Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the Mara - Jambo Bogani

Maasai Mara
Landed on the Mara

The Great Rift Valley

We landed in our Cessna on the grassy plains of the Mara. It was like a scene from Out of Africa. Children with wide grins and dogs suddenly appeared out of no where (or so it seemed), racing our plane as it taxied to a stop. It was our first welcome party and as I viewed the scene from the small portal window in the plane, I could feel my eyes filling.  The flight had debuted the majestic vistas of the Great Rift Valley, the mountain ranges and the lush green and gold patchwork of the farms and grazing lands below. I was running on emo-overload; Darcy was struggling not to toss her cookies!

We eagerly accepted the invitation to hike the 15 minutes from the airstrip to the Bogani cottages. I lingered back from the pack, casually snapping pictures as I walked, breathing deeply - filling my lungs with the freshness of the cool air, admiring every plant, tree and curiosity that I saw. I got a personal introduction to the thorny acacia tree while I wasn't looking.
We walked through the gates of Bogani with more than a little excitement tingling in our tummies. There was a collective feeling of anticipation building which deepened even further when we heart faint strains of what sounded like children singing. It got louder the closer we got, and when we rounded the corner, nothing could have prepared me for what we saw next, and the welcome that awaited us. The Bogani staff were lined up, swaying, singing their hearts out. More tears ...

I knew we were in for something extra special. We got introduced to the cottage that would be our home for the next five days. And now I will do the same for you ...

Our open air dining hall
The view from the dining hall.

Notes from my journal:
Surreal to be here. Everyone feels it. I have to pinch myself to assure that I am indeed in this majestic, magical country. I am more excited than ever for the rest of our journey to unfold. Our group is lively, from different occupations and walks of life, ages - with one thing in common: a desire to learn and understand the Kenyan way of life and the challenges this nation faces. We all want to give back in any way we can. The group is giving, unselfish and generous with one another. It is amazing to me that in a few short days they are feeling like old friends.


  1. the acacia tree grows on my island...and in Africa...sooooo coool. I am totally living vicariously thru you.


  2. I love African graaslands , enjoyed reading :)