Mara Ngenche Safari Camp (Part II) | Jaini’s Safari Tales

Welcome to Part II. Read Part I before you carry on.

After indulging in a yummy bush breakfast and spotting some elephants in the distance, we drove on. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetWe then saw herds of wildebeests and zebras and gazelles, just grazing around. Processed with VSCO with l4 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetWe then passed the Mara River and Sand River, where hundreds of wildebeest and zebra were ready to cross. Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with al3 presetAfter spotting a lioness or two walk around, we finally saw a little bit of the incredible wildebeest migration. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetIt was pretty incredible and something ticked off my bucket list, although I didn’t think I would have seen it on this trip.

Then, we drove to a densely forested area to see a leopard. After several attempts to spot it, we only caught a glimpse of it as it just disappeared into the thick bush.

We drove on to find another leopard with a kill on the tree. It climbed down from the tea and slept under a bush. Had we not seen it move, we’d have easily missed this leopard. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l6 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetSince our tummies were grumbling as it was already 1:45PM, we headed back to the camp for a late lunch.

For lunch, we enjoyed a clear vegetable soup which I skipped, then, we had a creamy avocado salad, followed by chickpea masala curry with rice and chapatti and that delicious mango pickle. Processed with VSCO with j5 presetProcessed with VSCO with al1 presetWe also indulged in a Chinese-inspired vegetable noodle stir fry. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetWe wrapped up the scrumptious lunch with a selection of chocolate mousse and strawberry cake. Obviously, I had both. Processed with VSCO with v8 presetAfter lunch, my cousins and I just hung out, as my niece swam in the private plunge pool outside their room. Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetThe sky was heavily pregnant with rain clouds but we opted to go for another game drive at 5PM.

I’m so glad we did because we spotted another big cat. Our guide was speeding the car as he urged us to have our cameras ready. And lo and behold, we spotted a leopard. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetAt first, it was moving through the bushes and it sat there.

The other cars even drove off, but then as we waited, it emerged in all its glory and just sat there. A total queen – her name was Siri! Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetLook at how the golden rays just hit her right and how her whiskers are perfectly visible. I was just in awe. Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetWe got several precious moments with her, and then she walked off into the sunset. Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetWe then came across the Chinese Hill pride, sitting atop the Chinese Hill (previously where the Chinese had set up cameras to stream the wildebeest migration online). Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetAfter admiring them for a bit, we headed back to the camp at 7PM.

We had arranged for a private dinner in the garden outside our tents but then it began to rain so we just moved to the lounge. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetAfter a drink and a game of Monopoly Deal till 9PM, we settled down for dinner. Starting with a yummy carrot and raisin salad and butternut squash soup, we had a selection of pea curry, chilli paneer and chapatti, alongside some luscious cannelloni covered in a creamy tomato sauce. Processed with VSCO with s3 presetProcessed with VSCO with l4 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetProcessed with VSCO with l5 presetFor dessert, we had a delectable black forest cake and apple pie.

Exhausted from the long day, we were in bed by 11PM. Overnight, three elephants visited the camp and a hippo was chowing down on the grass right outside my tent. I got a little worried and almost didn’t sleep all night as my wheelchair was outside – it was too muddy to bring it in.

The next day, we ran late as our wakeup call didn’t come through, but luckily my niece came knocking at 6:30AM, so we rushed to get ready and pack.

We met for breakfast at 7:15AM by the river. Processed with VSCO with l9 presetThere was a buffet selection of fresh fruit and cereal on a table with jugs of tea, coffee and milk. Processed with VSCO with kcp2 presetOn our table, we ordered personalized egg orders, bread and baked beans, along with cups of tea. Processed with VSCO with l5 presetAfter filling up on breakfast and packing up, we left the lodge at 8:15AM.

On the way out, we spotted a herd of elephants. How cute!Processed with VSCO with ss1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ss1 presetWe even stopped to see yesterday’s leopard – the one who hid by the bush, while I didn’t see it, Dad and my cousin caught a glimpse of it.

By 10:30AM we had reached the main gate of the Mara Reserve, where we switched cars to the car that originally brought us from home to Narok. We rushed through to Narok as the President was in the town for the Madaraka Day celebrations. Luckily, there was no traffic so we got home by 2:15PM.

What an incredible trip! I highly recommend Mara Ngenche Safari Camp for your next Mara safari. Not only is the camp set in an area abundant with plenty of wildlife, but the camp also has a relaxed and elegant atmosphere with great facilities and delectable food. It truly was an ideal base for us to experience the full adventure of the Masaai Mara.


Photos and video footage by Hitesh Shah

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