Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya

Safari cannot wait!

I am not an early riser, it’s hard for me to get up in the morning. I postpone the alarm until the last moment. So, after hitting the snooze button the second time I jump out of bed excitedly. Today we go on safari. Binoculars – ready, camera – here, telephones – charged, several long sleeves for sleeping, because nights could get colder, a mosquito repellent and sunscreen so that we don’t burn.

We get into a van, the eight of us. We have six hours of driving ahead of us through Kenya to Maasai Mara National Reserve. Automatically I assume a sleeping position. Travelling by bus and airplane can teach you numerous, new sleeping positions. I could publish a book on that subject. To be fair, don’t expect me to reveal a secret on how to wake up without stiff legs and back. I’m not almighty.

I open one eye as we start driving downhill and I see the infinite space of the Great Rift Valley. We take a break to photograph the scenery and we move on. Sleep won’t come anymore, and the paved road soon ends. The ride is similar to dune bashing in the desert. We have about 2 hours left of bumpy roads full of holes of different size and depth. The road goes on forever, we pass by various animals, people wrapped in brightly colored scarfs. Driver’s telephone keeps ringing and it seems we are lost, completely lost.

We stop to consult some passers-by and at one moment realize that more than ten kids have appeared out of nowhere. We share cookies with them and then we go back, to the right road. We’ve had enough of driving and since we’ve already wasted half of our day, we really cannot wait to get there and go on safari. In all that commotion we stop, we don’t’ move an inch. The van has broken down. The driver tries to fix it, but nothing happens. Today nothing works, this day is turning a blind eye to us.

After almost 20 minutes of waiting, a new van comes to pick us up and we finally continue our trip. We arrive to the camp. The rest of the team has already finished their meal and they’re just waiting for us to start the adventure. The plan is that we drive around the savanna until sunset, then come back to our accommodation and spend the night in the tents, under the starriest sky ever, and that tomorrow, before sunrise, we go on another tour of wildlife watching.

When a dream becomes reality

This is it. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. This is the reason we’ve decided to go on this tour with Globetracker. Something I’ve been looking forward to for some time, an important item on the bucket list. I am very excited, but Vlada seems to be even more excited. He knows everything about every animal, about the Big Five. I listen eagerly to his every word and look at him with my eyes wide open.

We see zebras with elegant, black stripes, then gnus, Thompson’s gazelle, impalas. They pay absolutely no attention to us. We all jump out of the van to take a picture worthy of National Geographic. I’m sure you agree we’ve succeeded. 😊

After driving for an hour, we come across the first animal from the Big Five. We see the African buffalo in the distance. Vlada is disappointed how far away they are. He wants to see them up close, but I wouldn’t go that far. The first animal from the Big Five group – checked. 😊

We see giraffes, then elephants…they try to escape us. Another animal from the Big Five. We’re on a roll.

By the end of our tour we meet a playful cheetah. Perhaps he yawns in our direction and that is it. He is no longer interested in us.

Only lions are missing for this to be a successful day. The moment this crosses my mind we see two lionesses sleeping carelessly. The entire van crowds around them. The picture has to be perfect. Someone might say that lions are completely uninteresting because they spend 80 % of their time lying around, but to me they are so perfect that I could watch them for days.

Dinner, then sleeping in tents, under the stars. I haven’t seen more stars in my life. Perhaps the sky over Uvac can be compared to this, maybe. We use this time to seclude to ourselves, talk about what we have seen during the day, wish for a lovely day tomorrow.

We get up before dawn, ready for another unique day. The colors of the sky are perfect this morning predicting that this day would be even better then the previous. We’ve already forgotten all about the bumpy roads.

Very quickly we run into a group of lions, enjoying a beautiful sunrise. And then we see a herd of buffalo very nearby, just to fulfill Vlada’s wish. One of them is even watching us for a while. We’re a little weary he may start running towards us. 😊

It’s a fruitful day. Wild boars, mongooses, monkeys, hyaenas, ostriches, hippos. At the end of the tour we come upon cheetahs feasting on a buffalo. It’s a good catch, but by their heavy panting we can see it has taken them lot of energy to catch the prey.

We only regret not seeing a rhinoceros and a leopard, to round up the Big Five, but 3 out of 5 is pretty good for the first safari.

Perhaps next time we could go on safari in July, during the Great Migrations of zebras and gnus. So many desires.

After safari, we’re off to the Maasai tribe, and about our experiences from the tribe you can read more in my next post.

All photos by: Danica, Vlada

Camera used: Nikon D3000, HTC 10

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Categories: Africa, Travels

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