Friday, June 7, 2013

Maasai Mara

Let me first just say that I'm blogging on the bus in Turkey from Pamukkale to Marmaris. It has wifi, tv on the back of your seat and a steward to provide a free beverage (glass of Pepsi) and free snack (bag of pretzels). It is pretty impressive and a nice way to travel. 

Last week in Kenya I started with a visit to the Maasai Mara reserve in southern Kenya ( It's almost 600 square miles and while not fenced in, the animals are protected from poachers in this area. However if they leave and attack people, the people can strike back. Thus, the main predator of the lions and cheetahs are us, humans. 

We did two drives here, the first in the late afternoon until sundown on the day we arrived and the second was a full day drive the next day. We includes me and three Czechs, a mom, her middle school age son and an older lady that was with them who I assumed to be grandma but she was not. The older lady did not speak or understand any English. The boy understood some (he's had it in school for like 3-4 years now). The mom understood most and spoke just a little. So, I did a lot of reading while they chatted :). 

The drive there was long and quite a bit of it was on gravel/dirt roads that were slow going. We camped in some tents that are permanently set up at the site and haven twin beds. They had showers and toilets on site but no electricity. We had a tour guide/driver and a cook who came along. There was a Maasai warrior who kept watch over us at night. 

The Maasai are the local tribe/ethnic group who still live quite a bit like how I imagine they lived a hundred years ago. We visited a village and got some background info. I may do a separate post on that because it was pretty interesting. 

We saw some good animals including three male lions on the first evening just as we were leaving (although they were a bit covered by the bushes).  There were elephants, zebras, water buffalo, a few wildebeest and more. Apparently I was a month too early and missed the wildebeest migration. The guide said it would have been a sea of black instead of a sea of grass.  It was hot in the sun, but a cool breeze made it not bad and it cooled down quite a bit in the evening. 

Here are some pics:

Young elephant 

My humble abode :) for two nights

Warthogs (aka Pumbas) 

One of four male lions we saw lazy-ing around on day 2

Our ceiling popped up so we could see better, nice breeze and no pictures through dirty windows

The animals got pretty close to the vehicles sometimes

Two of six lioness that our guide was first to spot off in the distance before we caught up

Getting some dirt to cool off

Lunch time!

A lonely lioness that I spotted! I was very excited :)

One of the giraffes, which seemed to move very gracefully

The zebras resting heads on each other's backs to keep an eye out for trouble

No comments:

Post a Comment