The Road to Maasai Mara [Video]

Catch up with the Trekking the Planet team has they cover their time in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. This video covers the parks of Maasai Mara National Reserve, Hell’s Gate National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park. You will see animals (lots of them) and learn about the Maasai culture.

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0:13 Hi! This is Sandy Van Soye with Trekking the Planet.
0:20 Well, we are finally in the continent of Africa! Here, we will be spending time in two countries
0:25 – Kenya and Ethiopia. While we are in Kenya, we will be visiting
0:29 three National Parks. We took a four-hour drive to the remote village
0:33 of Maji Moto in the Maasai Mara, where we met our guide Kisea.
0:45 Kisea is from the Maasai tribe. The Maasai are a group of semi-nomadic people
0:50 located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. On the second day of our trek in the Maasai
0:55 Mara, we visited a local school. The school’s name is Kikurrukur – which
1:01 means “windy place” in the Maasai “Maa” language.
1:05 We both felt that this name was appropriate, as it was very windy there during our visit!
1:09 The teachers and students were attentive as I spoke and Kisea translated.
1:25 On the following day, we continued our walking safari into the Loita Hills.
1:29 With Kisea as our guide, we walked 37 miles (or 59 km) over five days through Maasai pastoral
1:36 areas in the direction of the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
1:39 We learned so much in such a short span of time.
2:27 We agreed that the walking safari was well worth the time and effort.
2:39 The “Mara” as it is known to the Maasai, is 580 sq. miles (or 1,510 sq. kilometers).
2:46 When joined with the much larger Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the combined area
2:51 is the size of a small country. The reserve is known for lions, leopards,
2:56 cheetahs and other game. Soon after we arrived, we came across a cheetah…
3:21 and her cub! Later, that same day, we witnessed a leopard
3:43 hunting its prey – some Thompson Gazelles nearby!
3:46 While the cheetah and the leopard are similar, there are many differences. The most obvious
3:52 one is that the leopard is a lot larger and more muscular.
3:56 Another difference are the spots. Elephants have to eat 5% of their body weight
4:15 every day. They sleep only 4 to 5 hours a day and in
4:19 very short bursts (often while standing!). They communicate through subsonic calls that
4:25 humans are unable to detect. Elephants are deceptively quick, able to move
4:31 at up to 19 miles per hour (or 30 kilometers per hour).
4:37 Twice a year, there is an event called the Great Migration where up to 1 million wildebeest,
4:42 zebra and other animals migrate between Maasai Mara and the country of Tanzania.
4:47 We were in the park to witness the beginning of the time when the animals are returning
4:50 to Tanzania. After two nights in Maasai Mara, we traveled
5:29 to the Lake Naivasha area. Our first excursion was to Hell’s Gate National
5:34 Park. A small national park, it is known for its
5:37 wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. The main setting of the 1994 film, The Lion
5:43 King, is heavily modeled after this park. Later in the day, we visited Lake Oloiden.
6:19 Here, we saw flamingos and hippos. We also had the opportunity to get out of
6:24 the boat for a short walk. It was exciting to be so close to the animals.
6:47 But, we made sure to keep our distance and take direction from our guide.
6:52 Our last park was Lake Nakuru. The lake’s abundance of algae attracts a vast
6:57 quantity of flamingos and other birds that line the shore.
7:14 Well, that’s if for now. Check back later for more updates.

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