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Picnic with the Pride

A longtime friend of Angama, Simon Beck, joined us for a Monday morning picnic breakfast in the Mara which was very rudely interrupted
Above: A picture-perfect example of a peaceful picnic in the Mara

Taking time out to slow down and just be is one of the greatest luxuries of a safari, I think. 'Pole pole,' (slowly slowly) as they say in East Africa;  slow it down, enjoy the wide-open spaces, and breathe. A safari is a lovely holiday for those wanting to be in the moment. It’s hard to worry about work or other everyday burdens when you’re watching an elephant herd or listening to hyenas ‘whoop’ to each other.

The lovely picnic setup in the shade of a desert date tree

I was recently with a wonderful group of people on safari in the Mara Triangle when we decided to stop for breakfast. The Angama guides all have their favourite trees, and so Ken took us to his choice tree to sit under and enjoy an Angama signature picnic breakfast. We had all enjoyed an amazing morning of game viewing and as we sat and ate, we were all saying what an incredible Monday morning it was and how lucky we all were to be at Angama. 

As always, when you sit down and chat in a game reserve, talk often focuses on one's most memorable safari moments. I was travelling with a group that had done multiple safaris and, between us all, we had some funny and crazy stories to tell. Little did we know, that one of our top safari memories was happening around us. 

A herd of elephants gets lost in the long grass below Angama Mara

At certain times of the year, the grass can be quite long in parts of the Mara; but before you get out of the car for breakfast, your Guide always does a full check to make sure it’s safe and that nothing is lurking nearby that they don’t want guests to meet. On this occasion, we got the all-clear and clambered out of the car for our lovely breakfast and morning catch-up. 

Those of you who have done safaris before know that the ‘bush loo’ is always behind the car when you are out on a game drive. On this particular morning, one of our party needed to go to the bathroom, so we all hopped on the vehicle to find a place with short grass so she could pop behind the vehicle in comfort. Once we were all on board again, we returned to the tree, wanting to pack away the rest of our abandoned picnic… but we didn’t need to go very far to see wildlife…

The seating arrangements were not up to the Pride's standards
And the chairs were not quite up to scratch either

'Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it. Lions!' shouted Ken as we approached our picnic. In the two minutes of us all getting in the car, five lions had claimed our picnic spot as their own — each picking up one of the chairs and playing with and chewing them. Everyone in the car was in complete shock; clearly, our picnic was over. The lions must have had a fantastic full-day picnic because when the rangers collected the chairs the next day, the lions had partly eaten a few of them.

The picnic chairs have been redesigned by a feline eye

There are moments you will never forget on safari, and while I have been very lucky to experience many, I know this will always be my top moment. Thank you, Angama, for a story that I will be dining out on for many years to come – just without the lions.

Filed under: Stories From The Mara

Tagged with:

Guest Delight , Lions of the Mara , Maasai Mara , Mara Triangle , Non Paying Guests

About: Guest Author

Members of the broader Angama family — be it guests, agents, suppliers, friends — contribute to the blog from time to time. We love to share their stories, too.

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Comments (1):

Mark Losim

5 May 2024

interesting weekly story that I have enjoyed and laughed when reading it.

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