As a keen (amateur!) wildlife photographer, a safari in Kenya had been on my wishlist of holidays for some time, yet I'd never made the push to actually book it and go. This year I decided to go for it, and can honestly say it was wonderful experience I'll remember for a long, long time.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
I think it'd have to be two things, to be honest. I was on the same trip as Maria (another reviewer) and echo her comment about seeing a cheetah and her cub on our very first game drive in the Mara. I swear we'd not been more than ten minutes out of the camp when we came across them resting together in the warm afternoon sunlight. A truly magical experience, topped off by then seeing a number of giraffe (one pregnant!) and an amazing sunset.
The second would have to be the sunrise balloon flight. If you've any doubts about doing this, I urge you to put them to one side and just go for it. Seeing the sun come up over the Mara and lighting up the landscape from horizon to horizon was magical.
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Ben and Davies - a great combination! Warm, funny, a mine of information about everywhere we went and just generally really nice guys who couldn't do enough for us.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Never think you've taken enough photos, but then again try and step back from the camera now and again and just take it all in.
Do be prepared for early starts but they really are worth it, especially the opportunity to see the wildlife waking up in the morning sun. There are some long drives involved but it wasn't anything like as bad as I'd feared, the roads are by and large excellent and if you just sit back, go with the flow and take it all in, it's a great way to take in the changing landscapes.
Get your local currency at the airport and back it up with US dollars. While shillings are preferred, we didn't have any problem spending dollars.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I can't possibly fiinish this review without mentioning Kicheche camp. I could very easily have stayed for at least another week. This isn't just camping, it's 5-star deluxe camping. We were treated like royalty for our stay, the tents were fantastic and the food - absoloutely out of this world and better than many meals I've had at swanky restaurants. The staff were warm and welcoming and all came out to wave us off when we left for Nairobi.
Even though we were only there for a week, it felt longer due to the amount we packed in and if you're thinking of doing this trip - go for it. Finally, a very big thank you to everyone on my group for your company. I hope you all had as fantastic a time as I did!