Getting here was the hard part. After flying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and then to Nairobi, Kenya, we have begun the central part of our journey: a photo safari in the Maasai region of Kenya. We have twice daily game drives, which means that a driver-guide escorts us around the Maasai Mara National Game Preserve and adjoining conservancies. Our goal has been to seek the “Big 5” wild animals: lion, leopard, rhinocerous, African elephant, and cape buffalo. These are among the most rare and hard to find animals. But we have an expert guide, Manfred, who was the guide for Barack and Michelle Obama when they stayed at the very camp we are enjoying.
We’re here during the great wildebeest migration, and there are thousands of them moving across the grasslands. Today we checked off the last of the Big 5 when we came suddenly within a stone’s throw of a black rhino. There are dozens of other animals we’ve encountered as well: giraffes, cheetahs, vultures, hyenas, and many types of antelope. There’s a family of warthogs living across from our tent, though one less today after we witnessed a leopard enjoying a lunch of wild pork.
Driving through the Maasai Mara is like living inside a zoo with no barriers. It’s thrilling to happen across a family of elephants, a herd of hippos bathing in the river, or watch the zebra run with the wildebeest. God’s creation (and the divine sense of humor in creation’s design) never fails to amaze me.