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Maasai Mara National Reserve
Where can you see hundreds of thousands of wild animals, roaming free and just waiting to have their photo taken? I went to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in #Kenya and had the most amazing #safari. The animals were #active, and we were able to see zebras, hypos, cheetahs, birds, giraffes, and a whole host of other animals.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to some of the world’s largest and deadliest creatures, as well as some of it’s most rare and beautiful.
The Mara was probably my favourite game drive in Kenya in terms of the sheer number and variance of animals in one area. Mara translates as “spotted” land. The land is absolutely saturated with sparse trees, scrub, shadows from clouds and hundreds of thousands of wild animals speckling the arid savannah.
With it being the first stop on my safari tour, I was a bit erratic upon my first sightings, but I eventually settled down to take it all in.
As the sun began to set on the first night, a wild savannah storm started to creep along the horizon. It started quietly, but soon rumbled across the plains and slapped us with a cold wind that churned up everything around us, including a few skittish gazelles.
A wild savannah storm started to creep along the horizon.
There was a good twenty minutes where the sun lit up the sweeping grasses like a glowing fire against the dark menacing sky behind it, and for a brief moment, produced the most incredible sunset I have ever seen.
Here are some of my favourite wildlife encounters from the three days that I spent in Maasai Mara National Reserve.
We actually got to get out of the safari van and crawl down the side of the river to watch an enormous pod of hippopotamuses (yes, that’s the REAL plural) playing in the water. Knowing that hippos are notoriously dangerous animals, and much faster than humans, I was cautious as I found a spot to perch on the bank.
It literally took my guide telling me that we had to leave to get home in time to get me to leave that spot. I didn’t want to go and probably could have stayed there all night. Perhaps I got half my wish, as I was kept awake by different hippos all that night back at my tent.
You know that common documentary scene of thousands of wildebeest building up on the side of a river until the breaking point when they all dash across at once, while dozens are pulled down into the depths by patient crocodiles? This is that river, the Mara.
The Mara River runs through both Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park, and works as a barrier during the Great Migration.
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The river was busy with crocs, hippos and geese when we stopped for a look, but the Great Migration will not happen until Autumn.
We witnessed a near-hunt on our last morning on the Mara, but this cheetah didn’t manage to catch her breakfast. We ended up driving in the direction of her prey and herding them back toward her as we left. You’re welcome, cheetah.
I’d like to mention that I wish I had seen more snakes while on safari. While I’m admittedly terrified of spiders and other creepy-crawlies, I’ve always had a big fascination with snakes.
I often found myself ignoring the animals in plain sight and training my eyes on the tree branches and scrub around us. I was desperate to see a black mamba, puff adder or rock python.