This is why we love the Maasai Mara

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May 17, 2010 – A taste of DANGER! That is what I think drives us human beings in droves to gaze at animals in the wild.

Except for the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, where it is almost a guarantee to see lions mating. At least in my experience…

Back to danger in the wild…it’s unimaginable that there can be creatures we have ‘dominion’ over that blatantly do not conform to our rules of etiquette and decorum. So we stare at them and learn details of their animal-like behaviour with oohs and aahs.

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Considering that there are hundreds of thousands of animal species in the world, we seldom get bored. Such was my experience at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve the other day.

The savannahs are always breath-taking, and with the on-going rains they have turned from tawny brown to a deep lush succulent green.

The stretches captivate you with their beauty, but this time, other than the odd grip of awesome silence; I found my mind wandering idly for the very first time at a game park.

I dig the animal scene and love nature, but I began to ask myself how many times exactly I had been to the Mara and what new thing I could possibly see.

As if nature were trying to scoff at me our van driver (Martin) pulled to very abrupt halt.

We were looking at danger in the face and it was looking right back. We couldn’t dare look aside. About 12 metres ahead of us was one of the biggest elephants I had ever seen. His ears were swaying slightly, and his paws did something on the ground because I saw some dust rise.

“It must be about 60 years old,” Martin said quietly, on edge, without looking at us. He tried severally to back up and venture onto an alternative route that would skirt around the jumbo, but the van would probably not have made it through the tall grass.

We could not turn back because there was no alternative route to the venue of the cocktail in the bush that night. After about 10 or so agonizing minutes, a Sarova Mara Game Camp Landcruiser came to our rescue. It cut out a path for us with a lot of huff and puff and helped us get through.

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Everyone who had been in that van chugged down their first drink in record time!

I couldn’t help now but look around. I had visions of lions appearing from nowhere and crashing our party, despite the massive bonfire in the biting Mara chill. It was Saturday night and we were leaving the next morning.

SAROVA_MARA_STANDARD_TENT_N_732174085.jpgI felt like I had just gotten there and made a mental reminder to take leave soon. I would stay in the massive tent, play with the resident dik-diks at the Sarova Mara Game Camp and only go to the trees near the swimming pool when I wanted the network back on my phone. I also had a date with the wild, where I would be open to all the new possibilities next time round.

The camp has 20 Club Tents (spectacular), 51 Standard Tents (huge), 2 Family Tents (look like cosy cabins on a tree top) and a host of bush dining options. (See details here).

As if that were not enough, there is Grace at the Tulia massage tent. She’s been in the business for about ten years and KNOWS what she is doing. I walked out of there with a straight back and a heady feeling…

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