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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Fairmont Safari Club, Maasai Mara, Kenya - Page 2

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In the afternoon you could read a book by the pool or river or use the wifi at the stylish, comfortable lodge (the only place with wifi) and then go to lunch - which some days was a large healthy buffet and others was a beautifully plated 3 course meal - I'm not sure which was better!

 

The very best part of the place were the safari drives. We loved our driver, Anthony. He was extremely knowledgeable about all the animals, animated when telling stories about them, and both funny and personable while being completely professional. Fairmont also keeps you with the same guide the whole time, which was good because they knew what animals you'd already seen the day before and they always tried to show you something new. He was so well informed that I asked him lots of questions that had come up over the last two weeks of safaris in the different parks and he was very patient and answered all of them.

 

We saw many lions – even while mating (which they do every 20-30 mins for three days straight during mating season!); also cubs playing with their mama's tails and jumping back and forth as they swished from side to side. One day we found a cheetah which are fairly rare. There were lots of wildebeest and zebras and all kinds of antelope – including some types we hadn't seen at the other parks and the mini species which is a favorite – the dick-dick. There were buffalo, elephants, ostriches, hyenas, giraffes and many bird species. The only one of the 'big five' we didn't see was the leopard. We kept searching, but leopards are solitary animals and spend most of their time in trees and are harder to spot. However, we had already seen them in Serengeti Park, so for us it was not crucial, though it would have been nice.

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The animal populations were less dense when we were there than in the Serengeti – partly because of the time of year (their migration sends them in a big circle through both parks – which is essentially the same park just on either side of the Kenya/Tanzania border) and partly due to being in the 'conservation area' of Maasai Mara. The animals know no boundaries and will go wherever there is food and water, but some areas have people living there and these places have fewer wild animals.

 

One very special animal that Anthony brought us to see were the rhinos. There are only two left in Kenya and they are highly protected – rangers guard them when they go out grazing during the day and at night they are caged behind an electric fence since their horns are so valuable – worth more than their weight in gold – and the poachers are fierce. The rangers house is also right next to the enclosure in case poachers try anything at night. So we did see them up close, though it was a semi- zoo experience I wasn't expecting. Rhinos are generally very far from humans (understandably), so its tough to see them close up in the wild – we did see them in Ngorogoro Crater but even with good binoculars they were barely distinguishable from other large animals.

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Last modified on Thursday, 01 March 2018

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