With the top up on our white safari van and our cameras in hand we were ready to start shooting game as our guide, George, drove into Masai Mara National Park. As the largest and most famous park in Kenya, the Masai Mara’s 1510 sq km plays host to 1000s of animals. So, on our three day safari our camera’s were definitely not disappointed! Inside the gate, we were greeted by a large herd of wildebeest and zebra and almost immediately George had us right up close to a pride of lions lazing in the grass beside the road.
While mama slept, five cubs came out to entertain the safari crowds. As we continued on our drive, I practiced my swahili animal names with George each time we found something new. In the three months I spent here last time, I didn’t manage to learn too much of the language- but my kids made sure I could name the animals on my safari!
After seeing simba (lions), we came across a chui (leopard) high up in a tree, almost completely hidden from sight, unless you are George and are amazing at finding animals. When I asked him how long he’d been a safari guide, he told me at least 15 years. We were clearly on safari with a pro!
Further along the crazy safari trail we saw a family of tembo (elephants) including the cutest little baby hiding out in the bushes until mama started to leave.
A couple of twiga (giraffe) greetedus next standing right beside the road, so close that for once I wasn’t annoyed that I didn’t have a zoom lense (although I really do need one!) It’s amazing how none of these animals seem phased by van loads of people staring at them, snapping photos. They just go about their business as if no one’s around.
They’ve become so used to being on display that they just stand on the road instead of hiding themselves in the savannah away from the trails where the safari vans are supposed to stay. As we drove along we came across 1000s and 1000s of wildebeest (nyumbu) with zebras (punda malia) mixed in.
Every summer, over amillion wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania across the Mara River to the Masai Mara in search of lusher grass. It’s been called the world’s largest traffic jam and after seeing 1000s of them parading single file through the savannah, I can see why. Over the three days, there was never a shortage of wildebeest and zebra to take photos of!
We went on three game drives and were very lucky with all the great animals we found, many of whom were always upfor a show, especially the honeymooning lions we came across.
I wasn’t expecting to see simba porn on this trip, but these two certainly made sure I did. It may have been short and sweet, but it happened three times in 15 minutes- definitely a busy couple! On our last morning drive after seeing warthogs, impala, gazelle, lions, giraffes, wildebeest and zebra, we were determined to see a duma (cheetah), the only animal we hadn’t seen yet. As we made our way back into the park our wonderful safari man George made that wish come true. He brought us right up close to one that was justing lazing around on mound of dirt at the side of the road. With this last find our Masai Mara safari was a success. We saw the Big Five and all the other animals we had hoped to see. Then, as the sun rose higher over the Mara, casting a beautiful glow over the savannah, we watched a lioness eating her latest kill as we headedout of the incredible Masai Mara.