My first day of safari on the Masai Mara!
The legendary Masai Mara Game Reserve…
I knew this was going to be the trip of a life time. I also knew there was going to be a lot of driving involved – the Masia Mara covers 583 square miles (!) – and I always had a keen interest in wildlife (thanks David Attenborough) but nothing could quite prepare me for how rewarding a safari in the Masai Mara would actually be.
We set off in our 4 wheel drive, where we each had a window seat, and a knowledgeable driver guide called Danny (who I am sure had the eyesight of a hawk – he could spot all kind of animals far away in the distance and would then change his route to get up close to them) and straight away as soon as we entered the gates to Masai Mara we all knew immediately that we were entering somewhere magical.
First impressions were of the vast landscapes – the spectacular low, rolling hills appeared as if they never ended and with the contrasting deep blue sky over the horizon it provided some great photo opportunities, yet if all this wasn’t enough we came across what we had primarily came for – thousands of grazing wildebeest, zebra, kudu and gazelle mingling on the savannah, seemingly without a care in the world. We just sat there in awe with the silence, gently broken by the sound of the occasional camera click
We then had some well earned lunch at the Lake Nakuru lodge, again the views were breath taking and once again it felt like I was in another world. I really did have to get my wife to pinch me. What I had seen on TV did not do this justice!
The food was delicious, yet enhanced by the beaming smiles of the wonderful staff and looking out to the thousands of pink flamingoes congregated on the lake – one could be forgiven for thinking it was a huge social gathering. We could easily have spent more time in this one spot!
We set off for our late afternoon game drive which is where we were told to expect to see a lot more. This was due to the fact that when the sun starts to set, the predators come out from the much needed shade and roam freely in search for their next meal. We were certainly not disappointed – lions (with their cubs in tow), herds of elephants, elegant giraffes and striking cheetahs were all spotted within this game drive and absolutely fascinating to watch . Again I had to keep reminding myself that we were indeed in THEIR territory, which made the experience even more exhilarating and a little surreal at the same time.
In what seemed as an instant, the day was now completed and we arrived back at our authentic African style lodge. After a refreshing shower we made our way out for dinner and ended up in the bar where we shared our experiences with other couples. Knowing that this was only day one and that we had several days left of this amazing trip, I went to bed with a huge smile on my face – completely at peace with being in the middle of the African Savannah…