Day in the Life
It's Day Three on our Riding Safari in the Masai Mara with Offbeat Safaris, and true to form, we are woken at first light. Tristan (our guide) details how we need to break camp in good time as it's a long riding day. I make my way to breakfast and indulge on all the delicious food, Cereals, freshly baked Breads, Porridge, Full English- The Works. After breakfast I gather my riding kit and head over to the pony lines to find my trusty steed, Ali Baba. He looks rather upset about the early morning departure - something I can relate to. Nonetheless, with all the activity around us, and now mounted, we are both suddenly alert and ready for the day's adventure.
Off we set; Another exciting day in the saddle. We ride across open, rolling plains, tipped with broad shady Umbrella Acacias, views stretch for miles. As the wildlife increases, we are told by Tristan that we are approaching the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The plains open up to reveal large herds of Zebra, Topi, and Wildebeest, and we stretch out into a long and breathtaking gallop alongside Giraffe- A true highlight.
We stop to eat our picnic (packed neatly into our saddle bags) at a suitably stunning spot on the edge of the Mara. After lunch and a short siesta under the shade of an old Fig tree we set off again. As a group, I couldn't have asked for a better, more enjoyable gathering of people. There is a lot of laughter and jokes, especially from Jeremy, who continues to amuse us with his John Wayne antics on horseback.
In mid afternoon Tristan quietly motions us all to stop and keep still. Roughly Six kilometres from our next camp we come across a large herd of elephant in front of us, gently ambling across the savannah, rumbling softly to one another. I am still overwhelmed by the peerless way in which we interact with these graceful animals. Watching them whilst sitting on the back of a horse is the most exhilarating feeling.
Moving on, we reach our camp on the Olare Orok lugga (stream) by late afternoon. We are greeted by the syses (grooms) who take the horses from us and give them some well earned feed.
Our tented camp has been miraculously relocated during the day to a fresh location. Tents, Kitchens, Dining Tent and Mess all miraculously packed up and transported for us. After enjoying what has to be one of the best bush showers you can imagine - the luxury of washing the days sweat and dust off cannot be overestimated - we all settle around the camp fire, watch the sun set over the horizon and begin to see the stars appear in the night sky. Never short of a well-earned beer or gin and tonic we eat a wonderful supper whilst Tristan, a born raconteur, recalls many a tale of previous adventures on safari in Kenya.
Exhausted but still excited, we one by one make our way to our tents, where a welcoming hot water bottle has been placed between the sheets. I fall asleep to the African night sounds, eager for the next days adventure.