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Affordable escape to Masai Mara

ANESSA MWANGI

Tented accommodation at the Siana Springs is located half-an-hour away from the Masai Mara Game Reserve‘s main gate.

The road to the Siana Springs was not the smoothest to say the least; it was bumpy, dusty and time consuming, but once I got there I found it to be a hidden treasure in the middle of nowhere.

A major contrast from the journey was how the pathways and roads inside the facility were manageable. I was welcomed with a cold drink, as the friendly staff helped with the bags to the tent.

The staff went far and above to ensure my stay was delightful. The tent allocated to me was spacious and clean. It contained a comfortable bed with a hot water bottle placed under my sheets each night (a great help considering the nights got pretty cold), a full bathroom with a shower, a toilet and running water.

The water from the shower did come with an unpleasant smell (I didn’t find why though), leaving my trips to the shower a brief affair.

Spotted deer and multitudes of birds roamed freely inside the property. Tens of rather friendly monkeys also jumped from one tree to another around the camp, but would definitely take an opportunity for some mischief such as grabbing guests’ food and enter the tent to, supposedly, look for more edibles.

As such, every time I would enter my tent or leave I had to tie a knot securing all of the zippers, so they wouldn’t enter my room and potentially make some mess.

The camp is run on generators, and the power is usually shut off at mid-day and midnight. This limited my enjoyment of the WiFi and hot showers.

However, the lack of power hardly frustrated me, since my first day was spent heading out on a safari and adventuring in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Before I left for the game drive, the staff packed for me some lunch —an egg, a piece of chicken, banana, two slices of bread and some juice.

This I enjoyed as I explored the vast game reserve where I was lucky to sight a number of animals including a lioness resting under a shade.

The second day, however, wasn’t as exciting. Throughout the afternoon hours the power was off, but I made use of the time to swim in their relatively large pool, then engrossed myself with a novel.

Cell phone reception was terrible, so there was little Internet bundles could’ve done for me to find entertainment to get rid of the boredom. I had to do with waiting for the WiFi to be turned later in the evening.

Even with the WiFi, I still experienced some difficulties connecting to the Internet in some areas of the bushy lush camp. The camp had a bar area where the WiFi worked exemplary well, but it couldn’t do so at my tent, a few metres away.

Thus, most of my evenings were spent at the bar, not drowning the pints, but surfing away on the Internet. But I was so in love with their food. It was absolutely sumptuos, with lovely presentation and even lovelier taste. It seemed like the chef could cook up any dish, my favourite being breakfast.

Lunches were probably the blandest compared to the other meals and dinner would be a feast for the eyes. The presentation was always impressive, sometimes a bit more than the actual taste. The chef would feed us three courses.

Not a meat lover myself, the lamb during the main course as succulent as it appeared, couldn’t appease me. However, some starch, veggies and sweet potatoes made up for it.

Breakfast was usually an inviting serving of eggs, porridge, sausages and juice, among other options. For me, a well-balanced wholesome, healthy and satisfying breakfast could never go wrong; it was my favourite meal of the day.

A large campfire area with a guitarist serenading guests after dinner would make the place just so magical. I enjoyed the round gathering with other guests, warming myself up from the bonfire, while listening to the jazzy guitarist, engrossing stories from other guests and roasting marshmallows.

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