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After a long flight from Cairo, Egypt, we landed in Nairobi, Kenya at 4 a.m. the next day.  We arranged ground transportation to our final destination, the Maasai Mara National Reserve.  We waited too late to make book a local flight, which was much quicker.

Our driver, Kelvin, picked us up in a classic Land Rover and began the 5 hour journey to the reserve.  I tried to stay awake the whole time for the commentary, but couldn’t do it.  We lost an hour or so due to a traffic accident, but we weren’t in a hurry.  We asked Kelvin lots a questions and he happily answered them all.  After some hours, we stopped in a town to stretch and get a quick snack.  

Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the Maasai Mara National Reserve near Narok County and checked into the Mara Intrepids Tented Camp.  I hoped and prayed that our lodging looked like the online pictures and it did.  On the inside, it looked like a hotel.  The only difference was the walls were a sturdy canvas, tent material, with double zippered closure to keep out light, when desired and bugs.  In the front was a river where we would occasionally hear hippos.

giraffe in Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya

After lunch, we quickly changed into appropriate gear and headed on our first safari.  We only had to share our jeep with 2 other people, so that was great.  To say the safari was amazing would be an understatement.  We were close to the animals, but remained respectful of their space.  Everything and every animal was beautiful.  The reserve seems to stretch for miles.  It was cool to sit and watch the younger animals chase each other and rough house, while the adults looked on.  At this location in Kenya, we were a stone’s throw away from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.  We rode around for several hours observing many animals, before getting stuck in the mud, and finally heading back for a 4-course dinner.  The meals were exceptional and the staff was quite attentive to any need we had.  

After dinner, we returned to our room to wind down before bed.  There was lighting along the way, leading to the tent.  However, power was cut every night at midnight, so it was import to charge up your devices before then.  At this time, it was pitch black outside.  All you could hear were hippos in the river, and the animals that sounded like crying babies. 

As it had been a long day in Kenya, I was ready for bed.  We had an early day ahead, because the first safari of the next day would be at 6:30 a.m. sharp.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It was definitely a challenge, but I was going to conquer it.!