I would like to share our wonderful SAFARI experience in Mara last week. I traveled with one of my friends and we both enjoyed the whole stretch of the plan. Thanks to our Tour company "All seasons safaris" for providing a quality SAFARI package on reasonable price.
I was talking to at least 10 companies and found All seasons as the best among them in pricing and providing responses efficiently. (I’m not forced to write this, but I am glad).
a bit long review about our trip, enjoyed while writing too;
Day 1 : November - 4
We arrived at Nairobi International Airport (JKIA) at 2.30am as scheduled and completed all the Visa formalities in 20 Minutes. Thanks to the Destination expert who advised us to bring a completed form to avoid unnecessary delays on finding and filling the form around the counter.
It was very easy to spot Mr. Meshak (Manager – All Seasons Safaris) who personally came to greet us on arrival (as he was holding a name board and wearing a red jacket). he offered a pair of Hat with a print on it, good one. we started talking on our way about the culture, education and languages. I realize now, he is a person with high level of patience, he answered all our questions (In fact it was too many) in the early morning at 3.00am without and hesitance. Appreciated. Finally we reached Mr. Alex's (MD of all season) house where they offered a nice toilet attached room to fresh-up and get ready for the long drive. This plan was suggested by Alex in order not to waste money for a hotel just for 2 hours. He also offered a complimentary breakfast in the early morning 5.00am. Thanks to his family who prepared a nice breakfast.
By that time, our Guide (Mr. Peter) was already reached and waiting for us to start. When I saw Peter in the early morning, he was a Guide for us. But, he really awoke us from our hangover in a few minutes. He knows all the short cuts, we were out of Nairobi in a couple of minutes. We saw our 1st Zebra and Giraffe within an hour or 2, just outskirt of Nairobi on our way to Lake Nakuru. He is so friendly and has 20 years of experience. He is a magic man, he attracts animals I believe..:)
We reached Lake Nakuru and spotted : Baboons, B&W Colobus monkeys, Greater & lesser flamingoes, Rhinos, Giraffes and lots of Andalopes , then later started to Masai mara. We reached Masai in the late evening and checked in to the Sarova Mara. Great place, will write more on the lodge forum. Had a tight sleep after a long journey.
Day 2: November -5
Woke up and drove to the balloon site at 5.00am. it was a chilly morning. Saw the activities prior to the flight and had an hour+ ballooning continued with a Bush breakfast (Champagne Breakfast). Great and unforgettable moments! The Balloon Safari Company selected by All Season , and again it was well organized co , with a qualified & Friendly Captain.
Peter was ready at 2.00 pm as planned and he took us to Maasai village. Experienced their culture. Then on our way back for the 1st game drive, we spotted many Cheetahs with a Kill. How lucky we are. Then the next was a Leopard and cheetah cubs.
Day 3: November 6
Started our game drive at 6.00am, spotted many Antelopes, elephants, a distant view of a young male lion and a Shy Black Rhino hiding in to the bush. We were not that much lucky on the morning Safari of day 3 (like evening Safari of day 2) , however we got chance to see lots of other animals . Peter has put all his efforts to show and explain each and everything we saw. He was also explaining the nature and living style of the animals. We came back to lodge by 10 AM and had our breakfast , took some rest at pool side .
After some rest , with a packed lunch we checked out from Mara Sarova as we had decided to stay one night in Mara Serena Game Camp. This was another good plan by All Seasons safari , we got chance to experience another area of Maasai Mara Game reserve , also to experience the treatment of another Game Camp.
Also we got an afternoon Safari on the way to Mara Sarena. On the way we spotted a complete Elephant Family and meeting of Wild Beast. Peter was full of energy and confidence to go for ride , and we were sure we will spot big five of Maasai Mara. Our Main Target for the Day was Male Lion , but unfortunately we could not see it , it may be it was afternoon time. We passed through Mara River and spotted Hippo and finally we Reached Maasai Mara Trangle , after crossing the Border we selected quite and lonely place for Bush Lunch , another memorable Experience.
Reached To Mara Sarena by Evening 5 PM and decided to go for Crocodile and Hippos but rain started and we decided enjoy the bonfire of Mara Sarena , and spend the whole peacefull night on the hill of Mara Sarena.It was a very nice view from Mara Sarena . We enjoyed the weather .
Day 4: November 7
Early morning 6 :30 we started for a morning safari , and we promised ourselves , we will not come to camp unless we spot the Male Lion. Peter has the same opinion. We saw lots of Antelopes and Giraffe from very near but our eyes were thirsty for a male lion. Within half an hour suddenly we spotted a meeting lion and we were just about 100 Meters away. We enjoyed the personal and very romantic moment of Lion. Even though our eyes were witness but we could get the clear pictures due opposite sunlight . We requested Peter to take us to another side of Lion but there was no road . And we do not want to go off road and disturbed the whole System. We took a u turn and drove towards another side as Peter told us that the lion will wake after 1 hour by 8 AM .(Hats off to Peter).
Morning 7:45 , we were at another side of lion and took nice photos with Lion . We were just 20 Meters away from Lion and his Girl Friend. Sharp 8 AM Lion was in action and we captured a nice video of their private moments, sorry..:), Our Main task was over , with smile on face we came back to our camp by 9:30 AM.
After Breakfast and some rest , we took a packed lunched we proceeded towards Nairobi, however the target was to spot more animal on our way back . We saw hippo, Crocodile and many more animals again . We were relaxed as we saw whatever we wanted to see ( more than expectation).
On our way back to Naraibi , we captured lots of videos of the road which included crossing the Rever by our vehicle (amazing) . by 1 PM we were almost out of the National reserve , now it was time to do something else… I expressed my interest to Peter that I want to drive the vehicle on this tough road. Lucky me, he allowed me to drive about 80 KM and again it was interesting.
Evening 6 Pm we checked in to the Hotel Laico Regency a 5 star hotel arranged by All Seasons , Fantastic reception and nice view of the city. Here Mr. Alex (MD) came to see us and was concern about our comfort , we spend half an hour chat in coffee lounge of the hotel. This was really touchy , usually once your trip comes to end , the travel agent does not like spend much time on you , but Mr. Alex was different , he makes us feel that we are dealing with a friend rather an agent.
After dinner we had a good sleep in the hotel. And we were dreaming about Maasai Mara .
Day 5 : 8th November
We wake up early in the morning 6:30 , went Gym , enjoyed the pool side , had breakfast at 9:30 am and checked out from hotel , as suggested by Alex we went to National Museum , a fantastic Museum showing the development of Kenya and also the human being. We were guided by a young girl , student of Travel and Tourism Management. She gave us a complete history of Kenya , also she was very smart , and linked the Indian and Kenyan History. Also she shows how Kenya is growing , how they struggled for independence. By 12 PM the rain started and we had no time to go anywhere else , also we decided to leave something for our next trip (such as Giraffe center and Animal Orphange). We had lunch , a farewell lunch with Peter in nice Indian Restaurant in Uchumu named Handi.
Peter dropped us to the airport by 3 PM ( our flight was schedule to depart at 6:15pm). We checked in and Thanks to gulf air upgraded the flight to business class, so we relax and recap the all past 4 days experience.
The whole trip was touchy , we are now physically in Saudi Arabia but honestly Mentally we are still in Maasai Mara. We lost our Heart there, to get it back , we will have to go again o Maasai Mara, also we want to witness of biggest migration of Wildebeest during July/August.
Thanks to my friend Avinash who was with me , and agreed to be a part of my dream tour in first instance. also helped me to complete this review to make sure nothing is missing...
also thanks for all the destination experts for encouraging us..