We landed in Nairobi and began our one week visit in East Africa. After an overnight hotel stay, we boarded a small plane to take us into the wildlife regions. Our first stop included 3 days and nights living in a luxury tented camp and going on game drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserve of Kenya. What an adventure!
First the camp. The tents are semi-permanent, built on wood platforms. They include an attached bathroom with shower and sink featuring running hot and cold water, so you are not exactly roughing it. The bathroom had two solid walls, but the remainder was canvas and screens. Maybe this qualifies as “glamping”?? Here is the view from the porch of our tent:
And we would be remiss to not include the view from the bathroom! That is the commode in the lower left corner.
The camp, &Beyond Kichwa Tembo, had an electric fence to keep out the larger animals, but smaller animals could come and go at will. In terms of human comfort, the food and service were excellent. One thing we did not count on – – the noise that people make at late hours in the age of cellphones and time zone differences from home, with nothing but canvas and a few meters separating you from them. Combine that with animal noises, and a good night’s sleep is really not likely. But that’s not why you come here.
And here is the swimming pool, complete with a few friendly guests who wandered in. They are warthogs, also known as Pumbas. Everyone was in their comfort zone as long as you maintained about 10 feet of separation between you and them.
The animals were the real star of the show. We saw four of the big five: lions, cape buffalo, elephants, and rare rhinos. Leopards would have to wait for our next destination.
At this time of year, the “Great Migration” of 1.5 million wildebeests and 500,000 zebras is in the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara. In other words, right here with us where we had hoped and planned that they would be. This migration is a year-long event, with the animals traveling in a clockwise direction following the seasonal rains and resultant green grass for grazing. Here is an illustration of the migration routes:
The shear number of animals was awe-inspiring.
After all that excitement, why not take a break for a picnic? It is only at rare points when people are allowed to get out of the safari vehicles, due to the possiblility of nearby predators. We enjoyed the opportunity to stretch our legs, but were at the ready to scramble back in if needed.
With sunset, it was time to head back to the safety of the camp.
We want to share a little more of the Masai Mara with you, but we will save that for a future post.