Join us as we explore day two in the Africa Safari and our first full day of game drives. Haven’t read about day one yet? You can check out that post here.
The Masai Mara
We got up early in the morning after a peaceful night’s sleep. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly I recovered from jet lag on this trip.
On our Safari most of the breakfast, lunches, and dinners were included. We ate a wonderful breakfast buffet at the lodge. There were several unique events scheduled for the day:
#1 – Our game drives were spectacular
#2 – We got to visit a local Masai Mara tribe
The highlight of our game drive was watching a leopard in a tree eating it’s lunch of a small gazelle while jackals circled the ground below the tree. We saw a hippo get out of the water and run downstream to get back in.
I had always thought hippos walked or moved very slow, but this hippo was running much faster than I ever imagined. We spent about 2 to 3 hours on the Mara driving around looking at 100s of animals.
Before heading back to the lodge we went to meet a local Masai tribe.
One of my favorite things about travel is getting to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I loved getting to meet a local tribe and to see their way of life. We were greeted by a group of young tribesmen who greeted us in song and the tribesmen talked to us about their way of life.
Here are a few things they shared that I found very fascinating
The Masai people brush their teeth with a medicinal stick that grows on a bush/tree there and they use a knife to make the twig into a brush on one end and then a pick on the other. I was shocked at how well this seems to work for them.
The tribe lives in homes constructed by women using mud, grass, sticks, and cow dung and they are. They live in corals where a home is fenced by local materials, especially thorns, which acts as a guard from the wildlife. We toured one of the wives’ homes. The local Masai tribe that we visited live a polygamist lifestyle. The tribal leader was 95 years old and had 5 wives for the tribe/village we toured. The wives each live in their own semi-permanent house.
The Tribe lives a Nomadic lifestyle and they normally build their semi-permanent village and then within 5 to 10 years move to a new area and rebuild. The semi-permanent houses are built in a square with a gate that opens and shuts at the entrance. At night, the cattle and sheep are brought into the square so that the lions, leopards, cheetahs, and jackals do not eat the tribes sheep and cows.
The tribe lives a life rich in ancient culture and there are very few tribes remaining on earth like the Masai tribe. It was very culturally enriching and thrilling for me to get to visit the tribe and learn about their way of life. The way the tribe lived reminded me of Bible stories from the old testament and it was so incredible getting to meet local people.
When we finished up meeting the tribe we headed back to the lodge for a late lunch and a nap. The Lodge runs off a generator and each day there are certain hours that the generator is turned off. Normally during the nap time in the evening, the generator is turned off and then a couple of hours each night. *** All the lodges had swimming pools and many guests swam in the evening.
We ate, rested, and freshened up and then it was time for our evening game drive (which was our last game drive on the Masai Mara). Our evening game drive did not disappoint! We saw 100s of animals. We ended the evening with a bang when we got to see two mommy lions and their babies. Then we were back off to the lodge for dinner, evening drinks, a couple of card games and then to bed. The next morning our bags were gathered up and we were off to our next adventure.
A few facts and information on our 2 days at Masai Mara
The Lodge we stayed at was the Mara Sopa Lodge.
Located high on the slopes of the Oloolaimutia Hills, Masai Mara Sopa Lodge was one of the first safari lodges to be built in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. All the buildings follow the design of traditional African round houses with conical roofs and these stretch along the line of the hills with the impressively large public area buildings and the swimming pool at their center.
The lodge has fifty guest cottages divided into two wings to either side of the main public areas. Each of these houses have two spacious guest rooms with queen and king size beds, mosquito nets, electronic safes, dressing tables, en-suite bathrooms and sheltered verandas that all have views over the gardens and the game reserve beyond.
Six of the cottages contain two suites with larger bedrooms and bathrooms and include both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
The Lodge was nice and I would say it was a moderate resort. It was clean, authenticate, and was what I imagined a lodge on an african safari would be. The lodge was not what I would call luxurious, but it was nice. If you want a very authentic feel then you would enjoy this lodge. If you are looking for luxury on the Mara then I would recommend another lodge.
The Masai Mara is 690 square miles and is the home of greatest variety and largest number of wild animals in Kenya.
The Masai Mara connects to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and the animals wander freely between the two parks. The wildebeest migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.
There are over a million wildebeest, half a million gazelle and over 200,000 zebras.
If possible I suggest adding a safari to your bucket list.
Don’t forget to head over to the Day One adventure if you have not yet read the blog!