Africa Month :: Safari

safari in the masai mara[trip style = active & adventure]

{Editor's Note: Today is the last installment of my trip style = active & adventure getting toglamping and going on safari in the Masai Mara. If you ever have/take the opportunity to do a safari, it's awe-inspiring and other-worldly.}

Just landing on a dirt runway that had just been cleared from herds hanging' below in Kenya's Masai Mara was momentous enough, not to mention a five-day adventure roaming sun-soaked plains, getting up close and personal with lions and watching hundreds of wildebeest and zebra race across the Mara river.

Visiting in the fall is bliss; it's just before rainy season and during the great migration when thousands of animals journey up from the Serengeti. Here's a taste of my million-times-better-than-a-zoo experience in the Masai Mara.

A Kenyan Safari land rover shadow masai mara {We didn't see any lions or cheetahs on our first game drive, but we did have the opportunity marvel at this orangy, just-before-sunset, shadow-effect on our Land Rover!}

rhinos masai mara {Just a regular morning in the Masai Mara... This picture is taken standing a few feet away from the rhinos---beside guards with large guns. The guards were charged with protecting the last 6 rhinos in the region. Apparently their tusks go for $100,000 on the Asian black market. Very sad.}

rhinos in kenya {Yes, I did get this close and it was ba-na-nas!}

baboons running {Love how baboon babies hang on to their moms.}

giraffe {Giraffe: towering over trees.}

giraffs {It takes two to tango.}

{Last giraffe picture, I promise, they are just so elegant and stylish, aptly sporting this season's hot camel colour.}

zebra {Male and female zebra with not-that-big (for the region) termite mounds in the background.}

lion doing yoga {Apparently the yoga trend has caught on in the Mara too...}

lions in the masai mara {Don't get in the way of a lion couple's lazy Sunday afternoon and their dinner. Did you know the lionesses do most of the work and the lions just sit back and wait for their dinner to be served? Reminds me of Leave it to Beaver re-runs.}

lioness {A lioness at her best.}

male lion {The king, on his way to a royal meeting.}

ostridge {The dainty, yet viciously powerful (male) ostridge.}

elephants {Momma and baby elephants.}

mom and baby elephant {Words can't describe...}

cape buffalo {Cape Buffalo: one of 'the big 5.' This picture looks like it belongs on a 'cheer up' greeting card.}

cheetah {The Mara's version of the fast and the furious: the cheetah.}

the great migration masai mara {After waiting two hours for the timid wildebeest and zebra to cross the Mara river, the frantic crossing took place. Did I mention that large, snap-happy crocs were lying in wait, monitoring just the right moment to create a raucous? Thank goodness there was only one casualty of war... }

migration mara river {Here's a better picture (that I didn't take) showing the migration scene at the crossing.}

road in masai mara {Heading back to the lodge...}

masai mara sunset {A picturesque end to our safari adventure. I got goosebumps the night I saw this sunset, and still do every time I look at this picture.}

fairmont masai mara safari guides {With our Safari guides Moses and Moses, ending our search for the Big 5 (lions, cape buffalo, leopards, rhinos and elephants). Leopards, who spend a lot of time in trees, are hard to spot. We didn't see one. Oh well, as if I needed an excuse to go on safari again!}

Safari Tips

  • Off-roading in a Land Rover (or like vehicle) on the uneven ground can be a semi-rough ride. An old lady I met brought a pillow with her to lessen the impact on her behind! Also, I get motion sick on any moving thing including chair lifts, yet didn't get sick despite the bumps.
  • Bring a hat and sunscreen.
  • There's a reason why safari-wear is khaki: it's dusty and the light colour is good at warding off the mid-day heat.
  • Bring warm clothes, it can be chilly in the early morning or late afternoon when there's no sun.
  • Bring a good camera, we only brought a point-and-shoot Sony digi cam and I wish we could rewind and go back with a better camera.
  • All lodges offer similar game drive packages, make sure you go on an all-day game drive---a highlight in terms of seeing more territory and animals.

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[images by @tripstyler & @nate_fri]