We started the day at 6am for an early breakfast at our bush camp. These camps have a lot of similarities in terms of how they operate. All inclusive, Wi-Fi only in certain areas (we’re currently all sitting in the Lobby), a bar for hanging out/beverages. This particular camp comes with a pool and permanent tent structures but is definitely in the budget category. Unlike many of the places we’ve been it’s pretty full so breakfast at 630 was pretty busy and dinner is hoppin’.
We’re close to Masai villages and last night we were serenaded to sleep by chants familiar from our visit with the Masai a couple of weeks ago. It was a little eerie and a very cool addition to the sounds of the African night.
Shortly after 7am we headed into the Park and spent the next 10 hours ‘hunting’ game. We picked Amboseli for our Safari the wide variety of animals you can see and the stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro
Let’s start with the stunning backdrop part. Kilimanjaro is know as one of the Seven Summits – the tallest peaks on each continent. It’s the tallest peak in Africa and is the tallest freestanding (not part of a range) mountain inthe world. We’ve never seen one of the Seven Summits so we were excited to see this one. On the internet the pictures look like this:
Our pictures look like this.
Totally covered in clouds – not great at all. But to be fair, if you zoom in there is a family of 17 elephants walking toward the camera. We got a close up about 10 minutes later. But still no mountain.
In total we saw about 50 elephants today across several families. We were lucky to see what is believed to be the oldest elephant currently living in Amboseli. He is one of the last remaining ‘super tuskers’ and is believed to be in his mid-50’s. He’s truly a magnificent sight.
Other than elephants it was also a day of lions. Our guide said it can be difficult to see lions in the park but in addition to the male and some females we saw last night, we saw several more today. What was really special is that they were moving more than we’ve seen before. We saw a male walking toward some brush, a female ‘casually’ keeping up with some wildebeest and at one point 7 lionesses walking across the plain. They were playing with each other and scaring some poor gazelle who found itself all alone amongst the predators. Luckily they weren’t in the mood to hunt.
We did see a cheetah hunting some gazelle. It was about 100 meters away so we didn’t post pics. We think we came in at the end of the hunt. We saw one chase with that famous cheetah speed, but then the cat collapsed onto the ground a lay there for at least 10 minutes. No gazelle for breakfast today.
Amboseli is also known for its bird species including a growing population of flamingo. We saw some amazing examples.
For lunch we trekked up the stairs to Observation Hill which you can see behind the flamingos. It was a great spot to enjoy some shade, a hearty lunch and
the spectacular view of Kilimanjaro each other’s company.
As for the rest of the day it was all about the babies. There seemed to be babies everywhere which of course we love.
We even think we saw a wildebeest day care
A fairly fierce little storm kicked up about 3:30 as we were headed back to camp.
The wind was strong and it rained hard enough to leave standing water on a lot of the plain and put whitecaps on the flamingos’ water hole. It also, once it blew south for about an hour, gave us a little gift to end the day.