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Early Morning Game Drive
Early Morning Game Drive

It’s not your usual Monday morning in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. No sight of high- rise buildings parked adjacent to each other, or crowds of people dashing past one another to get to the office on time. No sounds of cars hooting, or engines running as the vehicles wait for the signal to turn green.

It’s 6:40 am and the crescent- shape moon can still be seen as the Landcruiser sets into motion for the start of a morning in the jewel of Kenya, the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Masai Mara. Shades of baby pink begin to creep in to the morning sky, and all you can see are plains and plains of open grassland with dots of thorn trees scattered in every direction.

The air is crisp, and you feel like inhaling it all, for who knows when you will next be able to breathe in such clean air? The Egyptian geese hear the roaring sound of our vehicle and take off from what appears to be a natural pool, our first sighting of the day.
“Can you see the hippo in the distance?” Raphael, our driver guide, asks. “He is going back into the water to rest.” He adds that hippos can only stay in the water for five minutes without breathing; they then must bob up their head, take a breath and go back in.

We are already feeling very content with the first few minutes of our game drive, and we are only a few metres away from Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara. Who would have ever thought that literally ten minutes into a safari, we would next spot a lioness with her cubs? She might as well be in the back yard of our tent. Raphael is fast to point out that the cubs look full. “You see their belly?” he says. The lioness and her cubs are not in the least bothered about our arrival: they get up from their resting position, have a brief look at us and move on. And yes, the bulge in the stomach of each one is very visible; the past night of hunting must have been very fruitful for this pride.
A bachelor impala is standing amid the plains, not far from the lioness and her cubs. He makes a sound as if he has just sneezed. He has noticed the pride, hence the noise. “I have seen you,” he says.
The Kenya Express is also in the neighbourhood and is one of our favourites. We love its nick name. “They are very funny,” adds Raphael. They can be chased by a lion, forget that they are in the middle of a chase and stop to graze. “Very short memory they have,” Raphael adds with a giggle. We have spotted none other than Pumba (the warthog).

At around 7:00 am, we can see the yellow blazing sun ball rising from the distance with an acacia tree standing right in front, the perfect silhouette of the African wilderness. The safari could come to an end now and we would be content. Picture- perfect Africa.

We see a couple of giraffes during the safari – beautiful tall mammals – and we are given a tip or two on how to distinguish the female beauty from her male counterpart: the female’s horns will always have hair and the male’s horns will always be bald. Game Drives with Raphael are filled with endless tales of the animals in the wilderness, and you will never forget how to distinguish the female species from the male, as well as their behavioural traits, eating habits and their nick names.
The morning game drive includes sightings of many other animals, including zebras, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, buffalo and spotted hyena. There has been a good amount of rain in the Masai Mara during the past weeks, and there is plenty of wildlife, with many young ones being born, and the circle of life continues.

A safari journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Witness it for yourself. Memorable moments for life.

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