Day Four: Thursday 3 March 2016
This morning I moved from Basecamp Masai Mara to Eagle View in the Naboisho Conservancy. The landscape changed from grassland to shrubs and trees. Steve drove me over and will stay as my guide until I leave. I’m delighted about this because he was Chris’s guide in 2012 and his memories of their time together here are very precious. He also happens to be hugely knowledgeable and great company.
We went out in the trusty Landcruiser for a late afternoon game drive and soon spotted a group of three male elephants (Tembo) making their way along a river bank, eating and drinking as they went. Because we were on the other side of the river, they didn’t feel threatened and we were able to stop our vehicle close by.
As we were watching them, Steve suddenly pointed out a lioness with three small cubs hiding in a bush. The lead elephant, a massive 30 year old tusker, approached the lions’ hiding place and the cubs darted away into a deeper thicket while their mother stayed behind to defend them if necessary.
“Elephants and lions don’t like each other,” said Steve. “But they won’t fight unless it’s absolutely necessary.” In the end, they avoided a violent confrontation. The lioness stayed in the bushes and the elephant turned away and carried on munching his way downstream, finally stepping into the river to drink.
It was dark when we eventually got back to Eagle View, and time for a gin and tonic by the open fire followed by dinner under the stars. Much as I love home, it’s not going to be easy to leave this land and return to the smallness of England.