Mark’s 4 night Mara safari
What can you do in 5 days?
Visit the Mara…
“within 10 mins of setting off we saw a cheetah with two cubs!”
Zambezi’s Mark Pearson traveled in October, his safari focused on the west of the Masai Mara National Park before moving over to the Mara River, where he was lucky enough to see the incredible wildebeest migration river crossing.
Mark’s Kenya safari kicked off with an eight and a half hour flight from Heathrow to Nairobi on a brand new Kenyan airways plane. “The service was excellent and no jet lag, it was a great start to the trip!”
From Nairobi Mark took a road transfer to Wilson Airport to connect with a scheduled flight to Ol Kiombo airstrip. Mark says of the final road transfer Tipilikwani Mara Camp.
“This was more of a game drive than just a transfer! It took us around an hour which included stops – within 10 mins of setting off we saw a cheetah with two cubs! It was an excellent start to the safari!”
Days 1-2 Tipilikwani Mara Camp – just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve, the camp is sited on the banks of the Talek River with amazing views over looking the Masai Mara. It’s a great base for families with a large river frontage and excellent food served in a lodge style dining area and a swimming pool. Families are well catered for with two adjoining spacious tents with one king size and two queen size beds and two bathrooms.
Mark’s stay at Tipilikwani – what to expect:
A typical day – up at sunrise for tea and biscuits then off on a morning game drive in open vehicles.
“Our Maasai guide Jonathan was great. Game was prolific – we saw the Big 5, plains game species and a variety of bird life from owls to eagles all in just two days!”
Mark’s opinion… if you’re planning your first trip to Africa this is a great base, it’s good value for money 3/4* and perfect for families with pool, large dining area, good size family tents. Excellent wildlife. It’s worth booking added extras such as the balloon flights at the camp.
Day 3 – Mara Ngenche. We set off on a game drive transfer to Ol Kiombo airstrip to connect with our scheduled flight onto Mara North airstrip. Then onto another game drive transfer to Tipilikwani’s sister camp, Mara Ngenche.
Mara Ngenche is a 5* luxury camp situated on the confluence of the Mara and the Talek Rivers. The camp has 10 colonial style, well appointed tents. All have en-suites, a king size poster or two queen size beds. Each has a large bathtub, outside shower and an amazing private plunge pool.
Mark stayed at Mara Ngenche for 2 nights – here’s what to expect:
A typical day – safari days tend to follow the same sequence: Early morning tea followed by a game drive, when the animals are at their most active. Returning to camp mid morning for breakfast, siesta time and lunch. You’ll typically take an afternoon game drive returning around dusk for the all important sundowners and dinner. During Mark’s stay the highlight was witnessing a river crossing of wildebeest and zebras just a 2 minute drive away from the camp! “The camp’s fabulous location meant that we had the place to ourselves – we were the only ones to witness it!”
Mark’s opinion… The Mara is a great place for wildlife (especially the young offspring during October/November)… leopard cubs, hyena, lion, elephant and rhino calf. “We were within moments of seeing a Thomson Gazelle being born. Mark’s Masai guide Milton was great, very knowledgeable and excellent on birds, botany and wildlife. From Mara Ngenche you can take a game drive to see the Marsh Pride as featured in the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.
“October is a great time to go on safari to witness the young being born and taking their first steps”
On transfer back to the airport it’s well worth stopping off at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – An elephant orphanage which also look after rhinos. You will need to pre-book a private viewing. This costs $450 for a maximum of 10 people. Pre-booking a private viewing you’re not standing behind a rope, you can interact with the elephants and watch the baby eles being fed milk from a bottle.
In just four nights Mark saw a river crossing, the big 5, a variety of bird life and young of all description. He even adopted Simotua, a baby elephant – that’s what you call an action packed safari!
After many years of hearing about crowds in the Mara, Mark was surprised at how quiet the Mara is, “it’s safe, crowd free and excellent value for money”.
Contact Mark for further details or if you’d like him to put together an itinerary including flights.
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