Robin's Adventures

African Safari
African Adventures 2011

We had just left behind a pride of lions in the Serengeti, and now we were greeted by lions in the Masai Mara.

We saw a leopard hanging out in a tree enjoying a meal.

During our visit to the Masai Mara we stayed at the Sanctuary Olonana Lodge. It had 15 tent cottages all along the Mara River.

Our cottage had a large pod of hippos living in the river right outside. We could hear them at night and see them on the banks and in the water during the day. We had a wonderful time sitting on our deck and observing their activities.

We passed many termite mounds during our game drives. These looked like huge sand castles. The nest is underground and there are a series of tunnels and shafts in the mound to provide ventilation to the nest below. Often the mound is built around the base of a dead tree.

We decided to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary by taking a hot air balloon excursion over the Masai Mara Game Reserve. We arrived at the balloon site at the crack of dawn and watched as the crew readied our balloon for flight.

As the sun rose over the Masai Mari, we gently lifted off in our hot air balloon. It was exciting to be airborne!

From the air, we got a whole new perspective of the Masai Mara. It was thrilling to feel the wind on our faces as we gazed at baboons that were in the treetops, yet at our eye level.

While we looked down at the animals below us in wonder, they gazed up with the same wonder in their eyes. I think we did, however, disturb a poor hyena who was just attempting to take care of some personal business.

The scenery was wonderful. Our aerial viewpoint gave us a clearer picture of how large and spread out things really are.

We could see herds of topi, zebra, wildebeest, and cape buffalo grazing in the cool peaceful morning.

As the balloon dropped low over the plain for a closer look, the animals started to scatter.