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The mention of safari brings to mind memories of Africa. And the mention of Kenya safaris, Masai Mara springs to mind. It is one of the most famous parks in Africa if not the most famous. The conservation area borders Tanzania and is actually the same ecosystem with Serengeti. Together they form the world class wildlife conservation area, the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.
The safari will start in Nairobi and ends in Nairobi.
The earliest account of Nairobi’s history dates back to 1899 when a railway depot was built in a brackish African swamp occupied only by a pastoralist people, the Maasai, the sedentary Akamba people, as well as the agriculturalist Kikuyu people who were all displaced by the colonialists. As time went by, Nairobi became a central stop point for the railway builders and eventually rose to be the center of all the activities during the colonial times. Nairobi got the nickname of the ‘green city in the sun’.
Nairobi boosts as the city with a national park with wildlife in their natural habitat, Nairobi National Park. Adjacent to it is the world famous David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where orphaned elephant calves have been taken care of for several decades.
Masai Mara is famous for the annual wildebeest migration that takes place in this ecosystem. In addition to the migration, Masai Mara is famous as one of the best parks in the world to watch the big cats.
Furthermore, you can choose from a variety of Masai Mara holiday packages in different accommodation types to suit your budget:
Your safari guide and safari companion will meet you at the airport or pick you from your Nairobi hotel/residence. After a short briefing, you will start on your adventure Masai Mara safari. You will do a brief stop when you start the descent down the Great Rift Valley to enjoy the wonderful views of the escarpment. If need be, you will do another short stop in Narok town, the last main town before you get to Masai Mara. Here you can do a washroom break, take-away coffee/snacks before you proceed on your way. Lunch will be served at your Masai Mara hotel/camp, subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
After lunch, 3.30pm, you will enjoy your first game drive in the reserve. The game drive will last till 6.15pm. you will need to exit the reserve by 6.30pm. Dinner and overnight at your safari lodge or camp.
Masai Mara has so much to offer. You will agree with your safari guide how best you want to enjoy your full day.
There are several options:
This is another great day you have in Masai Mara. Once again you can choose how you want to spend the day in Masai Mara. You can alternate yesterday’s program and have two game drives in the day, morning and afternoon one. You can also add a visit to a masai village as part of your adventure. You can also include a hot air balloon safari and float over the plains of Masai Mara for an hour. Then land to a champagne bush breakfast. Return to camp for lunch. Take a short rest before enjoying another afternoon game drive till 18.15pm.
This is your last day in Masai Mara. You will enjoy your last breakfast at the hotel and soon after, start your drive back to Nairobi. You will arrive in Nairobi in the afternoon. You can be transferred to the international airport or overnight hotel in Nairobi. If you will be taking a domestic flight from Masai Mara, you can enjoy a short game drive on the way to the airstrip.
The price of your Masai mara safari package will be determined by the combination you will choose at the time of tailor-making your safari. This 4 days safari offers you an amazing safari experience with the exciting game drives across the savannas of Masai Mara. So regardless of the combination, one thing is for real, you will find Masai Mara as captivating as we have always experienced. It is a magical land that for decades it has been owned by the local community as a communal land. The term Masai Mara means ‘spotted land of the Masai’.
Masai people live have been living in both Kenya and Tanzania. They have been living a nomadic life inhabiting Southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Kenya is famous for the tall, high jumping masai morans, the youths from the Masai tribe. They are an indigenous community that lives near the parks. They have been living in harmony with the wildlife, making them the first line of conservation efforts. This way they have become very famous worldwide.
They speak the Maa language, that is related to Dinka nad nuer. But in addition, they speak Swahili and English especially because the government has put a lot of effort in the basic education of a child, making it compulsory for the elementary school. This way, the Maa speaking community has learnt other languages.
They are estimated to be about 3 million. The increase in population has had its toll on the Kenya wildlife reserves where they live. In addition, they are famous for their age-old traditions. The traditions have been their way of life, but education, exposure has seen some changes come into the traditions and replace some of them. Whats more, is that the need to leave the animal sanctuaries alone and stop glazing there has seen the government force a change in the nomadic way of life. You will see the big herds of zebu cows, sheep and goats. Their life has been rotating around looking for pastures for their herds, hence the traditional nomadism.
In addition to the wildebeest migration, the big cats and huge hippo pools, the reserve boosts of having all the big five animals. The term was coined by big-game hunters, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot, but is now also widely used by safari tour operators as a target to achieve during your safari experience.
The lion: The lion is a large felid of the genus Panthera native mainly to Africa. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail
The leopard: The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa
The rhino : A rhinoceros, commonly abbreviated to rhino, is a member of any of the five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, as well as any of the numerous extinct species therein
The elephant : Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant
The buffalo :The African buffalo or Cape buffalo is a large sub-Saharan African bovine. Syncerus caffer caffer, the Cape buffalo, is the typical subspecies, and the largest one, found in Southern and East Africa.
After you have settled on what kind of safari you want, you have finalized you travel package, it is now time to actualize it. Here are things to check and pack for your Kenya safari trip.
Is your passport updated? Are your flight tickets ready? What agreements have you made with your travel agent or ground tour operator? Prepare and pack those documents nicely. Check that you have packed a copy of your passport in separate place apart from the original. Copies of your itineraries are important, but unless it absolutely necessary, print the itinerary. If you can have it as a digital copy, please do.
Get your gear in order. Whatever equipment you plan to use for capturing the great times, check that you have more than enough memories. You can never capture enough, and most of the times you will find yourself clicking endlessly not to let any action pass by you. But remember the best times you will remember often are what you have captured in your minds. A good binocular comes in handy too and it is a great equipment to bring on safari.
Kenya is a temperate climate region. It is relatively warm and only gets hotter as you proceed further north. In Mount Kenya region, it gets slightly chilly early in the morning and in the evening. But not winter cold. Masai Mara and the coastal region are relatively warm. Check your itinerary and see what parts of the country you will be traveling so that you can pack accordingly. Whatever you pack, what is important is you are both comfortable and decent. Avoid very bright colors too.
Pack your necessary toiletries, and remember items like soaps will be provided for at the hotels. Off course you can pack your favorite ones. All in all, you also need to check what kind of weight your allowed on the international flight, and also on any domestic flight. With domestic flights usually it is up to 15kgs, subject to confirmation with your tour operator to check with the local airline you will be using. Laundry services are readily available at the hotels and as such no need to burden you with too much weight.
Kenya uses the three pin plug and socket. You can use an adaptor and any electrical charger will work. If you have too, take appliances that use light power. The safari camps and lodges use generators and solar power. Please do not use heavy power consumers to avoid overloading the power sources. Pack a power strip so that you can charge several items at the same time. Some camps switch off power at midnight and back on around 4.00 am. Charge your items within this limited times that also save on the camps energy use. Check that you have packed your extra batteries, phone, laptop and laptop chargers.
This is more like self-first aid care. Pain killers, anti-diarrhea and antihistamines. These medications are only relievers. Getting a light belly is not a sickness. It is when it persists that it becomes an issue. The more luxury camps and lodges have an in house clinical officer who will be there for incase of need. But it will be a good idea to have your own preventative medical bag. Have your anti-malaria drugs. It is a good idea to consult your physician on some medications you can carry with you.
Different people have different lifestyles. Medication is part of our lives. Check that you have packed enough of your regular medication in case you use some. It’s good to have extra packed in your case. Have some packed in your hand luggage just for extra caution. You are better of having a little excess than not having any.
Same case applies to glasses; pack some extra in your luggage in your carry-on luggage.
US dollars are readily acceptable in most hotels. But you can either change to Kenyan Shilling at the airport. In addition you can withdraw Kenya shillings from ATM machines in Kenya. You will definitely pass through some major towns and any time you can withdraw. But plan accordingly, because when in the national parks, you won’t have such places to withdraw. Plan ahead so that you don’t find yourself stuck with no immediate cash when needed.
You will be the one to choose to have a great time. Remember, you will see different ways of life different from what you are used to. It’s a different culture, and as such accommodate what you are not used to. Remember, various corners of the world are cultural different. Bring great humor; it is what you need more than anything else. You will be glad that you did.