We arrived into the Mara camp after dark, exhausted but exhilarated, the last obstacle was a really steep lugga which was really slippery after the rain as we climbed out of the lugga in our headlight beams, two massive old bull elephants moved serenely across the plains, backlit by the moon, they clearly were coping with the mud a lot better than us..
This was a moment to be re visited often during the next 3 weeks, it was so magical and almost mystical.
The day started with an early breakfast, and picnic, with thermoses of tea and coffee loaded up in the land rovers, off we head.. the kids all in one car and the adults in the other. Driving up to the edge of the Great Rift Valley, through the villages, whizzing by the colourful kiosks , descending the steep escarpment by a narrow windy road to the very floor of the rift valley.. catching glimpses of lake Naivasha , shimmering in the distance, with the volcanic Mt Suswa & Longonot protruding from the base.
Stopping to refuel in bustling town of Narok for a stretch of legs and a pit stop.. this was my guests first exposure to the Magnificent Maasai.. and all the curio shops bursting with bright red blankets, beadwork, gaudy paintings, an explosion of colour.. the men discovered a bar serving cold tusker, which hit the spot.. onwards… an hour out of Narok we stopped for a picnic of french breads, gammon ham, cheeses, Quiche, salads, avocado , fruits, delicious chutneys, and cold drinks under the shade of an acacia.
The kids had a bit of a biology lesson whilst 2 Maasai dogs joined us , and started mating right there.. much to the kids amusement , resulting in getting stuck to each other..
Funny how things change and swing in roundabouts…
Originally safaris were always “expeditions” conducted by road or rail, and it was certainly not a question of simply getting from A to B, it was about the “journey” along the way. There is much to be said for a road safari, the humming energetic towns, extraordinary and dramatic, colourful sights & sounds it provides along the way. For many years I haven’t attempted to encourage any of our guests to do a road trip, everyone seems so busy and short of time these days, it is just much quicker to fly.
I was delighted when an old friend got in touch and asked me to arrange a “road “safari for her family and friends…
I am now true convert, hoping I get more request like this.. we had such a fabulous time.
Put it this way, a safari by road is not for the faint hearted, but it certainly ensures that you feel like you have been on “an adventure” and that you have at last arrived! After 4 blissful days in the Mara, awesome game drives and wildlife experiences, the next leg of our safari .. Tsavo..
It was hard to say goodbye to the Mara, we left leisurely knowing that this next leg required a overnight in Nairobi on the way through. No one was in a hurry for that, but it‘s not such a bad thing.. Laundry done, different attire packed up, emails caught up on, a resupply done for the next leg , vehicles re-fueled and checked over.
Another early morning departure as the sky turned rosy pink we were all bundled up warm.. by 10.00 am all the sweaters were shed and layers removed.
Arriving for lunch in Tsavo.. windswept, a little hot.. dusty, gagging for a cold drink and a shower, a huge contrast to stepping out of an air-conditioned, airplane usually within an hour of departure, which leaves one with a sense of the “unreal time travel” adventures, laughter, no near misses, and we arrived at each destination with a sense of achievement.
A big thank you to the Wyatt family for their fantastic images!