Great Rift Valley

Fiti means “OK” or “Good” in Swahili
Si Fiti means “Not Good” in Swahili

We headed out at 6am to catch the sunrise on our last game drive in Maasai Mara.  We played “Circle of Life” from the Lion King soundtrack as we watched the golden rays of sunlight slowly illuminate the scattered clouds in the azure sky.  My favorite part was watching the glowing halo outline the clouds, engulfing them in shades of purple, orange, and then gold.

There were a couple of hot air balloons taking off over the horizon, and we could see the flame burst gearing the balloon for take off.  Next safari trip (there will definitely be another), I would love to take a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride over the savannah.  I can only imagine how spectacular the view would be from above the tall acacia trees overlooking the millions of herds moving across the land.  It can cost around USD$450 for a ride, but it just be one of those things that are totally worth it!

We cruised around the plains slowly, just taking in all the sights for one last time.  Acacia trees are quintessentially African; the flat top trees dot the plains everywhere you go.

We saw a few more zebras, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, warthogs, buffaloes with cute little birds hitching a ride on their backs, and a lone hyena (fisi) strolling down the road.

After a couple hours of game riding, we headed back to the lodge to pack to leave Maasai Mara.

We left Maasai Mara around 10am to head back to Nairobi to replenish supplies for our camping adventure in Sagana.  Along the way, we passed several Maasai boys that were tending a herd of cattle.

We wanted to take a photo of the Maasai people, and Mital had told us to seek out isolated Maasais because if we stopped by a group, all of them would have rushed to us and asked for money.    We had bought some maize in Nairobi earlier for this purpose, and we handed them the corn although they were a lot more excited to receive 100Ksh.  They were a bit shy posing with us, and ran off the minute we thanked them for their time.

Since the Maasai people tend to live in close proximity to many national parks and reserves, they are used to seeing tourists and accommodating requests for photos in exchange for a price.  Some local villages are set up to receive tourists and you can purchase some of their traditional handmade crafts.  They are capitalizing on tourism quite well!

As we departed, a little boy with intense dark liquid eyes ran up to the van.  I was unsure whether he may have had an eye disease or if it was his natural color.  We gave him some money and he waved as we drove off.

It took 5 hours of driving on an extremely dusty road to reach the Great Rift Valley lookout point.  I had to use my scarf to cover my face to filter out the dust I was breathing.  We made a brief stop here to check out the sprawling valley floors, which looked like a landscape from “The Land Before Time” films.

We arrived in Nairobi in the late afternoon and headed to Miraj’s house to repack our bags for our camping trip for the next few nights.  We stopped by the grocery store at the Westgate shopping mall to stock up on supplies, including ingredients to make s’mores!  The boys had never had s’mores before, which was not surprising considering graham crackers did not exist in Kenya.  We decided to settle with shortbread biscuits as a substitute.  Campfires are not complete without roasted marshmallows and s’mores!

It was close to 11pm by the time we arrived at Rapids Camp in Sagana, which was located near the base of Mt. Kenya.  There were four pitched tents and a large fire already blazing and waiting for our arrival.  Outside of the Rapids Camp employees, we had the entire campsite to ourselves for our stay.

Once again, it was not exactly “roughing it” camping, as there was a stone building where the employees lived that had running water and a generator.  We had access to full bathroom facilities (minus hot water), and they provided all the bedding and cooking ware.  It felt more like we were camping in someone’s backyard, but still — it was Kenya!

I started immediately on s’more duty.  William, the camp caretaker, helped us look for sticks to use to roast the marshmallows, and even sharpened the sticks for us!  Roza, Kitty, and I all formed a s’more assembly line and introduced the Kenyan boys to the sweet American camping tradition!

We popped open some Tuskers, settled around the fire, and played random drinking games.  I ended up sleeping early (3am hah) as I still had a little bit of a head cold.  The bonfire party continued past 4am.

Return to main menu: “Karibu Kenya”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s