Maasai Mara sunset safari, nay, game drive, starts two hours before sunset time and carries on a little after the sun is down. What is a game drive, did you ask? Game drives are the safaris. Every sighting of an animal in Maasai land is referred to as ‘game’, and hence, ‘game drive’.
We rushed to our hotel, Keekorok Lodge, for lunch after our tour of the Maasai village. It was a little after 2pm and Danielle, our guide and driver, gave us time until 4pm to freshen up and eat, before we set out for the sunset game drive.
Sightings on our Maasai Mara sunset safari
Almost as if to welcome us in Maasai Mara, we found a giraffe standing right next to the road. And although we had seen many in Naivasha, the one at Maasai Mara looked special to us. Closer.
Danielle was, however, focussed on showing us a few of the Big Five – Lion, Elephants, Leopard, Rhinoceros and Buffaloes. And so, without stopping longer in front of the giraffe, made his way into the grassland. There, he said, were all of them, in their herds, amongst their own. We were excited!
But didn’t have to go beyond a few kilometres before we sighted the first of the Big Five – Elephants. With their massive ears, this was, clearly, what we had never seen before. One, and then the whole family, crossing the road in front of us. We stood in our jeep, gaping in wonder!
And then, soon after, second of the Big Five – Buffaloes. We have to admit, we weren’t very excited about seeing them, after all, we see so many buffaloes back home in India all the time. But changed our mind when Danielle told us that these buffaloes were like no other — big, strong, powerful and extremely dangerous, these buffaloes can even kill lions! Really? All right, then they deserve to be one of the Big Five, we agreed!
Though still bright, the sun was on its way towards the western horizon. Danielle, didn’t want to close the day without showing us the King – Lions. And strained his eyes towards clearings, trees. Sure enough, he soon sighted one, and drove us there. Sitting there, just like how a king should sit, we watched in delight at the King in his land. Jayanta went bonkers with his camera, while Danielle smiled in deep satisfaction. Allowing us another ten minutes, he drove us further inside to discover three more lions sleeping!
Three down, Danielle was excited! And got greedy too. Drove us further down for the fourth of the Five. Voila! A Rhino! An old one though, which could hardly move, we were now ecstatic – we had already seen four of the Five in a span of an hour. Danielle, of course, was smiling from ear to ear, with that lovely African twinkle in his eyes!!!
By now, the sun had climbed further down. We slowly made our way back to the hotel, saying to ourselves that we keep the Leopard for the next day. As we drove back, we came by baby elephants, antelopes, a Hyena, vultures, zebras, all types of deers and birds. But Danielle wouldn’t call it a day yet. He was still on the lookout. And found a Cheetah for us. Lying down, as if tired and done for the day, we gazed at him from the distance.
And soon signed off our Maasai Mara sunset safari by driving off into the famous Maasai sunset in the backdrop of the lovely Acacia tree!