On the 3rd day of my 5 day safari trip my husband and I stayed at the The Serena Mara Lodge in the middle of the Masai Mara. En route from the previous lodge we saw lots of Masai tribesmen and women along the way wearing vibrant clothes and carrying spears. These people look incredible and are really tall and thin and graceful. It was a bit strange seeing some of them in traditional vibrant Masai clothing or rags, herding goats and talking into the latest model mobile phones. As we entered the reserve we stopped at a checkpoint, where we were approached by colourful tribes’ people begging us to buy their handmade jewellery. There were hundreds of monkeys scampering all around and beautiful exotically coloured birds. Once in the reserve we came across elephants, zebra, rhinos and wildebeest. The wildebeest quickly became my favourite because they were so funny, as we passed them they would all turn round to face the minibus and it looked like they had a really dirty look on their long strange faces, really comical. We stopped at a famous crossing point where the herds of animals cross the river into the Masai Mara from the Tanzanian Serengeti. We went for a walk with a squaddie with a huge rifle which he was worryingly really clumsy and careless with. The squaddie showed us some crocodiles across the bank and a huge herd of hippos wallowing in the water. We were entertained by two tone red and violet lizards performing weird dances to their mates. We then boarded our vehicle again and came across huge ostrich and lions and we screeched to a halt as a huge black spitting cobra slithered across our path.
We reached the Serena Mara lodge and were welcomed by much needed fragrant damp flannels and cool drinks. This was a really wonderful lodge with swimming pools and wonderful views over the Mara. That evening we sat out with drinks after a wonderful meal and were entertained by watching buffalo and baboons visiting a small waterhole close by. We were also entertained by the sight of lots of mongoose, and unknown furry little animals, beautiful birds, lizards, butterflies and insects in close proximity to us whilst we were lounging by the pool.
After a really peaceful sleep, we got up at 5 o clock as we had a balloon ride booked. So once dressed we set off with our pilot whose name was JP to the site where the balloon would depart from. It was pitch black outside and the plan was to be in the balloon to watch the sun rise. We watched the crew inflate the balloon and then JP, Steve and I and two other tourists and a couple of staff for ballast got into the balloon. Once high up we were struck by the silence and the incredible views and we watched the sun rise, it was amazing. Unfortunately there weren’t masses of wildlife to be seen although we did see huge herds of zebra and wildebeest. We were ballooning for about an hour and then we set down on the Mara. JP had radioed ahead to some Serena catering staff that had arrived by jeep and had prepared a wonderful champagne breakfast in the middle of the jungle. It was just like a restaurant as we could order anything we wanted to be cooked there and then, bacon, eggs, sausages etc or we could have any omelette we wanted, juices, cereals, fruit and of course there was loads of champagne. We sat at tables complete with white tablecloths and silver cutlery and ate, drank lots of champagne and got to know the other passengers, who were a lovely couple from Columbia. We then drove back to the lodge where we slept off the champagne and afterwards had a lovely lunch and then set off for the evening game drive.
This game drive was incredible we saw so many amazing animals’ lot and lots of zebra, giraffes (fighting), elephants (accompanied by sweet and humorous looking babies), wart hogs, vultures, jackals and a pride of lions sleeping off a meal of buffalo the bloody carcass of which was laying close by. Just as we were approaching the lodge on the way back Dominic slammed the brakes on as there was a lioness crossing right in front of us. The lioness stopped really close to us (within two strides eating distance) and just stood there for ages looking around not being bothered by us being there at all, and then she just turned and it looked like she was smiling at us, then lay down in the long grass. We then headed off to the Lodge for sadly our last evening in the Mara. Once again the meal and the hospitality of the staff was really good and I would thoroughly recommend this lodge to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mara Serena Safari Lodge, set on a saddle of a hill, overlooks the 1,800 square km of rolling plains at an altitude of 1625 meters at the Masai Mara Triangle, one of the world's richest wildlife sanctuaries. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mara Serena Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Mara Serena Safari Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve