Each morning at 6:00am, we would wander sleepy-eyed to the bar in the lodge for some strong Kenyan coffee. By 6:30am, we were energized and ready for the morning game drive. If there are other guests in the lodge, they have either come through a Hilton award or through a 1- or 2-day tour from Mombasa. In any case, everyone goes on the drive with the guide who drove them there. There were some vans with four to six people. Thankfully, ours only had us and our wonderful Kenyan guide, Dominic. Generally, the vans take their own route to try to search for animals, keeping the CB radio on in case someone has spotted something.
As it had rained for a few days, there weren't many animals near the water holes in front of the lodge, making the game drives more important. During our many drives, we came across lions, zebra, baboon, impala, waterbucks, tortoises, ostriches, lots of different birds, smaller animals and even dung beetles. We brought our binoculars and camera with us. I wish we had brought at least 10x binoculars (ours were 7X) and a camera with more zoom. Still, every sighting was a thrilling event. Dominic could spot things very far away with his bare eyes. We got better at spotting as our experience increased. We would drive slowly until someone saw an animal. I learned how to say, "please stop," in Swahili, which is what I'd blurt out when spotting something. You say, "Tafadhali Simama.
After the morning drive, we would return to the lodge for a buffet breakfast, ready to share our sightings with anyone who would listen. The afternoon drives would find us taking a different route than the morning drive, returning after 2 hours and heading straight for the deck outside the bar to have a Tusker beer and spot more animals if they were about.