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.
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!
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.
After missing out on shooting stars at Naivasha, I had to revenge. *insert evil laugh here*
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.
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.
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.
As if this day couldn’t get any better, I got to witness the NTV guys read the Sports news live. NILIWITNESS!! Hahahaha.
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.
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.
*insert Jeff Koinange’s voice here* What a weekend! 😀