Naivasha to Masai Mara

Woke up at 6.45am after a broken night sleep due to a French group enjoying a birthday party until the early hours. We then had to grab enough stuff for two days in the Masai as we were leaving the big trucks for 4×4 vans. Unfortunately we both had freezing cold showers but then tucked into a lovely breakfast. We met our new driver Jimmy who would be taking us to the Mara. We split into two groups and shared our van with Adam and Nicola. Jimmy was a nice guy and he had lots to tell us about the areas we were driving through. We made a couple of stops at some souvenir stores and used their loos, and then made a supermarket stop for some snacks. Half way to the Mara the lovely tarmac ended and we ended up on a terrible road with pot holes. Most of the time we ended up driving along side the road rather than on it. We still had 90 km to go at this point, so were reduced to headachy mess by the time we arrived although we did see a large herd of giraffe and gazelles in the distance which seemed very surreal.  Eventually we made it to the camp where we had lunch and got sorted in our static tent. We left again in our vans for a short drive to the Masai Mara National Park where we had to wait a little while for our tickets to be sorted. Once we entered we drove around for a little while with lots of other vans and we couldn’t get the feeling of being in a safari park out of our heads. Felt very odd being truly in the wild having seen it so much on TV. We managed to see lots of wildlife though on our first day – and three of the big five, buffalo, lions and elephants. We also saw Thompson gazelles, zebra and giraffe in the distance. It was a bit like wacky races with all the other safari vans driving around and competing for good spots. Towards the end of our three hour safari we spotted a pair of male adolescent lions chilling on a rocky ridge. We were close and one of them was calling for the other members of the family. It was a delightful little moment and we all treasured it. You can definitely see aspects of the domestic cat in the wild version as they have such similar mannerisms. It reminded us on our beloved Henry. On our way back to camp we drove via the balloon office to book our flights for tomorrow!! Once we arrived back at camp it was almost dinner time and we tucked into veg soup and then chicken curry. It was lovely grub. Soon after, we went to bed as there is little to do in the pitch dark when wild beasts are lurking. However, as we were walking towards our tent we heard a loud roar which kinda gave us a fright! We were told the Masai men patrol the camp at night to scare away the wild animals but it didn’t seem to deter them much. Over night, apart from the lion that was situated behind our tent, we heard elephants trumpeting in the early hours, a hyena and a zebra. Thank goodness there wasn’t a kill right outside our tent!