“Safari in Maasai Mara”
After the crusade and preaching in the church, we headed off for another adventure. This one was especially for us: a Safari in Maasai Mara. I do not have to tell you how excited we all were to go to this place. Again, it took us almost an entire day to arrive. As we approached the gate, we were greeted with the sight of a big cat called Duma (the Swahili word for cheetah) along with giraffes and buffalo. What a welcoming committee! We had finally made it. The magnificent Maasai Mara stretched before us, one of the greatest game parks in the world.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve (also spelled Masai Mara; known by the locals as The Mara) is a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named after the Maasai people (the traditional inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara”, which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savannah, and cloud shadows that mark the area.
It is famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migrations of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeests to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.
For the next few hours, we were able to drive around and see some of the most spectacular animals that our God has created in their wild habitat. We finished driving in the evening when it was time to close and lock the gates to keep the animals and people from encountering each other. Through the entire trip to Africa, God was showing us His big favour and this place was no different. To our great delight we were allowed (for a very reasonable price) to stay in one of the most beautiful lodges in Africa, the breathtaking “Mara Serena Safari Lodge”.
The Mara Serena Safari Lodge official website writes:
Located at the very centre of the famous ‘Mara Triangle’ of the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate safari destination. Set high on a bush-cloaked hill with long views over the savannah and down to the winding coils of the hippo-filled Mara River, it stands centre-stage to one of Africa’s most dramatic wildlife arenas, with a ringside seat for the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’, the legendary migration of the wildebeest. Styled to echo the circular motif of a traditional Maasai manyatta, the lodge blends international sophistication with raw African beauty, while featuring twin rows of individual rooms, each with its own view of the famous Mara River. The central bar and dining areas enjoy spectacular views, as does the rock-surround swimming pool. Each luxuriously-presented room is accommodated in its own stand-alone modular unit, with uninterrupted views, private balcony and spacious seating area. It is world renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth’.
Our amazing experience was paid by the mercy and grace of our amazing God. Wow! It was here in this lodge that Prince William proposed marriage to his girlfriend Kate. The point that I am making is this: if God wants to honour someone there are no limits. Thank you Jesus! When we went to Kenya God told me to deliver a very precise message to the people that I would encounter. I was to say to them that they are required to stand against corruption, because Jesus wants to clean their country. He is looking for “Lions,” men and women that are not afraid to say and do what is right. Also, I was to declare that He hates bribes and that this illegal practise has to stop. During our stay in Kenya there were a few incidents where bribes were demanded, but we refused even though we risked penalties. When God shows you His standard you hold firm and surrender everything to Him, even if the stand costs you. This is precisely what we did. In return, God blessed us with this incredible place to stay. As some Kenyans learned about our stand, we were offered rooms for everyone at a price that we could afford. Also, from that moment on, we were treated like the princes that our God says we are. We were even allowed to swim in the pool after hours and were constantly asked if there was anything else that they could provide us. Thank God that we stood upon His word and did not allow corruption into our midst. In return, we truly received royal treatment.
For few days we were able to encounter wildlife right in the open. My son Nathaniel was truly delighted with God’s wonderful gift of adventure. We saw packs of elephants with their little calves, monkeys, giraffes, zebras and crocodiles swimming with hippopotami. The place was packed with all kinds of surprises for us. One of the best such moments was when a few lions ambushed a warthog. What a haunting sight that was. The poor warthog did not stand a chance and was literally torn to pieces in just a few moments. Amazing how the lions all worked together for the common good. One lion jumped to the left, another to the right, and some others surrounded the warthog from behind. Good coordinated work where everyone did ther part resulted in good meal for all. In our Christian walk we should learn how to coordinate and bless each other with our gifts instead hurting one another in an attempt to present ourselves as more glamorous parts of the body of Christ.
You can learn so much from watching animals in the wild. For example, a lion does not need to make an announcement “Here I come. Watch out!” It is a lion. Everything around it knows that it is a lion. Every animal is on edge. The king of the jungle it is truly a king. He is not king because other creatures agree that he is; he simply is. A Lion never apologizes to anyone that he is a lion. It is very simple: royalty is his nature. He was created to rule. His whole manner is so dignified. Every move he makes says, “I own this place. This is my inheritance. I was created for such a time as this. Behold a King!”
We, as children of the Almighty Creator of Heavens and the Earth, are called to act like that. Many times we act like chickens eating dirt from under our feet. However, because of God, we are meant to rule and reign with Christ. This proper attitude makes us more than conquerors and ambassadors. We should not be preoccupied by what enemy is doing, but rather focused on the promises of God and being busy moving forward the Kingdom of His Majesty. Your behaviour shows who you are in this word, whether it be the lion or the warthog.
The next day we went to a Maasai village where the people still live in the wild. A century ago, they had established a reputation as powerful and ferocious people; their warrior bands raided hundreds of miles into neighbouring territories to capture the cattle they coveted and to demand tribute from the trade caravans. We knew that our friend Archbishop Gerry Kibarabara planted some of the first Christian churches among Maasai people. We were very eager to see this with our own eyes.
To be continued in the final Part 5
“Maasai Mara.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 12 November 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_Mara
Mara Serena Safari Lodge website. 12 November 2012.
Road to Masai Mara
A Masaai herdsman
Number two killer of humans in Africa is the Hippopotamus. Though lives in Wild Africa and no where else, the Hippo kills 300 humans per year. The mouthspan of a hippo’s gaping yawn is 4 feet. Though much larger than a human, any hippo (30 mph) can outrun Abu Bakar (24 mph), and whenever the urge strikes the hippo, it does charge at you like a maniacal freight train. There is no escape.
Nathaniel Pawlowski The Mara River
Dawid Pawlowski The Mara River
King of the Jungle
Mara Serena Safari Lodge