The flight time from Sharjah, UAE to Nairobi, Kenya on Air Arabia is about 6 hours. As we approached landing, from high above, the earth looked green, the vegetation flat and smooth stretching all across to the horizon. The sky was azure blue all around. Small hills bordered the horizon and dark clouds threw uneven patches on the ground. The pilot announced our descent into the Jomo Kenyatta Intl Airport at Nairobi, and we fastened our seat belts. I was taking my family on an African safari to Masai Mara, Kenya. This was a long cherished dream of ours. Stories and images of the Masais in their red cloth has been imbibed in my mind since long. Programs on television channels only accentuated our anticipation and my daughter of 9 years was also equally thrilled as me. We were setting our feet first time on Africa , ready for our Masai Mara Dream Safari– on what is known as “the navel of the earth” – Kenya. Here we come.
We went on a family trip to Masai Mara from UAE in Nov 2011. The accounts is of our 5 day Family trip to Masai Mara, Kenya. This African – Kenya safari included a 3 day tour of Masai Mara and a 2 day lake side stay at Lake Naivasha. This memoir of our safari to Masai Mara is presented as a 7 piece Travelogue in this site. I have attached some pictures from our safari and game viewing too for your pleasure. The article on Lake Naivasha can be found here
Jambo Kenya !!!
Kenya has two international airports, one in Nairobi where we were heading, and the other in Mombasa on the east coast, which is also their biggest port and lies on the Indian Ocean. Masai Mara is the most famous national reserve, bordering Tanzania on the south-west. Other famous Kenyan reserves include Amboselli , Nakuru, Sambaru and Tsavo. Placed on either side of the Mara river, Masai Mara is the land of the Masais – one of the oldest inhabiting tribes in the world. The Masais had warded off the advances of civilization and development till the late eighties, but still maintain an ultra-basic existential tribal lifestyle.
The forest reserves of Serengeti and Ngorongoro (Tanzania) and Masai Mara make up the largest wildlife population in the world and is a witness to the “Great Migration” which happens from July to October each year. This is the best time to visit Mara when the wildlife game population is the highest, and thus offer plenty of food for lions, cheetahs, and leopards. The great migration or crossing of the Mara river by the hundreds of wilder beasts is a sight to cherish. What adds to the suspense is a stealthy lion , waiting and watching in the grasslands ready for its kill. The Masai mara annual migration brings safari adventurists,wildlife lovers and photo enthusiasts to Kenya every year.
Masai Mara Game Reserve always used to invoke in my mind, scenes of animals wading across the Mara river with crocodiles snooping there, elephants grazing the grasslands, giraffes picking at tree leaves, zebras trotting across, majestic lions lazing out in the open and the red-clothed Masais with the lone spear walking through the Savannahs. It was our chance to experience it all.
Our plan is to stay at Nairobi for the night, and then move over to the Mara reserve the next day. for the night I had already boooked a hotel at Nairobi through www.booking.com. Set on the outskirts of Nairobi, this hotel did not look impressive at all from the outside. But the inside was better, and the reception and staff were very warm and accomodating towards us. The area was a busy outskirt of NAirobi, a pretty big departmental store faced us across the street.