The Masai Mara is most definitely my favourite place to visit, not just in Kenya but probably anywhere else I’ve ever travelled too. I’m lucky enough to have visited some amazing places in Kenya as well as other parts of Africa but the Mara will forever top the list. Before this trip I had been to Kenya a few times but never managed to visit the Masai Mara. I spent the first two weeks of my time in Kenya staying at my family’s home in Karen, Nairobi. Which I spent most of the two weeks just relaxing and exploring the local area. We arranged that for the last five days of our holiday together in Kenya we should spend it in the Masai Mara game reserve on a camping safari. We Planned to spend the five days with my mum, dad and all my uncle’s family who already live in Kenya, plus a few of their friends. Finally the time had come and we packed the trucks and the adventure began. After spending eight hours on the road and several stops later rescuing the trucks from the muddy Masai roads we made it to our camp. The long journey from Nairobi was made worth while with the view we had whilst driving up the dusty dirt road into our camp. The camp was located on the banks of the Mara River, before long the fishing rods were out and the whole family were casting out looking to catch the elusive catfish. The whole fishing experience had an added twist, with three huge crocodiles watching our every move from the other side of the river. Luckily for us due to the heavy rains the days before the river was to fast flowing which meant the big crocs only stayed on their side of the river, which came to great relief for us.
Catfish wasn’t the only thing I was casting my eye on, the Masai Mara is renowned for its abundance of wildlife. My main aim whilst on safari was to hopefully get to see the king of the jungle, the lion has always been the one animal I have wanted to see hunting in the wild. The lion is part of the big five which also includes rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard. Sadly to great disappointment I didn’t get to see any lions, but I did manage to get to see a buffalo and get a close up look at a herd of Elephants. The disappointment of not seeing any lions was soon forgotten when on a morning game drive we got told that two cheetahs had been spotted. The park rangers pointed us in the right direction which was off the main track going through the game reserve. After almost getting stuck in the muddy grass getting to the best viewing spot, we did manage to get up close to the cheetahs which didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence
. Seeing the cheetahs and other animals such as giraffes, crocodiles, hippos and hyenas really added to the safari experience. Camping in the Mara is certainly a experience, starting with waking up to the most amazing sunrises over the grasslands with the herds of elephants making their way across the park, giraffes nippling away at the tree and hippos lounging in the pool.
Spending the mornings on game drives, which was soon followed by fishing in the afternoons. Sundowners and watching the sunset over the plains around the fire was a perfect way to finish a day in the Mara. Travelling through the Mara in my uncle’s old series 2 land rover, which is a magnificent machine… with my uncle reminding us several times, we managed to get an insight into the everyday life of the locals. Getting to see the local Masai herd their cattle across the plains of the Mara, the villages dotted around the park with little mud huts and children playing outside, these are the sort of things I didn’t get to see staying at my family’s house in Nairobi and its a completely different world to what I was use to in the U.K. Sadly the five days in the Mara zipped by and it was time to head home to England, but I brought back with me some unforgettable memories and some interesting stories to tell and with the hope that one day I will return to this special place.