In 2007 I had the wonderful opportunity to attend World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a life changing experience for me to meet so many people from different parts of the globe. For few days Nairobi became the capital of the world. When someone travels to Kenya then the words Masai Mara always comes to their mind. A trip to Kenya would be incomplete without visiting the great Masai Mara game reserve for a true African Safari. To my luck there were some safari organizers at the World Social Forum venue and I had already negotiated a one night and two days package for 200 US $. This would including pick up and drop to and from Nairobi, safari, entry fee, lodging and food. I was picked up at 8 AM from my guest house. Luckily I was the first one to be picked up so I secured the priced front seat. I had done my breakfast at the guest house and since I knew that the next meal would be lunch so I had stuffed enough food inside me for the long journey. My luggage just included a few clothes for a night’s trip. Rest of the group members were picked up from different hotels and by 9.30 AM the minivan was ready to head towards Masai Mara. The group was a mixed bag with Brazilians, Americans and of course good old Indians (mostly Guajarati). Within an hour we left the bustling Nairobi town and were now in the real Africa. The roads were good so the journey for the next couple of hours went smoothly.
Great Rift Valley
We first reached The Great Rift Valley view point. From here you can see a panoramic view of the entire African rift valley.
We stopped for lunch at a small town and we were quickly served warm food. Lunch included rice, mashed potato and beans, mixed vegetables and goat meat. After lunch we headed straight towards Masai Mara Park.
By now the roads had become much narrower and occasionally there we just no signs of roads. Even though we we still far from Masai Mara but we could already see some Giraffes roaming around in the distance. The whole group got excited to see this and at this point our guide cum driver smiled and told us to hold on to the excitement coz Masai Mara would be much more than this.
We reached Masai Mara at around 4 PM and quickly was allotted tents to spend the night. Since I was a budget traveller thus I had opted for tents else there were options for private rooms and private quarters also. We kept our luggage and had our evening tea and headed straight for the evening safari.
Masai Mara Safari
Once you cross the main check point you finally enter the Masai Mara reserve. At the gate all foreigners need to show their passport and pay for the entry tickets. We didn’t have to pay since the package included this. Inside the reserve a whole new world awaits you. Personally I had never expected to see so many wild animals in the open. It was like a magical kingdom of wild animals and I was just a small part of their play.
After the evening Safari we went back to our tents and rested for some time. Dinner was served and we enjoyed the Chapati, noodles, beans and goat meat. At night you have to option to see the Masai men dance but that would be extra chargeable. None in the group were interested since we had seen enough at World Social Forum. We were advised not to venture out of the protected residential enclosure since wild animals roam around the perimeter. The Masai men guards the enclosure all through the night for safety. Since I was overexcited I did not sleep well and occasionally woke up and peeked outside the tent to see what the Masai men were doing. At around 2 AM I suddenly heard a bustling activity by the Masai men, looking out I saw that they were all running around with high powered torches trying to look around the fence perimeter. I came out of my tent and inquired what was happening, I was informed that one of the men had spotted some unusual movements in the bushes and as a precautionary measure they were looking around. They told me not to worry as I was safe in their hands. Next day we woke up around 5 AM had our tea and was ready to go for our second Safari. The morning Safari are the best since you get the best views and almost all the animals are out in the open searching for food.
Return to Nairobi
Back from the Safari we had our Brunch and headed straight back to Nairobi. We stopped at a local restaurant for some evening snack. We were back to Nairobi by 7 PM and thus ended my unforgettable journey to Masai Mara.