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March 18, 2015 / oneworld82

Maasai Mara National Park

Maasai Mara is a sort of state of mind (yes, just like Malibu, but better). The word Maasai evokes fierce African warriors, that call this land home – and that helps setting expectations right. But the Mara reserve (this is a non-fenced area, so it’s not a National Park) is much more than that. As the northern extension of Serengeti in Tanzania, this is a true wildlife paradise, that sees the annual wildebeest migration every summer (when around two million gnus and following predators cross north from Tanzania), one of the grandest shows that nature ever put up. While we visited the reserve in February – far from when the migration hits the road – we still thoroughly enjoyed the Mara, as the landscape is beautiful and the number of animals is simply incredible. In two days at the reserve we saw lions, cheetahs, hyenas, buffalos, elephants… only the elusive leopard was missing in action, but that’s to be expected. Our tour guide, Robert, was a safe and knowledgeable driver with 18+ years of experience. He could navigate the reserve (and Lake Nakuru, and Amboseli) very easily, which proved absolutely invaluable in spotting animals. The park is hilly, but with vast expanses where grazing animals linger about either feeding or resting. I do not think that I need to write a lot, because hopefully pictures will do the job much better than any of my words. I will just add that we stayed at the Sopa Lodge – a good three star hotel near the Northeastern gate of the reserve – and that we did one afternoon drive, one full-day drive, and one early morning drive. In my opinion, that was enough to see everything we needed to see. Zebra calf Topis Hartebeest Gnu Gnu family Giraffe Giraffe family Giraffe family (2) Giraffe close up Feeding baby giraffe DSC_0286 DSC_0258 DSC_0241 Cheetah Cheetah 3 Cheetah 2 Cheetah 1   The second day was reserved for a full-day drive. We got deeper into the park, and we got to see a more diverse, more dramatic landscape. The landscape is really stunning – you can literally feel what Karen Blixen must have felt while writing her Out of Africa novel. Rolling hills, extensive plains, rivers, animals, very few humans… This is really Paradise on Earth. DSC_0188 DSC_0193 DSC_0209 DSC_0213 DSC_0218 DSC_0221 DSC_0230 DSC_0244 DSC_0245 DSC_0246 DSC_0248 DSC_0251 DSC_0252 DSC_0253 DSC_0254 DSC_0255 DSC_0256 DSC_0260 DSC_0267 DSC_0270 DSC_0273 DSC_0278 DSC_0289 DSC_0295 DSC_0297 DSC_0304

 

The day was long, but certainly productive. The shear number of animals sighted beat hands down anything we saw in South Africa. We headed back to out lodge at around 4pm, exhausted, and we enjoyed some time by the pool before having some beers around the fire. Our third day in the park was possibly the best. We woke up before sunrise for a morning drive, and in just two hours we saw a great sunrise, hyenas, lions, and cheetahs. Simply increased.

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After this immensely-rewarding morning drive we drove back to our lodge for breakfast, before heading to Lake Nakuru on a long (and uncomfortable) journey where our vehicle would break down (among other adventures). All I can say is: Maasai Mara deserves its reputation. The density and variety of fauna is stunning, as is the landscape. Serengeti might get more accolades, but this is a World Class reserve by all means. Come here – any time of the year – and you’ll be rewarded with memories that’ll last a lifetime.

2 Comments

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  1. Graham (@AlluringMedia) / Dec 10 2016 7:21 am

    Amazing photography! Looks like you had a wild safari.

Trackbacks

  1. A Kenyan Safari (Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli + EK F/EY J/F) - Page 3 - FlyerTalk Forums

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