I’ve just returned from a 3-day safari to the Masai Mara, home of the Maasai people. This experience was totally different from my first safari experience. Last time, in February, we went on a luxury safari, with extravagent accommodations and with people available to meet any of our needs. This time, I went on a budget safari, and the differences were more than obvious. Although there were still porcelain toilets and sinks, the toilets didn’t always flush, and there was only a small maintenance staff that fixed it after a day and a half. There was no 20-person kitchen staff to cook our food in an unseen kitchen, nor a waitstaff to carry our food from the nonexistent buffet line to our tables – rather, two cooks made our food in the outdoor kitchen over charcoal, and we ate by serving ourselves at a main table. The differences were many. The similarities could be easily boiled down to: bumpiness of the safari vans and the presence of the animals.
At the luxury lodges, I felt guilty that I was spending $5 on a freshly squeezed mango juice, while the children we had just left used $5 for their yearly uniform budget. I just read yesterday, however, that the revenue from the average Kenyan tourist provides a month’s wage for approximately 10 Kenyans. And these 10 Kenyans likely support their extended family with that wage. So I suppose that the extravagence suits some larger purpose.
Although I missed the comforts of the high-end safari, I think I enjoyed the sparseness of my little budget safari, and I definitely enjoyed the lower price!
|Safari on the Masai Mara|