeze.

    Dennis and James took us to a hyena den where we saw their babies. One was just a few weeks old, still mostly black but the spots were starting to develop on its coat. 

    The next stop was more lions. A different female with two male (half grown) cubs were dining on a topi. James figured they took it down around 4 or 5 am, we were now at about 8 am.  The hind quarters we gone and one cub was working on one of the ears. Their bellies were full and they were lazy.

    Lions were next again. A group of 2 lionesses and 7 or 8 cubs were crashed out high up in rocks. While watching them we heard elephants trumpeting so we headed towards the sound. We encountered a herd of about ten, including two really small babies. Two teenagers entertained us with their tussling. Earlier in the morning we saw a similarB display from 2 young male zebras trying to bite each other's legs.

    After a bit we went to see what the vultures were circling and found the remains of a gazelle. There wasn't much left of it. The guides told us it was a cheetah kill.  We carried on and actually found the cheetahs - a mother with two cubs.  They were full and lazy as well and let us watch them for awhile.  Home for lunch, a rest and we are heading back out just now for another night drive.

    Part 2

    Started out at 5pm. The guides took us where we have not been yet, a place called leopard gorge. No leopards but we did see a bunch of the elephants' cousins the Rock Hirax. Cute little rodent-like animals.

    We came out of the gorge and headed uphill to find a spot to overlook the area and watch the sun go down while having a sundowner (cocktail).

    However, James spotted a couple of lionesses and their cubs and had the nice idea that we have our drink while watching them.

    It ended up that there were 3 lions and 7 or 8 cubs, some still pretty small. They belong to the Marsh pride of the Masai Mara that is featured on a BBC show. We watched them relax and play and tussle and nurse for awhile until we were all joined by a herd of elephants. There were 7 of them including 2 very small young ones. We stayed while eating our soup and sandwich dinner. It was a beautiful experience.

    It was looking very much like rain so we started our night drive heading in the direction of camp. Saw hare and various little antelope and a field rat or mouse of some kind. It started raining so we pulled the canvas top over the land cruiser and brought down the windward side canvas as well. We carried on warm and dry. James wanted to show us a lesser bushbaby and knew what area to look in. I have no idea how he managed to spot it, but he did and we got a good look. Earlier in the week there was a Greater Bushbaby here in camp that we were able to take a look at - bigger and blacker than the small grey Lesser Bushbaby.

    When we got home the girls were having dinner and a Genet (cousin to the civet we saw last night) was visiting so we got to see him too.

    Another wonderful day and we are sorry we need to leave tomorrow. However, we will leave extremely satisfied with our experience.
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  • Day26

    Day 21

    May 4, 2017 in Kenya

    Hard to beat yesterday!

    We started out at 6:30 this morning. Stopping around 8 for breakfast. We were on the river bank watching hippos frolic in the water along with a couple of Nile crocodiles.

    Through the morning drive we saw herds of antelope, families of warthogs and mongoose and many little little birds, plus a few troops of baboons. Too bad that today we saw no cats.  But it is so cool to have 8 or 10 giraffe calmly walk by and to drive by hundreds of zebra and impala.

    I'm so happy the Troi has been able to hear the doves calling, the hippos grunting,  the lions calling and the hyenas yipping.

    Tomorrow we start again at 6:30
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  • Day26

    Day 22 - Safari day 3

    May 4, 2017 in Kenya

    Morning drive

    Out in time to see the sunrise again.  First thing on the agenda was to see if we could find a cheetah. We found four, however before that we spotted a lion and 2 cubs and then three tanaged male lions.  It was quite interesting to watch the prey (Thompson Gazelles mostly​) actually approach the lions... Better to know where your enemy is, I guess.

    On we went to the cheetahs. First we saw a lone female. Then, we saw another female and her two cubs. The cubs were approximately 9months old. (They will stay with their mother until 2 years old). We spent a couple of hours watching them. They appeared to be hunting, but all the game was very aware of their presence. The flies were quite awful so for breakfast we drove up onto a bluff where there was a stronger wind blowing. We went back to the cheetahs again and the guides we're hopeful we might see a hunt. As we watched the cats gets closer to the gazelles, 2 hyenas approached, probably thinking they had a kill that they could scavenge. The cheetahs weren't happy to have them around and told them so with snarls and teeth.  The hyenas managed to keep the cats from continuing the hunt, most likely because they knew the hyenas would simply take their meal away, being stronger and less skittish than the cheetahs.

    We started to head home for lunch.  On the way we met Hugo and Freddy - 2 40-year-old male elephants and watched them for awhile while zebras and a giraffe hung around in the background.

    We came back to camp in the land cruiser, left the truck and walked about 20 minutes to the "treehouse". The camp has built a bedroom, lounge area and toilet up in a tree overlooking the Mara River. We ate our lunch up there in the breeze while watching a herd of hippos bathing, resting, grunting and frolicking in the river. Back to camp about 2:30 for a G&T and a little rest.
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Ilkeekonyokie Location

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