The Great Migration Part 1: Nairobi to the Masai Mara

Jono Buffey All Authors, Jono 2 Comments

Before we get swept away by the beauty and splendour that this magnificent Wildlife destination has to offer and putting together a magnificent camp on the banks of the Mara river – let me tell you the preparation and logistics of getting here are not for the faint hearted. Exasperation and perspiration are the order of the day and patience levels are tested to the hilt!

But as I sit here on the banks of the Mara river listening to the water flowing over the rocks of the rapid directly below our camp, it is just so worthwhile.

I thought I would share some of the logistics and arranging that goes into getting this little act together:

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  • Countless hours of planning and ensuring that all the equipment is in good working order and quantities are sufficient, right down to the last teaspoon.
  • Many hours cleaning the equipment.
  • Vehicles being checked mechanically and fitting of electric windows (but more of that later).
  • 16 hours of shopping in the Nakumatt Mega store in Nairobi. Most males, including myself, do not get an enormous amount of pleasure pushing shopping trolleys up and down aisles – so you cannot imagine how taxing this was on my mental well being! (I sure hope my wife doesn’t read this post!)
  • Several hours with the company providing the meat, dairy and perishables ensuring the quality is good.
  • 2 days and nights of packing the 5 ton truck, minivan and 4 landcruisers with all the goods to be transported. Ticking off all items from the “ stock list “ once they have been packed. We only forgot 1 mattress, that was a spare anyway.
  • 10 hours drive to the Mara, stopping along the way to pick up bits and pieces in Narok and stopping to collect bottled water from a water plant just outside the gate.
  • 2 days of unpacking, putting up tents, cleaning, checking, double checking, cleaning again…!!!!
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And just thrown in for good measure really testing our sense of humours – a huge fire at Jomo Kenyatta International airport. 3 days before our guests arrive! More frantic phone calls, speaking to our good friends at Kenya Airways and enquiring about possible delays. They were great and set our minds at ease.

On a side note, it was extremely refreshing to witness how the Kenyan Government handled the situation. I mean the entire wing of their arrivals section had just burnt down! No panic. No national disaster and days of scratching their heads until they came up with a solution. They kept the public informed of developments and contingency plans almost every hour. The president, Uhurru Kenyatta, made regular statements, putting the residents of the country and the thousands of tourists that are visiting, minds at ease.

Yes they have a leader that can talk – JZ I hope you are listening!

Our first guests arrive tomorrow, and I cant wait to show them our camp, of which we are extremely proud of. Our Kikuyu and Masai staff are all still wearing wide grins. We have survived the start of what promises to be a spectacular migration season.

And yes, I have managed a few hours out in the bush. About 4 in total!

Witnessed the sum total of about 20 Gnus crossing the river (views were hindered by some shrubs).

Below is just a proof shot!

Several came down to a crossing point but were spooked by a huge crocodile that slipped into the water.

We found a hyena that was feeding on a freshly killed Wildebeest from earlier in the morning. For any of you that have experienced the Mara, the light in the morning is very special.

We then came across a Honey moon pair of Lions.

The Male was pretty impressive.

Anyway, Folks – some last minute touch ups to attend to.

Will touch base in a couple of days with some further updates!

Cheers for now,

Jono Buffey 

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Comments 2

  1. Simon

    That’s great ‘gnu’s’, Jono! Having had the pleasure of experiencing the Wild-Eye camp first hand- I know there are several folks who are going to be blown away by what you lads have laid on for them! Well done to all!

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