Days off in August – What’s the best thing to do? Go on a trip, of course!
After a bit of research it was decided: Dennis and I would head to Maasai Mara in Kenya, which is famous for its wildebeest crossing between July and October.
What exactly is the “Wildebeest Crossing”?
The wildebeest crossing describes the migration cycle of more than 1.5 million wildebeests, antelopes and zebras between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya. In their cycle the animals are always searching for greener areas and therefore their path and pace is lead by the rain. On their way they attract a lot of hungry predators like cheetahs, lions, hyenas, crocodiles and leopards. With a bit of luck, all these animals can be spotted on a well-organized Safari Tour!
We headed to Maasai Mara and the famous Mara River, an important water source for the animals with
Booking & Arrival:
We booked the tour online for $330 (excluding accommodation in Nairobi) and everything was nicely organized for us. The price includes:
- Park entrance fees
- Transport in a safari mini van
- Accommodation in campsite
- Three meals a day except for the first breakfast and last dinner
- Services of a qualified driver guide
- Drinking water
We were picked up from the airport and driven to our accommodation for the first night in Nairobi. As usually, we decided to travel on a budget and therefore the hotel was very basic, but if you are willing to spend a bit more they will organize any kind of accommodation for you.
Dennis and I were picked up directly at the hotel early morning and collected a few other travellers from their hotel. We went to the main office of the organization and changed to our final Safari car. The drive takes around 6-7 hours as we stopped a few times to buy souvenirs and to have lunch.
Bring an Inflatable Cushion:
The last 2 hours before we finally reached the camp lead us through a very bumpy and sandy road, so I would recommend you to bring a pillow or an inflatable cushion to sit on. This is highly recommended if you are a person who is prone to back ache.
We arrived in our camp and fell in love with the place immediately. There was a common hut to have breakfast and dinner surrounded by trees and a nice garden. Our own tent was spacious with a double bed inside. Every tent has its own, private bathroom made out of concrete connected to the tent. We even had warm water, which was a nice surprise for us.
Day 1 – Sunset Safari
We did not have much time to settle down since our first exciting Safari drive was scheduled for the evening already. We went on our first Sunset Safari that day and explored the area around the camp. We were lucky enough to spot a lot of animals already – even a number of female lions crossed our path, and we could spot some of them enjoying their prey!
Internet and Electricity
Internet is not available in the camp and electricity is limited so you can only charge your devices during certain hours of the day. You will have a time frame of about 3 hours every morning and night to charge your devices.
The moment the electricity turns off is magical in Maasai Mara. We were standing outside one night when all lights turned off and from all corners of the camp you could just hear people mumbling “Woooooow!!”
And so were we.
The night sky in this area is incredible. I had never seen so many stars in my life before, they were so bright, and appeared to be so close. I felt like I can almost reach them. We were standing outside for half an hour just staring and admiring this sky full of stars!
The sky alone is already worth the trip.
Day 2 – All Day Drive
This was the main day of the Safari, as were driving all day. We spotted so many animals and crossed beautiful landscapes that always appeared differently until we finally reached Mara River. We observed elephants, a cheetah mother with her cubs, a leopard, lions and lionesses chilling around, hyenas, an ostrich guarding her eggs, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, buffalos and of course wildebeests.
We had received a lunch pack in the morning for a pick nick in the national park. The food was really basic and I would recommend you to bring your own snacks as well.
Overall it was a fantastic day filled with amazing impressions and experiences.
Day 3 – Maasai Village
We had been lucky to see all animals, so our driver gave us 2 options for the last day: Go for another drive or visit the Maasai people’s village.
Dennis and I chose to visit the village and it was a really unique experience. Usually you would find a lot of fake “villages” on tours with people pretending to still live like a native – but Maasai Mara was different. The people of the village actually live there, in this remote area, and survive on their own.
- They make fire with a stick and dried grass
- They build their houses out of clay. They stay in one place for a few years, until the termites have conquered their walls, and then migrate to another spot to build a new village.
- They live out of the money they get from tourist plus by selling sheep and cows at the markets. They also brew their own local Maasai Beer.
- They have a leader, whose son will be the next leader. Men can have several wives. The wives need to be picked from another village because almost all the people in one village are related to each other.
- The chief explained to us that in order to find a wife from another village they have to offer the girls family a number of cows.
- They have a school and foreign volunteer teachers sometimes come to teach the Maasai kids. You can make donations in order to improve the infrastructure of the school.
- They truly practice their traditions and culture.
It was particularly special for Dennis and me since we were the only guests that day. Dennis participated in a local dance for men (check out the video) and we were shown how to make fire in a Kenyan way. A sheep was about to give birth when we were there, but unfortunately there was not enough time to wait for the event since we had to go back to Nairobi!
We spent another night in Kenya’s capital and headed back home early next morning.
Check out my video from this amazing Maasai Mara Safari Tour!
At this point I would like to say THANK YOU to the BIG MAC SAFARI:
I really trust them, and here is why:
I lost my Gopro and had no idea where. I only realised around 1.5 hours later, when we were already on our way to Maasai Mara. I called the office and they told me they would check if they could find the camera in the hotel or the car.
I had already given up after the hotel called to tell me that there was no camera found. Suddenly the phone rang again and the lady from the office told me that they had found the Gopro in the initial pickup car!
And more: For around 25 dollars they would send a taxi that would deliver the camera to me so I can use it on the trip!
The whole trip was amazing and thanks to help of amazing Kenyan people I was able to create this memory video!