Leaving Nairobi for Masai Mara.
Greeted in the Maasai Mara on arrival with some good Kenyan coffee and our first bush friends.
A common Zebra pose, resting their heads on each others' backs. Zebras are plentiful in Kenya. By day two, I said, "OK, I am so over Zebras."
One of the many graceful giraffes we saw.
A mom elephant and child.
Elephants on the move.
And more. Notice the contrast in colors between young and older.
Rhinos, mother and child.
Male lion at rest. They rest a lot, especially the men.
Carl doing some afternoon journal writing at Kichwa Tempo dining room.
At Kichwa Tempo, warthogs roamed our front yard and sometimes fought. Mostly, though, they ate grass, pooped and sloshed around in mud holes.
With Kichwa Tempo Maasai friend. They wouldn't allow my spear on the flight.
With our amazing Kenyan guide Stephen, we meet to discuss strategy for the next few days. An hour later we were on the road.
But the van died on the road out of camp. 20 minutes later, problem solved, we're moving.
Some of our first giraffes in the late Maasai Mara afternoon.
Lion resting II. If he likes his privacy so much, why does he take his nap right by the road? Male lions are major league voguers.
Waiting for a sumptuous meal at Kichwa Tempo. The food was good, no, great. The bad news? I gained eight pounds.
Lion in the grass.
THE MIGRATION. The "big event" in August is the migration of Wildebeests moving across the Mara River from Tanzania to Kenya. They waste no time jumping in because they know that danger lurks around them.
Crossing the river.
This is why the wildebeests were so anxious. We saw three crocs catch three wildebeests. Soon after, the migration stopped. It's almost like one of them had a walkie talkie. Later, we heard that the migration was in pause for at least three days because of the crocs.
They waste no time jumping in.
Downriver from the migration site on the Mara River, hippos have a big fight. Another rumble in the jungle.
The rumble II.
Young male lions.
They hide behind a large, live termite hill.
A buffalo. Barack Obama observed on his first visit to his ancestral Kenya that the horns look like a founding father's wig.
But then decides to . . . rest.
Beautiful younger elephant. You can tell age by the condition of their ears.
Oh, yes, the warthogs also drink from our pool at Kichwa Tempo. Does it violate American reentry rules that you swam in a pool that might have some warthog backwash?
One of the stunningly colored East African birds.
Crocodile in the Mara river. This, believe it or not, is a small one.
Hippos, like lions, are mostly resters. So them on ground eating grass was a little unusual.
Eland at play, locking horns.
Back from the pool at Kichwa Tempo.
The young lions moved around, a major deal.
Young lion in hiding.
The awesome impala.
Cheetah on alert.
Close up. Show me love.
Buffalo off-the-road pizza; bird using horn as resting place.
I agree with Barack Obama in thinking that the buffalos of East Africa have hairdos that are reminiscent of the founding fathers.
Blue monkey in tree.
Early morning start (probably too early) riding shotgun with Stephen. Why do I look so cheery? No question that most of the coffee ended up on my pants.
Watch an awesome East African sunset over an Acacia tree.
Breathtaking Masai Mara sunset
Balloon ride we'd take the next day.
Not doing anymore Lion captions. So many lions, so little time. They speak for themselves, and sometimes loudly.
Cheetah climbs live termite hill.
Two cheetahs just hanging out.
Young elephant. Mom can't be far away.
Buffalo and giraffe in Masai Mara. Where's the community organizer?
Riding shotgun with Stephen.
A rare black rhino. Her baby was hidden in the bush.
Thompson's gazelles butting heads.
Carl sharing Kichwa Tempo pool with warthog.
At the balloon landing.
Kenyan kids on a field trip of their own.
Old bull elephant. Note the ragged ears.
Following the balloon ride, we feasted on a bush champagne breakfast. South Africa champagne? Uck.
From left to right. Carl's dad John, Carl and our new Japanese friend Masako. A veteran safarier and a good animal spotter.
You've heard of a full Cleveland? Carl in a full safari.
Black rhino up close
Line of hippos look like they are watching a movie. Maybe "Finding Nemo".
A stubborn zebra in our way.
A flock of vultures.
Leopard alert! Favorite hiding place is in trees. Very hard to see, we saw 4 of them.
Entertainment at Kichwa Tembo with a young Japanese boy getting in the act.
Tony with small buffalo.
And then with an Eland. Department of Ag won't approve.
This lion was 3 feet from me in the front seat of the Land Rover.
Passing the truck. The raised tail shows he's not too happy about the company.
More likely a yawn rather than a growl.
Another view of this lion's pass by our van.
More likely a yawn than a growl.
Pretty sure this was a vulture.
The beginning of a Masai Mara thunderstorm. We got drenched in the open Land Rover. As the storm hit we were tracking a female lion who was hunting down an impala.
Carl as they fire up the balloon.
Reedbucks or bushbucks, Some kind of bucks. No, they're waterbucks.
View from the balloon of the Mara River.
A view of the Mara River from the baloon.
Balloon casts a wide shadow.
Zebras from 2000 feet.
Elephants of a different color.
On our balloon ride. We are to the left; I am closest to the fire and was pretty well cooked by the time we landed.
Tony upon balloon landing.
Carl at the balloon landing.
Mean old hyena.
Mean old croc.
Hippos use each other as pillows. Comfy.
Leopard hiding in a tree. Yeah, it's dark up there, that's why they hide there.
On top of the escarpment.
At bush dinner on Mara River.
Elephants and vans share the road.
Giraffe with balloons in the background.
Carl and his dad saw a group of lions sharing (to put it gently) a killed warthog.
The men get first dibs. It's the women who do the hunting, for the most part.
KICHWA TEMPO, OUR FIRST SITE. Our friend Joshua at the Kichwa Tempo tented camp in Kenya. Lovely man. Showed me the monkeys of the camp.
Saying farewell to a Maasai friend.
Maasai boy and goats on road to Tarangire.
Baobob against the beginning of the night.
Vervet monkeys in naked tree.
Zebras with giraffe in the background.
They don't leave much left.
The three of us in a famous Tarangire baobob with big hole in the middle.
Rashidi, John and Carl.
At the Tarangire Treetops pool.
Carl coming down from our treetops home on spiral staircase. Above is a trapdoor to disinvite any unwanted animal intruders.
On the deck of the Tarangire home.
On the way to dinner at Treetops, we saw a rare leopard drinking from a pool under the swimming pool. Hard to see, but he was there. Reason number 1 why you need an escort after dark.
Carl and John pose in their night bush drive capes.
Our night bush drive vehicle with a Maasai spotter riding up front.
Elephants at night.
Tarangire full moon.
Vervet monkey in naked tree.
Elephants grab a drink.
Another baboon baby hitching a ride.
Our expansive Treetops room, the bathroom is around the back to the left.
Our treetops room's front door.
Huge Baobob tree dominated the main house at Tarangire Treetops.
Overlooking Lake Manyara.
On the way from Tarangire to the Ngorogoro crater.
A Maasai herds cattle.
Three Maasai, three zebras.
Animals at the edge of the salt lake in the crater.
Cheetah hunts an Impala. He never got close enough. While cheetah are fast, their endurance is wanting so they have to get close.
Mother lion and cubs.
How the cats hide and how hard it is to see them.
Don't know what I was scared of.
"Enjoying" one of the martini attempts at the Ngorogoro Crater Serena Hotel. They never got it right.
The closest we could get to the huge flock of flamingos at the edge of the crater lake, even with a zoom lens.
The whole hyena tribe.
They can be cute. In a mottled way.
Writing or drawing in my journal.
The flamingos again (seriously doctored photo).
Another baboon piggyback ride.
Vervet monkey mother and child.
Another vervet monkey climbs on a van, and inside it.
One of only two times I touched civilization on the web at the Ngorogoro Crater Serena lodge.
Sometimes the symmetry of the bush is magical.
Maasai mother and child.
Maasai dancing involves jumping. And yelling and screaming.
Maasai mother peeks in on kindergarten
Maasai boy coaches his mates on the numbers.
AT MAASAI VILLAGE. Maasai Mother with her child. While she wore Maasai jewelry and clothing, I cropped off her digital watch. You met the Maasai in "Out of Africa."
At a Maasai village, I held the stick of a village leader.
At the Maasai village kindergarten, I tested students on numbers.
SERENGETI. This was the most fascinating scene we experienced in Africa, lion mating rites. Four on a rock, one male and three females.
Male chats up one of the females.
The very brief mating scene. Lots of noise.
A sweet nudge.
This was a growl.
Our first hint of a Leopard and two cubs in a dense tree.
Here you can see the spots.
Then she pulls recent kill onto the rock, an Impala.
Topi, wearing designer jeans.
SERENGETI. In our Serengeti tent at the Mbuzi Mawe camp. Very luxurious. One morning we woke up with a buffalo outside our door.
Another hippo battle.
Red head agama lizard.
Baboons at play.
Hard to find Serval.
Baboon children learn how to climb trees.
This cheetah caught something and is eating in the shade.
Vultures are waiting above for leftovers.
This shows how hard it is to see those leopards. Notice the tail in the opening.
Serval cat crossed in front of us.
He looked our way for a second.
Our tents from the outside at Mbuzi Mawe.
Baboons climbing high.
Entertainment at Mbuzi Mawe.
Inside Mbuzi Mawe tent.
John with canp security. What did he do this time?
Rashidi with his new "Good Morning America" hat, dropping us off at one of the Serengeti air strips.
Waiting for theplane. It was late.
At Fumba Beach Lodge.
First Zanzibar sunset.
The Fumba Beach Lodge dog Simba. He's very cat like. Has a mind of his own. He'll bond with you when he wants to.
At the Stonetown Market, its meat market only beef and lamb, now pork.
A spice vendor's booth: "Malaria Stop."
I bargain for spices. Very expensive.
Church and mosque towers.
The Anglican church built on the site of the Zanzibar slave market.
Zanzibar's beautiful doors tell a story. For example, were you a merchant, a slave trader?
This is the center of the universe in Stonetown.
Used book seller boosts Barack Obama.
Stonetown's House of Wonders is based in this unusual building, which boasts, among other things, the highest elevator of its time.
At Zanzibar's Stonetown market. A vendor.
A Zanzibarian doing backflips on the beach in Stonetown.
In Zanzibar, vehicles carry Obama bumper stickers.
One of the wonderful things about Fumba Beach Lodge on Zanzibar were the quiet hideaways all around. This one was a great place for reading and playing Scrabble. On the scrabble front, I was almost shut out.
Another hideway at Fumba tghat we liked after dinner. The beach was below and a sky full of stars were above.
My niece Phoenix would appreciate kids playing soccer (football) on the road between Stonetown and Fumba.
Back at Fumba, I relax in the Fumba pool as the sun sets.
Second Fumba sunset.
Carl relaxing with Simba. Simba would hang out with us when we played scrabble at each afternoon's end.
The next day on our snorkeling adventure, perhaps my best ever. We toured the 5 mile Ukombe Reef in the Menai Bay conservation area.
Sea view. There really are a lot of beautiful fish to see. We had trouble catching them on camera.
Our snorkeling guide Lauren shows us an Indian Ocean starfish.
Lauren dives down to show us something special. Don't remember what.
Back on the boat.
Me too. Really didn't like the wetsuits which, I think, gave me a rash.
See, there are fish.
Carl in a cove of our lunch site.
Carl and Lauren.
Cuddling with a bored Simba.
The next day, our guide wasn't so lucky when she took a Brit family on a fishing trip. They caught two large fish and she had a hook stuck in her hand. Needed to be rushed to the hospital. Her hunky boyfriend Davide fainted.