I haven’t fallen in love in a long time. In fact, it was 15 years ago at the birth of my gorgeous young daughter, Georgia, who was accompanying me on our first ever trip to Africa. And then it happened all over again. I fell head over heels with Kenya’s magnificent Masai Mara, staying with Basecamp Explorer.
I know I’m not Kenya’s first visitor to be overawed by the country, nor will I be the last, but not even the hours of pre-trip briefing I received prepared me for the stunning scenery, the amazing accommodation, the personalities of the people, or my emotional encounters with Kenya’s wildlife.
Our game-viewing highlight is tinged with more than a little sadness. Having been captivated by watching a huge male lion finishing off his wildebeest supper (served up by his two loyal females waiting patiently in the long grass nearby for their turn), we were shocked by the arrival of three young pretenders, seemingly ‘hell-bent’ on usurping the pride male.
Even our guide was aghast to see the ferocity of the battle that was soon playing out just a few metres from our vehicle. Our excitement at seeing such a once-in-a-lifetime moment soon turned to horror as it became apparent that the single male was no match for his younger combatants, despite his significant size advantage and years of experience.
My daughter was distraught with the brutality of the trio as they closed in for the kill. Our guide sensed our mood and with my nod of approval, we moved off before the inevitable ending happened.
We stayed at two of Basecamp’s fabulous properties in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. First off, we enjoyed the delights of Wilderness Campwhose location seems to have been selected not only for its amazing views but also its acoustics. This proved most effective during the night when lions roared and hyenas whooped, allowing us to feel their calls deep in our chests.
The small, intimate Wilderness Campoffers a really authentic experience and is at the cutting edge of environmentally friendly innovation, which was important to both of us.
Next we moved to Eagle View Camp, perched high on an escarpment overlooking a series of waterholes and a flowing stream, creating a magnet for various animals throughout the day and night. The views are simply breathtaking. Cliched I know, but here it is so true. Eagle View’s excellent staff couldn’t do enough to make us feel so welcome and our twin bedroom was not only luxurious, but also provided unhindered views on to the game-rich scenes below.
I’d travelled to Africa with the idea of a much-needed mother-daughter bonding session, which began back in our Cheshire home, with Georgia literally dancing with joy on hearing our plans. We haven’t shared a room in a long time, but doing so brought us so close together (aided by the limited wi-fi connection!) and has created plenty of shared lifelong memories.
Unlike me, you’ve probably travelled to Africa many times so you’ll know only too well about the waves of emotions that safaris uniquely create. But for a first time visitor, Basecamp Explorer’s locations, properties and staff were incredible.
For more information on Basecamp Explorer’s four properties in the Mara region (including the above, plus Leopard Plains and Basecamp Masai Mara, please contact Kristina Harlow on 01664 823750.