I recently had the opportunity to visit Kenya. While I was there, I took a 5- day safari on the Masai Mara with my mom and grandma. The experiences were unforgettable.
In Nairobi, we stayed at the Norfolk hotel. This is where we met our safari guides and had a briefing the night before we flew out to the national park. The Norfolk is an amazing hotel. The service is amazing, the staff is friendly, the rooms were great and it was reasonably priced.
We flew to the Masai Mara and stayed at the Mara Simba lodge. Each day we had two safaris, one in the morning on in the evening. We were with the company African Spice Safaris. This is an upper end safari company and was really great. You have the option of getting a safari vehicle fit for 6 passengers or 4. The drivers were extremely knowledgeable and managed to show us the big 5 animals of Kenya, the elephant, cape buffalo, lion, leopard and the rhino.
The Mara Simba lodge was great. It feels like you're in the middle of the wilderness. There is a lot of forestation between each lodge and the dining hall, gift shop etc.
We took the opportunity to do an air safari on a hot air balloon ride. This was remarkable and provided an excellent new perspective of the Mara. The balloon landed at the site of a champagne breakfast in the middle of the wilderness. Although there were hyenas off in the distance, we had guards with loaded weapons that kept an eye on any approaching animals and we felt quite safe.
During our safari, we visited a real Masai village. We got to see the huts they live in, visit with the village elders and buy many of the handmade things the women offered us. We were forewarned that if we wanted, we could bring gifts for the children. We brought them American candy, toys, crayons, markers and other such things.
We also had a dinner under the stars. The lodge offered our party (which total was 15 people) the chance to drive out on to the Mara at night and have an excellent dinner served to us. The staff really was amazing, the dinner site which was lit up by torches all around was magnificent with the background noise of birds, monkeys and lions roaring. It really was an amazing experience. The safari ended with a return trip to Nairobi. Spice safaris arranged for a few excellent stores to stay open for our party on Sunday to allow us to do some shopping. It was really a great trip.