Guest Post/Photography by Greg Wagner
Gregory Wagner is a landscape, wildlife, travel, sports, and commercial photographer and blogger based in Fort Myers, Florida.
Starting With the Basics: is it “Maasai” or “Masai”?
Though you will find the word “Masai” used countless times in print and on the internet, the proper spelling is “Maasai”, with a double-“a”. Quoting the website www.maasai-association.org, which is probably a very reliable source, the word “Maasai” means “my people”.
Natural Wonder of the World
Without question one of the great spectacles on the planet occurs when gigantic herds of wildebeest and zebras migrate from the dry plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya as the Serengeti dry season approaches. Technically the migration never stops, always moving clockwise in a giant circle. In January the herds of wildebeest and zebras inhabit the southern portion of the Serengeti, only to move to the northwest by April and May, then northeast to the Maasai by June and July. The migration comes full circle, approximately 300 miles, between August and December as the herds migrate south and back into the Serengeti.
The trip was put together by a travel agent friend of mine who is a member of the Thursday morning business networking group we belong to. Deborah Lee Nashed of Debonair Travel Services (www.debonair-travel.com) has a wonderful working relationship with a tour company based in Nyeri, Kenya called Bongo Asili (www.bongoasilitravel.com). My wish for the longest time had been to travel to Africa on a photo safari but the prices were always extremely prohibitive. But between Debonair Travel and Bongo Asili I was able to check another item off of my bucket list due to the reasonable price of the tour.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” actually does not apply in this case. No corners were cut. It seemed as if every hotel was better than the last one and by the time we reached the Maasai Mara and the Fairmont Maara Safari Club’s (www.fairmont.com/masai-mara-safari/) luxury tents we were extremely spoiled. Yes, we stayed in tents. But these tents are not “tents”, like camping out in the woods. This is more like the best 5-star hotel except that it happens to have a canvas roof and a big zipper for a door. Every tent has its own deck with overlooks the river where you can watch the hippos ‘til your heart’s content. Because we headed out on photo safari early each morning we did not eat breakfast or lunch in the restaurant. But we did have dinner there and all I can say is that it was fantastic and worthy of its own blog.
This is my 5th attempt at writing this paragraph and at this point I think I’m going to give up and let the pictures do the talking. There’s a reason why the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is Kenya’s #1 wildlife park.