Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.

May 30: We spy lions and the elusive cheetah.

Posted in Kenya on June 2, 2009

The best time to go for a game drive is early in the morning and late in the afternoon, so we all wake up at about 5:30am. After having some chai, we set off for a game drive. We see giraffes, zebras, gazelles, warthogs, cranes, and a ton of birds. We roam the mara and as usual, Charles suddenly spots something. We approach what I think are a bunch of bushes. But as we near, I notice a lion. Actually, there are three lions and two baby ones. We stop to watch and take photos.
Then as we start to drive away, our truck gets stuck in the mud. We’re probably 10 meters away from the lions’ den. We can hardly get out of the truck and push it, in case the lions feel threatened and decide to attack. Another safari van notices us and tries to help. We attach a rope to the back of their car, but their Jeep just doesn’t have enough power. The impact of trying to pull us out simply smashes their back window. Other safari vans come to the rescue, but most simply laugh at us and take photos of us being stuck.
I make a joke that the lions have a buffet of international cuisine, as there are tourists from Australia, India and Canada. We laugh at our own situation. Finally, Charles manages to grab slates from the side of our truck, which we place under the tires to reverse out of the mud After the 20-minute fiasco, we decide we’re tired of this game drive and head back to the campsite for breakfast.
We laze around in the sun for the afternoon before heading out for a late game drive. Melissa says that she hopes to see a cheetah, but knows that there’s a slim chance of that happening. Cheetahs are endangered animals and there’s little in the way of conservation for them here in Kenya. But to our luck, Charles spots one in the distance. A cheetah is lying in the bush with two babies and gnawing at an impala carcass. Zarek comments that we don’t know how lucky we are to have seen a cheetah, but I’m pretty sure that Melissa and Holly do. They’re beaming.
Later that night, we head to the campsite and have the best meal we’ve had all trip. The cook Vince has made fried fish, chicken stew, cauliflower and rice. We even have s’mores afterwards for a little taste of home.

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