Thursday, March 31, 2011

Travel Series: On Safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve (Nairobi, Kenya)

A few months ago I was in Nairobi for a week. Unfortunately that meant that I didn't have the time needed to take a trip to Kenya's most well known safari area - the Maasai Mara National Reserve - I had to settle for the Nairobi National Park instead. That's OK though, cos for this trip I've got a weekend to spare, and so away we go to the Maasai Mara!

The Park is about a 250km drive from Nairobi, and takes about 6 hours by van. Doing some mental maths that's barely above a 40km/h average - that's because the roads are brutal. Sort of feels like being on a speedboat going on high speed in choppy waters, if you've done that before. If you haven't, well, the roads were so bad that the bumps triggered involuntary grunting. Losing control of your vocal chords aren't fun cos you know ... vocal chords now, what's next? The bladder? Ha ha.

Anyways, since we signed up for the budget package, we find ourselves at a ... campsite, which is where we'll be staying the night.

To be honest it's actually a pleasant surprise, because the tour company had advertised this as "camping" - which it certainly isn't. There are beds, blankets, mosquito nets, an attached toilet and shower, electricity ... it's enough, really.

... oh and there's also hot water! Gotta hope it doesn't rain though, cos if it does, the rain puts out the fire and the water turns cold mighty quick!

Anyways, a 2day/1night itinerary only gives you two 2-3 hour game drives - these are in 4WD's or vans with the roof specially modified to be propped up so us tourists can stand up to ogle the animals.

On to the photographs of the animals then! Lots of different wildlife here ranging from Lions:



Various Birds:

Haha, OK, that's a remarkably sexist interpretation of 'bird.' :P ... anyway lets continue, with different kinds of deer/gazelles (sorry lah, I no wildlife expert, don't remember the names of any of these):



Surprisingly, I actually saw less animals in total here in the Maasai than in the Nairobi National Park - many more lions, though. Unfortunately, thanks to the 6 hour trip we didn't have a full day to go deeper into the reserve. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to come, definitely go for at least a 3day/2night. And if you're able to schedule your trip, definitely make it around August-September when the Great Wildebeest Migrations happen.

Oh, and to sign off the post: Malaysia represent, yo!

I went with Kairi Tours and Safaris. Average all-in prices are about 18-20,000 KSh (rm 660) for 2days/1night, or about 25-27,000 KSh (rm 910) for 3days/2nights.

1 comment:

  1. i'm actually thinking of going kenya next august. Any advice?