I have been to most of the parks in Kenya but none comes even remotely close to the Mara. This park never disappoints especially when it comes to the Big Cats (lions, cheetahs, leopards). Even without the animals roaming the vast plains, the landscape is simply amazing.
I visited the park last weekend .Preparing for this trip was not easy. Here are some tips that can help you .
Unlike my first visit, this time I had to leave my 13 month old baby girl for a couple of days. I had a month to mentally prepare for it but it was so difficult to leave the house that morning . I guess it was the separation anxiety. The roads towards the park are quite bumpy and not ideal for a young child. Although there are people who still go with their young kids by road. I will definitely organise a visit for her when she is a bit older.
The trip was to be a short holiday as well as an opportunity to visit some hotel properties in the Mara. I love my job as travel consultant and such trips are quite helpful.
We left Nairobi at around 8 am and drove all the way to Narok town. It’s about a 2 hours drive . We had a short stopover. This is the last major town when travelling by road from Nairobi to Maasai Mara. This is usually the last chance to visit the wash rooms or to grab something to eat before you start the long trip to the Mara.
I also had an opportunity to call home just to check on the baby. After Narok town the cellular network is very unreliable .
The drive from Narok was uneventful. The road is wonderful. We must have driven for around 2 – 3 hrs up to the point you turn off to a dirt road. This is the beginning of the long drive to the Maasai Mara Park gate.
We covered around 70km of bumpy dirt road. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the gate after what seemed like forever. This is Musiara Gate,one of the parks many access points.
At this point, you will need to pay the park fees before they let you drive through.
If you love watching National Geographic or Big Cat Diary like me, you will definitely feel some sense of familiarity once you are in the park….. I kept thinking , I have seen this before.
We had a short game drive en route to the camp. We didn’t see much as it was such a short drive from the gate. The first night was at Hammerkop Migration Camp. This is a bush camp set up along Mara River.
We had a lovely evening at the camp. Due to the proximity to Mara River, I could hear the hippos in the river all night. A bit scary but I was too exhausted . I slept like a baby.
We scheduled an early game drive (6.30am) the next morning . That marked the first night in the Maasai Mara.
Look out for my next post on the rest of my stay……