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A Typical Day on Safari

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When it comes to seeing some of the world’s most spectacular locations, these days, the sky is no longer the limit. Soaring above iconic landmarks and landscapes is nothing new, but there’s never been a better time to take in such scenes from up above. Since the first hot air balloon flight all the way back in 1783, such experiences have provided unique (and often superior) views of everything that the world has to offer.

About the Author

About the Author

"Having grown up in South Africa, visiting the region’s wild places was a staple of my upbringing. This left a lasting passion for Africa’s wildlife and natural beauty that translated itself into a fulfilling career in travel, arranging safari trips to Africa’s remote and exotic places."



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Have you ever wondered what it is like to wake up in the middle of the bush? I am not one for quoting renowned writers, but Ernest Hemmingway was not lying when he said “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy”.  After my recent trip to the Masai Mara, I wanted to try and paint a picture of a typical day in the Mara. Seasoned safari goers would argue it is impossible to describe the magic, but I am going to try.

First of all, the early mornings. That might sound absurd to some. Why should I wake up at 5:30 on my holiday? Quite simply, because it is the most beautiful and peaceful time in the bush. Guests are still in their camps, not a vehicle in sight, leaving you to just lie in bed with your cup of tea to take in the beauty of the early morning light, the stillness in the air, and the sound of the birds. If you are lucky, you will have heard the exhilarating, yet somehow soothing noise of lions roaring through the night, but the night’s events are now over, leaving us excited safari goers to see what the night left behind on our first game drive on the day.

Setting off around 6:30, early enough so the predators are still active, with the first light peering through the cloud, we make our way onto the great plains of the Masai Mara. You’re far too excited to think about the early start. Wrapped in your Masai blanket to fight the early morning chill, you are already scanning the vast savannah dotted with acacia trees, admiring the odd Thompson gazelle or wildebeest. I think my favourite early morning sighting was spotting a herd of giraffe poke their heads through the trees. There is something so serene and graceful about giraffes, and combined with the early morning mist, I had never seen anything so beautiful.

Game drives are exciting and unpredictable, but during the day the sun is hot, and it is the perfect time to soak up the beauty from your camp. I have been lucky enough to see some incredible camps, with an inspired interior design, turning the basic concept of camping into something luxurious. My favourite camps were those that encouraged the ‘bush life’ feel, with bucket showers, and no internet connection whatsoever. It is time to totally unwind and connect with the incredible nature around you. A dip in the pool or simply relaxing on the open decking, taking in those breath-taking vistas, is all you need to do to enjoy the wonder of the Mara. If you are lucky enough, you may find the animals come to you. One of the most thrilling moments of my trip to Kenya was when a herd of elephants, parched in the intense heat of Samburu, approached the camp’s pool for a drink as we observed with our toes dipped in the water other end.

After a wonderfully indulgent afternoon tea, you head out for your late afternoon activity. Whether in a vehicle or on foot, dusk is an incredible time on safari, as all the wildlife resurface after a day hiding away in the sun. My personal favourite is a walking safari. Somehow getting on foot and feeling the bush beneath you, learning about the various trails of the wildlife, really heightens your senses and makes you feel alive! Just before the sun sets, you’ll find yourself in the most spectacular spot, perfect for a sundowner. Nothing beats sipping on a refreshing G&T and marveling at the nature around you!

Finally, back to camp. It has been a long day, and a hot meal is waiting for you back at base. Bush meals are hearty and warming – nothing over the top, but without doubt some of the best food I have had. Of course, it helps that you are sitting under the African night sky, studded with stars, listening to the mesmerizing sounds of the bush.

After an evening of bush tales from the guides, plenty of wine and warming yourself by the fire pit, you head to bed. Zipping yourself up inside your cosy tent, knowing what is outside, is a somewhat adventurous but comforting sensation – especially with the hot water bottle waiting to keep you warm through the night – what could be better!

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