Friday, February 20, 2015

From Namibia to the Masai Mara: An Ultimate Safaris guide perspective

Ultimate Safaris' intrepid explorer guides Tarry Butcher and Nestor Nghuunduka have arrived at the Mara North Conservancy, which borders the Masai Mara National Park, and shared with us some of their first impressions of the other side of Africa:

Weather: It’s way more humid, even though the rains are only expected to arrive there by the end of the month.

Landscape: The countryside is like nothing we know in Namibia – the scenery is exactly that what you have come to expect of the African savannah - open plains with scattered large acacia trees and short grass and dense forested valleys with small streams.

Animals: Game viewing is really easy, nearly too easy, with good wildlife sightings basically guaranteed in huge numbers. You are treated to thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and buffalo and predator sightings are a regular occurrence (there are 3 well known lion prides in the park which the guides find almost daily and the leopards stick to their territories which the guides know well). Meanwhile in Namibia, you really need to earn a good wildlife experience and can invest hours of your day exploring the desert before you can hope for a chance sighting a lone lion – though some may argue that such a sighting can be more rewarding, especially considering the harsh environment that these Namibian animals survive in. You may also drive off-road on the Mara North Conservancy to get really close to the animals, unlike Namibia, where off-road driving damages the very fragile top soil, leaving the unsightly tracks for centuries on our gravel plains.

You are spoiled for choice with your game viewing, though Tarry’s highlights were the nearly 39 new bird species he has spotted so far, and still counting.

It’s not all about great game viewing, but also an educational tour where we share guiding knowledge and experience with Alex Walker and the Serien Camps. Tarry noted already that the picnic breakfasts are very different and easy to arrange, and something to consider for Namibian safaris. Nestor will be joining one of the local Masai guides on a guiding expedition at the Serien Main Camp whilst Tarry is off today to the Nkorombe Mobile Camp to be “stuck there for 4 nights” (his words, and his favourite place so far).

Panoramic view of the Mara River from Nkorombe Mobile Camp
And as always East Africa produced the goods, where on the mere road transfer he was treated to exciting sightings of 4 lions and a few elephant.

More stories about their adventures to be shared whenever our explorers find some Wi-Fi connectivity!

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