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Pole to Pole

Day 99: The Masai Mara to Seronera

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleClose by the Kenyan border-post a solidly built, light-blue truck is stuck in the mud. A small group of young whites stand looking dolefully at it. They are mostly Australians, New Zealanders and Brits on an overland adventure tour from Nairobi to Harare, Zimbabwe. Their leaders are a short, smiling young man with a Just William shock of hair and a girl called Dave.

'German . . . built for the Russian front,' says the young man, jabbing a spanner at the beached vehicle.

Despite its bulk Kabagire manages to pull it out of the mud with his Landcruiser. The overlanders remount and the truck slowly and unsteadily heaves itself up the last few yards to the border, leaving behind a pair of deep trenches and a baboon sorting through the remains of their campfire with the meticulous care of a forensic scientist.

After passing through Customs and Immigration without incident, we run a short way downhill to a bridge across the Sand river and up a rocky slope past a sign reading 'Welcome to Serengeti National Park'. Elephant herds, bigger than anything we saw in the Mara, crowd the brown-gold grassland studded with enough trees to give them cover and food. A family of warthogs sprints across the road in front of us, tails hoisted in unison. Nigel is particularly soppy about warthogs, and the sight of baby ones is almost too much for him. We'll probably find rolls of film full of them.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 99
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Masai Mara
  • Book page no: 220

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