Wildlife. East Africa is full of it, perfectly beastly animals going about their daily chores in huge parks. Millions of them, mooching and munching, fighting and fleeing, it's all go in this animal kingdom. And East Africa's hotspot is Kenya's Maasai Mara (aka Masai) National Park, a brilliant place to watch wild things en masse that can't be surpassed - except perhaps by Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Elephants face down our Land Rover in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The climate in the elevated Mara-Serengeti plains which are at an altitude of 1,500m-2,200m (5,000-7,000ft), is generally mild and comfortable compared to the hot and humid coastal areas.
The best months to visit are January - February and June - September, the dry months. January and February are hotter months and the grass will be shorter and wildlife therefore more visible (we went in January), while June to September is cooler. The huge migration of wildebeest, zebra and attendant carnivores from Serengeti north into the Maasai Mara takes place around July and August every year.
Avoid the rainy months of March-May and October-December, though the days are still warm. The plains get very muddy and difficult to tour, visibility is right off, high grass conceals animals and mosquitoes flourish.
A gorilla family in a nest high in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, aka Zaire.
A traditional breakfast of wildebeest tartare in the Maasai Mara (also Masai) National Reserve, Kenya.
Lions often eat gazelle, antelope and zebra when they must, but wildebeest sashimi, as above, provides a big, tasty meal for the whole pride without too much hassle. Good enough until the next unwary, cat loving photographer jumps down from a jeep.
Comparisons can be made between Kenya's Masai Mara and neighbouring Tanzania's massive Serengeti reserve that shares the same 10,000 sq miles (25,000 sq kms) eco-system, but most tourists who have done side-by-side safaris (including us) or traveled both in different years have concluded that Serengeti's game viewing is good but the Maasai Mara's is better, while the selection of camps and hotels is also a step up.