So, I told myself that I won’t become one of those tourist in Kenya that does a safari trip, but then I caved in when my co-workers told me the beauty of the Mara. N, my colleague found a booking company that would help us arrange for the safari trip. I am not too sure of the company’s name, but there are tons of company in Kisumu for this trip.
Anyways, we booked for 3 days safari package. Since we are students, we did not want to pay the full price, so N tried to get us the student package. Normally, in order to guarantee a student discount, you are to book a month in advance, max 2 weeks. We booked our trip a week in advance. Hehe. Also, the more people you have, the less you pay. In total, we were six tourists that would board a safari van.
It is best to do these trips on a Friday, that way, you enjoy your weekend. Also, July-October is the best time to see wildebeests migration. We did our tour towards the end of June, so the migration had already begun. The wildebeests migrate from Tanzania to Kenya.
So, the breakdown of the trip; 3 days and 2 nights will be broken into different blog posts.
On Friday, we met with the agent and paid the fee of 12,300ksh (~$120). Then, we boarded the tour bus. From Kisumu to the Mara is about 6 hours. Now, the safari trips come in packages. The more you pay, the better the accommodation and tour van. Like stated, we are students and did not want to spend more than we can afford, hence the price. So, upon arriving at the Mara, we lodged Mara Sida Camp which was a three minute drive from the Mara. That means we lodged outside the Mara.
First of all, when I entered the camp, I was floored. It was more than expected for the budget we had. So, entering inside the tent was completely unexpected because it was furnished with bedding and had a shower and toilet in each tent. There are some tents that held four beds, some two, others singles. I had a single. We arrived at camp at 3:30, so by 4pm after freshening up and getting acquainted with who’s who at camp, we headed for the Mara drive. At the entrance, we paid ticket fee. Since we are students, we showed our ID and our guide, Lucas, persuaded for us to get the student discount.
We ended up paying $45 instead of the initial $80. We showed our student ID. At the entrance, it is guarded by park rangers and soldiers. Also, there were women selling some Maasai items. Be warned! They swarm you like flies and you have to be ready to say no and hold your ground or buy something. They are pretty affordable than in town, but you can still negotiate the prices.
We began our first tour in the Mara and I was in awe. God really is a magnificent God and words cannot express my emotions on how beautiful the savanna was. Anyways, we toured for 2 hours coming across wildebeests, Thomson’s gazelle, common-ground zebras, cheetahs, lions, elands, birds, acacia tree, etc.
Of course, the Massais walking their cows inside this dangerous zone. After arriving at camp, we had a delicious meal and rested for the next day.
Photo credit: Nico, AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHY. I’m sure you can tell which is mine. Ha!