Maasai Mara Game Drive & Sun Africa Hotel Resort
Location: Kenya (overlapping Serengeti National Park, Tanzania) Tour Company: Prima Vera Duration: 3 nights/4 days Resort: Sun Africa Hotel Total Cost: $550 including all transportation, all meals and 5-star accommodation Excluded costs: drinks, park fees and any additional activities
It’s still dark out when the safari driver picks us up from our accommodation which is our friends mums house. Waving goodbye to our host mum, we set off on a 6-8 hour drive to Maasai Mara National Park.
Along the way there was a short stop at the Great Rift Valley. The view there was beautiful and looked like it had been painted. Of course this stop is a tourist trap for the locals to make some money be selling their goods at insane prices. Thankfully it doesn’t work on me.
Soon after we were back on the road, mere hours to our final destination. Arriving at the main gate we were bombarded with local Maasai women selling their beaded jewellery and a variety of cloth and clothing items. Fighting our way through the mass of women we approached the gate to pay our park fees.
Park Fees: $70 per day/per person
Sun Africa Hotel Resort
As the safari Jeep pulled up, I was blown away by the entrance alone. It exceeded my expectations. At the reception desk we were greeted with warm welcomes and a cold drink, then guided to our room. The view outside the rear of the hotel surpassed any further expectations. A large area of freshly cut green grass with bungalow type rooms dotted around one side. The other side hid a beautiful clean swimming pool with pink overhanging flowers. Ahead of the hotel was nature as far as the eye can see. Whilst being escorted to our room by a local Maasai guy we were startled by an unfamiliar grunting sound coming from the forest ahead. To our surpirse, we were told that just metres from where we stood, was an unguarded Hippo pool. They were free to roam around and occasionally came onto the resort. Following that came a friendly warning. Hippos are the most aggressive, deadliest animals so we should keep a clear distance from them and do not antagonise them. Did anyone used to play that game ‘Happy Hippos’? They should add that warning to the box as to negate from young children assuming they are happy, friendly creatures.
Following the various hippo grunts, we strolled along a beautiful wooden pathway overlooking the many trees, plants and small wild animals until we came to a small viewing shack. There you could sit down and watch the hippos going about their day in the safety of the shack. You can even enjoy an ice cold beer and some snacks if you want. If you want a change of scenery you can walk along the path in a different direction to a little romantic spot and watch the sunset.
Gently shaded by the many trees with colourful, vibrant flowers hanging in an organised fashion. The crystal blue water awaits your presence. A small pool bar is available to quench your thirst after a nice, long swim. Although you can feel a light breeze while sitting by the pool, remember the suns rays are extremely strong so apply plenty of sun screen regularly. You don’t want a sun burn in a place where you can’t escape the heat.
A total of 4 days were assigned for the safari in small segments of time. The driver arranges the best times for the most wildlife sightings based on their daily activities. This meant we mainly went game driving either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Honestly that is more than enough time plus in your down time you can explore the resort, go for a relaxing swim in the pool, add some extra activities such as: Visiting the Maasai Village or taking a Hot Air Balloon Ride. Both have additional fees.
Note: Masai Village & Hot Air Balloon activities will be featured in the follow up article. Coming soon!
The Big Five
Rhino – spotted once as it bolted away from the Jeep.
Buffalo – Many sightings on different drives.
Elephant – Spotted many herd/parade of elephants throughout one day.
Lion – Many sightings on all days.
Leopard – Spotted one but not close up.
I feel very lucky to have seen the Big Five and I hope anyone who decides to experience the Maasai Mara Safari has the same, if not better luck than me.
Besides the Big Five, a large variety of wildlife was seen over the four days. To mention a few: Giraffe, Monkey, Zebra, Warthog, Antelope, Hyena, many bird species and so much more.
Some of my favourite wildlife sightings over the 4 days.
Maasai Mara Views
From the moment we arrived at the Maasai Mara I realised how stunning it was. From walking around the resort to game drives during the day, the views never disappointed. In fact, they just kept getting better and better. Next I will show you some of my most memorable views. I hope you like them!
Thank you for reading my Maasai Mara experience. I hope it has inspired you to venture on a safari some day soon.
A few tips:
- Listen to your driver – if you’re told to stay inside the Jeep, do so.
- Have a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with you at all times.
- Have a good quality camera with a good zoom.
- Be patient whilst out on a game drive – sometimes the sightings all happen at once in a short period of time.
- Enjoy the views as well as the wildlife sightings
Follow up article: Additional Activities at the Maasai Mara.