“An experience that will stay with me forever.”

Feedback from the lovely Rozanna

Kenya Solo

I had an extraordinarily fabulous time travelling Kenya solo. I have over 5,000 photographs to go through so bear with me! I’ll send them soon.

A highlight was certainly the first Tuesday in the Masai Mara at Saruni Mara with Tinka as my guide. More on that below.

Samburu is where my heart is, truly spectacular. I met with owners Elizabeth and Riccardo in Nairobi – they are so lovely and their properties brilliant. Great wildlife and activities, As you know I was keen to get involved with Pack For A Purpose and ended up delivering 26 kilograms of school stuff (including 8 soccer balls kindly donated by Nike Australia) to Kiltamany Primary in Samburu – best couple of hours with the kids!!

Sarara is quite spectacular and to be honest I don’t think any photos can do it justice. Rooms are incredible, views even more so, all have outdoor shower and bathroom. The communal area is ridiculously comfortable and possibly the most inclusive of any lodge I have stayed in, particularly with a big shared dining table with roundish corners.

It’s good for mingling and single travellers! Funniest experience was being ‘locked out’ of my room by Boris, an elephant that frequents camp. Boris had climbed up the hill and was browsing on a tree just outside my room, 2 metres, 3 maximum. The camp manager and I decided it was not a good idea to get in so I spent the afternoon in the communal area  relaxing. The managers Rob and Meg are absolutely brilliant, possibly the best I’ve encountered yet and that’s saying something given the camp managers at Saruni are amazing.

My first Tuesday

On safari in the Masai Mara

My morning drive reveals a pride of lions that we had seen the day before – 3 lioness, 1 lion, 7 cubs (from memory) – with a zebra kill.  One mother is valiantly trying to move the carcass from the open plains to the bush area before it gets too hot.

It takes her about an hour, on her own, with a train of cubs on board for good measure.  Then everyone passes out.

A couple of hours later, we discover a leopard under a tree.  Tinka points out a tree of baboons close by, and tells us to watch closely.  Through the next 10-15 minutes, the baboons finally spy the leopard – and then these two huge males set about chasing the leopard who hightails it out of there with two baboons closely on his heels (but we managed to rediscover him another couple of times through the next hour).

Incredible, surely it can’t get better?

We go out for our afternoon drive, climb a mountain, spectacular views, head back down for a little spin and come across a female lioness (different pride) lying in the middle of the plains with a very engorged belly.  A few minutes later we find her sister lying next to the carcass of a pregnant zebra, baby would have been a day or so from being born.  As we mull over the unfairness of the situation, the lioness, seemingly from nowhere, goes from 0-100 and is running after something in the bush.

It takes a few seconds for the hyena laughs to come in.  Followed by the hyenas themselves.  Both sisters are now back at the carcass ripping and eating like there’s no tomorrow, and over the next 20 or so minutes, we see the hyena numbers increase and 2-3 charges by the lionesses, before the 4th charge leaves the flank opens and the remaining sister is chased off as more than a dozen hyena descend on the carcass.

We’re sitting just a few metres away, right in the middle of the action – including when a second clan of hyena try to get in.  Much of it caught on both video and film, an experience that will stay with me forever.

Rozanna Bozabalian in Kenya on safari
Rozanna Bozabalian in Kenya on safari
Images courtesy of Rozanna