Day 146 Kenya : Masai Mara - Enkutoto Village

Day 146 Kenya

Trip Distance 100 km (62 m) Total Distance 16640 km (10342 m)
Road Condition 100% off road    
Time to travel 10 hrs (incl game driving)    
Enkutoto Masai Village
Oloololo, Masai Mara S1 14.839 E35 01.941 KSH3000 - Wild camp.
Oh my god!!!  FANTASTIC!!!

We had a really early start - REALLY early - and got up at 5:30am (yawn) to ensure that we were in the gate by just after 6:30am ie. sunrise.  Actually, once we had a cup of coffee and some ginger biscuits sloshing around inside of us, we felt a bit more awake and ready to go.

So, it was through the Talek Gate, back into the Masai Mara and we drove around the north eastern quadrant again as we had yesterday (but on a different track!).  As we drove, animals were appearing from seemingly nowhere.  If the truth be known, Trevor, forever immortalised as "Eagle Eyed Eddie", was the one who picked up a flicking ear or a moving spot and took us to where the animals where.  The Masai Mara was turning out to be everything (and more) that we ever hoped it would be.

As the sun rose and the early morning turned into early afternoon, the animals started to melt away into the shade of the bush.  And as the heat shimmered across the Mara we watched as thousands of wildebeest, zebra and impala drifted south across the plains and crossed in front of our cars. WOW!!!!!!!

We were starting to get a bit hungry and had been gravitating towards the Mara River when we spotted Govenor's Camp on the GPS.  So a quick discussion on the walkie-talkies and the general consensus was to have lunch there even though it would probably cost a kings ransom - it being a 5 star luxury tented camp.  We spent the heat of the day inside the camp, lounging on the deck, gin and tonics in hand, watching the Mara River glide below us - hippos bobbing up every now and again, and a seemingly bored crocodile, drifting up and down stream just out of their reach.  Having mortgaged our houses for the second time, we paid for lunch at US$35 each.  We were shown to our table under the shade of the trees by an incredibly attentive waiter and there proceeded to stuff ourselves to a standstill as we were served as much starters, main course, desert and cheese and biscuits that we could eat.  Coffee was taken (in this camp, it's uncouth to just drink coffee!) back on the deck overlooking the river.  sigh, what it would be like to be rich!!!

We tore ourselves away from lunch and luxury and as the sun was dropping in the afternoon sky we continued our drive this time in the north west quadrant.  As we were driving, we were making our way to the Musiara Gate to cross to the Oloololo Gate for our next proposed campsite to the west of the Mara River, Serena Public Campsite.  The road from the Masiara Gate took us through a small village and beyond that 3kms of very slow, low-range rock climbing down a very steep hill to get to the concrete bridge that crosses onto the main E176 back into the Masai Mara.  Or so we thought.  Well, the road took us to the gate but the land west of the Mara River, we discovered, does NOT belong to Masai Mara but to the Mara Triangle District.  Normally, it would seem that the 2 districts allow free travel between the both sides of the Mara River (we were given this information at the Talek and Masiara Gates) but at the moment the districts are fighting and the Mara Triangle District does NOT allow free travel but want to charge a further FULL entrance fee again despite having Masai Mara tickets.  Lengthy discussions would not budge their position and we were not allowed to enter the park at the Oloololo Gate.  What to do?  Well, they told us there was a River Camp that we could use ..... but it was fully booked (turns out this was a lie and they were just being very spiteful) so we would have to pay them US$25 each to camp at on grotty piece of open, unprotected, public land next to the gate and then make our way onwards tomorrow.  Not a bloody chance.

On the road about 3kms back we had passed a number of campsites and Kitchwe Lodge.  Sunset was almost upon us, so we decided to try the lodge to see if (a) they would allow us to camp or (b) perhaps we could afford a room.  Neither proved true!!  But the really nice receptionist told us to go to the Enkutoto Masai Village about 1 km back where they would allow us to wild camp at the hippo pool.  It sounded almost too good to be true.  We set off towards the village, found it quite easily and met with the Chief, Olorokoi (John) and his son Gedion.  We negotiated a price of KSH3000 per couple including the car and 2 Masai "warriors" armed with bows and arrows to protect us from wild animals that night.

We set off down the road following John's directions and turned around a bush to be presented by a clearing to park the cars and camp - and below us a pod of 30 hippos bathing in a pool.  What more could we have asked for?

The sun set behind us and as night drew in, the Masai started a fire for us and we sat around, drinking a glass of red wine and listening to the hippos holler at each other in the water below us.

To make looking at our photos of the animals in the Mara a bit easier, I have made them into a short movie that you can watch below.  We hope you enjoy it :o)