Maasai Mara Trip Report August 07
flight emirates from duesseldorf via dubai (still most annoying airport because of long transit times and lack of chairs for all travellers which makes that airport the most horrible we know!) to nairobi.
stop over at the stanley hotel in the middle of that bursting city because emirates touches down at 14.15hrs which is too late for the connecting flight into the mara. very attentive and friendly staff, good selection of room service meals incl. from the new thai restaurant! very nice rooftop restaurant and tidy large room.
next day 10.00hrs air kenya flight to mm and 1 hour transfer to ilkeliani camp close to talek gate.
very nice camp (17 tents), good sized tents, extremly attentive staff and good landis for gamedrives. this camp gets mostly frequented by selfdrive guests or safari companies which rent their cars incl. driver guide.
we had full 7 days and executed 7 full day drives because we had a car at sole use for the whole period we stayed there.
ilkeliani makes a destinction between "full board" and game package which is really fair as you don't have to book game package when one has got a sole use car!
we saw 3 crossings and the traffic jam at the crossing points was enormous!
the migration was in full swing and the plains were filled with wildebeest and zebras as far as the eyes could see!
we saw mating lions all over the places - the mara seemd like a swinger club ;-).
we met the 3 cheetah brothers of one was very ill but was treated by a vet so that we could clearly see the difference between the healthy and the former ill cheetha. but the recovery was successfull as the cheetah was again be able to hunt in that coallition!
a cheetah lady on her own which was not more than 2 1/2 years old had successfully killed an adult thomson.
furthermore we saw the cheetah mother with her 4 cubs (1 year old) of which 2 jumped onto our car and 1 stole kai's beanbag :-) that encounter was clearly a highlight!!!
we saw twice a serval mum with 4 tiny kitten which was also awesome as we had never seen them before! we have spent lots of time with that little family and the family is not shy at all!
we met BELLA - famous from BBC big cat diary series - with a kill and a second leopard in a tree with 2 lionesses beneath waiting for him! the lionesses took off after a while and the leopard went down with a big growl and disappeared in a lugga.
warthog mum with mini piglets - estimated 20 cm long.
lots of hyenas, vultures of at least 5 species incl. leopard faced, lots of antelops incl. several eland herds.
conclusion: that was one of the best safaris we have executed so far!
and we are already sure that we go back to the mara once more because there is no place in africa where one can see so many species in one place!
traffic was huge but except at the crossing points beareable especially as we didi day drives and between 11.00hrs and 16.00hrs mostly the cars are getting back to camps.
last day's schedule: 05.00hrs up and packing, 06.30hrs game drive till 12.00hrs. shower, last packing, lunch, 14.00hrs to the airstrip and the normal wait for the flight which finally took off at 16.30hrs. wait at jomo kenyatta intl. for emirates flight to dubai and further to düsseldorf.
we luckily got upgraded to business as also on the flight düsseldorf-dubai which we really appreciated! the businessclass meals at emirates are out of this world. the seats are comfortable but no flat beds but granted a good and comfortable rest.