Published 16 November, 2009
Africa , Travelogue
Tags: Africa, Masai Mara
Never quite finished blogging about Africa so I thought I will continue where I left off. After Lewa, we hopped onto a mini plane and headed to the Masai Mara where we spent four glorious nights at the Naibor Camp. Upon arrival, we were whisked to our campsite where we were given an introductory tour of the site. Drinks and food were all inclusive but I was happy that laundry was also part of the deal. Yay, clean clothes to look forward to!
The Masai Mara is a large park reserve in south-western Kenya. The Masai is famed for its exception population of game and the annual migration of the zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and the wildebeest. We were of course hoping to catch the latter. Thankfully, no more walking at the Masai. We we given the sole-use of a vehicle plus a guide (Nelson) during our stay. Woo hoo… I could kick my shoes off, kick back and enjoy the scenery!
The game drive is very different from the hiking tour. For one, you are alot closer to the animals. As long as you do not get out of the vehicle, it’s really very safe. We spotted tons of animals from Thomson gazelles, Masai Giraffe, Buffalo, Bat-eared fox, jackal, lions, cheetahs and my personal fave.. PUMBA (the warthog).
Lions were almost everywhere! We spotted a pride of lions on our first game drive. The boys went wild taking loads of pictures of the king of the jungle. We sat in our vehicle for over 30 minutes just watching the creatures sleeping. Fact: did you know that the lion sleeps at least 20 hours a day? Well, I didn’t. But now I do…
One of the daily rituals that we’ve come to enjoy is ‘Sundowners’. Basically, at about 6-6.30pm everyday, the camps will prepare drinks for you to enjoy as you take in the breath-taking view of the sun-setting by the Mara skyline. It’s absolutely breath-taking to just take in nature like this. Nelson would find us a quiet spot (safe from the animals) and one that boasts the amazing view of the sun-setting. He would then play bartender and then mix our drinks for us. Accompanied with our drinks would always be a platter of salted cashew nuts…yumz…
The perfect way to end the day… with loved ones and a drink in my hand!
Our second day at the walking Safari… just when I thought things were going to get better, they didn’t. We started the day bright and early (630am to be exact). After breakfast, our guide decided to play ‘Indiana Jones’ and started to scout the footprints for animals who may have roamed our campsite the night before.
Kitonga spotted the rhino footprint and was all geared up to search for the animal. He was even more thrilled to discover that it was not 1 but 2 rhinos that we may possibly find. So we donned on our Indiana Jones persona and went in search of the revered black rhinos. Over thorny bushes and hills we climbed and after about 3 hours of wandering among the hills, we finally spotted the elusive animals.
Below is a pictorial journey to sum up the hunt:
The journey to our second camp-site was worse than day 1. The roads were treacherous and laden with thorns that just pierced through my shoes. As I walked through the rocky hills, I could feel the hot tears streaking down my cheeks. I was all ready to just give up. But then I couldn’t! I couldn’t just leave and turn back. We were literally in the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere! There were practically no humans and we were literally in danger of being trampled upon all sorts of animals in the jungle. So I persevered! Walked another 12km, over mountains, valley of thorns and rocky hills. Well, what was I supposed to do? Sigh…
After another 4 hours of walking, we eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Again, joy and happiness just went through my head! After taking an afternoon siesta, we spent the remaining afternoon going to the nearest Masai Mara village. It was an insightful visit to the village, can’t imagine living in a hut made by sticks and mud. The gender divide is still extremely distinct. So the men of the village sleep in a separate area from their wives. The hut was dingy and tiny, I wondered how that many people can live in such a confined area. The little children we saw were carefree and we got trigger carried away with some of the shots of them. As we left the village and headed back to campsite, we crossed paths with a herd of elephants and mama elephant was not happy. She proceeded to chase the group and we had to run up the hills for our lives. It was pretty funny but yet scary.