My Mara Experience

SUBA, TA KWENYA :-D!!

Hahaha, that is me attempting to greet you guys the way it is done in Maasai land. The former is used when addressing men while the latter is for when you are addressing women.

If you are wondering why I am here speaking kimaasai, well it’s because this past weekend I was lucky enough to visit … WAIT FOR IT… The Maasai Mara National Reserve *happy dance*. It might not seem like a big deal but to me it was. The Mara has been on my bucket list for thee longest time and when my friend Biko called me on Thursday night asking me to accompany him and some other people to The Mara, all expenses paid, there way no way I was passing on that opportunity.

On Friday morning, we assembled at The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). I came to find out that morning that we were traveling with journalists from media houses like Nation Media and Capital Fm, since we were going to cover the annual Maasai Mara Marathon. If that was not pressure then I don’t know what pressure is.

Off we went, making our first stop at ABC Place in Westlands, to grab something small to bite, before making our next stop in Narok town for lunch. After stuffing our tummies with enough nyama choma to feed ten households, we were back again on the road, with two hours of travel to cover.

No sooner were we back on the road than the driver decided to pull over due to some slight car trouble. We used that opportunity to take explore the place. I was lucky enough to get a portrait of a maasai lady who was headed to the town. The only language she knew was kimaasai, which I am not conversant in. However, that did not stop me from understanding exactly what she wanted. She kept pointing at my camera and then standing at a distance staring right at the lens.

Maasai Mara-5

We had been on the road since 10:30 am and it was now some minutes past 5 pm and we had still not arrived at our destination, thanks to the numerous stops we had made along the way. Normally it should take a total of 5 hours from Nairobi to The Maasai Mara. It could be shorter but the road as you near the park is quite rocky and you do not want to encounter car trouble in the park, especially at night, with all those wild animals. No sir!

Our welcoming committee, wildebeests, at a distance.
Our welcoming committee, wildebeests.
Maasai Mara-29
Just in time for sunset.

Finally we were at our destination, Lemek Conservancy. This was where we would be spending the night for the next two days. Our tents had already been setup so there was not much to do. A bonfire was started and everybody gathered around it to keep warm and chat the night away.

Our home for the next two nights.
Our home for the next two nights.

After missing out on shooting stars at Naivasha, I had to revenge. *insert evil laugh here*

Maasai Mara-36

It turns out the sun rises at almost 7 am here so there was more than enough time to sleep and still catch it :-D.

Maasai Mara-40

Maasai Mara-42
The athletes lining up for breakfast before the marathon.
The KWS Rangers being briefed in preparation for the marathon.
The KWS Rangers being briefed in preparation for the marathon.
Even the locals were not left behind on this day.
Even the locals were not left behind on this day.
The warm up.
The
warm up.

The aim of the Maasai Mara Marathon is to raise funds which are in turn used to conserve the Mara National Reserve and cater for community based projects such as education, water, health and sanitation. The races this year included the 21 km race and the 5 km race.

Participants about to commence the 21 km race.
Participants about to commence the 21 km race.

And off they went! And off they went!

A little water to cool off.
A little water to cool off.
Everyone was rushing to the finish line.
Everyone was rushing to the finish line.
And Bernard Kitur was the first person to cross the finish line after 1 hour and 10 minutes.
And Bernard Kitur was the first person to cross the finish line after 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Peris Chepchirchir was the first lady to cross the finish line, 1 hour and 12 minutes later.
Peris Chepchirchir was the first lady to cross the finish line, 1 hour and 12 minutes later.

21 kilometres is no jokes but everyone who participated managed to finish the race. Soon after the race was some entertainment by some of the locals which included song and dance, and a high jump challenge.

Maasai Mara-82

Maasai Mara-87

As if this day couldn’t get any better, I got to witness the NTV guys read the Sports news live. NILIWITNESS!! Hahahaha.

Brian the reporter and Bundi the camera man :-).
Brian the reporter and Bundi the camera man :-).

The Governor of Narok was also present and was the one awarding the participants for the job well done. Prize money worth kshs. 200,000, kshs. 100,000 and kshs. 50,000 were awarded to positions 1,2,and 3 respectively.

After the awards ceremony was over, we set out to have lunch at Maasai River Lodge where we got to see some hippos and crocodiles.

Hippo
Hippo

The next agenda was to go for a game drive. There is no Mara visit or any visit to any National Park that is complete without going for a game drive.

Maasai Mara-94

How beautiful is that sky?
How beautiful is that sky?
My other favorite wild animal after elephants :-)
My other favorite wild animal after elephants 🙂
King of the Mara napping after a heavy meal.
King of the Mara napping after a heavy meal.
Early to bed, early to rise.
Early to bed, early to rise.

*insert Jeff Koinange’s voice here* What a weekend! 😀

END

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9 thoughts on “My Mara Experience

  1. This is really good Nimo, Your blog has just gone into my bookmarks. I LOVE IT!!! Your photography skills is just on anonther level. I’m glad you had an awesome time. I had a good time as well. Please drop me a mail.

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  2. Nimuuuuu…congratulations did not know you had a blog till today when I saw this link on linkedin!!Beautiful things you have here…I did the KQ maasai mara marathon in 2012…It was a long exhausting drive. We got there at midnight…was super exhausted. Then came the marathon day and the heat was unbearable jeez!!I did not run despite going with some of the most religious joggers/runners in the 254.The highlight of my trip was the evening party where KQ brought freshly ground to entertain us…we had a good time..that is all I can say..it was fun and I got a chance to really network as well.I could really relate with this article..goodstuff will follow your postings

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    1. Hi Cheryl. Thank you for stopping by. It’s good to know you could relate. Sorry about your experience. Glad it had a silver lining :). Stay tuned for more from my travel diaries :-D.

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  3. Good stuff. How jelo am I though? 😥
    Such great shots and interesting story.
    Keep it up and keep em coming :-*

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