January 27, 2014

Some Phone Photos From Safari

I probably have about 10,000 million photos from the Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park. Here are some favorites I pulled off my phone this morning. I can't believe that our two weeks in Africa are already over, and I'm back in New York sitting at my desk, writing about celebrity capsule fashion collections and manbags.

On the British Airways flight from London to Nairobi, post-NY-LON redeye:

On the people-mover at Nairobi airport:

All checked in at Hemingways for a 7-hour stopover before our bush flight to the Mara:

Surrounded by a herd of 120+ elephants at the Grumeti Reserve, Serengeti:

Getting off our first-ever bush flight to the Keekorok Airstrip in Kenya:

The trees in the Serengeti are divine:

Our first bush camp at Sand River. Here's a tent:

My first-day game drive outfit:

Armando scoping out the Mara for game:

A hot air balloon ride at dawn:

Selfie with a baby baboon:

Balloon across the Mara:

Selfie with a cheetah:

Giraffe having a snack:

You can get really, really close to the elephants. But not too close:

Bed on the Serengeti at a Singita tented camp:

Our Land Rover:

We got really close to this lion, but she didn't care.

Our trucks at Pioneer Camp:

Last sunrise over the Mara at Pioneer Camp, right outside my tent.

Tansy's hubby and Martin the equestrian guy led us on a walking safari, with guns, just in case:

The watering hole near Singita Sasakwa:

Afternoon tea at Sasakwa:

This vulture didn't like having his photo taken:

I traded my J. Crew Timex for some Maasai beading:

There's no such thing has as an unphotogenic sky:

Cute socks in my cottage at Sasakwa:

Giraffes and zebras are buddies:

Leaving for Singita on a bush plane while Danny and Armando head off to Mt. Kenya.

Sundowner on the Mara

January 19, 2014

Animal Stories from the Maasai Mara

On the Maasai Mara in East Africa, there's a small black-and-white bird, just slightly larger than a sparrow, called the Grey-Back Shrike. It's a butcher bird, which means it likes to catch insects and small animals (like frogs) and pin them to the spikes of the white thorn acacia. Just for fun.

The buffalo here are enormous with curved horns that give them the regal air of judges in high court. When the males are too old, they're evicted from their herds. The locals call these guys "retired generals." And these solo old buffalo go roaming the Mara, looking for other retired generals. They band together in roving gangs of old male buffalo. Old man gangs.

My favorite story of animal husbandry from our week on the Maasai Mara has to be the tale of the suicidal Dik Dik. The Dik Dik is an adorable little animal - sort of a cross between a deer and a bunny, the size of a Chihuahua. They have these big Disney eyes, perky pointy ears, and spend entire days just running around trees and across fields. Dik Dik mate for life. And they take their mating so seriously that if one passes away before the other, the remaining Dik Dik will commit suicide by throwing itself into the river.

January 11, 2014