Day 7 Blog – Finlay Houlton

//Day 7 Blog – Finlay Houlton

We woke up at 5.30am for an early morning safari on the massai mara! This was rather difficult considering we were all still pretty exhausted from the busy day we had yesterday! At the camp they only turn the generators on for an hour or so in the morning and because we got up so early the generator was yet to be switched on!! It was very dark and trying to get ready for the day was a bit more challenging than normal with only the use of torches to cut through the black!

By the time 6am came we all made our way towards the trucks where our drivers were stood waiting for us! Despite the tiredness we were all incredibly excited for the next couple hours! The sun was just coming up and the massai mara looked beautiful!

As it was so early no women were there at the gates of the reserve to wait for our arrival, hoping for us to show some interest in their merchandise (like we had done the day before).

For 2 hours we wound our way through the massai mara, spying on the animals in their natural habitat. Obviously we didn’t see as many animals as we had the day before! But what we did see was incredible!

In the dawn light we saw a male and female lion relaxing in the grass! Our driver James said that it can be quite rare to see the male lions just because they stay out of sight and during this weekend we had seen 3!

There was also 4 very small lion cubs playing by a river while their mother looked on! They were so cute! Pouncing on each other and knocking each other down!

We saw another one of the ‘Great Five’ – a water buffalo. He was just standing their lazily grazing on the grass, completely oblivious to the fact that nearly 20 people were staring at him! He must’ve had some kind of accident or, more likely, been in some kind of fight because the side of his face next to one of his eyes was covered in blood. Obviously you come to a safari in Africa and you expect to see animals in their own environment but this was kind of a reminder of the fact that actually we were in the wild. There are predators lurking here!

We saw other animals such as impala, gazelles, zebras, jackals, hyenas (they weren’t laughing) and even a turtle! This tiny turtle, on his lonesome, had been having the time of his life in the water filled truck tracks! We actually thought our driver had run him over at one point but it was a false alarm and the turtle was still leisurely plodding on !! Thank god!

Once we’d finished the safari, again we made our way through the gates of the reserve and the women from the day before again were trying to get us to buy just one thing. We haggled and haggled just so we could get steph the blanket she wanted at a reasonable price. But they weren’t caving in and neither were we! So after a lot of arguing (which had the whole truck and also some of the women laughing) steph was still blanketless!

We got back to the camp at around 8am. Just in time for a breakfast of, bacon, egg, beans, pancakes and toast. We’d all packed the night before and so, with our stomachs full, it was a case of us grabbing our belongings from the tents, going to the toilet and leaving!

We were on the road towards Nakuru by 9 am. We went a different way this time – over private land because it was quicker! This was a lot of fun! The roads were bumpy (James, our driver joked that we were all having an African massage) and at times at a steep angle! We crossed a shallow river and had to slowly work our way through a herd of cows!! We had 2 hours of this and I can’t have been the only one to be slightly relieved once we’d hit proper roads!

The journey was about 7 hours! We stopped off twice, once at a restaurant for a really nice lunch and another time at a newly built shopping centre so we could go to the toilet.

By the time we got to Nakuru the weather had turned and the power had gone! Apparently this is a regular occcurence in Nakuru! Cold showers it was for us then! We played cards by candle and torch light until the power was restored around 7pm!

Everyone went to bed pretty early just because today had been a busy and tiring! Although it was amazing to have a weekend off to do something fun I think we all had missed working with the children! We all couldn’t wait for tomorrow where we’d spend the day volunteering at silver bells school.