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Maasai Mara Safari and a Maasai Village, Ololaimutia, Kenya - 5th November 2010

After a six-hour drive from Nairobi, we find ourselves at the Ol Moran tented camp near the Ololaimutia gate of the Maasai Mara game reserve. There's time upon arrival for a short evening safari to get the hang of it, followed by a whole day out in the safari van with Will and Tony. The highlight of the day is perhaps a very close encounter with a leopard - a fairly elusive and hard-to-spot cat, and not often seen at such close quarters. The leopard, for its part, was more concerned with the bird it was stalking and didn't seem to notice the scrum of vans around it, all full of gawping tourists. Then, it's time for an ample packed lunch, provided by the camp, and then a drive up to the river to see the crocodiles and hippos. Upon return to the camp, we stop off at a Maasai village where the son of the chief shows us around, and some traditional dances and bushcraft skills are demonstrated. Needless to say, the hapless visitors are pressed in to service as comedy extras in some of the dancing, which includes the haunting and mournful pre-wedding dance of betrothed women.

next album: Narok to Naivasha and Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya, Africa - 5th November 2010
previous album: Nairobi and the Road to Maasai Mara, Kenya, Africa - 1st November 2010

2010 We spot some dust devils on the plains

We spot some dust devils on the plains

2010 A community church and some cool cacti

A community church and some cool cacti

2010 A herd of Wildebeest

A herd of Wildebeest

2010 Our first close encounter: a giraffe

Our first close encounter: a giraffe

2010 A gazelle nibbles its flank

A gazelle nibbles its flank

2010 Elephants with a baby in tow

Elephants with a baby in tow

2010 The baby 'Saggy Pants' can just be seen, hiding

The baby 'Saggy Pants' can just be seen, hiding

2010 Another young elephant

Another young elephant

2010 A baby elephant head-butts its mother

A baby elephant head-butts its mother

2010 A leaning tree

A leaning tree

2010 A lioness lounges about

A lioness lounges about

2010 A cheetah prowls

A cheetah prowls

2010 Ol Moran's restaurant/bar

Ol Moran's restaurant/bar

2010 The path to our tent/hut

The path to our tent/hut

2010 Our patio, on hut number 10

Our patio, on hut number 10

2010 Cows are being herded

Cows are being herded

2010 Next morning, cows mill around

Next morning, cows mill around

2010 A group of gazelle watch us warily

A group of gazelle watch us warily

2010 A dirt road through the Mara

A dirt road through the Mara

2010 The elephants seem to be sharing a joke

The elephants seem to be sharing a joke

2010 The baby elephant walk

The baby elephant walk

2010 View over the Maasai Mara

View over the Maasai Mara

2010 Isobel hangs on

Isobel hangs on

2010 Isobel peers out of the safari van's open roof

Isobel peers out of the safari van's open roof

2010 Close up to the Wildebeest

Close up to the Wildebeest

2010 A mixed herd of wildebeest and zebra

A mixed herd of wildebeest and zebra

2010 Another tourist van

Another tourist van

2010 A van pulls off the side of the road

A van pulls off the side of the road

2010 An ostrich with a juvenile

An ostrich with a juvenile

2010 Zebra and ostrich

Zebra and ostrich

2010 Stripey horses

Stripey horses

2010 An ostrich: frankly ludicrous

An ostrich: frankly ludicrous

2010 Another baby elephant

Another baby elephant

2010 The baby elephant runs around

The baby elephant runs around

2010 A leopard stalks some prey, about two metres away

A leopard stalks some prey, about two metres away

2010 Leopard in action

Leopard in action

2010 A secretary bird

A secretary bird

2010 A leopard lurks in the grass

A leopard lurks in the grass

2010 A classic Mara lonely tree

A classic Mara lonely tree

2010 An eagle observes from the top of a tree

An eagle observes from the top of a tree

2010 Rain moves across a distant hill

Rain moves across a distant hill

2010 A lion lazes on a rock

A lion lazes on a rock

2010 Isobel by the van

Isobel by the van

2010 We park up for a picnic

We park up for a picnic

2010 Isobel on Lookout Bluff

Isobel on Lookout Bluff

2010 Nosher and Isobel on the top of Lookout Bluff

Nosher and Isobel on the top of Lookout Bluff

2010 A ruminant's lower jaw bone

A ruminant's lower jaw bone

2010 The skull of a wildebeest, hair still attached

The skull of a wildebeest, hair still attached

2010 Will, Tony and Isobel eat lunch

Will, Tony and Isobel eat lunch

2010 Picnic over, Will shakes out the blanket

Picnic over, Will shakes out the blanket

2010 Isobel checks her head

Isobel checks her head

2010 Will scopes out the river for wildlife

Will scopes out the river for wildlife

2010 Hippos in the river

Hippos in the river

2010 A crocodile suns itself

A crocodile suns itself

2010 A pair of giraffe

A pair of giraffe

2010 A gazelle fawn

A gazelle fawn

2010 A perching eagle

A perching eagle

2010 There's a scrum between vans for a good spot

There's a scrum between vans for a good spot

2010 Will and Tony on the road

Will and Tony on the road

2010 A lone elephant on the plains

A lone elephant on the plains

2010 A hyena

A hyena

2010 African tree

African tree

2010 A female lion

A female lion

2010 A male lion surveys the scene

A male lion surveys the scene

2010 A lion cub

A lion cub

2010 At the Maasai village, the chief's son performs an introduction

At the Maasai village, the chief's son performs an introduction

2010 A small boy

A small boy

2010 In the Maasai village

In the Maasai village

2010 A lion-skin head-dress is an important part of the ritual

A lion-skin head-dress is an important part of the ritual

2010 Nosher and the chief's son

Nosher and the chief's son

2010 Isobel joins in

Isobel joins in

2010 The bushcraft skill of friction firelighting

The bushcraft skill of friction firelighting

2010 The firestarting commences

The firestarting commences

2010 Much stick spinning occurs

Much stick spinning occurs

2010 The men all get involved

The men all get involved

2010 The embers are blown

The embers are blown

2010 Fire is created

Fire is created

2010 Some Maasai women perform a melancholy wedding song

Some Maasai women perform a melancholy wedding song

2010 Isobel is invited to join in

Isobel is invited to join in

2010 Colourful Maasai women

Colourful Maasai women

2010 More mournful dancing

More mournful dancing

2010 The men demonstrate their pre-wedding rituals

The men demonstrate their pre-wedding rituals

2010 Jumping is part of the wedding ritual

Jumping is part of the wedding ritual

2010 Of course, it's required that Nosher gets to join in

Of course, it's required that Nosher gets to join in

2010 A group photo

A group photo

2010 A small girl in a fancy dress

A small girl in a fancy dress

2010 Inside a Maasai house: dark, smoky and very hot

Inside a Maasai house: dark, smoky and very hot

2010 We are escorted back to the van

We are escorted back to the van

2010 Modern Maasai

Modern Maasai

2010 A group of young boys surveys us

A group of young boys surveys us

2010 Goat herding

Goat herding

2010 Nosher considers the day

Nosher considers the day

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We spot some dust devils on the plains