Kenyan Safari

My Kenyan Safari was one of the best trips I have been on, a once in a life-time kind of trip.

We flew into Nairobi airport and got straight in our van and on our way to the Masai Mara. (i’ll talk about the organisers later on in the post). It was a long drive to the hotel in the Masai Mara, taking around 5 hours. On the way there, we stopped at the Great Rift Valley to take a short break and take in the sights.

When we got to the accommodation I was so happy. We had been told we were staying in luxury tents and what I saw was so much better than I had imagined. We stayed in the Sarova Mara Game Camp right in the Masai Mara itself. The hotel was gated and secure from the animals, the accommodation was amazing and so were the staff. We were greeted by Masai Tribesmen in the reception and we sat by a campfire for some of the evening.

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We spent 3 days here exploring in our safari jeep. The roof popped up so we were able to stand and take our surroundings in and try to spot the big 5. (Lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) We only saw 4 of the 5 but we saw loads of lions so we were lucky. The hotel had packed lunches for us some days and it was really cool to be able to have a picnic in the wilderness. Photos don’t do the experience any justice. Take it all in while you’re there and you’ll have so many ‘pinch me’ moments. 

After 3 days of Game Drives, we started to head back to Nairobi but we made a few pit stops along the way. We went to Lake Naivasha where we were taken out on a boat trip to take in the islands and the wildlife and we went to Thompson’s Falls too. If you get your picture taken with the people at Thompson’s Falls, they will expect money or some form of tip from you.

Next we spent a day in Hell’s Gate National Park. Films like Tomb Raider have been filmed here. We got bikes and we cycled through the National Park, surrounded by wild animals. We kept our distance and respected their space and they never came near us. We did a pretty long cycle and a bit of rock climbing to get to viewpoints but we had a guide with us for this part. The cycle back was tough as we were all exhausted. Just make sure to get back before it gets dark because as the sun was going down it was getting kind of eerie, especially hearing all of the animal noises. If you are rock climbing, be careful where you go because some of the areas here are prone to flash floods. Check the weather and get a guide to go with you.

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A Zebra encounter during my cycle through Hell’s Gate National Park

We also stopped at the equator. It is marked by a sign at the side of the road but it’s cool to say you have been there. Our driver showed us the differences between both sides of the equator. He put a twig in a bucket of water and on one side of the equator, the twig moved clockwise, on the other side it moved anti-clockwise and when it was on the equator it didn’t move at all. My inner geography nerd was very impressed! I actually tell my students this story when I teach about ocean currents.

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We also stopped in with the Masai tribe. It was such unique experience. The people there were so welcoming and warm-hearted and the children overjoyed. We had stocked up on things like books, pencils, crayons and puzzles and brought them with us from Dubai. We handed them out to the children and the look in their faces is something I’ll never forget. They were so grateful and it kind of brought us all back down to earth and reminded us how fortunate we really are. The kids ran off to play with their new toys and we were shown around where the tribe live and shown parts of their everyday routine.

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The Children from the Masai Tribe (above) and the Tribesmen doing their traditional Adumu or Jumping dance

Next, we went back to Nairobi before we flew home. There is so much security in Nairobi it’s crazy, we had to go through metal detectors just to get into the supermarket and there are security men everywhere with huge guns. It can be a bit intimidating. However, there are a few things to do here in Nairobi.

One cool experience was the Carnivore restaurant. This restaurant serves all different types of meat, like crocodile and ostrich, and the waiters keep coming to your table offering all of these types of meat until you put the white flag on the table to say you’re done. We got to taste some things we never would, and probably never will again, but it was a very cool and different experience.

The next day we visited the Giraffe Centre and this was really cool too. I just felt like such a big kid all the time on this holiday. Seeing all of the animals so up close and personal was so exciting. Here we got to see the giraffes and feed them and if you were brave enough, you could put a piece of food on your mouth and get the giraffe to take it from you. Their tongues were so long and I chickened out!

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Quick Selfie with a Giraffe at the Giraffe Centre

 

Accommodation in Nairobi is not something to scrimp on. Make sure it’s secure and always read the reviews just to be sure. They can be likely to change. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Sarova Stanley
  2. Ole Sereni
  3. Fairmont, The Norfolk
  4. Fairview Hotel

As I mentioned earlier, we had a tour guide for this trip. I got the guides details from a friend and contacted him via mail. the trip was very well organised and we definitely were looked after. The price we were charged was very competitive too. Here is the email address to use – kontmaloy@gmail.com. If you don’t want to go with his, I would still recommend going with a guide given the type of trip it is. Having a driver pick you up from the airport in Nairobi too is definitely a good idea, maybe the hotel you’re staying in will arrange this and a trip for you.

 

TopTip:

  1. Make sure you have taken your malaria tablets for this trip and bring LOTS of mosquito repellent.
  2. Always check the most recent reviews of the hotels in Nairobi
  3. Having a tour guide or driver is very helpful
  4. If you’re looking for a drink, Tusker beer is a great choice!

Happy Travelling,

Top Tip Traveller 🙂

 

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