Chloe, Arjun, Shannon
A fortnight after our arrival, we awoke for our last full day in Kenya. At 7 am we had a hearty breakfast of crepes, taro, and maltabetta. We then had guest speakers (Eric, Jackson, William, and Patrick) from the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancy Association. They taught us about the role of community conservancies in consolidating private land for wildlife conservation. Afterwards, we headed out to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Upon arrival at the Sekenani Gate of Masai Mara, many vendors approached us and some of us bought some souvenirs. Our group was rife with excitement as we entered the reserve. During the drive we say many grazing and foraging animals, including zebra, giraffe, buffalo, and impala. We were thrilled to come across two male lions and a lioness lounging in the grass. We watched as the female walked over to nuzzle her mate before their affectionate encounter devolved into a brief lovers’ quarrel; even their softest snarls cracked like distant thunder. After that we saw a couple lone bull elephants feeding and herds of wildebeest migrating. Around 3 pm we reached the Mara River. Led by a ranger, we say many hippos and crocodiles, including a crocodile in the process of feeding on a wildebeest carcass. After a delicious meal of spaghetti and meatballs (Damian’s favourite), we gave a ride to some rangers to another point along the road. Along the way we stopped by the Tanzanian border.
On the way back to the gate we saw a female elephant cross a road and saw the rest of her herd in the bush with a couple calves. As the day waned, we witnessed the Maasai Mara sunset; its rosy fingers raised in farewell as our time in Kenya drew to a close. As twilight fell in full strength, a jackal loped through the bush by the roadside. After leaving the reserve we made our way back to camp. We saw herds of zebra and gazelle scamper away from our headlights, yet another reminder of the amazing abundance of megafauna (large animals) inhabiting this land.
We got back to the camp around 7 pm, where we had a dinner that included some amazing chicken and naan made by the Bunduz staff. We then worked on our field books and watched a slideshow that recounted some of the best moments of our trip.
Our last activity called “the bowl game”, a rendition of charades, closed our time at Maasai Mara with many laughs. We said exchanged bittersweet “goodnights” for our last night in Kenya.