Eden of Africa, Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara bares many names, one that I’ve composed myself is “Eden”. The reserve is a haven for many animals, some passing through for the great migration. This sanctuary is a perfect place for the wildlife to bear their calves. I’ve collected some of these terms so you may have a better understanding of the area.
Savana is one word used to refer to the Maasai Mara. A term used to describe the grassy plains so widely loved by the animals to feed themselves and their litter. With the abundance of game brings the predators like the lion, cheetah, and leopards. The completion of the circle of life.
The Serengeti is a rich diverse system within the Great Rift Valley located mainly in Tanzania and into Kenya. Known for the great migrations of multiple animal species who migrate in the hundreds of thousands to this rich ecosystem. Approximately 70 large mammals and 500 bird species are found in this rich habitat of grassland, riverine forests, swamps, and woodlands. The Serengeti is renowned for its large population of lions. The first day I visited we say three different prides within a three hour span. The Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language meaning “endless plains”.
The Great Rift Valley is another term associated with the reserve as it is located in this vast valley. The term is derived from the geological movement of two plates separating and creating this massive valley. It stretches from Ethiopia to Mozambique in southern Africa.
I prefer the term Eden. Eden for the fauna lucky enough to make it to this magnificent savanna for all it has to offer them. And, Eden for the people who are able to witness this wonderful place and all the wildlife and views and amazing vistas that surround it. It was a sad moment when we departed. I have a better understanding why the Maasai people have lived here for hundreds of years and will probably be here for many more.
The second half of my Safari in this Eden was filled with many of the same wildlife we encountered in the first half. In this instance a much larger pride of lions roaming the plains. The cubs at one point stopping in the middle of the road not caring about the caravan of tourist. When your father is the king, you can do whatever you want.
The highlight of my Maasai Mara safari was the illusive cheetah, more prone to be hidden in the bush shaded from the sun and ready to pounce on its prey. This cheetah was fresh from a kill. The Thompson’s gazelle not yet opened with the young cub hovering over it like a boy over its birthday cake. Scavengers not yet alerted to the fresh kill, all but one vulture had noticed the kill.
As we moved along we noted a number of wildebeest and the number of zebras was noticeable since my first day as this time of year is the start of the great migration for these two species. Although, it wasn’t the great hoards associated with the great migrations as the season just started and these were the advance party.
As we made a turn and came upon the Mara River, Hippos were noticeable in the distance but still too far for a clear view. We drove along the banks high up on a cliff out of harm’s way as hippos are known to be dangerous if you get to close. Another danger lurking in the water is the crocodiles, waiting for animals to mistakenly enter the water. We spotted the crocodiles first who maintain a distance from the hippos, and vice a versa. Then, there they were in multiple groups with the largest numbering approximately 30 in all. Large and slow moving on land but quite adequate in the water, the large hippos.
We then proceeded to a Maasai village near our camp. A once in a lifetime visit with the Maasai as they shared their village with us and allowed us to do the traditional dance which included leaping in the air. At one point, we were invited to enter their small home.
My stay here ended with the aforementioned sunrise game drive. A visually stunning portrait of reds along the yellowing fields of the savanna known as the Maasai Mara,… Eden.
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