Anxious Moments

First day of my game viewing in Masai Mara, the world famous wildlife reserve of Kenya. Craved to get a glimpse of big cat. But none in sight. Desperately driving amid rugged terrains of Masai Mara. Suddenly my safari veered to other direction and raced through dusty trail. Surprised I inquired but got no answer to my inquest. Soon after all was clear to me when my safari driver steered to left and hit the brake. I noticed more safari vans around with their occupants looking at something excitedly. And my eyes glinted when I spotted gorgeous lioness when my guide signaled to a particular direction. Kept gazing at the lioness while my fingers engaged in clicking.

Safari van approaches the lioness spot
Safari van approaches the lioness spot
Safari vans at a spot to have good view of lioness
Safari vans at a spot to have good view of lioness
Lioness takes a brief look at me as if posing for the pic
Lioness takes a brief look at me as if posing for the pic

After few minutes all safari vehicles started to leave the spot as per the permitted time to stay. But for frontmost safari van, the joy of being closest to lioness turned into a nightmare. That fateful van bogged down on rim of trough in which lioness lay oblivious of the presence of safari vehicles. Girls in that stuck safari started crying and that roused sleeping lioness. Now the complex situation. In front fierce lioness staring at the occupants and on back a raised ground so putting in back gear with all engine force did not move vehicle backward. Instead it moved little further hanging on the edge of the ditch.

Frontmost safari van hanging on the edge of ditch wherein lioness rested
Frontmost safari van hanging on the edge of ditch wherein lioness rested
Lioness alerts hearing the loud cries from stuck van
Lioness alerts hearing the loud cries from stuck van

All safari vehicles stopped. Drivers came out to plan rescue strategy but that did not work too. Rather it put other rescuing van’s engine in danger of heating up. Now drivers came in huddle for next strategy. As per new plan now it was turn of a land cruiser being very powerful vehicle, to rescue the hanging van. And it worked. Anxious moments turned into joyous moments. Crying girls emotionally hugged each other. And the occupants of all the safari vans clapped in delight.

One van gearing up to pull the stuck van
One van gearing up to pull the stuck van
Rescuing van engine heats up severely
Rescuing van engine heats up severely
Joyous moments for all.
Joyous moments for all.

A landcruiser is able to rescue the hanging van

Lioness leaves after watching the dramatic event
Lioness leaves after watching the dramatic event

For fierce lioness it was just an interesting drama which she watched intently. And that may be the sole reason that the idea of attacking vulnerable occupants skipped her mind.

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38 Comments

  1. That’t the proper African safari… always better with a little unplanned adventure! Once our van got stuck at Mara too, luckily, no lions were around at that moment. We were also rescued by a Cruiser. Thanks for sharing this and taking back to the Mara 🙂

  2. It must have been a thrilling drama. I guess the crying girls in the van that was stuck wish at that moment to be somewhere else…haha! But I guess those are part of the thrills of the safari. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great blog and very well written as always Indu. I do ha e this part of the world on my bucket list and want to visit it soon. The photos are interesting and add life to it. Good tips and keep up the great work. Look forward to many more. Thanks

  4. Wow…a moment in the wilderness of Kenya! I have heard so much about the national parks and reserve forests of Kenya. And got a glimpse today, thanks to you. This was definitely an adventure by it’s own means. For the lioness, I guess it must a routine affair as people will be visiting her frequently

  5. I could feel the anxiety while reading this…and the fear of the passengers as well… And I’m thankful for the lioness the way she behaved…

  6. I can totally understand the fear and anxious moments while the vehicle was stranded. Also proves that animals don’t attack unless provoked or hungry. The lioness might be blogging about this in her blogsphere about this narrow escape from humans 😉

  7. Masai Mara is really part of my bucket list. You just get to experience pure, naked wildlife. It must be very exciting to see those felines actually moving in front of you and not through a tv screen!

  8. Thank goodness, it had a happy ending! It was scary while I read it. Unfortunate that it had to find a ditch. It’s so scary to know that people have to go out and repair this. You have captured the moment well

    Kartik

  9. Kenya is such a fine place to spend time in the wild. But of course, if our vehicle get stuck due to some glitches, I will definitely get anxious and fearful too. Glad it all went well.

  10. Masai Mara is one on my list for sure and from the looks of it, so well worth it. It must have been quite a scary experience to be stuck there but am glad all was well. I think ultimately, the creatures around us don’t harm us unless we endanger them.

  11. This is how things should work. I’m not a fan of Zoos. Would rather see animals roaming free than in cages. Kenya would be on my bucketlist.
    Thanks for sharing this trip it made me anxious. :p

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