The vast savannah and prolific wildlife in Masai Mara were breath-taking and I brought so many unforgettable memories back home. The feeling is truly something to be experienced than to be expressed.
The national reserve offers much more than the famous Big 5. While the silent and vast savannah welcomes the visitors with open arms, balanite trees being few and far between on the nearly treeless plain seems magically mysterious. This got me only more excited to go for the game drive.
My Masai Safari
The most thrilling part about the game drive was that when I expected to see a Giraffe, I spotted a Zebra. When I anticipated seeing a Zebra, I had a herd of Impalas beside my open Land Rover. It was such a delight to see the animals as free as air.
There are a few things that I learned from my safari guide, Leboo, during our game drives. These are a few tips that would surely be helpful on any African wildlife safari.
1) Follow the guide blindly
I followed Leboo’s instructions word to word. Being a local Masai, he was well experienced with the activities of wild animals in the national park/wildlife reserve. He could figure out what sound of which animal indicates what. For instance, just from the dazzle of Zebras, he correctly guessed it that the Lion was approaching.
2) Learn to hold pee
The untouched jungle-like Masai Mara did not give me the convenience of public toilets. I used to pee in the open. My guide had asked to inform me 5-10 minutes in advance as he cannot stop the Land Rover just anywhere. He often took more than 20 minutes to find a safe place for me to get down and relieve myself.
3) Put it back if it’s not subtle
I wore a bright orange jacket on the very first day of safari. The very same evening, I was chatting with Leboo when he requested me to wear a subtle color like brown, olive, etc. instead of bright colors. When I asked him the reason, he enlightened me that flashy colors may sometimes scare away the animals or make them aggressive.
4) Do not spoil the beautiful savannah
The national reserve of Masai Mara truly gave me an experience of a lifetime. After the first game drive itself, I was amazed by the beauty of the savannah and the grace of wild animals. Leboo had instructed me not to litter around before the first game drive.
5) Hold your horses
During the game drives, my guide used to take brief halts so that I could indulge in some wildlife photography. I was thrilled at the very first halt near the innocent Giraffes. As I was about the press the capture button, the Giraffes started moving away in fear. I looked at Leboo. “You scared them away by making so much noise out of zeal, you have to be soft while speaking and moving”, he said and laughed. I knew what I had to do when we took the next halt near the Zebras. I kept the utmost patience and clicked a perfect photo.
6) Keep an eye out for the smaller creatures
The best tip that Leboo gave me was to watch out for some beautiful small creatures as well. And I did encounter some colorful birds. Honestly, birds only added more vibrancy into my bush experience
Whenever you take your first safari in Africa, these are a few tips you could follow to make your trip indelible.
Written by: Anukrati Dosi
Anukrati is a travel and hotel blogger and the author of the blog www.bulbulonthewing.com. A total hodophile, she spends her free time seeing as much of the world as she can. She has travelled to 10 countries so far. Being an avid reader and researcher, she also designs customized travel itineraries professionally.