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Pole to Pole

Day 96: Nairobi to the Masai Mara

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleBut man is now very much a part of the Mara, and as we near the river the afternoon session of tourists are being transported out of their lodges in a fleet of open-topped minibuses.

Wendy is a bit sniffy about them. 'If you've been to Africa and stayed in a lodge, you've been on a holiday; if you've been to Africa and stayed in a tent, you've been on safari.'

When we reach our campsite by the banks of the Mara river, the tents have only just been pitched and lavatories not yet dug or beds erected. Patrick, the maītre de camp, who has safaried with Hemingway, but still looks only twenty-five, welcomes us, quickly introduces the staff of thirteen, makes us cups of tea and leaves us to look at the local river life. This consists of a colony of around thirty hippos puffing and wheezing like a lot of old men in a club after lunch. They apparently spend most of the day there, emerging at night to feed and, I'm told, wander through the camp. 'It's perfectly all right so long as you stay in your tent,' Martin advises, cheerfully.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 96
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Mara River
  • Book page no: 209

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