Stanley Wing Safari

Part Two – Amboselli

We took off early in the morning from Wilson airport on an 18 seat twin Otter bound for Amboseli.  We had high hopes of seeing Mt. Kilimanjaro.  As we deplaned we looked up and there it was emerging from the early morning mist.  For all three days we were there, the mountain towered fully visible. Lynn, who instigated this trip because she had done a report and drawn Mt. Kilimanjaro in the third grade, fulfilled a life-long dream of seeing her mountain.

Our drivers met us at the clay airstrip with coffee, Amarula and some morning snacks.  With much excitement and anticipation, we loaded up in three safari vehicles and began the first game drive.  Our first encounter was an impressive male lion lying near the road feasting on a wildebeest.  On the other side of the road the huntress was dragging a huge carcass toward a bushy area where a few large cubs and another lioness waited patiently for brunch.

As we made our way towards Ol Tukai Lodge, we saw gazelle, impala, wildebeest, elephants and Cape Buffalo scattered across the plain.  On the final approach to the Lodge, we passed an abandoned  safari lodge now occupied by a lively troop of entertaining baboons.

 

Ol Tukai Lodge provided a true sense of place.  We enjoyed an unobstructed view of Mt Kilimanjaro in one direction and a vista across the from the other side that featured a constant parade of the animals we came to see.

Maasi Village

The highlight of our next day in Amboseli was our visit to a Maasi village. We were first greeted by Benson, our guide and the son of the leader. A traditional dance and song greeting from the villagers followed and we followed our greeters through the village gate in their fence made from Acacia trees, the Maasi's natural barbed wire.

Seated under a tree, we listened to a very colorful and informative talk by Benson about Maasi culture, traditions and even medicinal herbs!  Then we divided into small groups and were invited into Maasi homes.  Very compact, dark, and surprisingly cool, the homes are built entitle by the woman whose family occupies them ( with s little help from her friends.) a visit to their village school was inspiring to see the teacher accomplishing so much with so little.  The students were clean, smiling, and very engaged!  We all gave donations to the teacher we were so impressed.

After more game driving and lunch, we started our afternoon game drive punctuated by our first sundowners and culminating in a bush bar-b-que with Maasi Warrior dance and music around a bonfire.  Those that know our Dennis Schroeder beware!  He was inducted into the brotherhood by dancing around the fire with his new friends!

Continue on to part three

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