Masai Mara 2011

    • Approach from Lolgorien
    • Domesticated eland
    • Mara Conservancy
    • Zebra & Yellow-billed Oxpeckers
    • Lions mating in the road
    • Masai Mara Balloon
    • Lioness staring intently
    • Elephant & calf, Masai Mara
    • Cheetah & cub hunting
    • Zebra & Yellow-billed Oxpeckers
    • Topi on termite mound
    • Lionesses doing what lions do best
    • Keekorok balloon
    • Gorgeous Cheetah
    • Out of Africa breakfast
    • Maasai giraffe
  • It is NOT possible to cross from Serengeti directly into Masai Mara. The border crossing into Kenya is at Isebania / Sirari, two to three hours west of Mara Reserve. From Speke Bay on Lake Victoria, where we exited the Serengeti, to Isebania takes approximately three to four hours. From Isebania to the Mara takes about four hours, making for a long day.

    The first stretch of the road is average African paved road, not too bad. Before Migori we turned off to Kehancha, on a narrow, rough road (C13) via Lolgorien to the Masai Mara. At 26km from Migori the road becomes a single terrible 4×4 track, especially after the short rains, which came surprisingly early in 2011, and made a complete mess of the track. We had better traction on the verge, weaving our way through pastures, and the trip was made less burdensome when we came across a domesticated eland living peacefully with a herd of cattle.

    We entered the Mara at Oloololo Gate and paid for an exclusive campsite at Serena – which of course has no facilities whatsoever, not even a shady tree, but it is secluded and away from the corwds. Entrance: US$100, Camping fees: $100 per person. Ksh400 per vehicle per day = US$15 vehicle permit. The Serena Lodge is bliss for overlanders who occasionally get the urge to see civilisation. In fact, one of the best spots to wait for a river crossing in the entire Mara is on the veranda of the Serena. Once you see a herd congregating, all the guests do is rush down to the riverside in their safari vehicles.

    On our third night in the Mara we camped right on the Sand River, in a designated spot with ablutions, a stone’s throw from the border with the Serengeti – which is now closed. We had the place to ourselves and loved the downpour, since we were sheltered by a sprawling tree canopy.

    Next morning it was up at 3am for our balloon trip at Twiga, Keekorok. Even though the trip was too short, the silence and the sense of weightlessness, floating through the dawn skies, made for one of our most special experiences ever.