Returning from my first week in the Masai Mara for the year I find myself reflecting on what I love about the Masai Mara. I know our team here at Wild Eye go on about the camp, the staff and the experience but bear with me here. I want to try and share with you all, why it is that I simply cannot get enough of the Mara.
Yes, the above sentence does sum up the Mara, but there is more to it than that! Sitting here, at my desk in Johannesburg, I find myself missing certain parts, parts that may seem irrelevant, but to me, play a big part in my love for this special place.
The bush has always held a special place in my heart and is something that I don’t think I will ever get tired of. It is tough to put into words how I feel when I am out in the middle of know where surrounded by wildlife. It is food for the soul!
In this post I will share some of the incredible sightings that we had over our time in the Mara, but I do want to touch on the Mara as a whole.
When I am thinking about heading head back to the Mara, my mind is filled with joy, I find myself sitting and reminiscing over past experiences and past moments that I have been privileged to be a part of. When I find myself day dreaming of the Mara, Its the small moments that come up, the moments in between the big moments, that is what makes it so special.
For those of you who have followed me and read my blogs will know, I am not a morning person. I struggle to wake up in the mornings. You may think this is very strange considering I was a full time guide for 9 years and woke up at 05:00 every morning to head out on drive, and now I am still doing something similar. You must think, how do I do it? Well the answer is simple, when it comes to the bush, it can never be to early for me. Each morning I wake up in the bush, I am filled with excitement as to what the new day has to offer, it is such an unknown and that unknown excites me. Waking up in the Mara, listening to the hippos in the river, the distant sound of lions calling and the birds starting to chirp as they begin a new day is definitely food for my soul. I jump out of bed, walk outside my tent, wash my face and change as quickly as I can so that I can head to the fire, greet Dickson and the other staff and enjoy a cup of coffee while overlooking the Mara river. How could you not be a morning person with mornings such as this?
It is very difficult to pick a favorite time of the day, any day spent in the bush should never be taken for granted and should be cherished. Personally, I love the early mornings and last light in the evenings, it is the two times of the day where we get to experience the transition from darkness to light and visa versa. Hearing the birds wake up in the morning, all calling, excited for the new day as the last of the nocturnal animals calls fade into the daylight. The late afternoon offers something completely different as the senses begin to adjust and the whole feel of the day starts to quieten down and blend into darkness.
The Mara is an incredibly diverse area, with plenty on offer! Leaving camp, the expectation of the unknown is an incredible feeling! We are very fortunate with the positioning of our camp, we are close to some really dramatic crossing points and throughout the 5 months, the camp area and surroundings is a hub for predators.
After being a full time guide for 9 years in the North Eastern Section of South Africa and now being a part of the Wild Eye Team, I am very privileged to get to explore new destinations. Each destination I have visited offers a completely different experience, but the feel of it all is the same, there is nothing better than knowing you are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but bush and wild animals. The Masai Mara is no different. Having said that, the Mara is a very unique experience. Arriving back in the Mara after my last visit back in November last year, it felt like I had never left. Coming into camp, seeing all the familiar faces is very comforting, but I think being able to sit around the fire and share stories with our East African family is truly special, I had the feeling like there was no time in-between my last visit to now, it is hard to describe, and I am sure those of you who have visited the Mara, spent time in our camp and gotten to know the Maasai will agree with me when I say that, the team are the most incredible people you will ever meet! They are kind, they love what they do and their passion shines through in everything that they do. I really feel blessed to be a part of the team and be in the position to learn something new each time I go back to the Mara. The traditional Maasai evening is always great, each time I experience this evening it reminds me just how special this experience is, for the Maasai to share their culture, to share their experiences and to invite our guests into a traditional evening is something that I will never take for granted!
As I have mentioned, the Masai Mara is a very difficult one to explain, it truly is a special place that holds a very special place in my heart and I cannot wait to return!
I you have any questions about the Mara and our product, do get in touch in the comments below and I will gladly assist you.
Until next time,