Reading Time: 3 MINUTES
A hot-air ballooning virgin finally understands what eagles experience as they float above the great plains of the Maasai Mara
What better way can there be to understand a new landscape than to float above it? To momentarily soar in the clouds like a bird, looking down on all creation. The Mara River, the artery of this ecosystem, meanders its way through the legendary Maasai Mara below. Looking down I see a network of animal tracks radiating away from the river and into the surrounding sea of grass – space and life in all directions. Silence embraces me, with the exception of the odd blast of the flame that keeps the hot air balloon afloat. As we drift ever so gently over the river the sun breaks the horizon and begins its dawn dance over Africa.
I drink it all in: a hippo waddling back to the sanctuary of the water, a lone buffalo bull thrashing his horns and a herd of 25 elephant ambling through swathes of grass. A solitary jackal calls for a mate, a yelping sound that even up here I can hear. An eagle glides past with a comical gaze in our direction as if to say ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ – how extraordinary it is to be at his eye level, for an hour at least.
Expertly guided by our pilot, the balloon heads south pushed gently by the prevailing winds. To our right stretches the Oloololo Escarpment and sitting proud, but yet unobtrusively on its crest, sits Angama Mara, my new home.
For years I have dreamt of a life in Kenya and when the opportunity arose for me to work at one of the loveliest safari camps in East Africa I leapt at it. My job description: an almost blank canvas of creativity and storytelling.
As I gaze out over the vastness below, the mist hugging the trees, I can’t help but wonder what lies ahead on this journey: the challenges, the opportunities, the fun. The new friends I will make, the phenomenal wildlife sightings I will experience, the photographs I will take and the lives I will watch being changed as the spirit of Kenya touches them.
I have been welcomed into my new role by the most smiling, gracious and helpful team of people I have ever come across.
I can’t wait to share my journey with you…
Note from the Editor: Hold on to your hats as Adam takes the Maasai Mara by storm…
TAGGED WITH: Angama Team, Ballooning, Hot Air Balloon, Maasai Mara, Photography, Wildlife