Masai Mara and Sarova Mara
Masai Mara remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It took my breath away from the moment we landed at Keekorok Airport. There is a peace there that is unparalleled, an uninterrupted life of these majestic animals that humans visit and treat with so much respect and admiration.
The Maasai Mara (also known as the Masai Mara, and locally simply as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara” means “spotted” in the local Maasai language of Maa, due to the many trees which dot the landscape.
It is known worldwide for its exceptional population of lions, leopards, cheetahs and elephants, and the annual migration of wildebeest from the Serengeti known as the Great Migration.
We saw all of the big 5 while being there : lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.
There is something about the Mara that goes beyond words. From the stunning and loud song of the birds early in the morning, to the incredible sound of silence at sunset, the Mara draws you in, takes all the noise away and invites you to experience a different world. I miss the Mara and the feelings I felt when there. I was present, there were no distractions. I was a privileged observes of this life in the wild and I never took that for granted. The Maasai Mara is a little piece of heaven on this planet of ours and I hope we preserve it and allow it to remain a refuge from the craziness and the noise of the modern times.
We stayed at Sarova Mara and loved everything about the property. The tents are luxurious and spacious, decorated in soothing earthy colors with large beds, loungers, wardrobes and a desk. The food selection was great and the service impeccable. Everyone was really helpful and made us feel very welcome. The beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the pool area and the greenery was our favourite spot for meal time. We chilled in the cafe across from the restaurant a few times enjoying a cup of tea or coffee during our breaks. I even used the spa one afternoon for a full body massage and later a reflexology massage and it was incredible. The spa setting is mesmerizing, facing the lush greens that surround the camp and tucked away from the main pathway enough to block off any noise. It was relaxing, brought me so much joy and was very affordable. We didn’t use the pool facilities even though it looked beautiful, we didn’t find the temperatures to be so hot we needed to cool off but also we weren’t really into the “beach” vibe, we were in a constant safari state of mind. 🙂
The one thing about the Mara that is obvious within minutes is that the big cats run the show.
You have a front row seat to their day to day: observing the way they hunt, how they take in their surroundings, protect their territory, their mating rituals, competition with other males etc. We were fascinated by the 5 cheetahs we kept seeing. They are 5 brothers; they have been on their own since very young after the mother drowned crossing the river; they’re strong, they hunt together and dominate their surroundings. They are majestic predators. The way the hyenas communicate is incredible. Spotted hyenas are known as “laughing hyenas” because they have a distinctive call that sounds like human laughter and they quickly get the clan together to follow closely behind a lion. They are formidable predators and very frequently steal fresh kills from lions, leopards and cheetahs.
We learned so much on our drives, our driver had such an incredible wealth of knowledge having lived his whole life in the savanna of the Masai Mara but you also take in a lot just by observing and noticing patterns of behaviour.
We loved everything about the Mara and in general everything about Kenya; the people, the energy, the smiles and this incredible way of life. I find myself missing the Mara more than any other place I’ve ever been to. I dream of our return there more than I dream of new places and new adventures.
Learn a few words
- It seems everyone we met tried to teach us a few words in Swahili. We tried our best and with hearts full of gratitude, these are the words we’re leaving with:
- Jambo – Hi
- Asante sana – Thank you very much
- Karibu – You’re welcome
- Sawa sawa – ok/ all good
- Lala salama- good night
- Hakuna matata- no worries/no problem
Asante sana Africa!