I didn’t want to go to Kenya. I had such an awesome time in Uganda and Rwanda and would have loved to stay there for longer. People told me that Kenya wasn’t as beautiful as Uganda or Rwanda and that the people there weren’t as nice.
Driving past the border crossing I understood straight away what they were talking about. Unlike Uganda, Kenya was dry. Almost as soon as we drove in it was like the earth changed. Sweeping dusty plains replaced the lush hills and valleys that occupied the Ugandan landscape. The vibrant greens had been replaced with khaki and brown. The peoples faces were harsher somehow. They looked aggressive and displeased with the world. I definitely understood why people would think that about Kenya but I couldn’t agree with their analysis.
The ground, though flat and dry went on for an eternity on one side and I could have sworn if I had walked far enough I would have fallen off the end of the earth. On the other side, mountains in the distance were a hazy blue as though the crystal sky had thrown a cloak over them to protect them from the sun. And when
the people smiled the anger in their faces melted away and all I could see was the warmth in their eyes. It was definitely different, but I kinda liked it. And anyway, Kenya was home to the Maasi Mara. I was going on the mother of all game drives!!!!
We met up with our driver and guide, Teddy and Markus, very early. And by early I don't mean getting up at 6, we were up in the 4's this morning and I would have you know this was not the first time! Markus was a character, he was the manager of some travel company and was there to make sure we had a good time. And the reason why he wanted us to have a good time is because of one particular person on my tour. Becks. Becks if freaking awesome. She is kind, funny, generous, has offered me a place to crash in London and just happens to be the general manager of Tucan Travel. Quite a handly person to have on the trip let me tell you. Anyway, so Markus was there to impress. He told us of the road to the Maasi and how we would
Do you know the difference between a tortise and an turtle.... I do now!!!
be riding in a matatu for the entire five hours it took to get there. He wanted to make sure we were aware of the bumpy journey ahead of us. "Prepare yourself to dance to the Maasi".
And dance we did.... It was BUMPY! I mean, sometimes so bumpy that we actually became airborne, inside the matatu, but all you could do was laugh and hold on. And besides, the scenery was magnificant.
Up until this point I had been completley surprised with the landscape in Africa, it has not been anything like I expected it would be. Driving to the Maasi Mara I realised why. Three words... The Lion King. All my preconcieved ideas of what Africa would be like have been based on the Lion King!! And really, quality movie, who could blame me?
Now, if the Lion King was based on anywhere in the world, it would be the Maasi Mara and damn it, I was singing Hakuna Matata all day!! Although, it really doesn't help that people here actually say that...
I wont go into the details of the game drive, I think the photos speak for themselves, but I will say
this... Zebra's have massive thingies, Lions are heaps skinnier in the wild than they are at the zoo and it doesn't matter how many I have now seen, hippo's are fucking scary!! We were actually really lucky cause we were able to go into an area of the park that we didn't pay for (again thanks Becks) and got to get right up close with some Cheetahs, something that the rest of the people in the park weren't able to do and that was obvious when we were driving out and there was a cheetah way way way in the distance and there were crowds of matatu's with people crowding to see it. We just passed on by that crowd!! Seen it thanks!!
I have enjoyed my time in Africa more than I thought possible. I feel like I have done so much and have met some fantastic people, I was very sad to leave. I could take or leave the bartering, but the people, the children and the way their faces light up when they see you coming. That was something truely wonderful. Had I known when I booked the tickets what I know now I would have
Hippo at night
This was taken outside my campsite, Unlike the QEII there was an electric fence that separated us thank goodness...
stayed for much longer. It was eye opening for me to see what it means for people to live in a developing country, without having to read about it, and realistically I have only scratched the surface. I will never really know or understand what it is like. I have to be happy and appreciate the things that I have, the people that I love and the country that I was born into. Because, when it comes down to it, it is just the luck of the draw.
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