The Masai Mara offered our first glimpse of true African wildlife during our journey. As we were just about in time for the great wildebeest migration from the Serengeti into the Mara, we opted to travel in class and took a hot air balloon ride over the vast plains. With the sun rising in the east and the plains strewn with thousands upon thousands of wildebeest as far as the eye could see, it was a fitting ‘Welcome to Africa’ moment. Later that day we headed out into the Mara where we encountered our first sightings of many animals including lions, cheetahs, African elephants, and more. Later in the day we were invited to a Masai Mara village to engage in the local culture and witness the striking differences their lives hold.