A visit to a Maasai  Village in Amboseli Park, Kenya. July 21, 2017

After breakfast we drove to a Maasai Village in the park.  You can see the school in the background.  Some of the older school children were playing soccer.  You can bet that Collin wanted to join in!  

​Amboselli comes from the Maasai word “empusel” the grey layer of volcanic ash from Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It was really windy in Amboseli, when I come back next time I’m bringing clear contractor glasses.  ​

​Here is the welcoming committee from the village.  There was a charge of $20 per person to visit.  Most of the males of the village were with the cattle that graze in the park.  They all had shaved heads.  Steve was given a staff and joined the group.  ​

This gentleman was the don of the chief.  He was the guide to the village.  These shoes are the traditional sandals worn by the Maasai.  They are made from either leather or tires.  We enter through the gate.  The fences are woven from the Acacia trees.  No one gets in except through the gate!  Women make the fences and the huts.  The stucco on the sides of the buildings are made from dung and mud.  Inside the compound, also called Manyatta, is a central pen for the cattle, and one for the goats.  ​

Would you like to see how the Maasai build a fire?  Of course you would!  ​ Here is a great profile of Steve bedecked in his Maasai beads and the staff that was lent to him.  Would you like to see the inside of one of the  huts?  Of course you’d like to see this too!  Watch your head!  Oops!  Looks like I ran out of space and need to make this at least a two parter!

Tortilis in Amboseli, early morning July 21, 2017

We got up early for our first full day in the park.  Coffee and biscuits (cookies) were delivered to our tent before sunrise.  Off we went in our Land Cruiser to look for animals.  It was cool and we wrapped ourselves in blankets, trying to stay cozy until

the sun rose higher in the sky.

Th​e elephants are voracious eaters.  They wrap their trunks around branches, pulling the trees down or push them over with their shoulders.  Then they rip the trees up and eat the roots.  A section of Amboseli was surrounded by electric wire to prevent the elephants from entering the area and destroying the trees.  ​

​Here is a video of a Cape buffalo in the swamp.  ​

​Mama Buffalo and baby are on the way to the swamp for the day.  You can see little guy nursing on Mama Elephant as they walk.You will notice that their aren’t many trees in this picture.  The elephants have killed them all. ​

​We saw our first spotted hyenas. Not sure who are uglier, hyenas or wart hogs.  Striped hyenas are nocturnal and we never saw them on our trip.  ​

​The elephants made it to the swamp and this is where they would spend their day, eating swamp grass and visiting with the egrets. Soon it was time to head back to camp for breakfast. Here are Collin, Sally and Steve checking out the ingredients for omelettes. Our stuff was on the table that Sally had picked out. As you recall from our adventures in South America, I am always trying to sit at the table with the best view.  Sally had picked another table but I overruled her. She was a good sport about my constant attempts to get “the perfect spot”!   It was great fun to eat our breakfast and to see the happenings at the water hole.  Breakfast was delicious.  I especially liked the little bananas.  Next up a trip to a Masai Village. 

Game Drive in Amboseli. July 20, 2017

After lunch we got in our vehicle to begin out game drive. Amboseli is in the southern part of Kenya.  It is known for its dusty savannah and swampland. It is known for its many large elephants. Except for the picture above and the video at the end of the post these pictures were all taken by Collin, our daughter’s boy friend.  We were not disappointed.  In the afternoon the elephants would move from the swamp where they spent their day, and cover themselves with dirt.  The babies were so cute.  The mothers always tried to keep the young near their feet and away from the vehicles filled with snapping cameras laden tourists.  Some times the young elephants would wrestle each other. Slapping ears and tusks.  We saw wildebeest, but no big herds like we were anticipating later in the trip when we would visit the Masai Mara, and hopefully see the Great Migration.  The Great Migration was said to be late this year, so we were hoping it would start soon. We saw lots of Cape Buffalo.  A very mean looking animal.  Older males were called Retired Generals.  You didn’t want to mess with them!Lots of Giraffe were out and about.  We were lucky enough to see a young male lion.  He had been in many fights and his face had lots of scars.  His right lower front leg was injured and the poor guy had a noticeable limp.  ​Sorry about the way the video ended. Operator error!