Hello! Thank you so much for checking out this page – I love to share what is hands down one of my most fun and beautiful experiences.
My whole group got up very early the day of the Safari, maybe four in the morning. After eating, I staked my seat at the back of the bus and we began to drive out of our camp. The whole way there we laughed and sang pop songs, or what we could remember of them without googling the lyrics. One of the Massai warriors shook his head at our song choices and suggested to sing Lean on Me, leading us in the first few lines; he had a beautiful voice.
Despite the lack of bathrooms, we were all in high spirits by the time we reached the mara. Almost from the first minute we entered the mara, there weren’t two seconds without an animal wasn’t in sight. One of the first animals we saw was a warthog running through the tall grass – unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to snap a picture, so you’ll just have to stick with The Lion King as your reference. One of the Maasai warriors told us that in Kiswahili, a warthog is called a pumba, based on the word for stupid, pumbavu – he did not hold the warthog’s intelligence in high esteem.
Apparently, there is actually a fair bit of Kiswahili I’d picked up from pop culture; a simba is a lion, a safari is a journey, and hakuna matata actually does mean roughly ‘no worry’.
Another thing you might pick up from The Lion King is the existence of the great migration, when wildebeests migrate through the Maasai Mara with their young – I was fortunate enough to go on my safari at the start of this, when they were just beginning to congregate.
The most mind-boggling thing I witnessed, however, was the wild elephants. We saw one or two families, and a lone bull. Fun story, an elephant is generally by himself because he’s aggressive, and this lone bull did not like the sound of my camera. I was hesitant to take a photo because we were told he was likely aggressive, but he seemed to be fine with the sound of everyone else’s, so I eventually took one – and his head snapped up. When he didn’t do anything else and went back to munching, I breathed out a sigh of relief, thinking it was just a coincidence. So, I took another photo. Only this time, not only did he look up, he began to walk towards us! I don’t know if my timing sucked or he really didn’t like the noise of my retro camera, but there it is. Either way, we drove away and went back to see him later, and boy was he magnificent. I never dreamed that I would get to see such a powerful animal in its natural habitat.
Then, of course, there were oodles of giraffes and zebras! We actually stopped for our lunch right by a herd of zebras, with a few pods of hippos bellow us. So many levels of surreal!
Just as magnificent in its own right was the land, too. You could see for ages, and all of the interesting plants stunned me. There were these cool trees with thorns the length of my finger everywhere, and cacti the size of trees. Most stunning, however, were the mountains on the horizon – I think you can see it in a couple of the photos below.
So, without further ado, please check out some of the awesome things I was lucky enough to see!