You may think you’ve seen it all and that you know a lot about the bush, but I can guarantee you that a visit to the Masai Mara is the learning safari of a lifetime. From the mating habits of lions, to the displaying characteristics of the crowned cranes, to the Latin and common names of the trees, to the quirky behaviour of the male wildebeest, to the idiosyncrasies of the local Maasai people… there is so much to take in. Kenyan guides are incredible storytellers; they are knowledgeable and passionate and ensure that with each game drive so much is learnt, not only about the bush and its wildlife but also about life in general too!
Each game drive is its own action-packed adventure; you need to be on the ball, have your eyes constantly peeled and your camera fully charged with plenty of memory. If you think one memory card or two is enough, you are mistaken. There is never a dull moment in this part of the world!
To put this in context, here is the highlights package of what we encountered in just one day: 3 sets of mating lions, lion up a tree two occasions (which is incredibly rare), black rhino, cheetah hunting Thompson’s gazelle, hyenas and their cubs, leopard feeding on a topi, elephants trudging through the savannah in search of water, buffalos relaxing in the long grass, mongoose chasing off black backed jackals, mating ostriches, zebra grazing, hippos lounging in the sun and so much more!
You may not believe me, but I promise I am not exaggerating, not even a little.
I haven’t even touched on the birds yet, and although I haven’t been much of a birder in the past I have all of a sudden become extremely passionate and am in fact now bordering obsessive. That’s what a birder’s paradise like this does for you! So far we’ve seen vultures squabbling over a kill, mousebirds clutching on to branches, giant eagle owls peering down at us, bateleur eagles taking flight, African emerald cuckoos calling, pied kingfishers dive bombing, hammerkops nesting and so many more… what a treat it has been!
Each time we arrive at a new lodge it is like opening a Christmas present, a gift that once opened continues to surprise and delight from beginning to end. The people are warm, friendly, kind and caring… their only worry is to make sure that you have the best possible time and this they make sure of! So much so that every time we have to say “Asante sana, kwa heri” (thank you, good bye) and leave a lodge, I feel like I’m leaving long lost friends behind. Only to be greeted in the very same way by the staff from the next lodge, another wonderful group of very special Kenyans. Each stop is a spoiling in every way and the only thing that I wish we had more of is time.