Reuben and I decided that being so close to Kenya, it was a great opportunity to go on safari. I had been once before but was very keen to go again. We flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi – en route we learned that on Ethiopian Airlines you must have the credit card that you booked the flight on in your hand at the airport (even if you have other id and a confirmation email and you say your original credit card was stolen – some pleading and finally showing our bank statement did work), that no banks will change Ethiopian birr into US dollars despite there being a law preventing you from leaving the country with more than two hundred birr, and that two stressful situations in a row may well lead to travel companions snapping at each other viciously in the middle of the airport…and maybe a little sulking on the plane too, just for good measure! Despite this inauspicious beginning, we managed to make it to Nairobi, where we had one night before leaving for our safari the next morning. Nairobi scared me a little (pretty much the only city we have gone to so far that has frightened me apart from Fes) as you can’t really walk at night – meaning after 6.30pm you need to take a taxi. We had lots of people telling us to be careful and talking about cellphones being snatched – it wasn’t the easiest city to relax in! However, it was all forgotten when our driver Nelson picked us up and we began our drive towards Masai Mara.
On the way we stopped for a view over the Rift Valley, then continued to our camp, Masai Mara Manyatta camp.
After a late lunch we were ready for our first game drive, where we saw wildebeest, impala, Thompson’s gazelles, Grand gazelles, a crowned Crane, a mongoose, warthogs, zebras, topi, guinea fowl, jackals, hyenas, buffalo and the highlight of the day – two cheetahs. We were very happy with our first day’s sightings!