On the Bucketlist: The Masai Mara

Posted on July 03, 2013 by Kirsten Read | 0 Comments

1,000 Places to See Before You Die describes the Masai Mara as nature’s stage for the most spectacular wildlife pageant on earth. Every May, hundreds of thousands of wildebeests mass in Tanzania’s Serengeti (Masai for “endless plains”), moving north in search of sustenance to the wide-open grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara, where they arrive in July and August. The wildebeests, as well as migrating herds of zebras, antelopes, and gazelles, make up the more than one million animals on the move in the 583-square-mile game reserve. The Mara is also one of the best places for seeing all the big cats.

As someone who's always loved the unreal feeling of being in the air, I would want the view above it all in a hot air balloon, but you can find yourself in the middle of the action via four-wheel drive for the more adventurous types. One of four tented camps owned by Governors’ Camp Collection in the northwestern corner of the reserve, is the place to stay, and a legendary spot on the Mara River. 
 
A horseback safari takes you out of the reserve and toward the forested Loita Hills. You’ll pass the dung-walled huts that make up the manyattas (villages) of the Masai, perhaps Africa’s most famous tribe. Often clad in their distinctive red shukas (plaid fabric derived from Scottish tartan kilts) and rubber sandals fashioned from tire treads, these herders view the migrating game as “God’s cattle,” and they protect them as such.
While Kenya is home to the Masai Mara, is is also home to Lydali producers Sasa Designs. Sasa's mission is to provide employment and fair wages to deaf artisans in Kenya, giving deaf artisans the chance to learn new skills, to discover what they are capable of and to earn a living wage. This allows them to move into a position of dignity, supporting their families, sending their children to good schools, and providing better nutrition and healthcare for them. 
 
While I have never been to Kenya, experiencing the world's great animal migration at the Masai Mara is definitely on my bucketlist map. What's on yours?

Posted in Africa, bucket list, Kenya, Masai Mara, Sasa, travel


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