We began our first trip with Overseas Adventure Travel, OAT, in Nairobi, Kenya, waking up to a surreal view of a sultry morning with a colony of Maraboo storks with their naked heads as a view from our hotel window. After spending time in the general area of Nairobi (with a side trip to experience some face time with the Rothschild giraffe’s), we flew in a small plane to the high plains of the Masai Mara and the northern landscape of the Serengeti. We spent a week with our first guide John, a Masai. Here, as well as other parts of our African trip to such areas the Amboseli on the northern side of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, and the southern Serengeti plains we saw giraffe, water buffalo, rhinoceros, lions, cheetahs, elephants, hyaena, numerous birds, baboons, hippopotamus, gazelle, waterbuck, warthogs, and monkeys (and more monkeys), the list is very long. We visited the Oldupai Gorge where Louis and Mary Leaky found our ancient (3.6 million-year-old) ancestor at Laetoli where we crossed over the great rift valley. This landscape feature, the great rift valley, extends from Mozambique many miles to the southern extreme, to the Red Sea to the north (actually into the Sea of Galilee). This “hot spot” is splitting east Africa away from the mass of the African continent.
We witnessed leopards in trees, cheetahs during a kill, and the great migration of zebra and wildebeest. Some nights we heard lions roar and hyena’s howl, herds of zebra surrounding us in our “elevated” tented sleeping bungalow and other nights hippopotamus grazing and snorting. At no time were we left alone, always with a guide, or with a body guard because we were in the homes of predators (or damn big animals that would just stomp you into the ground if you got into the path).