The world of wild animals by Andrey Gudkov

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Jumbo, Kenya!

“Kids, never do you go for a walk to Africa. Sharks, gorillas, big angry crocodiles wait you in Africa!”1. Indeed, there are sharks, and gorillas, and crocodiles there, and also elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses, lions, zebras, ostriches and rhinoceroses. But I can not agree with the first part of the citation. Africa deserves a visit, at least a one. It is absolutely another world, the world which will open to you sensation of primeval genesis, some unreality of events going on around, the world where poor poverty of population and brilliant luxury of nature are closely bound. In Africa you will open for yourselves multifarious world of nationalities and tribes, with their original, a bit wild, frightening, but still such magnetic and fascinating culture, absolutely not similar to European one, understandable for us. Some people will suddenly discover for themselves that giraffes and rhinoceroses live not in zoos only. That at supper in national park, not only tourists can make a company to you, but also a pair of nimble monkeys who are up to pull down some meal from your plate. You will be surprised that "sausages" tree grows in savanna and for sure you will wake up at midnight because a dozen of zebras has come straight to your window to grass a bit. In fact Africa is exactly like this.

For Russian people “the black continent” has always been “terra incognita”. Even those few of our compatriots who by virtue of on-duty circumstances happened to travel there recollect that time with light grief. For other people impression about Africa were formed by TV programs “In fauna” and “Travelers' club”. Today “the African destination” has only started to develop; African safari is not yet so popular amongst Russian tourists, due to, first of all, its expensiveness.

Someone from great travelers of the present time said: “Once having visited Africa, you either start to hate it or fall in love at first sight. Tertium non datur”. It is true, tertium non datur. People say that travel round Africa should begin in Kenya. Kenya is located at East coast of the African continent, exactly at the equator. We made a route by ourselves. We had only 10 free days and certainly we wanted to get maximum impressions. Kenya by rights is considered to be carte-de-visite of the African safari. It is the country of national parks. Beach rest amateurs have fine opportunity to take a rest at Indian Ocean coast. Our route began in capital of Kenya Nairobi, further by car we head to the oldest national park “Amboseli” located at the border with Tanzania. Then movement to national park |Nakuru" where the same name lake having one of the greatest colonies of flamingo is located. And the last park, which we have conceived to visit, is “Masaya-Mara” one of the most known national parks, “land of Masaya”. Here safari part comes to an end. The final destination of our trip is Mombasa resort city at Indian Ocean coast. But let's talk about everything one after another.

Nairobi the town of contrasts

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, the unique gate to the country. It is the first point of our big Kenyan tour. We have flied to Nairobi early in the morning. While Boeing-767-300 of “Kenyan airlines” was landing, we enjoyed a tremendous dawn. The huge bright red disk of the African sun was slowly shooting out, painting the sky in bright colors. Already near the very ground the plane dived into clouds, and the sun somehow quickly disappeared. As soon as we touched landing strip, we understood it was heavy raining. Not simply rain a real downpour. Africa of all things! It was unbelievable. Only ten hours of flight. Are we really at the equator? About 25-30 minutes passed while we were leaving the plane and waiting for the luggage. At the exit gate we were picked up by a representative of our host side he was young, thin African 25-30 years old, with the widest smile. “I am Jackson” he presented himself to us. “Welcome to Kenya”. The car stood at the entrance, and we found out, that recent rain did not leave any trace. The sun was shining brightly; it was very hot. A thermometer showed plus 28 degrees (centigrade). Jackson continued with smiling, and it seemed that he was born with this smile. Already in the car we were introduced to the driver. He was supposed to be our guide at all safaris, to help us if required, and also to be our translator from English to Swahili the local language.

The road from the airport to a hotel took about 40 minutes. We noticed at the first glance an excellent state of local roads. As it was found out later, good roads were only within city borders and on the main highways. There are no roads in national parks. There are directions. The driver pointed somewhere. “This is Marabou”, he says. We lift eyes and see that on huge umbellate acacias standing alongside the road gigantic birds are sitting, they remind vultures by their size and ravens in autumn Gorky Park in Moscow by their abundance. Huge birds with wing spread up to one and a half meters sitting on huge trees. Welcome to Africa.

All capitals are the same; huge territory, vanity, automobile hooters. Life is boiling. Nairobi is not an exception. “More than 5 mln people live in the Kenyan capital”, Jackson explains. Many constructions kept since colonial times. As a rule, all of them are concentrated in the old, historical part of the city. Railway station were built by Englishmen in the last century, as, it must be said, and the railroad itself. Everything is old, but is still maintained in proper working order. Up-to-date skyscrapers, international banks offices and representations of known European firms look ridiculously on a background of old decayed houses and improvised markets where the poor sell fruit and knickknacks. There-here minibuses scurry over flown by people. People hang on footsteps, exchange words on the move, actively wave hands, and shout something to each other. All this merges in the general city rumble. Often on small city squares it is possible to see how people's crowd listens to a preacher-propagandist. The last tells something temperamentally to the crowd on Swahili, infinitely repeating at the end of each phrase: “Alleluia!”. And everybody smiles. Everybody is happy. Then a bit of African dances follows. Who wants that dances. It looks more like a show. The whole city is the big platform for grandiose show.

There are plenty of shops: very different ones. There are souvenirs, foods, clothes and footwear for safari. Footwear and clothes for safari are of high quality and very cheap. For example, good boots made of camel leather, everlasting, light and convenient cost 12$.

While we were in the city, I have discovered two things as far as my sensations are concerned. Firstly, that colonial spirit of the end of 19th centuries is still alive. You feel it in polite manners of Africans, in their wide smiles, that special attitude towards a white man. When after a dinner at a restaurant of the hotel “Intercontinental” the elderly African in a black tuxedo, white gloves and with unchanged smile from one ear to another asked “Would you like anything else, Sir?”, I have understood, that nothing has changed during last more than hundred years. Dignity and comprehension of own independence has appeared. Only independence of whom +? But we shall not speak about politics.

Secondly, being in any other country, even the most traditional “tourist” and familiar country you still feel yourself as the tourist. You are the visitor. You are the favorite one, but nevertheless only the visitor. Kenya grasps you entirely, at once, not making any indulgences to you, dipping you with head in the picturesque life whirlpool. Probably, there is its own charm in it, charm that there is an opportunity to feel this life as it is during short period of time.

“Akuna matata, mama. Poleh, poleh”

In Africa women are called “mum”, men “daddy”. This is simply and clearly. If you are suddenly late somewhere and run up to your guide, convulsively showing on watches, he, most likely, will smile and will tell “Akuna matata, poleh-poleh”, that on Swahili means “Chill out, take your time, life is beautiful, you will have time for everything”. Kenyans are slow and calm. At leas how it seemed to us.

In the evening, after impressions of city tour had been collected, one more surprise was waiting for us: a gastronomic one. There is one well-known restaurant in Nairobi; it is called "Carnivor". There you can taste African animals' meat. Let us be forgiven by vegetarians and animals rights fighters, but we simply could not refuse such a temptation. In fact not every day you can have grilled zebra for a supper, to eat a crocodile or an ostrich, all the more so, the supper at this restaurant was already included in the tour price.

Around seven o'clock in the evening we went for a supper with the guide. A small educational program on a theme of some features of behavior at this restaurant was given to us. There is such a tradition there. Before the waiter will start to bring you animals' meat, he will put a small tag on your table. Meat is to be served to you until you put the tag on the table. It means that you are full. The supper comes to an end.

In the middle of the restaurant there is a huge brazier where African games are fried. Meat is put on skewers more similar to swords with handles. Before a supper hot towels are given to rub off hands. Then big trivet of two circles is put on the table on which there are small pannikins with different sauces. Each meat has its special sauce. Then spinage soup is brought, more similar to fairly diluted mashed potatoes of green color. It looks not that appetizing, but it tastes good. Afterwards you get one flat pig-iron plate. It is very hot in order not to give meat to cool down for a long time. And the holiday of pot-belly begins. First we tried to taste each newly brought piece. This is a gazelle, this is a zebra, this is a buffalo, this is a giraffe, this is + but the meat river flew without stop. In an hour all was mixed up in one meat kaleidoscope. They brought lion's meat, and we understood approximately how our house cat left in the Moscow apartment tasted. One of us asked when there would be a crocodile. “Akuna matata, mum, poleh-poleh”, the waiter said with a unchanged constant smile on his face, cutting off one more weighty piece of meat. The supper was going on.

“Big Kili” land

The next day we were waken up at six in the morning. Ahead there is a moving to one of the oldest national parks of Kenya “Amboseli”. This park is situated at the very border with Tanzania. It is almost three hundred kilometers by car countrywide. Having loaded our stuff in a minibus, the guide said to us that in “Amboseli” we could be able to see “Big Kili”. We thought somehow, that it is a big elephant, which has a nickname Kili, a kind of local sight for tourists. We left city with this idea. Along the road our guide-driver was entertaining us with stories about the country and traditions. Behind a window the African ground of brick-red color glimpsed, on which huge termitaries of two meters height towered. Umbellate acacias were everywhere. It is necessary to mention, that English is spoken with tourists. Even those who know the language badly will understand without efforts what Kenyans say. However, they sometimes distort words. But we explained it by an influence of a local dialect.

We stopped along in several small villages along the road. Our driver passed something to someone. One letter, another package, or he gives a lift to someone. There was an impression, that all people here were his relatives. At staging posts local residents approached to the car, offering simple goods: souvenirs, cocoas, fruits. Children elicited money, and asked to present them ball pens. As we found out later, pens were in deficiency at the poor. There is nothing to write with at school. Along the road many schools come across. Directly in savanna single-stage buildings stand. Every day children come running for study. They run several kilometers from neighboring villages. The government tries to support a program of general education of the population. But poverty is hard to cope with.

Asphalt ended after 250 kilometers. There remains 100 more km of soil road. It is hot and dusty. It is thirsty. There is water in bottles. It has pleasant taste, cold and freshening. In 20 more km the road turns to a washboard. We are surprised, that during all the time we had not yet met a single animal. We question the driver. He replies: “Poleh-poleh”. Everything is ahead. We take on trust and continue drive.

On a roadside lonely Masaya come across over and over again. They stand and see off the car with indifferent sight. Their slim figures dissolve in road dust. So we go for another two hours. At last there are small gates. It is written on the tablet “National park «Amboseli». Hunting is forbidden”. After a minute stop we continue movement, but already on the territory of the reserve. Commercial hunting in Kenya is forbidden. Punishment for infringement of the law is 20 years of prison or very large fine. Kenyans strictly observe the law. In fact tourism, safari is the basic income clause of the national economy. Only Masaya, local tribes, are authorized for hunting.

The driver says that we can uncover our photo equipment. No sooner said than done. I try to explain cautiously to the driver, that we would like to have a look on places where tourists are not taken. We need places for good shooting. The driver shakes his head, repeating: “Big camera. Good camera”. He understood me only when 10$ moved from my pocket to his. I was once again convinced that it is necessary not to confuse friendship with business.

There is one more interesting observation. Sky in Africa is absolutely unique. The African sky you will not mix with any another. It is “flat” up to horizon for as mush as you can see. It is as flat as savanna. When standing at midday in savanna you feel yourself as a small insect in the middle of a huge frying pan heated and flat.

Now zebras start to appear. There are more and more of them. Big herds wander on savanna. We stop. I take out a camera quickly and make series of pictures. Animals are not afraid of the car. Some of them have also stopped quite near to us, as if they were posing. A couple of young animals start to play with each other. We are fascinated by their grace. After shooting zebras continue movement.

By a dinner we arrive to our night lodging place. These are small hotels in the middle of savanna. They are called loggias in Africa. There are porters with unchanged smiles and hot towels. As if from under the ground a waiter emerged with a tray on which there were glasses with cold passion fruit juice. It was very apropos. We were little tired of dust, jolting and heat. Juice has returned us feeling of optimism. After a dinner and small rest there will be an evening safari.

As far as comfort level is concerned, loggias could just get five stars. There are all conveniences; there is no TV only. But we do not need it. The TV is everywhere around us. 24 hours a day. The director of this movie was notable for unpredictability. There are monkeys around us. There are so many of them that it is not clear who prevail, tourists or monkeys. They are not afraid of people. We were warned to be cautious with them, in fact monkeys are rare pilferers. Be needless and you can say goodbye to your purse. Doors and windows of bungalow also must be kept closed due to the same reason.

At 16.00 we got for an evening safari ride. We have not seen such quantity of animals and birds anywhere. The photo equipment works continuously. The car sharply brakes. The procession of 20 elephants is passing the road. Onward walks a big male, a leader. Elephants are accompanied with great white birds. Elephants' droppings serve them as food, more precisely seeds of plants which elephants eat. So naturally, evidently, simply and reasonably. We see lions' family. But they are too far to make pictures. So we simply admire. Time flies imperceptibly. It is already 19.00. It darkens quickly in Africa. With deep twilight we come back to the loggia. A shower and a supper follow, then we go to sleep. It is necessary to digest what we have seen during this day

In the middle of night we wake up because of a fuss under the window. As silently as possible we approached the window and saw how a big wild boar (warthog) contrived a fuss in just two meters from our bungalow, chewing something and champing loudly. We were observing it for about 15 minutes. Having finished the acting, it dissolved in darkness as well tranquilly. Life boiled around us even at midnight.

Having received so many impressions, we have forgotten about “Big Kili”. When leaving “Amboseli” early in the morning we asked our driver: “And where is "Big Kili?” In reply he stopped the car and showed by hand on a southwest. “Here is Big Kili”. On horizon above clouds the well-known mountain of Africa Kilimanjaro opened its ice cap. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania. “Top of Kilimanjaro is closed by clouds”, the driver explains. “Usually it is not visible. You're lucky”. We make some pictures and rush further. “Nakuru” is waiting ahead.

The pink cloud

There is a road again. We move to the center of the country, in the national park “Nakuru”. This park is well known, first of all, for the lake with the same name. Traditionally, lake is a place of big flamingoes' and pink pelicans' inhabitation. “Nakuru” is situated on the territory of “Great rift valley” and the lake “Nakuru” is the part of rift lakes system.

The road from “Amboseli” park to “Nakuru” park occupies about 5 hours by car on good-asphalted road. On a way we pass set of small settlements, and also small towns. We stop on a roadside and buy local fruit. We are offered to taste a fruit. It looks appetizing but we do not risk trying. Terrible insanitariness is around. Demonstration of poverty is especially evident when you drive near improvised markets at roadsides. Half-naked and dirty children potter about on heaps of dust; dealers also conclude their simple transactions here. And right hand at hand, in just several meters from indicative poverty expensive private residences of rich Kenyans stand, with high fences with a barbed wire of several lines, with the gate tablet: “it is dangerous! Private possession. The house is protected”. It is the country of contrasts.

The car slowly creeps uphill. Diesel engine works at its limit. We stop and change an air filter.

The landscape is changing. It is getting fresh. The rain has begun. We close windows. One more turn and a tremendous picture opens up in front of us “Great rift valley” in beams of the morning sun, as on a palm. There is wonderful panorama overlooking soda lake "Navasha". In this area concentration of soda is so great, that local residents obtain it and sell there and then, at a highway roadside.

The road goes downwards and it is getting warmer again. We pass by flower plantations. Owners of these plantations are Dutch. Our guide explains to us, that today almost half of Dutch flowers, which go on export, are of African origin. We take his word. We pass by cattle-breeding farms and stop at a post. Here we buy locally produced yogurt from local population. It is fresh and has pleasant taste. We have recollected Moscow. The car has turned on a country road and in 10 minutes we have driven on “Nakuru” park territory. The territory of park is located around “Nakuru” lake and represents a tropical forest with several boggy sites. It is a paradise for birds, monkeys - baboons and rhinoceroses. There are also big buffalo herds here and if we're lucky, maybe, we shall see a leopard. Short rest, a dinner and we go faster on an evening safari. We do not feel any tiredness. Take some plums with us. We are anxious to have a look at rhinoceroses and flamingoes.

We had hardly driven by two kilometers from loggia, as a small baboon's family surrounded the car. Baboons do not pay to you any attention until you do not treat them with something. Plums came pat to the occasion. As soon as the first plum had appeared in monkey's paws, all the company was violently enthused. Whence from above, from huge cactuses of three-tier house size monkey's shouts were heard and in a few seconds about forty animals appeared in front of the car. Among them the large male-leader attracted attention, which approached right up to the car with obvious intentions to cadge a few plums from us. Three plums given to it have instantly disappeared in the mouth. The leader was not going to stop by three plums only. The same repeated again. We have counted, that it is not fair, and have thrown some plums far away, to a small group of young monkeys. The leader obviously has not liked it, and in return he made a wry face to us. We have continued our way, and the leader still had been sitting for a long at forest road until the car disappeared round the bend. On the way toward the lake, buffalo herds often came across to us. Their sluggishness and laziness are deceptive. When buffaloes protect themselves from predators, they show instant reaction. If to add to it weighty horns I would not advise to meet a buffalo on one track.

But here is, at last, the lake. Water is absolutely streamless newly drawn milk. Tens thousand flamingoes in rays of the evening sun, being reflected in the water, slowly move on thin and long legs along the coast, filtering a plankton. As if a pink cloud soars above a water surface. We stop in about 50 meters from the coast. It is an open place. Birds do not pay any attention to us. I step out the car, holding the camera in my hands. Slowly, not making any sharp movements, I approach closer. 40, 30, 20 meters… Birds start to get nervous. They hold a distance and do not allow me to come closer than 20 meters. I make a series of shoots. Fast beside there is a colony of pelicans. They are more sluggish. I approach almost close by. Birds sit motionlessly. It seems they do not care about me at all. I would like to stay here for a couple of hours to make birds adjusted to my presence and to continue shooting. But the driver shows by gestures that we must go. It is growing dark. And it is not recommended to stay at parks at night.

On the way back a pair of rhinoceroses comes across. They are a mummy and a cub, absolutely small. Mum mistrustfully steers clear of the car, but kids remain kids even among animals. The cub carelessly runs up to the car, obviously causing us to game. We do not burn with the desire to accept this call, looking on huge mummy. Rhinoceroses are not to be trifled with. Cases are frequent here when furious rhinoceroses easily overturned cars with tourists.

We come back to the loggia around eight in the evening. After a supper, a fire is made near the bar. Sitting at the fire, we are listening to the night African forest. Only now we feel how much we have tired during the day. On a footpath to our bungalow we stumble upon dwarfish antelopes, of small pet dog size. They are also called “dick-dick”. The safari proceeds. It's funny.

“Masaya Mara”

We have executed the program almost completely. There is only one remaining point. The last in our plan is the national park "Masaya Mara". Masaya land. It is carte-de-visite of the Kenyan safari. Long and exhausting way is ahead. The most part of the way is a full impassability.

We have passed the last more or less civilized settlement, refueled. Children run up to the car. They examine us with genuine interest. I get the camera and try to make pictures. Having seen the camera at my hands, children promptly disappear somewhere. Why, the civilization is.

Three hours has passed since we started our way along dusty road on the territory of the national park. The car shakes so much that it seems it is about to shake out our souls. It is hot and dusty. But “Toyota” holds the road.

Masaya come across grazing never-ending herds of cows under the scorching sun. For a day they move on huge distances and come back again in the villages. Masaya are good runners. They can run very big distance and do not get tired. They have it in the blood. Masaya's cows are also unusual. These cows give only two liters of milk per day but it is dense and fat.

Once Masaya were severe warriors notable for their bravery and cruelty. Now they have nobody to be at war with. Masaya are engaged in cattle breeding, hunting and show tourists the life, selling souvenirs, or protect tourist loggias at night. I do not undertake to claim what occupation is more profitable. But they somehow survive in our world. No one can protect white men from wild animals in wild nature better than Masaya. They know perfectly habits of animals and can feel danger. Traditional long Masaya knife similar to machete and grinded from two ends, a spear and a special marching truncheon these are simple ammunition of Masaya-warrior. Some use bow and arrows.

The river “Mara” flows through park's territory. It is hard to call it river though. During a rain season water fills its channel. Now in some places it dries up so strongly, that turns to a thin streamlet, which is easy to step over. In some places the small river spreads a little, forming small dams. These are favorite places of dwelling of hippopotamus and crocodiles. The river is a source of potable water for Masaya and wild animals. Everyone drink water from one source. All are equal for the nature. They live now the same way they have lived for thousand years before and so they will live further.

While we move in the park to the loggia, here come across a lot of animals zebras, elephants, antelopes, gazelles. These animals do not seem unusual to us anymore. During our safari we have already had time to get used to them and we are observing them languidly. Our purpose is giraffes, hippopotamus and if we're lucky, cheetahs or lions. For the next day we have planned to visit one of numerous Masaya villages.

We are quickly placed and rested a bit. There is a huge elephant skull in a hall of our loggia. Administration adds an exotic for tourists. But there is over and above of it! Then a traditional glass of orange juice follows and we again head to safari.

Search for giraffes didn't take that much time. We have found a big herd of these unusual animals eating acacia leafs. We have counted about 19 animals. Giraffes are timid and cautious. The guide explains that giraffes are kind animals. Even sorting out relations between males happens in a special, “soft” way. Both males stand side by side and crisscross necks. Sometimes more active male sort of pushes another, but does it so delicately, that it is difficult to understand whether they sort out relations or simply pay compliments to each other.

We go further, along river channel. We shall make an attempt to find hippopotamus. Marabou flight comes across on the road. Marabous stand on the ground on one leg having a rest. The driver stops the car at the very edge of precipice. Below there is a small dam. A hippopotamus herd is luxuriating in dirty water. I try to make pictures. It's too far. We persuade the guide to come over to other side of a dam. The guide is puzzled, but reluctantly agrees. In a few minutes we are already in just 20 meters from hippopotamus. They are sluggish. We would like actions. We lift a stone from coast and throw to their side. Water bestirs. Animals are climbing to each other, showing fussiness and sniffing loudly. The guide is nervous too. He knows that hippopotamus run fast, and our carelessness can cost a lot to us. But shooting is finished. Happy, we continue movement. We stop near a car passing by. The driver exchanged a few words in Swahili with another driver. He explains to us that a pair of cheetahs was seen nearby. Already in half an hour we find them also. Cheetahs are full; they lie under a bush and, apparently, pay no attention to us. We approach closer and make some shoots. Young male shows us teeth. Whether yawns, whether warns us that we have come too close. The gesture is absolutely clear. We do not insist on continuation of acquaintance.

Whom are Masaya afraid of?

Masaya live in small villages, which exist in abundance in “Masaya Mara”. Several low houses are located on a circle. A fence made of sprays of trees and bushes encloses the territory of village. The fence is so dense, that it is difficult for a leopard to get through it. Inside there are some more shelters for cattle and sheeps, surrounded by the same dense fence. As a rule, young lambs live directly in a house, behind a wall. Masaya build houses of sprays covered by clay and cow manure. After construction walls dry up on the sun, and then it is heated from within. After such a processing a smell of manure is practically not felt.

The life of Masaya is simple if not to say primitive. The way of life is settled and have not changed for many hundreds years. In the morning young men take cows on pastures. Old men and children remain in village. Women go for water. By the evening, up to darkness, everyone come back. Every day is as it is.

We have arrived to one of villages by the evening. A leader of the village is a young Masaya, he looked for 20 years old, came to us. We agreed with him about a price. As a rule, 50 dollars are enough to allow you to go inside and to show a life. We did not bargain. We wanted to get maximum impressions. First women have shown us the ritual dance. Then men. Then they have shown to us how Masaya obtain fire without matches and stone an old, primitive way, by means of two plaques. We asked the leader, whether we could come in his house. He agreed. Having shown his simple life and having acquainted us with two wives he had, he offered us to try Masaya beer. Somehow I read that Masaya produce beer of cow's milk and blood. Then all that is mixed up and fermented. It is not exactly like this.

Masaya really drink blood with milk, but on holidays only. But it is not a beer. They do make a beer by using water, maize, honey and fruits of sausages tree. All that is mixed up and fermented. Taste reminds a tea mushroom, only a bit weaker. After Masaya beer the leader became more compliant and relaxed. We were offered to throw a spear on a distance. Masaya are very nimbly in throwing spears, small wooden truncheons that they always carry in their belts. Stroke of such a truncheon can polish off an antelope.

It is growing dark. I have asked if there is a place where sunset is well visible. The leader agreed to lead us there. Having taken a bag with the photo equipment, he guided us on a small mountain, ranked with dense high bush. We were walking for about twenty minutes. A rise was not tough. At last we ended up with a small stony platform. Having settled down there, we observed a delightful sunset. We still had about half an hour before darkness. Suddenly the Masaya jumps, suffices a bag with the photo equipment and rushes away. Feeling wrong, we run behind our leader. Having recovered breath and shaking prickles from clothes, I question my guide: “Who we run away?”. Our brave leader silently taught lips with a finger and showed by hand to the place where we had been several seconds ago. A huge elephant came out a bush, an old male. “Very dangerous, very dangerous”, our Masaya repeated. Apparently, he was frightened. Masaya are brave and to kill a lion for them is considered as usual act. But they are truly afraid of elephants. You can not escape from them and spears are powerless against them. Masaya pass elephants by.

After all, we still had time to make some pictures of the African sunset. Already at deep twilight we returned to the village. Masaya said goodbye by all the tribe. Tomorrow there will be road up to Nairobi and then four days at the ocean. The safari has come to an end.

1From famous Russian children’s poem “Aibolit”

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