On my second day I joined a different group in a van for an early morning game drive, and a full day at the park.
First, we drove past this sign in the village that made me laugh – who wants to stay at a hotel/butchery?
Then, almost as soon as we entered the park, we saw a really large group of giraffes – I think I counted 16 but there may have been more. I’ve literally never seen that many giraffes in one place before! I’ve already uploaded a short video of them here.
A Thompson’s gazelle (a “Tommie” as they are known) in the early morning, having a graze. They are quite small, and distinctive because of the black stripe on their side.
A Topi – they have sloped backs which makes them slightly easier to tell apart from the hartebeasts
Some more lions chilling in the morning by a stream
Me showing off my “windswept” look in the van
For those of you who are interested, here’s what the van I was in looked like (not this exact one), but there are a lot of very similar pop-top vans so you can stand up and get a better look at things
More early morning lions wandering the savannah
You can tell they are still quite young as they still have the spotty markings on their legs, which cubs have.
Another big family of ellies
And an ostrich!
There’s a lion off in the distance here lying on the rocks across the valley
And then they were off, following a large herd of zebra…
This massive herd of zebra who freaked out when the lions appeared and raced off to the other side of the valley – I have a video of that too if you want to watch it happening.
And some more Eland
And yet more lions in the grass here – they were literally everywhere!
And some more lionesses and cubs – look at the markings on the fur of this young one! These ones had just hunted and eaten, so were all super-full and lazy under the bushes
Meanwhile the vultures had descended looking for scraps and lion leftovers…
Another vulture circling above
And then an enormous stork arrived too – who knew storks also eat carrion?
A lovely red and blue lizard basking on a rock
And then we found another leopard! So lucky to see two of those. This one was also sleeping through the heat of the day under a bush.
And here’s a vulture in a tree
Another spotted hyena cooling off in a large puddle
Few more gnus
And a vulture and a stork
Then we found a cheetah! Very exciting!
And then we headed back to the Mara river – here are some zebra
And another large family of hippos
And a large crocodile
Then we found a mama lioness and her cubs having some cuddles
So cute hiding in the bushes!
And we watched the mama breastfeeding two cubs – a little one and a much bigger one
And then we spotted another hyena lazing at the side of the road on our way back to the camp
And lastly, as we headed towards the gate and the exit at the end of a wonderfully long day, we saw some young male giraffes fighting – check out the video I posted to see it in action! I love how they lean up against each other trying to push each other over!
And some impala on this riverbank
And lastly a Dik-Dik – I think it’s the smallest of the antelope, this one is fully-grown and tiny and cute!
After a packed second day, we headed over to the Maasai Village, which I’ll write about separately.