Monday, May 7, 2012

Last full day on the Serengeti.

In the morning, we slept in, which was kind of heavenly!  We had an 8:30 wake-up call and met Gene for breakfast in the dining hall as the others had gone on their balloon ride!  It looked like a perfect morning for a ride, calm and crisp, and I was excited (only a little bit envious) to hear about it, but nonetheless we enjoyed our relaxing morning immensely.  We had a great time getting to know Gene a little better; he has led an amazing life and has traveled all over the world, to include a climb on Everest which Mike couldn't hear enough of!  It sounds like he is truly living "the good life", and we were all feeling pretty grateful to be where we were, in life...and in Africa!
The group returned from ballooning and they'd had a great time seeing the Serengeti from above!  We all hung out in the lobby area, open-air, decorated in old English antiques and beautiful tapestries, and downloaded some of our memory cards and tried to catch up on emails when the internet cooperated.  I got a quick message from Allison saying everything was fine at seemed to me that her abrupt attempt at changing the subject was odd, but I was trying not to worry about Ashley and her pregnancy as her due date was still a couple of weeks away.
We had a yummy lunch, really yummy food at this place, and headed out on our last game drive, Mike and I with Lyle and Sue and Godfrey, followed by the rest of the gang!  We first went to a river crossing where there was a group of hippos hanging out.  This group seemed to have a much better life than at the hippo pools, clearer waters for sure!  And then we asked Godfrey to move on...we told him we wanted to see, on our last day, big cats, or little kitties!  So we went on a cat hunt!
First we saw a few dik-diks, very shy, little fawn-like animals.  Then Lyle pointed out some jackals (small, pretty coyotes) and Godfrey followed them down a dirt road, saying that jackals like to hang around lions!  About the time he said that we came around a curve to see a momma lion and 3 beautiful cubs!  I almost peed my pants!  The day I had stayed at Dunia the group had seen lion cubs and I was sorry to have missed them...and now here they were, on our last outing!  Mom was sitting up, regally, and didn't seem to care that we were there, as soon after we arrived, squealing and cameras clicking, she flopped down for a nap!
The babies were so cute!  Fuzzy and healthy looking, all laying boy and two girls Godfrey told us, probably about 5 months old.  We moved up as close as we felt comfortable so as not to disturb or upset them and just watched them...while they didn't really do anything other than watch us in return!  The two girls laid next to each other and Sue & I called them Makenzie and Harper (our grand-daughters!)!  I took way too many pictures of those lion cubs, but I couldn't help myself, I was so happy to have seen lion babies!
We made our way back to Kirawira, got ready for another amazing dinner, (four courses including delicious desserts!) and talked about our favorite places (Dunia was everyone's favorite overall, I think) and favorite sightings (lions on the hunt, black rhinos, baby cubs, cheetahs, leopards...impossible to choose!) and then we retired to pack our bags for our journeys home...and, in our case, our journey to Zanzibar!


Dik dik.


Imagine how I squealed when we came around this corner!


Beautiful momma.

Seriously, this is about as much "action" as we saw, but I loved them!

Sweet faces.

Makenzie and Harper!

Look at her paw! 

So funny!

Watching us, watch them.

Found a bug to play with.

Now I know that when you see pictures of those ferocious looking teeth in this pose, it's oftentimes a yawn!!!

So pretty.



The sunset view from our deck at Kirawira.

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