AFRICA: Safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

image

Outside the Maasai Village with our outstanding driver & tour guide, HENRY!!

Lions, elephants, hyenas, leopards, monkeys, gazelle and antelopes galore, crocodiles, wildebeest, zebras… The list goes on and on of animals you see on a daily basis when on safari. It is truly amazing to witness how they act in the wild and how close the drivers take you into the action. Most of them know a lot about the animals and their behaviors. Take our guide Henry from the Fairmont Mara Safari Club. He is outstanding! Really knows his stuff and makes everyone feel comfortable with his extraordinary personality. Two thumbs up for this great tour guide. Hopefully, if you decide to visit Kenya and stay in the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, you are privileged with Henry as your driver and tour guide.

image

Sunrise on the Maasai Mara National Reserve park

image
image

I, personally, didn’t think we were going to be so lucky in seeing all of these beautiful animals right off the bat. I had in mind going to a spot and sitting there for a few hours, waiting for something to pop out. Thankfully, this is not how safari’s work. They literally drive around looking for the animals and radio each other if they spot something like one of the big cats or one of the Top 5 Big Game in the park. The Top 5 Big Game being the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant.

image

The beautiful zebra


image

Baby zebra with family

Luckily, we have Henry and his skills in finding these wild beings. The very first day here, we were able to spot a leopard eating it’s pray in a tree! Now, for those of you who don’t know, spotting a leopard on safari is extremely rare and not easy seeing as they are shy and do not like to be seen so they hide high up in the trees and in the bushes which makes them nearly impossible to spot. They do not hunt, they surprise/ambush their pray while they have strayed from they’re group in the bushes and drag them up the tree so that other predators cannot steal it away. Henry and his friends do it without a problem. Put it this way, it’s like finding a needle in a hay stack. And with their help, we have seen the lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo but not yet the rhino out of the Big 5. But, we’ve also seen others that are not part of the Big 5 such as the giraffe, the hippo, crocodiles, and hyenas along with others.

image

Elephants


image

The great giraffe

We also had the privilege to watch the crossing after just getting to the Mara River, where as others go and sit for hours on end without seeing them cross. You see, the wildebeest and zebras are the ones who cross the Mara River to get from the Maasai Mara to the Serengeti in Tanzania. The zebras are the ones who start crossing and the wildebeest follow in the thousands. The thing is that there are crocodiles and hippos up and down the river banks. This makes them scared to go in the water. So, the zebras and wildebeest together will go to the water’s edge, take a few steps in, regret it and run back out. This can go on for hours. We were lucky enough to only wait about 10-15 minutes before they dove in and the action started. Surprisingly so, the crocodiles seemed to be full and did not even try to eat any of the animals crossing. On a funny note, did you know that they do not cross the Mara River just once? They cross back and forth until they keep migrating further away from the river. Strange and unexplained, yes, but also very true. while we were there, the zebras crossed over and then within the hour, crossed back over to hour side. Makes no sense but that’s why they have instincts not reasoning. (lol)

image

Powerful lion & his queen


image
image

Today, we visited a Maasai Village. Interesting to see their culture still active even though we are in the 21st Century. We were able to see inside of their walls and tour the inside of their homes. They explained to us how the village houses were made by the women and how they collect different materials from the environment to build them like the clay from the ground to make the walls and roof of their very small homes. We learnt the reason why they wear such bright colors, especially reds, is to scare off predators like lions, leopards and hyenas. Also, they are not allowed to hunt in the Maasai Mara National Reserve Park, so they raise cattle and goats for food (very few chicken). When they need something like beads for making necklaces or bracelets to sell, they may trade goods with other tribes or markets if they do not have enough money to buy the supplies.

image

The Great Migration in action


image
image

On the other side of the river after crossing, you can see how many there actually are just in that spot. As we speak, there are 1.5 million wildebeest in Africa

Their tribes consist of about 150 people and the older men of the tribe may have other families in other tribes. The young men taking care of the tribe while the others are out visiting their families in other tribes range from ages about 15 to 30. The future chief of the tribe, son of the chief, was our “tour guide” for the village and translator if we had any questions. He was only 17 years old. It seems they do not go to a hospital or clinic when sit or are in labor. Everything is resolved within the tribe.

image

One of the Maasai Villages


image
image

90 year old grandmother with her grandson and still strong.

Well, this is what we’ve done on safari so far… We’ll keep you posted and we’ll have a review after all of this of the entire trip. Thanks for reading! 🙂

One thought on “AFRICA: Safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures and your tricks to travel for free. We have been following you guys for some time and I’m looking forward to travel for free in the future as well. All thanks to your help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s