We got up at 06:00 at the Mitimingi Eco Lodge and John the cook had our breakfast ready. The safari van picked us up at 06:30 and we headed to the Maasai Mara Reserve.
As soon as we entered, there was a lot of activity in the park. We saw lions running around and some ostriches mating. Later on, we followed a group of elephants for awhile and we got really close to them.
Around lunch time we got to the Mara River and took a walking tour with a game ranger to see the hippos and crocodiles. There were many hippos on the other side of the river and about half of them were out of the water on the river bank getting some sun.
In the river, there were a bunch of dead wildebeest and a few zebra that had drowned recently. At one spot, there were so many carcasses that the predators hadn't started eating them. At another spot by a bridge, all sorts of a crocodile, vultures and huge storks were devouring the carcasses. We saw one crocodile out of the water and running across the river bank to get back into the water.
We had a picnic lunch in front of a hippo pool. There were other tour groups having lunch with us. A group of young Japanese girls were eating and suddenly a large baboon jumped out of the bushes onto their blanket. The girls screamed and shrieked and the baboon grabbed one girl's food and iPhone and took off. Some of the guides grabbed sticks and chased him. He dropped the iPhone but not the food so at least she got her phone back.
After lunch, we continued the excellent safari. We got really close to a leopard lounging in a tree and some hyena that were eating a carcass. We couldn't see the carcass in the bushes but the hyenas kept popping their heads up to check for lions. The other highlight was seeing a large group of striped mongoose that were next to the road.
When we needed a bathroom break, the driver would stop near some bushes and let us walk in. At one stop, two of the tourists started walking toward some elephants and zebra in the distance. They were about 200 meters away before the guide saw them and started yelling for them to come back. They came back and he scolded them for walking away and said that the elephants were very aggressive and could run 60 kmh.
The safari was spectacular and even though there were six of us in the van, we were able to see around each other pretty well. After we left the park, I asked the driver if we could walk back to our lodge instead of taking the long, one hour trip to drop the other people off at their lodges. He let the Japanese guy and I out of the van and we walked back to the lodge. Before heading back we bought some little souvenirs from the aggressive Maasai ladies at the gate. The souvenirs were very cheap after some hard negotiating. The ladies swarmed the Japanese.
The walk back to the lodge was fun because all of the locals came over and greeted us. All of the little kids ran over to chat with us and we took pictures of them.