Abandoned in the Masaai Mara

It is Kenyatta Day in Kenya, October 20th. Actually it is now known as Mashujaa or Heroes Day. Big celebrations are to be held in Nairobi and as a result, the government have declared that Nairobi air space be closed for much of the morning. This meant my flight from Nairobi left earlier than usual.


This message has not been relayed to my hosts in the Masaai Mara however so when I land, there is no sign of a vehicle. After watching a plane load of happy tourists depart, headed for various points overseas, I realise there are far worse places to be stranded and settle down to wait.

I set up office on a rock, surrounded by honking zebra, grunting wildebeest and large numbers of kongoni. Not far away, a flock of vultures are devouring the remnants of a kill and over to the right, a lone bull elephant has not a care in the world. This is the Masaai Mara in the middle of the migration season and it is a simply spectacular sight, with vast numbers of animals all around me.


In the background I can hear a local radio station as the game warden stationed at this airstrip celebrates Mashujaa Day at his office. I compare the view he has from his office each day to that of my own back in Johannesburg and have to admit he got the better deal.


My guide arrives in a flurry of dust, wearing a big smile, full of apologies for his tardiness. The lines of communication in the third world are not always as they might be, but I would have been quite happy sitting here for several more hours enjoying the sunshine, the sounds of the bush and the spectacular scenery that makes up this magnificent Masaai Mara.

I do so love what I do for a living..

Sandy Wood