Cheetah Tented Camp Safari
by Rohini Duvvuri
A very shy animal that ran away as soon as she heard the sound of our vehicle.
I have dreamed of a Safari in Africa since I was a little kid who loved to watch wild life programs on TV.
When my husband received an offer to work in Ghana, I knew it was a Godsend opportunity to see Africa.
Masai Mara, Kenya, during the migration is every wild life enthusiast's dream come true and we chose that as our first wildlife experience.
After several weeks of research, we decided to go with Jorge's Cheetah Tented Camp.
It is a beautiful camp near the Mara river with only half a dozen tents and tries to offer a personalized trip to each visiting family/group.
I traveled with my husband and three year old daughter and were given our own vehicle for the 6 day trip. We had our own guide/driver fully dedicated to our needs and we had complete flexibility on how and when we wanted our game drives.
This was very important to us as shared game drives wouldn't have worked for us. Imagine carrying a toddler along on a game drive with a vehicle full of strangers! A lot of people don't take their kids along on game drives because of the nuisance factor but its a matter of knowing your kid.
My daughter enjoyed each and every moment of the drives and did not want to come back. She was so very excited to see the animals. Unlike the adults who only got excited upon seeing rare animals, she cheered for each and every animal including the deer and warthogs. :)
We fell in love with Masai Mara not just because of the abundance of wild animals to be found there but also because of the striking landscape. On our game drives, if we weren't looking at the animals, we were just staring at the bush-miles and miles of it without any obstructions to block our view.
Never did I imagine to see a part of Africa that could get so cold that temperatures fall well below 10 degrees celsius - visitors would be advised to carry several layers of clothing. That way, you could peel off layers if the weather gets warmer during the middle of the day.
We were slightly unfortunate in our game drives because we could not spot the elusive rhino. I have heard that the rhinos in Masai Mara are an endangered species.
We were also unable to spot the leopard in spite of our guide's best efforts. We did spot several prides of lions, herds of elephants and cheetah brothers apart from the omnipresent gnus, zebras, giraffes and warthogs.
Oh, and the birds! So many beautiful bird species that my husband who happens to be an amateur photographer spent more time clicking the birds than the animals.
But the highlight of our trip would be catching sight of the famous crossing. Although we did visit during the peak migration season, I have heard that it does't necessarily guarantee a sighting of the crossing.
Our guide was smart enough to position our vehicle in such a way that we didn't miss the brief crossing that happened. There were dozens of vehicles waiting at the crossing site for hours but most of them missed the crossing as the drivers/guides were probably just too lazy to keep moving their vehicles along with the movement of the gnus.
The crossings can happen very suddenly and nobody can predict them so don't let your guides tell you otherwise.
To sum it up, we had a great personalized trip which included unlimited game drives in a dedicated vehicle, unlimited night drives, unlimited bush walks, unlimited food and drink and every other convenience included in a price very reasonable compared to any other tour/camp in Masai Mara.
But maybe thats how every visitor to Masai Mara feels like. The magic is in the air!
Oh, last but not the least, my little daughter had a blast of a time being pampered by everyone on the camp. The Masai love kids and now my daughter loves the Masai. :)
Happy Safaris! :)