Travel

Travel Thursday: Magical Maasai Mara

We arrived in Maasai Mara in time for lunch. I had time for a swim then off we went for a game drive. If you want to see all the big 5 you have to come to Maasai Mara. Most of the parks in Kenya are accessible by car, but Mara is so huge and GPS doesn’t work (because of poaching).  I would not recommend going on your own, unless you have a driver or someone who knows the place like the back of their hand. You could easily get lost, I am usually good with my bearings but was quite lost there.

Going on the evening game drive, not only did we see elephants but, we saw a miracle. I know you are probably sick of my elephant pictures. They ARE amazing animals. We spotted a baby ele a few hours old. Now try top that elephant story! The reason I knew this is because the elephant had its placenta hanging.

Fresh baby ele with it's relatives

Fresh baby ele with it’s relatives

Elephants are such calm animals that communicate via telepathy. When an elephant  is about to give birth they move away from the herd with other female elephants (sisters). I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that when the group returns with the new calf; the members of the herd all take turns to feel and touch the new calf. Isn’t that a great welcoming ceremony?! Animals are so wonderful to watch and look at.

The following morning I had an early wake up call. Some of my guests had wanted to experience a balloon ride. This is usually only done in the mornings. We left at 4.45 am and were picked up by Hot Air Safari’s staff  to take us to the “secret” location where we would take off.

Hot Air Safari's

Hot Air Safari’s

On our way we spotted a kangaroo (Spring Hare)!! At first I was thinking, look at that cute rabbit. Then it got on its feet and I was floored. It scurried away after a few seconds. Unfortunately, I did not get that shot. The image of the hare is vividly etched in my mind. My next mission is to get a shot of that Spring Hare.

We arrived at the spot after a while, and the rest of the guests from other hotels were there. Initially I was not planning on going for a ride– I did want to though. My main priority was to ensure my guests would be okay and I was able to translate important aspects of safety for them before they took off. Afterwards the pilot Riz Jiwa invited me to go on a balloon ride with the guests!!

Riz Jiwa, Pilot

Riz Jiwa, Pilot

A balloon ride has always been on my bucket list and now thanks to Riz I can cross it off. The hot air balloon ride lasted about an hour and we got to watch the sun rise. It was surreal and extraordinary.

Sunrise in Mara

Sunrise in Mara

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When we were about to land a group of hyenas weren’t able to get a kill so they were about to go for a lonely cow that had probably been forgotten by a Maasai. Yes! The Maasai’s cattle graze in the wild. Riz told us that the drivers would probably call the community and ask if anyone forgot or lost a cow and they would come pick it up.

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Our rides anticipating where we would land

On landing, we were whisked off to devour our bush breakfast,which was filling and sumptuous. We weren’t too far from a herd of wildebeest. Everyone should try a balloon ride and a bush breakfast at least once. It is worth it!

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We got sparkling wine on arrival.

Sparkly time! #wineoclock

Sparkly time! #wineoclock

They made pancakes and other sweet stuff you could get a shot of vodka or what your heart desired. I was happy with the selection of teas and fruits.

Bush Breakfast

Bush Breakfast

At the end we got certificates to prove it!

Flight Certificate

Flight Certificate

Riz takes photos during his free time. He managed to get a shot of us and was kind enough to let us buy his pictures of Maasai Mara and the pictures he had taken during our flight, for a fee on either a CD or flash disk.

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Above photos taken by Riz Jiwa

Asante Sana Riz and Hot Air Safari’s for allowing me to experience Maara at great heights and the wonderful hospitality you showed my guests.

After the ride we saw a pride of lions that had just finished their breakfast.They were so full they could barely move.

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We saw a cheetah and its cubs and had time to visit a Maasai village.

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On visiting a Maasai village, know that you have to pay a fee.The money helps the communities. You can buy handmade jewellery from them but that’s separate from the cost of visiting.Keep that in mind. A minimum of about  1000-1500 KSHS (10-15€) per person/ couple or more if you can if you are in a big group. What was interesting is in this village there were people that spoke Spanish, German, Italian and French! Talk about a multi-lingual community. I did not take any pictures as my camera was so full. I had to delete some pictures. Plus I wanted to experience it organically.

My guests took beautiful pictures, which I will share on my  Facebook page (when I get permission) so look out for that.

Maasai Mara is magical and hand’s down the best safari experience I have had in a long time. In July-August its peak season as it’s the time the wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti to Maasai Mara. So if you are planning on witnessing that book now!

This marks the end of my Safari. It is always a pleasure to experience places you have been to with others and see it as if for the first time. My guests were super and I am thankful to experience places and being in nature is so good for the soul.

Topi

Topi

Have a fabulous rest of the week. If you think conservationists are crazy and should get on with it.Take back that thought, if it was not for their passion I would not be witnessing and experiencing all this organically. Kenya is still a beautiful place to visit and go on safari.

R

Donnax

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    aleksawal
    23/04/2015 at 20:32

    Wow looks like an incredible trip…bush breakfast, yum!

    • Reply
      donnasmelange
      23/04/2015 at 20:34

      It was incredible. Sometimes I feel like it was just a dream 🙂

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