An overly warm flight brought us into Kenya feeling not so well rested. The memories of being in our comfy bed with the fluffy duvet were already long gone and travelling now felt like the norm, forgetting our city living lifestyle with high-pressure jobs. We were excited to dive straight into a three day Masai Mara safari tour.
Reaching the Masai Mara from Nairobi involved a seven hour drive through the rift valley; a vast wide valley which spans from Ethiopia to Mozambique. As we got closer – five hours into the drive – the tarmac road turned into a dusty dirt track. Ironically we had the view of the new, smooth road they were constructing right next to us, as we instead experienced the African road massage across the endless potholes and rocks, dodging the herds of cows in the road.
Our accommodation on arrival was a small, private campground made up of permanent tents and just by the main entrance gates to the park. We were far enough from the animals to not be in any danger, but close enough to have the thrill of potential thefts from the mischievous monkeys, thankfully the tents came with zip doors. The lodgings were simple, but it was all that we needed for a tour that involved being driven around for three days.
We started out with a visit to the local Masai tribe where we received a warm welcome with a warrior dance, followed by a demonstration of how they continued to live their pastoral lifestyle in the 21st century.
Arriving at the park it felt somewhat like entering Jurassic Park, passing through the gate to a vast opening of lush green expanse with wild animals running free in the distance (and the odd animal carcass here and there). Over the three days we were extremely fortunate to spot all of the big five, including the shy and endangered black rhino, which we were told was extremely rare to see in the wild –yay! Apart from seeing the usual sites of giraffes, zebras and wildebeest, other highlights included seeing a lion and lioness having a nap before waking to mate right next to the safari jeep, and watching a lioness who had become trapped in a tree take 20 minutes to tentatively find her way down (they’re poor at climbing trees and even worse at descending apparently). We were even lucky enough to see a couple of cheetahs charge at a herd of wildebeest and to catch a glimpse of a leopard hidden in the trees with its latest catch.
The Mara has given us an epic taste of what Africa has to deliver with its amazing wildlife and scenery, and has us excited to see more of the amazing continent.