We arrived very early this morning into Nairobi, still on New York time and having not slept much on the plane at all (when will we learn?).
Straight away you can smell the humidity in the air, and the fresh smell of the earth. The morning was crisp with a light breeze and clouds overhead. It was too cold to change to shorts, so chinos and t-shirts seemed to be the right outfits for the weather.
We were greeted by Rahim Manji, whose family run Twiga Tours, and George who was to be our driver for the week. They bought us a lovely bunch of red roses, a bottle of champagne and two safari hats! It is already feeling like a real honeymoon.
After a four hour drive through spectacular scenery descending to the floor of The Great Rift Valley and a stop where we had our first disastrous try at haggling for souvenirs, we arrived at our camp in the Masai Mara.
At Tipilikwani our ‘tent’ is more like a small chalet. With a veranda overlooking the bush, a giant tented roof and beautiful wooden floor and furniture, it is a luxury cabin lavishly decorated with rugs and Kenyan art work.
Feeling a big jet-lagged and sick from malaria tablets, we needed a recovery, so had a yummy lunch prepared Chef David and had a quick nap.
Then the real adventure began for the day. George took us on our first safari drive of the trip in a very cool customised jeep with open top.
On Mark’s safari in India he saw 5 tigers over a 17 day period (they are dangerously extinct now), but within two hours we saw a pride of 5 lions, a herd of 18 elephants of all ages, a huge herd of migrating buffalo, a pack of hyenas, interesting birds like the secretary bird, various small topi, antelopes and gazelles. This is in addition to the zebra and giraffe we saw driving from the airport! The wildlife was magnificent and the plains really sprung to life when a shower of rain fell.
The vast and flat landscape messes with your perspective. Ostriches on the horizon could be elephants, trees look like buffalo and vice versa. Everywhere you look is the glorious sky, brown and green grass as far as the eye can see, and truly the most beautiful and diverse animals in the world.
Already we can see how unforgettable a safari honeymoon could be and we can not believe what we have experienced on day one on this magical content.