Ah, another safari. Tented lodge thingie, for only 110 dollars a day per person. Sound too good to be true? It is. Too many people in the vehicle (and don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with them per se, but I tend to enjoy myself more when I actually have room to breath in the car). The drive to Masai Mara was an uneventful one, and I just realised that I paid 110 dollars for driving to masai mara and eating, basically. Such is the folly of organised safaris. The lodge is nice enough, not even close to tsavo, but in Mara you pay about 300 dollars a night for a decent lodge so forget it! The food was good, showers were hot and the tent was comfortable to sleep in. The drive itself the next day was pretty filled with wildlife, and we had the good luck of seeing the wildebeeste migration, plus a male lion (something we missed in Tsavo). Actually, the Mara was FILLED with buffaloes, zebras, wildebeestes and antilopes. Other animals weren't so prominent, but we saw everything except leopards and cheetahs.
I know this was a boring update, but it has a point. It's to give you a fairly realistic picture of what it is like in Masai
Mara, and that is that while it is densely populated and one of the most famous national reserves/parks in Africa, it doesn't have the scenery of Tsavo or the affordability of other parks/reserves. The reserve is way overpriced, and if all you want to see is the big five then look no further (leopards not withstanding), but seeing lions hunting or even seeing amazing scenery is dependent on where you go and when. We got a decent deal, but having too much people in the car always seems to take away from the overall enjoyment, no matter how much you love seeing animals in the wild and staying at lodges. The wildebeeste were amazing, as was seeing a male lion and a huge herd of buffaloes moving in a neat line through the savannah landscape, it's just that sometimes you tend to think that the experience might have been better with a better guide and less people.
My advice would be to get a group of four, use a company that uses land cruisers or other 4WDs, and either rent the driver and car separately from accommodation to get the best deal or spend a little more money to get the most out of your safari experience. With 130 dollars a day we would have gotten a fairly similar experience, except the guide would have been more informative, the car better and less stuffed and the timetable more forgiving.
Footloose is still trying to figure out why they went for a deal that was way too good to be true. Over and out!
After arriving near lake Naivasha, in a sleepy little town that has no name, we were determined to see the legend itself: Hell's Gate. This national park is one of the few in the world where bicycling in lion-infested land is encouraged. I wonder who came up with the brilliant idea to send tourists out to be eaten by lions? We never found out, but it sure as hell was fun. The park is a natural wonder, a collection of gorges and valleys, located in the heart of the great Rift Valley and is surely one of the most amazing places we've been to yet! So, bicycling through a park that has lions and buffaloes may seem like a thrill but the truth is that those animals are way more afraid of us than we are of them (unfortunately, no lions showed up to prove me wrong). After a refreshing 5 minutes of biking I was ready to fry an egg on my back. We made it to the rangers' post, where you can go out for a walk in almost impossible terrain. "Great idea!" thought yours truly, and went on to talk his girlfriend into taking a 3 hour walk through such a terrain.
Well, it was enjoyable enough for the first half, but then it got cold, it started drizzling, the climbing started to become a herculean effort and last but not least, we had the pleasure of walking through Hell's Kitchen, a collection of hot springs that shoot steaming water in your face while you're trying to avoid slipping and falling to your doom (like we weren't hot and humid enough already). Still, a little (well, not so little) physical activity never hurt no one and soon enough we were ready to kill ourselves just to rid ourselves of the obligation of having to walk back to our bikes. Yes folks, we're lazy and in terrible shape. Still, I regard it as an enjoyable experience, and I'm gonna do it again when the weather is nicer and I'm a bit more physically fit than your average couch potato.
We all the way back to our banda in Top Camp (awesome place), had dinner at Fisherman's Camp before that and finally made it to bed. I've never slept that well in my life.
If pains were pennies, footloose could buy that 100-meter yacht we've always wanted. Over and out!
Although rather pointless, I'll say it anyway. I'm an english aristocrat on a hill country holiday. I have a garden next to my lodgings and a fireplace in my room. Me and my lovely girlfriend enjoy 4-course dinners in a dining hall fit for a king, and watch a waterfall rumble towards infinity from an overlook that could make a grown man cry. This is Thomson's Falls Lodge, and I think it's rather sweet. You may think me mad but...
Madness? This..is...NYAHURURU!!!! *boot*
The town itself is about 2 kilometres away, and fairly low-key. Just a couple of shops and gas stations. I got chocolate for myself and found a dead cockroach on the floor, meow! The fireplace is nice and cosy, and I have too much good stuff in the room. Noisy neighbours...walls are made of paper. I just farted. That and other intellectually stimulating comments will follow as soon as I get myself in a position where I'm actually adventuring again and not just sitting on my ass doing nothing (and loving it!).
Footloose is loaded with too much colonialist food to even shake a stick at anything. Over and out!