For our three year wedding anniversary my husband and I wanted to gift one another with a trip of a lifetime. No physical gifts, no jewelry, and no yummy craft beer. We wanted this anniversary to be a special one in the Masai Mara of Kenya!
Over five years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Masai Mara on a summer long trip to Kenya and fell in love with the culture of the entire country from the town Limuru, to the city of Nairobi, and the wildlife of the Masai Mara. I was so excited to get to experience my husband’s reactions to the safari (for it was his first time on one)!
I will start with saying, the drive to the Masai Mara is miserable. The drive from any major city is expected to take four to six hours with half of the drive on the worst rocky dirt “paths.” I refuse to call the “paths” roads because they are so far from any of form of gravel or “smooth” concrete you will be wishing you could were at the dentist getting a root canal instead. I tried explaining the misery these roads bring to its passengers to Brian, and asked to spend the extra money to fly into the Masai Mara. But being the frugal man he is, flying in was not an option. Thirty minutes into our drive on the “paths,” Brian turned to me and gave me the “you were right look” and promised we’d fly in next time! If only husbands listened 😉 . . .
Once we arrived to our camp site, we were quickly settled into our huge tent that housed the nicest bathroom we experienced on our entire vacation to Africa. Let me tell you, the Masai sure do know how to spoil you! We soon left for our first game drive where we hoped would begin our journey to see the “Big Five.” Known as the Big Five are the rhino, african leopard, african loin, cape buffalo, and african elephant. Not but a couple hours into our drive we spotted many zebras, wildebeest, ostriches, hyenas, lions, and the most commonly unseen of the Big Five, the leopard!
As Brian would say, “there is nothing like experiencing the wild in the wild!” The awesome thing about being on a safari is that the animals are not frightened off by any visitors. It is easily noticed how calm they remain when viewers approach, a sign of how accustomed they are to tourists.
Getting to experience the leopard was such a highlight of our time on the safari but we have to say, the second day was just as amazing! See for yourself . . .
Just as I thought over five years ago, the elephants were so big and mighty even Brian was amazed by their size! The baby elephants were simply adorable and followed their mother so closely with every step.
Once one can reach the river, the hippos are soon to be spotted! We had the opportunity to see a mother push her little one around and a couple of hippos go at it with one another – teeth and all! Makes you wonder what their fights could be about . . .
Nothing like the buffalo we are familiar with in the midwest, the cape buffalo are known to be very dangerous.
Apparently the lions were extra tired throughout our safari experience. Our tour guide stated that due to the warm weather, the lions were more active towards evening at this time of the year. I had the opportunity to see lions mark their teratory, mate (oh goodness!), and feed their little ones during my first safari.
Brian’s favorite animal of them all was the cheetah. We got to experience a momma cheetah and her three children bathing in the sun!
My favorite? The giraffe. Their beauty, height, and walk say it all . . .
At one point during our game drive, our tour guide let us walk around the top of a hill where I was able to take in the beauty of the safari while seeing Brian’s face light up with the biggest smile.
That was my favorite moment.
Our camp site was seated at the edge of a small river that separated us from where the game drive took place. We loved getting to eat our meals outdoors, watch the sunset, and watch hyenas, zebra, wildebeest, and monkeys walk near by.
We loved everything about our experience on the safari to the Masai Mara and will recommend it over and over to anyone interested! If you find yourself planning a trip to the Masai Mara or Serengeti, we suggest flying in (you will not regret paying the extra money, I promise!), and completing your game drives first thing in the morning and in the evening when the animals are most active!
Until next time . . .
love always, kylie