Safari. – Planning a Big Five safari?
One of the main reasons why people travel to Africa is to see the Big Five – the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and the White/Black rhinoceros. However, one of the most frequently asked questions they get is which destination offers the best chance to see all five species? To answer this question, DiscoverAfrica.com asked eight travellers to share their favourite Big Five safari destination.
My choice as below and please click on the above link to read the rest.
What is my favourite Big 5 Safari Destination.
A tough one, as I love every safari I go on hugely, but somehow when I sat down to really think about it, the Masai Mara wins.
The Mara, as it is fondly known, is situated in south-west Kenya and is undeniably one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. Named in honour of the Masai people whose ancestral land it is, this is the site of the annual wildebeest migration and throughout the year holds a rich residential population of Masai lion, leopards, cheetah, zebra, hyena and Thomson’s gazelle. I truly love it here.
On my visit I stayed in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which forms part of the Masai Mara National Reserve, but allows a more private safari experience, as the actual reserve can get very crowded, especially during those months when the thundering hooves of wildebeest echo across the plains.
The word Mara literally means ‘spotted’, which refers to both the landscape patched with groves of acacia and thorn bushes, as well as the colour red of the earth that pushes through the grass. Sun bleached bones litter the land as wildebeest and zebra graze nearby, oblivious to the pack of lions that lie fully sated under a tree, legs in the air occasionally swatting at lazy flies, all the while looking deceptively domesticated.
I took to exploring the area by full day safari, tucked up under red checkered Masai blankets to ward off the cold first thing, and was astounded by the rich wildlife sighting. There is literally game everywhere and given that the green plains resemble perfectly mowed lawns, very easy to spot.
The area is said to have the highest density of lions in East Africa with numerous prides found, hyena walk boldly across your path in broad daylight and cheetah take advantage of the anthills to get a better view.
We stopped for breakfast and sundowners, visited an authentic Masai village to learn about their culture and spent much time at a nearby rhino sanctuary, where the rhinos are under 24 hour guard for their safety.
One of my favourite memories was walking the green plains with my guide and a Masai Tourist Police member. We were out there for a few hours, stopping to watch a journey of giraffe go by, antelope grazing oblivious to our presence, checking underfoot as a snake was discovered and following tracks dried in the mud after the early morning rains. This truly is the best way to see an area and was a great privilege for me.
The magic of wild Kenya is quite unbeatable, the animals relaxed, the guide invested and incredibly knowledgeable and the lodges beautiful, yet true to their surrounds. This visit truly was a dream come true for me and happy as I am anywhere in the bush, I’d return here in a heartbeat.
Thank you DiscoverAfrica.com for the inclusion!