Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warning: This blog entry contains some graphic photos of the circle of life, so if that sort of thing bothers you please skip the photos directly following the part where I talk about the lion eating the hartebeest.

Anne’s brother Stuart flew to Kenya to visit for two weeks and since he’s never been to Africa we graciously agreed to go on a safari with him.  We headed to Masai Mara National Park which is basically the northern extension of the Serengeti in Kenya.  The famous wildebeest migration takes place annually between these two parks.  Unfortunately for us, when we were in the Serengeti the wildebeest were in the Masai Mara and then when we got up to the Masai Mara they had already gone back to the Serengeti.  It would have been spectacular to see the migration but I guess it just gives us another reason to come back.

The park was absolutely beautiful, and much greener than expected.  The clouds were also surprisingly eye catching.  For whatever reason, I didn’t have high expectations about seeing the big cats, and I was happily wrong.  We got very close to lions, two cheetahs, and a leopard, along with the normal lot of elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, and several antelopes.

Here are some photo highlights:



Every blog entry needs an elephant photo.

Nap time for this leopard.

Family photo.

Is it just me or is the one on the left smiling?

"Ewww, look what you got on your tail!"

"You talkin' to me?"
Awesome sunset.

"Yeah, I'm a really big male lion, just sitting here while the ladies are out hunting."

At one point our driver got wind of a fresh lion kill, so we quickly headed that direction to find a lioness still panting over a dead hartebeest (type of antelope).  Its belly was already torn open and we stayed for probably half an hour watching her eat.  Despite the obvious gross factor it was really remarkable to watch mother nature in the raw.  There was even something comical in the way she stuck her whole head inside the body/rib cage and came out with the wildebeest’s heart.  This is where the weak-stomached readers should not look beyond. 

Lion popsicle.

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