Home Ice bergs A trip to Maasai Mara-Serengeti

A trip to Maasai Mara-Serengeti

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Some encounters and experiences are humiliating and upsetting. They remind us of our insignificance on the scale of the vast entities that is the universe. Shattering our illusory belief in superiority, these experiences tell us that we humans are only a tiny part of Mother Earth.

This story is about our 9 day trip to East Africa, during which we trekked through the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

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On May 30, we arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. After spending the night at a local hotel, we flew from Wilson Airport to the Maasai Mara Kitchwa Tembo airstrip the next morning. Nelson, our safari guide and driver, picked us up from the airport and took us to Sanctuary Olonana, a well-equipped safari lodge by the Mara River in the heart of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, an area of ​​1,510 km2.

The horns and growls of hippos were our early morning wake up call! The lodge was a few meters from the Mara River, which is home to these huge animals.

The courageous Maasai, the aboriginal inhabitants of the region, are the origin of the name Maasai Mara. “Mara” means spotted in the Maasai language which refers to the many small bushes and trees that dot the vast green grounds.

Sarmin Shahariath and Rejaul Bahar, married since 2005, are frequent travellers. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Bahar moved to the United States in 1999 and now lives in Connecticut. Sarmin joined in 2005. So far they have traveled to 85 countries on seven continents.

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Masai Mara-Serengeti

Sarmin Shahariath and Rejaul Bahar, married since 2005, are frequent travellers. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Bahar moved to the United States in 1999 and now lives in Connecticut. Sarmin joined in 2005. So far they have traveled to 85 countries on seven continents.

GAME DRIVE IN THE MAASAI MARA

A “game” around Maasai Mara can be planned for early morning, half day or full day. We chose to go out half day twice and full day once during our 4 day stay. Fauna is called “game”. Open four-wheel drive cars are used for the safari. Maximum safety in this scenario is provided by the guides and their extensive knowledge and expertise. We were able to observe a pride of lions about 10 feet away as we drove in an open car. Luckily for us, the powerful beings paid no attention to us!

Not so long ago, tourists, mostly from wealthy countries, came to these safaris to kill the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – for recreational purposes. Murders have largely decreased, but the tourism industry still uses the phrase “Big Five Game Drive”.

Nelson was excited to show us the best of Maasai Mara and made sure we saw the Big Five, and more.

On June 1, we went out early for a day game drive. We were enjoying the unique landscape of the savannah – walking the dirt roads, taking coffee breaks while watching the wildlife in its place.

But the day had something special in store for us.

The pace of the morning picked up when Nelson received a call from a fellow guide. As he rushed to a location, he informed us that a cheetah had been spotted nearby. We saw the enigmatic animal once we arrived. After a while we lost sight of it as it slid through the high meadow.

So we continued to explore other parts of The Mara – what the locals call this place.

After half an hour, Nelson, listening to the radio, again rushed to the scene where the cheetah had been spotted earlier. This time, the magnificent wild cat was out, a few meters from us. Nelson told us of his experience that the beast had gone hunting.

The cheetah moved slowly. We and a few other cars watched it from afar. In its direction, we noticed a few gazelles grazing miles away.

He was in no hurry. Approaching its prey, it stood on a termite mound, perhaps to see better.

Suddenly the cheetah made its move. In a flash, she pounced on her prey. But within seconds, she stopped.

She had miscalculated!

The fastest land animal on Earth didn’t care at all. She turned around and started walking slowly towards where she had come from. Nature of life.

It was almost afternoon and we were starving. We asked Nelson to give up following the cheetah. But Nelson was adamant – he knew the Cheetah would make another move.

However, we were unable to spot its prey! Then Nelson, using binoculars, spotted a few more gazelles, nearly a mile from the cheetah. His experienced eyes even identified the prey that the wildcat, according to him, had chosen – a young gazelle.

The word Serengeti means endless plains. You have to come here to see the real meaning. Serengeti (north, center, south) is almost 20 times larger than Maasai Mara.

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Masai Mara and Serengeti

The word Serengeti means endless plains. You have to come here to see the real meaning. Serengeti (north, center, south) is almost 20 times larger than Maasai Mara.