We visited the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya for our safari and stayed at a tented camp called Ilkeliani. A tented camp is glamping, with running water, real beds in the permanent tents and nice common rooms to hang out in. Our driver and guide Joseph picked us up in a Toyota Land Cruiser with a pop-up roof so we could see out the top on our game drives.
Before we even got started on our first game drive, we hit a boulder in the road and our shock absorber bushing came off. We got to visit a local garage in a nearby village to get it fixed. When we got into the park, we saw tons of animals including four of the Big Five. Over the three day trip, we saw: hippos, zebras, gazelles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, topis, crocodiles, elands, baboons, warthogs, giraffes, elephants, monitor lizards, cape buffalos, mongoose, antelopes and vervet monkeys.
We also spotted many birds including hornbills, ostriches, secretary bird, African bee-eaters and crested cranes.
Because of the time of year we went, there were lots of babies being born. We saw a gazelle that was less than 30 minutes old. It could barely walk. We saw two lionesses with six cubs, a mama and baby elephant and many warthog families. My mom thinks warthogs are funny! We also saw a cheetah and her cub up close lying in the road. We were less than 30 feet away.
Dad was able to spot a leopard lying in a far away tree, which was really cool. Other trucks came from all over the park to see it since they are rare to find. We also stopped by an airstrip and saw a plane take off. We searched for many hours for a black rhino, but there are only 71 left in the park. We never saw one.
I really liked riding in the truck on our game drives. We could stand and hold on, looking through the open top. We saw so many different kinds of animals and how they live together on the savannah.
We stopped at the Giraffe Center on the way home. It’s a preserve for Rothschild giraffes and you can feed and even kiss them! I love all the animals we’ve seen in Africa.
17 thoughts on “Hakuna Matata in the Maasai Mara”
Hey Luke,I have a question.Is a giraffes horns the same as a cow’s horns or more like a rhino’s horns?I can’t believe you got kissed by a giraffe!Are you allergic to giraffe saliva?I am on my way to Disney world! Love Emerson
Hi Em, I’m not sure if the giraffe horns are like a rhino because we didn’t see one. They are soft and furry so I don’t think they are like a cow. I’m not allergic to the giraffes but they sure were slobbery! Have fun at Disney! Love, Luke
Hey Luke,I found out the answer about the giraffe horns at Animal Kingdom!They are actually not like a cow’s or rhino’s.They are actually made of ossifications which are bones.Cows and Rhinos horns are made of keratin which is the same as your hair and fingernails.Where are you going after Kenya?
Em, Very cool about the horns! We are headed to Egypt on Monday to see the pyramids. I’ll be sure to take some photos with Stripes!
This looks like so much fun! I wish I was there! I hope you’re having a really good time traveling to all of these neat places. We have been learning about the savanna and many of these animals in class, so it’s cool to see your pictures. You should send them to the teachers! I can’t wait to talk about your trip with you when you get home. Be safe and have fun! Your friend, Price West
Hi Price! Great to hear from you. I’m hoping to Facetime with the class about my experiences in Kenya since you are learning about it, too! Thanks for writing. Miss you, Luke
Hey Luke! So glad you saw all those animals!! There’re so much to learn about them and they’re amazing to watch, right? Which of them would you pick as your favorite? It’s a shame you didn’t get to see all of the Big Five but know what, that makes a great reason for you to return another time!! By the way, I really think sunset at Maasai Mara is the most beautiful in the whole wide world. Hope you had a chance to enjoy that, too. Please keep writing and take care! Love, Selma
Hi Selma, The cheetah was definitely my favorite. We saw sunrises and sunsets, it was all really pretty. Hope you are doing great in Hong Kong! Miss you, Luke
I really enjoyed reading about your safari and journey in Africa. I bet it was cool seeing the plane on the dirt airstrip. We laughed at your picture kissing the giraffe.
We are in Colorado skiing for spring break. I wasn’t really good the first time I tried, but after a few times, I got the hang of it. We’ve been in ski school with our instructor named Noah. He is really cool and has three jobs – ski instructor, gymnastics coach and rafting guide in summers. We are having a lot of fun. By the way, the mountains are huge!
Hi Charlie! So glad you like skiing. Maybe we can go together one day! I love skiing. Say Hi to Reese, too. Miss you both! Luke
My mom shared your pictures with me and I loved them all. My favorite was the one with the kissing giraffe. I love reading about your adventures!!!
I am in Costa Rica for spring break and saw several howler monkeys yesterday. Today we stayed on the beach and tried to surf. Are there beaches in Africa? It’s really warm and pretty here.
I hope you keep writing posts!!!
Hi Sarah! Costa Rica sounds great! There are beaches in Africa but we are not going to them. We’ve been staying at First Love orphanage and playing with the children here. I went to school with them yesterday! Have a great spring break. Love, Luke
Hey Luke ,
We just got back from Costa Rica and I could travel any day the people culture and much more.
Hope you are still haveing fun.
Oh Luke- we have a thing for giraffes and elephants at our house so it was so fun to show your pictures to W & H. Mr. Thompson especially likes elephants and we were so interested to learn al about them from your time at the sanctuary. Tell your mom i will write soon. Take care!
Luke- i loved your blogpost. Mabry will be so jealous. I can’t wait to tell all three girls that you saw the lioness with her cubs. We miss you in the neighborhood! We only have an owl here to get excited about 🙂
Today, we looked at your blog in my class! Mrs. Billmayer’s students loved seeing the photos. We miss you, Luke! We hope you have fun!! We think it was funny that the giraffe kissed you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hello Sra Coleman! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pictures. We loved Africa! See you in third grade! Love, Luke