Last week I wrote about our amazing adventures at Giraffe Manor and today will be all about the second part of our trip which was our Maasai Mara Safari!
We were driven to the local airport and took a small aircraft through SafariLink to get to the Maasai Mara, from where our guide picked us up. On our way to our tented luxury cabin, we saw our first animal, a cheetah with her two cubs!! It was unreal!! We watched the animals for a while, but it was mid-day and quite hot, so the animals were just relaxing in the shade, and after a while, we decided to do the same.
We stayed at Ol Seki Hemingways Mara in a luxury tent, and man it was luxurious! It was a tent in the middle of the Mara and we could see and hear animals all around us. Now you might think, lions right near you? Is that safe? But the one thing we learned is that lions, cheetah’s, elephants, etc. don’t see humans as a threat! We don’t look like food, don’t smell like food, nor taste like food (not for them that is), that the animals leave us be. The only time they will attack you is if you attack them, or think to attack them. So, it was perfectly safe to be surrounded by animals (although, to be truthful, I was slightly terrified).
We saw so many animals!! We were on safari for 5 whole days and went on game drives in the mornings and evenings, and one day on a hot air balloon safari! We didn’t see all the Big 5, unfortunately, but the animals we did see were amazing! The big 5 include the lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and the buffalo. We saw a rhino at the David Sheldrick animal orphanage, but didn’t get to see any leopards, although a cheetah looks remarkably similar.
After watching animals for 5 days, my favorites are definitely elephants and giraffes. Giraffes because they are so tall and beautiful and just really fun to watch as they run, sleep (they literally sleep for 5 minutes a day), and hug (yes, we definitely saw giraffes hugging and it was just so adorable), and elephants because how much they care for each other. Just watching animals interact with each other, you learn so much. And elephants are one of the few animals we observed that you can actually see how much they care for one another and their children. A couple of times we tried to drive closer to them, but had to pull back because they seemed to want to come after us (oh oh) :P.
These were our Maasai guides for the Maasai Mara Safari. The one on the left took us on our morning and night game drives, and the one of the right took us on a walking tour. The Maasai are famously known for their red clothing that they wear (which we were told represents blood, because they actually drink animal blood) as well as being tall and brave warriors since they live together with the animals in the Mara. Our guide told us stories of where even lions have backed off from eating the Maasai’s cattle because the lions were intimidated by their bravery.
On our third day on safari, we woke up super early to drive across the Mara, almost near Tanzania to go on our hot air balloon safari. I don’t know why but I thought it would be a bumpy ride, but it was completely the opposite, it was so smooth and so peaceful. I felt like I was the only one around and it was so serene and beautiful and amazing. As we were in the air, we saw the sun rise and watched below as we saw zebras, giraffes and hyenas. It was definitely a once in a lifetime type of experience.
We loved each and every minute in Kenya, especially the Maasai Mara Safari, and we can’t wait to go back. It is definitely one of my favorites places in the world now 🙂