On to this episode: We left the Serengeti National Park, prepared for what our itinerary said would be "...a LONG drive (and the) road will be rough and unfinished...the total drive to Masai Mara will take approximately 6-9 hours depending on game drives and any breaks taken."
The road we were supposed to take ended-up being completely washed-out and un-passable in certain places...meaning we had to take the long-way around the mountain...it took almost five-hours to get to the border-crossing - it was the bumpiest part of our journey, by far!! We had a few places where our guide, Christopher, had to really concentrate on making it through some washed-out sections. We crossed the border at a place called Isebania - and the same program exists going from Tanzania to Kenya: check OUT of one country and check IN to the next... thanks to Christopher and Infante who got us moved-up in the lines. We said our sad goodbyes to Chris...and - then asked how long it would take from the border to the Masai Mara "camp" - - and he said "five hours"!!
Amy's response was classic and I will never forget - - she exclaimed: "FROM HERE???"
Well...it ended up being quite a bit longer because we had to go another "long way". We picked-up a passenger at the border...one of the managers from the Kensington Mara West Camp. The road remained rough and some parts were really tough to cross...total time in the cars - driving from the Serengeti to Masai Mara - 12-HOURS!! The last hour-or-so was in the dark!! We were just wasted from the drive...and - we were hoping the new camp was going to be nicer than the last one. Well - - we hit the jackpot - this was an awesome place!! You almost couldn't call the chalet we stayed in a "tent". Yeah...it had a canvas roof and partial walls - - but it also had hardwood floors and french-doors with etched-glass - - and matching etched-glass wine-glasses!! The view of Masai Mara from our wood-deck was stunning - sunrise in the morning was stunning! Check out their website (above) - the place is really special!!
The next day we started out in the early morning, right after sunrise and the incredible breakfast served in the beautiful dining-room - for a day-long game drive. The numbers of animals in the Masai Mara seemed to be down from what we were expecting...but - the animals we did see were awesome!!
Here are three Facebook albums with 88-total photos - - and - the YouTube link is of a leopard that walked right by our van, right out in the open!! Even our guide said that seeing a leopard out in the open for so long was amazing!! Enjoy!!