“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Day 9 - Final day and the Leopard goes on a Stork rampage!

The day started fantastically as we passed a tree and saw the remains of a stork at the bottom, then rounded a bush and saw the Leopard dash across the scrub with the stork in its mouth! How lucky were we!!??
It appears the Leopard had killed at least 3 maybe 4 stork since there were also a number of Steppe Eagles feasting on another one slightly further afield and there was one still lying in the top of the tree, presumably for later.
We watched the Steppe Eagles for some time, mainly because they were playign tug of war with a white-headed vulture, the remains of the stork being the rope! very amusing. It was also interesting that the juvenile Eagle was not allowed to join in and simply sat patiently a few feet away whilst the father and mother ate. Our group were split again today, as David, Marion and Sheila were flying straight to Rwanda to see the Gorilllas and so had a plane to catch just before lunch, whilst Sandy and I had another game drive after lunch before heading off home. We had taken a game drive to the airport to see the others off, and as we were waiting, news came in that a couple of Leopard cubs had been spotted not far away in a tree near the airport. Sandy and I could not get away fast enough! we were waving from the truck driving in parallel to the plane as it took off!
We could only find one of the cubs, but he was at least awake and not too far from the truck as we backed it into the bust to get some shots.
He was so young, he still had his baby blue eyes. We stayed for a while, but when we realised the other cub or the mum was nowhere around, we decided to make the most of our time left and headed back out onto the plains, making the most of the space in the truck and the wind on our faces for the last time.

I was incredibly sad to be going home, and I remember thinking that I would never feel the same way about the place again. They say your first experience stays with you and can never be matched - and my first experience of the Masai Mara certainly feels that way now. The place blows your mind.

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