The Masai Mara
Keekorok Travel Blog› entry 35 of 81 › view all entries
The Masai Mara Game Reserve had no fences. Its boundary was marked by a hand-painted sign-board and a long pole balanced horizontally across the dirt track. While Ed went to pay the park fees, three Masai girls approached us bearing tribal scars across their forehead, cheeks, and nose. One appeared old and wrinkled but as she neared we saw that she was young - maybe eight or ten years old - and her markings fresh. It looked like strips of black skin had been peeled away with a Spam can opener to expose pink flesh, recently dried. She proudly stood before us, oblivious to the flies buzzing around her face.
The region we camped for the first four nights was near the Tanzania border along the Sand River.
Though an adequate supply of water flowed the streambed, its main banks were rather wide apart, filling only in the rainy season.
Those first nights at Sand River induced an air of excitement since we realized that there were no fences. The extent of latent intruders remained as vast and vicious as the variety of predators and scavengers prowling the open savannah. Pitch black nights were lit only by a brilliant band of stars arcing across the sky and the flickering coals of a depleted campfire. We were sometimes startled awake by screams, roars, the crunching of leaves, or splashing of water. Morning light often revealed tracks, asserting that hyena, cape buffalo, lion, and elephant had all browsed our vulnerable camp.