The family arrives in Kenya
After nearly 3 weeks of non stop filming together with Klaus in Amboseli and the Masai Mara National Park, finally Sandra & the kids arrived to meet us. You will see some of the challenges in the film of our meet-up, but that didn’t interrupt our reunion. No time was waisted as we headed out into the park that evening for the first family safari.
As we left camp Tipilikwani, we encountered some dark clouds. By the time we reached the Talek gate, the heavens had already opened up and it began to bucket down. Not bothered by this the family was more interested in spending time with each-other than worrying about where we where, what we where doing or what the weather was like.
We got into the park, and as usual John’s radio piped up with the alert of Cheetahs nearby. Not 10minutes later we saw a couple of other cars in the distance. We parked off, but there was no sign of any cheetah.
Kids get bored on Safari really fast
Klaus had mentioned to me a few times how he had taken his kids on Safari a few times when they were even younger. A NIGHTMARE. Constantly bored and asking where the animals where. Time and time again Klaus would explain this was not a zoo, but rather animals in their natural habitat. That was of no interest to them at 4 and 6 years old. He hoped that now at 10 and 12 things might be different.
At least 20minutes had passed at the location where we had parked off. Still no sign of the cheetahs. Lena, Klaus’s daughter had the binoculars looking at the horizon where they were supposed to be lurking. Lucas would want the binocs, then Lena. Klaus already thought oh no, here we go again, when Lena suddenly pipped up i see something moving. Naturally Lucas now definitely also wanted to see. Luckily John had a second pair in the car. Crisis averted.
Indeed Lena was the first to spot them. In Klaus & my mind this was incredible, only 20 minutes, but for the kids it was an eternity. We had gotten so used to spending hours, if not days on a location sniffing out the best photo and filming opportunities. You need real patience for that, but also after being in Kenya for three weeks, without a direct line to the buzzing modern world, your clock slows down. Everything is done at a different pace around here.
The kids where happy that they had achieved something we could not. Find Cheetahs so fast, and not just any cheetahs, a coalition of five cheetah brothers about to get ready to hunt. A very special moment indeed.
5 Cheetah Brothers Hunting
Our 5 boys where still quite far away from the road where we had parked off, but were heading north towards an intersection. John pulled away to be the first on the scene, where he suspected they would pass to mark their territory. We zoomed off and the kids could not understand why we had just found them and now we were leaving again. Klaus found great joy in being able to explain what they were doing. He explained how John and he would work as a team like this to position themselves in the best places ahead of time so as to not disturb the wildlife. The kids were old enough to now understand and I saw the happiness in Klaus to be able to share this with them, despite it being interrupted by occasional squabbling over who sits where. This was after all the reason we came here to share his passion with his family.
A rainy afternoon
We arrived at the intersection where we got a great show of the 5 cheetah brothers gearing up for the hunt. They eyed out some antelope, but were not positioned well with the wind and terrain, they moved on to the dead tree which John had suspected they would. Now we got a really good look at them. It was incredible to see 5 of these majestic creatures all together like that.
The rain luckily held off for all this time. I remember Lucas starting to get a bit bored asking what would we see next, but every-time we got closer to the cheetahs that would change again. We stayed with them for about an hour. It started getting very dark. Both the evening rain clouds where coming in again and the sun was setting. It was time to go back to camp. We could honestly say that that was a spectacular first Safari in Kenya with the whole family. Lots more to come.
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