If I were to ask you to describe a perfect moment ; one in which everything felt right and fell into place at that particular moment, what would it be? Would it be that moment when you finally realized you had found the one person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with; perhaps it was that moment when your baby grasped tightly on your finger with their little hand and you couldn’t put it into words how that moment felt like? Whether it’s something small or big, we all have moments that we cherish for years to come. Well, my Nirvana moment came while I was on a trip to Mara Serena Safari Lodge, on a cold, chilly night a few weeks ago.
The weather in Nairobi had been quite dreary and wet the last couple of weeks, and I kept craving for a chance to get away from it all for a few days. The universe must have heard my plea, because soon after, an opportunity to travel to Masai Mara, thanks to Safarilink and Mara Serena Safari Lodge, happened to come my way! With the prevailing weather conditions, road travel would have been quite daunting, but fortunately Safarilink had an amazing offer which, not only enabled us to enjoy a spectacular view of the Rift Valley from high above the skies, but we also managed to get a free extra night at Mara Serena Safari Lodge thanks to the wonderful offer they have running up until the 30th of June.
When you live a life defined by adventure, you yearn to touch the open sky; you always hunger for the bush and all the surprises it has in store for you. I don’t know what it is about the Mara, but the moment we stepped off the plane at the Mara Airstrip, and on to the red African soil, it felt like the air was calling us; beckoning us to be ready for a memorable experience out in the bush.
There’s always a certain kind of hospitality and familiarity one only gets in Serena; and no matter which Serena hotel you visit, the managers, staff and tour guides always have a way of making your holiday feel like you’re home away from home. Sam, who happened to be our tour guide for the next two days was no exception, from the moment he came to pick us up from the airstrip, I could tell he was going to make our game drives quite interesting.
The short distance from the airstrip to the hotel, was like a mini game drive in which we were able to spot a few buffalos before checking in to the hotel.
A few days before our trip, I kept browsing for photos on Mara Serena Safari Lodge, but nothing came close to standing on the entrance of the lodge, welcomed with a glass of cold fresh juice and marveling at the commanding views of the Mara Plains. The lodge which is styled as a traditional Maasai Manyatta Village, blends in so well with the natural landscape, while giving you a front row view of the vast plains, since it is located on top of the hill.
It’s very easy for one to get lost in thought with such breathtaking views, but I had to check in to my room and change into something more comfortable, since the weather in Masai Mara was quite sunny and beautiful during the day.
If there’s anything I love about Serena, it’s the way each of their property is unique and blends well with the location it’s located in. The rooms at Mara Serena Lodge seemed to be neatly arranged like domed huts; which amazingly seems to be slightly placed in front of the other, giving you uninterrupted views of the Mara River.
If you are fortunate enough like I was, a warthog or Wildebeest would happen to grace you with their presence in front of your balcony.
After a mouth-watering lunch at the restaurant, we decided to head out for our first game drive. I must admit, I have never been a fan of game drives, probably because the few times I have been on Safari, I haven’t been fortunate enough to spot the Big 5. Masai Mara however is quite different, not only is a game drive quite therapeutic, but we managed to spot 4 out of the Big 5 on our first game drive; not forgetting the regal and beautiful giraffes gracing the dusty paths out in the African Savannah.
The gust of wind brought uneasy peace; with a storm brewing in the clouds, we had to cut short our game drive and head to one of the Maasai Villages, where we got a chance to experience how the Maasais live, while getting to sample their culture, their simple way of life, including joining in on a dance with them.
I couldn’t have asked for a perfect day, but the night had more surprises in store for us. As much as I knew we were heading out for dinner, it felt like we were connecting pieces of a puzzle one clue at a time. Imagine being out in the bush late at night; the sounds of crickets chirping the night away, an inviting fire keeping you warm and to top it all, some amazing Dawa cocktails and bitings to kick start the night. I didn’t think anything could come close to that moment; until we had to complete the last piece of the puzzle, by getting whisked to an amazing terrace called the Star Lite Lounge for dinner.
Words can’t describe how perfect the Star Lite Lounge is. Just being out in the wild, gazing at the stars feeling like you have no connection to the outside world or technology; forcing you to be in the moment, because you don’t know what the next minute will bring. True to it, the next minute took us all by surprise as we were surprised with a personalized menu, which had a photo of us, a photo we took earlier during the day, but didn’t realize it would be the cover of our dinner menu for the night. Not only that, but the menu included our names, and an a la carte menu personalized just for us.
A soft spoken and quite hospitable Chege, who happens to be the manager at Mara Serena, welcomed us for dinner as we dined under the African stars by the river’s edge. With some freshly prepared gourmet food, accompanied by fine wine, we could hear the hippos grunting on the river’s edge while a lion roared loudly in the background, giving our dining experience the perfect soundtrack. As the light of the flickering embers of the wood fire kept burning away, I did nothing more, but to sit back and relax while soaking up the final minutes of my first day full of adventure at Mara Serena.
There’s something about Safari life that makes you forget your sorrows; the inner peace I found that night, was indescribable. I was at peace; I felt a wave of calmness, a satisfaction, not only from the tantalizing food we just ate, but a satisfaction which only comes with travel. As the night slowly ebbed away, I couldn’t possibly have imagined the adventure and surprises which awaited us the next day.
Facts about Mara Serena Safari Lodge
- Accredited 5*Lodge
- All rooms have a view of the Mara Plains.
- A fantastic venue for destination weddings and corporate events
- The Mara has gaming view all year round.
- Only 45 minutes away from Wilson Airport in Nairobi
- Lots of activities as well as Balloon Safaris for the whole family