So this is what Africa looks like from up here

23 January 2018 | Inside Angama |

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.

Top down view from balloon

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.

Views of the Escarpment

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…

Adam Bannister

Note from the Editor: Hold on to your hats as Adam takes the Maasai Mara by storm…

AUTHOR: Adam Bannister

A South African-trained biologist, safari guide, author, filmmaker and photographer, Adam is, above all else, a gifted storyteller. After spending the past 10 years working in some of the world’s most beautiful wild places – the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, Rajasthan in India, Brazil’s Pantanal, and the rainforests of Manu National Park in Peru – he is delighted to share his stories of one of the loveliest game reserves of them all, the Maasai Mara.

Diane Mirl
January 23, 2018

Absolutely takes your breath away…magnificent, unadulterated beauty.
224 days, 5 hours 36 minutes!

Annette Nagni
January 24, 2018

Lovely article Adam; the most wonderful experience!!

February 9, 2018

It is a dream! ♥

Karin Braby
February 23, 2018

What a great read. Thank you Adam

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*