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Up close and personal with Naivasha hippos

We included Lake Naivasha in our safari itinerary mainly because the drive from Masai Mara to Serengeti is extremely long. Even though they’re de facto the same ecosystem, tourists are not allowed to cross the border through the park. That means that you have to backtrack to Nairobi, cross the border in Namanga, and continue through Arusha. Over 800km, which in those roads ends up being 14-18 hrs, to guarantee that tourists leave their money in both countries.

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Maasai Mara, a wilderness dream

The first destination in our East African safari was Maasai Mara, the crown jewel of Kenyan National Parks. We had planned 1.5 days there, including a game drive in the afternoon of our arrival from Nairobi, and another full day of game drive. July is one of the best months to visit the Mara, as you can see the Great Migration, with 1-2 million wildebeest, ~0.5 million gazelles and ~0.3 million zebras. If you get lucky, you might even see the hordes crossing the Grumeti or Mara rivers, being attacked by crocodiles. Getting the timing right, however, is really hard, as it changes every year depending on the rains. We were one week late for the river crossing, but enjoyed the massive amount of grazers on the Mara plains.

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Getting ready for safari in Nairobi

Since I was a kid, I always had wanted to go on an African safari. Last summer, I finally convinced myself and Elena to do it, now that the prices had become affordable. Last minute, my mom (my true traveling hero) decided to join us, after her plans to go to Ethiopia fell apart.

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