Memoirs from African Savannah – Part 2

Samburu Calling: Day 2

There’s absolutely nothing more wonderful than waking up to a beautiful morning in the woods. The sky was painted with hues of orange. The sun was peeping behind the trees. The muddy waters of the river had taken a smooth silvery tint in the morning light.

The air was filled with little chirps and tweets of birds – flying tree to tree, some flittering on the ground. The monkeys were ready to begin a new day…

The jungle was coming alive!! A new day was beginning in Samburu and for me.

After a good breakfast, I started my morning game drive. I saw more elephants (drinking water and bathing in the river), zebras, giraffe, striped hyena. I saw an ostrich gracefully walking towards our jeep from a distance, its gait so resembled human walk (check out the video)

The best part of a game drive is the search for animals, the hope to catch a predator, up close. An hour into the game drive, we saw couple of jeeps standing at some distance. This usually is a good sign – that a rare animal has been spotted!

Lawrence quickly picked pace and headed in that direction. As we approached the plain land with bushes, I saw a cheetah coming out of the bushes. Within few minutes, three cubs – almost full grown – stepped out behind their mother.

The cheetah kept walking in front of us, almost showing off its grace. Sometimes they would sat, lie down, get up and walk again. We spent a good 15-20 minutes with the cheetahs before we mutually decided to part ways.

Lawrence suggested that we visit a Samburu village. I was excited to see the tribal village and set out immediately. We reached the village in 45 minutes. It had about 50-60 people, living in shanties amidst the deep jungle. They lived in utter poverty – poultry, cattle and humans – practically living in same conditions with minimal hygiene and bare essentials.

The Samburu men and women danced and sang to entertain the tourists, earning a bit through this. The visit left me sad and helpless for the men, women and children in that tiny village

I returned to Larsen’s camp for lunch; nap was impossible, as the temperatures had soared high that day. A small fan in the tent hardly provided a respite. So, I just walked around the camp.

The evening game drive, my last in Samburu, was awesome! Within 30 minutes of the drive, we bumped into 2 lionesses with 5 cubs. I finally got to see Lion King (rather Lion Queens with ther heir). It was a pleasure to watch the cubs play, cuddle with their mothers. The lionesses would wake up, walk a bit, cuddle the baby and snooze. The lionesses wanted to sleep and rest, but the cubs simply wouldn’t allow them. They would nudge and say “mumma play with us, we are hungry, wake up..”  Are kids same across species? No respite for mothers???

The lion family made a beautiful picture, with the rolling hills in the backdrop. We hoped that the cubs would persuade the lionesses to hunt. We waited for a hour, I was keen to seen them hunt. Unfortunately, the mother’s will dominated. The sun started to set, but the lionesses didn’t budge. So, we gave up our watch, said goodbye to the happy family and headed towards our camp.

Hope you liked the ostrich, cheetah, lionesses and their cubs! More to follow in part 3.

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