Yet more animals but now in the Mara reserve
Ok, soon we will be taking pictures of rally cars at the WRC but for now, here is some of the wildlife in Mara.
When we were at Amboseli NP we worked out to ask how long it takes to drive to the furthest gate, this gives us a gauge of the size and road conditions of the park and helps us judge how long to stay in the park, at Amboseli 1 hour at 40km/h is enough, so you can see it’s not a huge place.
We asked at the main gate into the greater Mara reserve, they said two hours to the Mara bridge gate and 2 hours from the mara bridge to the very north gate where we wanted to exit.
No bear in mind these are fat slow Toyotas with loads of tourists and every day is a Dakar day with Beady !!
I asked about booking camping in the mara triangle, and suddenly the park ranger told us, he can’t do it because that’s Maasi land, confusion starts to build. however he will give us a 2 hour transit ticket to get to the Mara bridge, where we can pay all the fees and camping… so err, I agreed, got back in the Dogger, and entered the Mara reserve for free. We drove a short distance and worked out at Beady speed how long it would take to get to the Mara bridge…. 40mins easy !!!
so we took 2 hours and arrived at the bridge having done some animal viewing, and a bit of frontier jumping.
we then went through what can be described as a very thorough entry procedure into the Mara triangle, which even involved checking the names on the credit cars against passports.
We have now from 1 pm today another 24 hours to travel Mara, but not only the Mara triangle but also the greater mara area.. I did say it was confusing.
anyway, Mara is beautiful and worth the 200$ a day, there are not as many animals readily visible but the terrain more than makes up for it.
We traveled around, had lunch on the top of lookout hill, and found some real snotty tracks to frighten Milly with, some are worthy of CCV trial sections, great fun, not sure I would like to be in a big truck, but then again most of the normal roads are esy access and well greaded, they have to be, the big fat Toyotas they use for standard tourist cattle transport would barely make a decent rutted piece of track.
We took a trip to the tourist honeyspot of Hippo pools there we were escorted by a friendly ranger, who warned use about all the crocodiles and to not go within 2 metres of the edge as they are hiding in little holes.
I looked at the gun he was carrying and wow, I recognised it as a Lee Enfield 303, I had learnt to shoot on one of these as a 13 year old in the Air cadets back in the late 70’s and they were old guns then, I can still remember the pain from the kick when firing them.
after seeing the now standard Zebra , wilderbeast Elephants etc etc, we were getting a bit down on not seeing a lion, we ventured down some very narrow rough tracks to sand river and the amazing lucurious Sand River lodge.
Then worked out we wanted to be a fair few KM north from our current location at the campground to set up and cook in the light, so I set of at 30 Mph…honest ask Milly I barely touched 40mph but I must admit one advantage of Dogger is it is no slouch for a off-road campervan.
out of the corner of Millys eye she spotted something we reversed and there was a Lioness, sitting majestically with the sun behind her high on the side bank of the road, just waiting for her tea to come grazing by, she never blinked an eye, we where 2 meters from her at one point.
we camped at Eluai Campsite, I say campsite but it is just some mowed grass on a hill, there were loads of campfire pits but we had no wood, however a scout around found loads of wood left by other campers.
the wood here burns amazing, it lights easy, burns with decent flames puts out loads of heat and last ages… it is surely wonder wood
The view over the Mara reserve from the hill was fantastic and the sunset was just the icing on the cake. I set up the wildlife camera and we crashed out when the fire had no flames left, on the advice of just about everyone.