Realized how beautiful the Mayfair hotel was when we got ready and headed for the breakfast at the restaurant by the pool. Reminded us of the hotel in Iguacu combined with some five star hotels from India.
After a sumptuous breakfast we hit the road to Nanyuki. It took us little over two hours to get there. We stopped at the equator crossing for the mandatory photo opportunity. A guide their demonstrated how the earths gravity twenty yards from the equator changed the direction of water flowing from a funnel. That was fascinating for sure.
We stopped at a curio shop to buy a few gifts to take back home. On our way to the lodge we right away started seeing the wild come to life. We saw hordes of Zebras, antelopes and at a distance resting hippos and elephants.
We arrived at the Ol Pajeta house lodge which was very luxurious. There were number of birds we could spot right away but couldn’t quite ID them all. The lunch was just wow!! We had cream of tomato soup, salad, chapati, rice, eggplant curry and the list goes on. We rested briefly and hopped on our land-cruisers to start our first safari adventure.
My goodness we were inundated with so many different animals in groups. The best was sighting of a few resting lions. The males with their luxurious manes were resting lazily. The lionesses were also resting but seemed alert. We got to see the big four – Lion, Hippo, Elephant and Buffalo today. We are hoping to see a leopard or two to round out the big five!!
After the safari we made it just in time before the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary closed at 4:30. So glad we made it as about 15 chimpanzees decided to all show up near the viewing area. The ranger gave them peanuts to eat and it was amazing to see their interaction among themselves. These were pet chimps or orphaned chimps rescued and being taken care of. One chimp in particular managed to irritate an adult and that caused a bit of a disturbance. It was cute to watch another adult chimp give the little one a big hug to make him feel better. That was such a human like interaction.
We got back to the lodge satisfied for some rest and drinks before dinner. By then Nagu had negotiated $60 per person for the night safari. We had enough time for a sumptuous dinner before the night safari. They had made some Indian dishes. The avakaya and Karam podi Gayathri brought with her definitely helped. Some rice and yogurt rounded out the dinner!!
This night time adventure reminded me of the night time alligator spotting trip in the Amazon!! As the driver drove deep in to the savanna, the guide who sat next to him shone a powerful light to highlight the animals. We first spotted a tiny Steenbok – very small deer. From there on we spotted most of the animals we had seen during the day. In addition we saw a lone Hyena and a white tailed mongoose we had not seen during the day. We also saw the still sleeping lions but the leopard was nowhere to be seen.
We were back in the lodge around 11 and hit the sack right away as we had an early start next morning.
Here is the list of birds and animals we saw during the day:
On the way to the lodge:
Weaver birds (unidentifiable)
At the lodge:
Black and white (or wide mouth) rhino
At Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary:
Grey crowned crane
Impalas – one male and his harem of roughly twenty females!!
Lions – two females and a fully maned male
Elephant and a baby