Kenya: A Premium Adventure
By Trish Collins, Exodus Sales Consultant
Kenya! It is hard to say the name without images of amazing scenery, stunning wildlife, friendly faces and classic safari’s popping into your head. I was lucky enough to travel to Kenya with Exodus in October 2008 and this trip goes down as one of the best holidays I have ever had.
On arrival in Nairobi, Ben and Davies, who were to be our guides for the duration of the trip, met our group. They were excellent ambassadors for their country as was every other Kenyan we met.
Expectations were high having just seen a week of Big Cat Diary on the BBC prior to travelling out. It was the end of the migration season, but the amount of animals on the plains was astonishing. Everywhere we looked there were Zebra and Wildebeest scattered around us and buffalo and different types of buck always somewhere in the distance. The game viewing was picture perfect and each day we would return to camp filled with stories and lots of photos. We really had some very special moments, watching a pride of lions hunting at dusk, giraffes moving across the plains, a hyena relaxing near his den, birds of prey hovering over our heads, leopards playing with their prey, elephants grazing, buffalo walking through our camp at night and zebra’s joining us for lunch.
The game viewing in Lake Nakuru National Park was interesting, as you do not have wide-open spaces of the Mara. Lake Nakuru was teaming with flamingos so much so that at times all you could see was a sea of pink in the distance. Sharing the lake were Cape buffaloes and zebra’s, which made for an excellent photo opportunity.
The park also has one of the largest concentrations of rhino with both white and black varieties frequently spotted. We also witnessed a troop of baboons shouting at each other while trying to scale a rock face.
A highlight on this trip was the Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara. If you are travelling out to Kenya and your budget can stretch to it (our price reductions on this trip will help!) it really is worthwhile. The experience of being up in the air and floating in silence above the animals will stay with you forever. It gives you a whole different perspective from which to appreciate the Mara and is quite humbling. After enjoying a champagne breakfast which involved white linen table cloths and waiters serving us out in the open we were driving back to meet up with the rest of the group when we finally saw ‘Her’. The star of Big Cat Diary ‘Shikira’ was sitting on an anthill with her 3 little cheetah cubs. She only showed her family to us for about 3 minutes, but it is still engrained in my memory.
A safari in Kenya does not mean you have to ‘rough it’. On the contrary, the accommodation on this trip is excellent. From the lodge at Lake Elementaita to the walk in tents at our private camp we were not disappointed. All the permanent tents had flushing toilets and hot bucket showers in the evening. The staff were very attentive waking us up each morning with a cup of tea, and warming our beds at night with hot water bottles. We were extremely spoilt and were sad to leave what had become a home away from home.
This week in Kenya changed all of us and we realised on the way back to the airport that what we had experienced was very special. We had a small taste of the real Africa and I can’t wait to go back for seconds.
Trish went on Exodus’ Premium Adventures Classic Kenya Safari.