|Gretchen and Safari companions, Kenya|
Following my two weeks as a medical volunteer I booked a five-day safari. How could I go to Kenya and not see the world-famous Maasai Mara National Park? A few hours out of smoggy Nairobi, down into the Great Rift Valley, we left the paved road and proceeded down a lumpy bumpy rocky road. Our van driver didn’t feel the need to slow down so we bounced and jounced for a couple of hours farther into the country.
For two nights we stayed in platform tents, with bathroom attached, near the entrance to the national park.
We visited a traditional
Maasai village, where (for a fee) the men welcomed us with a leaping dance,
then gave us a tour of the village including the interior of a dark adobe hut,
and the corrals for their goats, sheep, and cattle. Exiting the village we
encountered the “gift shop” – women selling beaded jewelry, blankets, and
carving. I doubt if any of it was made in that village, but I couldn’t resist a
bright red Maasai wool blanket. (It’s now a tablecloth.)
|Gretchen and Maasai family|
We first entered the Maasai Mara near sunset – jostling over roads and dirt tracks. Drivers kept in touch with each other via radios, and a call from one would have us streaming down the road to reach something special. That evening we saw our first lioness – calmly sitting in the grass while her four cubs scrambled and played nearby. They are indeed regal animals.
|Gretchen and her guide, Kelvin|
I booked with Big Time Safaris Ltd., which offers a wide range of prices, schedules, and customized itineraries. www.bigtimesafaris.co.ke