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Blogs from: Kenya

AV Trip Blog – Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

 

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

A Cheetah and her cubs

Masai Mara is a special place and one that I had heard of prior to visiting Kenya. Masai Mara is named in honor for the people which have lived there for many many years, the Maasai. Mara is a Maasai word meaning spotted which accurately describes the vegetation in the region. With the combination of Maasai and Mara, you have Masai Mara.

The area is in fact quite spotted and is mostly wide open plans with rolling hills. There are some large hills throughout the region which offer some breakup of the geography and the Mara river.

What had me excited for Masai Mara was the real chance to see Lions, Leopards, and Cheetah in the mix with all of the dare I call them “typical” animals such as Elephant, Giraffe, Antelope, etc. I wanted to see them in action!

During our safari, we went on three different game drives – an evening drive, a full day drive, and an early morning drive. The combination of these three drives was an incredible experience. Masai Mara knocked it out of the park with not only tons of animals, the big animals (lions, cheetah, etc.), the situations we saw, but aslo in just how close we could actually get to the animals – it was incredible!

The Reserve is located in the Southwestern region of Kenya on the border with Tanzania and the Serengeti National Park. I added a map below to show you where Masai Mara is and also its relation to the Serengeti. We stayed near and used the Ololamutiek Gate located on the right-side of the map.

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AV Trip Blog – Lake Nakuru National Park – Kenya, Africa

 

Lake Nakuru National Park – Kenya, Africa

Playfully rolling around in the dirt, apparently to remove ticks

Our second safari stop in Kenya on our way to Masai Mara was Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is famous for hosting one of the largest flamingo populations in the world (think millions hanging out on one small lake). Unfortunately for us, flooding over the last couple of years has depleted the flamingos food source and most of them have temporarily relocated north in neighboring Ethiopia to survive. Luckily, the park was full of other animals, including one of Kenya’s largest concentrations of rhino. Our time exploring the area was certainly not wasted :)

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AV Trip Blog – Samburu National Reserve – Kenya, Africa

 

Samburu National Reserve – Kenya, Africa

Alright, WTF – which one of you just shot flash at me from 50 meters away?

After completing our 21-day tour of Southern Africa with G Adventures, we made our way north to East Africa where we would embark on 15 days of pure animal safari bliss through the Kenyan and Tanzanian wilderness. Our goal over the 15 days was to see as many animals as possible in some of the best parks on the planet. We wanted to be sure that when the wheels lifted on our plane out of Africa that we both truly had a grasp on the whole safari experience. That and of course we were absolutely (pun intended) stoked to check out AV #4 – The Serengeti Migration in Tanzania.

Our tour through East Africa started in Nairobi, Kenya. It is there that we met Brad’s dad, who would travel with us for a week through the Kenya leg. The three of us joined three others, a guide and a driver. Together we packed up a deceivingly powerful safari van and made our way north to our first park in Kenya – Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu was a place that we knew basically nothing about prior to visiting. Our sights were focused on the much more famous Maasai Mara park that was on our itinerary a few days later in Kenya.

Samburu left an impression on both of us and it is a park we absolutely recommend visiting for people coming to Kenya looking for animals. The park is full of animals and it is especially easy to spot leopards. Equally important, the surrounding landscape is incredibly beautiful, which really helps enhance the overall experience and certainly yields better photos for you to take home.

Here are some of our favorite photos from our visit. We hope that you enjoy all of the animals and of course we’d be thrilled if browsing through our experience gets you one step closer to booking a trip to come see it all for yourself. Enjoy!

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Looking for Her Next Kill – Masai Mara National Reserve

 
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Looking for Her Next Kill - Masai Mara National Reserve

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Buffalo Soldier – Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

 
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Buffalo Soldier - Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

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Lions Growing Up – Maasai Mara National Reserve – Kenya

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Lions Growing Up - Maasai Mara National Reserve - Kenya

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Unorthodox Zebra Cleaning – Lake Nakuru NP – Rift Valley, Kenya

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Unorthodox Zebra Cleaning - Lake Nakuru NP - Rift Valley, Kenya

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Friendly Rhino Grazing – Lake Nakuru NP – Rift Valley, Kenya

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Friendly Rhino Grazing - Lake Nakuru NP - Rift Valley, Kenya

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Elephants into the Sunset – Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

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Elephants into the Sunset - Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

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Leopard Sunset Tree – Samburu National Reserve – Samburu, Kenya

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Leopard Sunset Tree - Samburu National Reserve - Samburu, Kenya

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