Sunday 26 February 2017

Wide Eyed in Africa

Rallying for a Wild Life

Ishmael, the sweet taxi driver from Nairobi, patiently waited for me at the airport until my delayed flight pulled in at 4:30a. It was all perfectly timed as it brought me to my destination, the Kitengela area outside of town, by sunrise. Our deep conversation about inspiring others when we speak through the heart, was interrupted by my giddy outburst over my first wild animal viewing…a herd of Tompson gazelle. There they were at the side of the road elegantly moving together and grazing without being bothered by our 2 WD bouncing along the rocky dirt road. I had arrived.

It was so incredible to see Loraine’s sweet face, after only email contact with the three of us spread out across the globe as we prepared for this project. Lorraine pulled this whole thing off, and it became a reality as we stayed locked in our embrace. I was in awe over the beautiful African home Lorraine was able to score from Elizabeth, housekeeper of home owner Marsha. The man who had been renting it was off on holiday for a week. Just long enough for Lorraine and I to soak up the beauty of the Nairobi National Park at its backyard by ourselves to get the camera equipment lined up before Tiffany arrived a week later.

Just after sunrise was the perfect time for us to explore the animals waking, so I threw my bags down inside to follow Lorraine through the open bush. At a short distance, a family of wart hogs bolted away from the sound of our footsteps with their ears bouncing to the cadence of their dash. And without a moment to catch my breath, I saw my first wild giraffe chewing on leaves in the opposite direction as he kept his eyes on us. Was I really already seeing bountiful African wild life not far from our lodging? As we delightedly watched this beautiful site, we stopped in our tracks as we heard what came next. A lion’s roar from about 30 meters away. We looked at one another to try and read each other’s minds as to our next step. In unison, we stepped forward in the same direction as the lion let out another roar from the creek area below as if to beckon us. We obliged, and began tracking him each handing off the GoPro to each other to capture our delighted faces as we bent over to squeeze under the tight brush along the narrow trail.

A cacophony of monkey’s warning screeches alerted us as to the lion’s route, and the bubbling creek captured perfect hoof prints skidding at a great distance from one another showing the speed of a chased animal. This was as close as we wanted to get to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. The only sound left was the combination of elated heart beats as they mingled in the air with the beautiful sounds of African birds welcoming me to the excitement of Kenya’s Nairobi National Park."


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