Written by: Matthew Schroeder
So close to one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries in Africa, we hired a jeep – well, the local word for ‘minibus taxi’ – and headed for the timeless plains of the Masai Mara National Reserve.
The journey took 5 hours along a heavily potholed, multi-lane dirt road. Everyone seemed to be in a rush, driving at breakneck speed as if competing in a rally. ‘’Don’t worry’’, Fred – our driver and guide – told us, ‘’you’re safe with me’’. Take this trip in a 4×4, otherwise make sure you have life insurance.
We spent two surreal days in tented campsites on the fringe of the reserve. Traditional meals were served at a communal dining area under the stars. Apart from seeing busloads of camera-crazy tourists during our game drives with Fred, we were fortunate enough to spot cheetah, lion, rhino and some majestic elephant really close-up. The game viewing in the Mara is unbelievable, paralleled perhaps only by the Serengeti and the Kruger.
During our last evening in the park, Masai warriors captivated us with an once-in-a-lifetime show. Dancing and jumping around a roaring fire, they enticed anxious, but intrigued tourists to join the party. A hypnotic drumbeat echoed through the campsite.
The setting was truly magical…like going back in time and into another world. ‘’C’mon Carl!’’ I said to my friend, ‘’Get in there!’’. ‘’No way man, I’ll look like an idiot!’’ I couldn’t miss out on this one, I remember thinking to myself. Before I knew it I was dancing with the colorfully clad Masai warriors…losing myself in the moment. An amazing feeling rushed through me, causing my body to tingle and my mind to wander like a child.
Life is not measured by moments, but by the moments that take your breath away. I had such a moment on that unforgettable night in the Masai Mara.