|The lodge at Sanctuary Olonana where we’ll experience our first safari.|
Possessing the knowledge that we’ve finally booked a safari not only puts our minds at ease, but creates a sense of excitement that is indescribable. After all, this was the reason we came to Kenya.
|Our hope is to see The Great Migration. If it has moved on and no longer in the area by October 5th, we’ll accept this and enjoy our safari of the abundant wildlife in the revered Maasai Mara.|
Three weeks from today we’ll be heading 10 minutes down the road to the Diani Beach Airport to board a prop plane holding anywhere from 18 to 40 passengers for the 2 1/2 hour flight to the Maasai Mara where upon arrival, we’ll be greeted by a representative from our chosen safari camp, Sanctuary Olonana. We’ll be escorted to our tented quarters for a wealth of experiences during a short action-packed three days.
Of course, we’d have loved a longer stay. Unfortunately, the cost is more than we ever imagined we’d be willing to pay, slightly over US $5000, all-inclusive including airfare. We’d hesitantly budgeted US $4000 only to discover the options were very clear: either “rough it” sleeping in cots in tents or go, first-class, in a luxury “tent” that is comprised of all the amenities one could possibly desire.
|We’ll go on 2 game drives each day, one in the morning from 6:30 am until lunchtime and another in the early evening from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Often, meals will be served in the bush, as we and the other guests feast our eyes on the surrounding wildlife.|
We chose the latter, not with the intent that we “deserved it,” but more so, based on a desire for more creature (us creatures) comforts that we so willingly forfeited in many ways in order to accommodate our new lives traveling the world. Now, almost a year later, we’re looking forward to this treat, so befitting our love of nature.
Many people have flinched when we’ve mentioned our limited interests in old buildings and ruins. We’ve seen our share in this past year and, rightfully so, enjoyed it all. My gosh, the Panama Canal and Petra were life-changing experiences for us.
|Most of these photos were from the Sanctuary Olonana website. For more information click the link.|
But now, we’re getting closer to the core of our passion to travel the world, as so clearly illustrated in many of our posts. We love Life; animals, people, and vegetation, most assuredly, a mutual obsession consisting of the perpetual reveling in the Life that God (or your chosen belief system) placed on this earth for us to nurture and to respect.
For us, dear readers, this passion is the basis for our sense of ease living a life without roots or a home to call our own.
We are truly residents of this earth surrounding ourselves in an environment that amid nature, creates a sense of “home” wherever we may be.
|In the event of rain or if we simply want to be inside air-conditioned comfort, the lodge at the camp provides indoor activities, a bar, and a restaurant. Our living quarters will be lavish private tents on the banks of the Mara River, overlooking families of hippos splashing and snorting in the water.|
Thus, a safari epitomizes the essence of why we are here in Kenya and why in less than 3 months, we’ll be living on the edge of one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the world, Kruger Park, South Africa, again exposed to the elements, scary bugs included, seeking to satisfy this endless quest to savor Life to the fullest. We’re infinitely grateful that we’ve found a way to incorporate these experiences into our lives before advanced aging prevents it.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, all of our criteria have been met by booking at Sanctuary Olonana. By reading the above, perhaps it makes sense as to why we willingly paid this substantial amount for this leg of our journey.
|This is a typical interior of one of the permanent tents, outfitted with full bathrooms, electricity, free WiFi, and mosquito nets. We always share one bed when there’s two, using the other for our “stuff.” Of course, we’ll be bringing our laptops, two cameras, binoculars, and other digital equipment, writing here each day with many photos.|
Now, with the full amount paid in advance, we are able to let go of thoughts of the cost, resting assured that we’ve absolutely made the right decision.
In reviewing the details of our upcoming stay at Sanctuary Olonana we’ll be ensconced in our private well-appointed tent along the banks of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara (various ways of spelling) where the 2 million wildebeest travel to feed before their journey back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. From the veranda in our tent overlooking the river, we’ll be witness to the hippos living and playing, a prospect that in itself, takes my breath away. This fact alone was a huge draw for us.
|Hopefully, we’ll meet (but not too close) Mr. or Ms. Rhino while in the Maasai Mara.|
Sitting on verandas has provided us with some profound viewing this past year, as we sit on one today, in awe of the endless flow of wildlife and vegetation on which we feast our eyes hour by hour, day by day.
Hopefully, The Great Migration is positioned in a location enabling us to witness their masses. If not, we’ll certainly be excited to see the famous Big Five: elephants, hippos, lions, tigers, and water buffalo (which may be a different 5 animals, based on varying opinions) and other wildlife indigenous to the area.
|Neither of us is into spa treatments. Tom is too ticklish to relax long enough to enjoy it and I don’t want to turn my brain off in order to stay acutely aware of every moment of our surroundings. Just not our thing.|