Honeymoon: Part V

Day 6 & 7: Maasai Mara @ Cottar's 1920s Camp >> Nairobi

I don't think a more relaxing day than this exists. We slept in (7am), enjoyed breakfast, then took an amazing drive. Calvin showed us an area few are allowed in, where no roads exist -- into beautiful valleys with an abundance of animals and views. Spending time with this man was truly life changing -- his families roots are in this land and have been for generations. His passion for the land, the animals, conservation and everything in between is contagious. We spent many hours parked, sitting in silence, listening, watching, using all of our senses to take in this special place. These were our favorite times. Calvin taught us what felt like everything there is to know about this place and we were consumed in the moment and so content.

After an amazing last drive, we headed back to camp for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. We visited the pool (another infinity edge pool with an amazing view), had massages outside our tent, then bubble baths (another bath with an amazing view). After feeling completely rejuvenated, we joined Calvin for a sundowner at his recently finished house that sits above camp. This home is simply beautiful and the view is unparalleled. As we sat on the balcony sipping dawas and watching the sky get black, the start of something amazing happened. We heard baboons barking like crazy, and soon after, a leopard grunting. Calvin said he could tell from the sound he ("George" the camp's resident leopard) was headed up the hill towards the house. Calvin hurried us out back, where we sat and listened. Again, the leopard grunted. He hurried us up the stairs out back by the pool, where we stood in silence right on the edge of the woods. We could hear old George walking, breaking branches as he walked only 15 yards from us, grunting. What should have terrified us both, made us feel completely at ease. Standing by Calvin's side, using only our sense of sound magnified the power of this leopard -- you could literally feel it in your bones. Such an indescribable feeling and moment. Why did this night have to end!?

The next morning we woke, had breakfast, and were airstrip bound. To Nairobi we went, to catch up on sleep and prepare for our long travel home. Wishing we could start on Day 1 all over again.

See also: Part IPart IIPart III, Part IV

(^ baboons scared the cheetah up the hill towards the wildebeest. the wildebeest all walked towards the cheetah to acknowledge they see him. amazing stuff)

 (^ note the tents in the foothills -- that is camp!)

See also: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV