Into the wild in Masai Country...
26/02/2009 - 28/02/2009 34 °C
It's a looooooong and very buUuUmpy, very dusty (you get so dirty from the dust) road to get to Masai Mara but worth every lump on the head.
First day is a meeting point in Nairobi and a long drive down through the Great Rift Valley on the way to a camp near the gate to the Masai Mara National Park. We have a stop at a view point over the Great Rift Valley and low and behold there stands an African guy wearing.... yup you guessed it... a Celtic top.
This guy tried sooo hard to sell me some wood carvings, but A) I wasn't gonna buy from a Tim (Only kidding Dad ) and B) I was still in the I can't fit anymore in my Pack frame of mind. The views across the valley are pretty indescribable due to the vastness of it:
Its 05.30 and we're all up eager to go on the game drive, as we get into the park we're amazed at how many herds there are; Wildebeest, Thompson's Gazelle, Topi, Impala, Zebra, Giraffe the list goes on:
We're all excited to have seen so much early on... then Universal Silence... Its a herd of Elephant just as we round the corner. We stop and they keep coming towards us. We get soo close and one Elephant mounts a mock charge at us:
The middle photo is actually a Hippo shitting... We saw this big Hippo having a fight with another Hippo over a female.
Once we come out of the park we are taken to a Masai Village and shown round. Its pretty humbling to see how they live in huts made of branches and cow-dung. Our guide's father was the chief and he had 23 other children by 4 wives!?! (They can marry as many women as they like as long as they can pay the dowry of 10cows.) The Masai hunt Lions as part of the their initiation to become a warrior, they also get circumcised at age 13 (Not a sound or they'll be branded a BIG Jessie, or whatever the Kenyan equivalent is?) but the bravest man of all... the bloke with the 4 wives... Overall its an interesting visit until you are shepherded into a makeshift market and surrounded by about 20 people who want you to buy stuff, then you are led to the school and asked to donate something to the school. (Mental note... have smaller denomination notes... DOH!!!)
All in all the Masai Mara trip was amazing, but having spoken to a lot of people who've done the trip we reckon that forcing you into corners to make donations is not the best way to do things, this kind of takes the shine off things and people will donate without being forced.
The Next day is a Loooong driving day along the uber-dusty road. The song of the day is so appropriate:
P.s. you can check out the rest of the photo's in the photography section if you like? I will update descriptions eventually...and add in the cropped photos