After the most incredible week, Kenya is now somewhere that will stay close to my heart forever – I am honestly not able to put into words the feeling of seeing so many beautifully majestic animals in the wild!
We landed in Nairobi and stayed one night before heading off for our safari the next day. Our hotel was Safari themed, elegantly constructed using plenty of wood and set amongst a stunning green landscape. We arrived around 2pm so we had some time to relax and explore our new surroundings! For dinner we wanted to try some local cuisine and we were lucky enough to have an African restaurant in the hotel complex. The concept of this restaurant was wood fired meats which they serve straight from the fire at your table. This featured some interesting local meats such as crocodile and Ostrich – which were both delicious!
The moment we had been waiting for had come – it was time to start our safari! After a drive of taking in the African sights we arrived at Amboseli around midday. The lodge was set just in front of Kilimanjaro and boasted some stunning views of Africa’s highest peak, as well as wild monkeys and mongoose wondering the grounds! Full of excitement we headed out for our first game drive at Amboseli National Park at around 4pm. Amboseli National Park is the smallest in Kenya, which meant we saw a huge number of animals in a short space of time – it also has the highest population of Elephants, they seemed to be everywhere! To finish an incredible drive, we were treated with a mesmerising experience of watching the sun set behind a herd of elephants with their babies.
Our second day in Amboseli was a full day game drive in the park, where we experienced so many animals including; Giraffe, Zebras, Flamingos, Gazelle, Wildebeest, Antelope – just to name a few! But one of our most unforgettable moments of the whole trip was finding a pack of lions with their cubs feasting upon a freshly caught wildebeest. Feeling like David Attenborough, we sat in awe as the adults fed and the cubs switched between eating, playing and bathing in the waterhole – but more excitement was to come as the male lion began to fight with one of the lionesses over his rations!
The next stop on our trip was Lake Nakuru, our accommodation was situated in the heart of Lake Nakuru national park so we took a game drive en route. Our guide had told us that Lake Nakuru was our best chance to find Rhinos, and he searched tirelessly for us. Eventually we found some nestled in the long grass taking an afternoon nap. Sadly, although Lake Nakuru is famous for its huge flocks of flamingos we did not see many here (we had luckily got up close and personal with some in Amboseli). Apparently due to water levels rising the habitat for the flamingo’s food is now much sparser and they now favour other nearby lakes. Little did we know whilst searching for Rhinos earlier on, that on our way to our accommodation we would come face to face with a baby rhino who came tearing around the corner charging at our jeep! Shocked, the startled baby went off to find his mother, who he promptly found in the bush watching the spectacle.
We stayed one night in Nakuru, in a beautiful modern lodge set high amongst the national park with panoramic views. The next morning, we set off for a boat trip before heading to our final destination. During the boat trip, as well as witnessing plenty of lake dwelling wildlife we were also lucky to get close to hippos, and witness an eagle catching a fish.
Finally, our trip took us to the Masai Mara – Kenya’s most famous National Park which I had been eagerly waiting for! We were spending two nights here, and again were situated within the national park itself which meant that wildlife in the grounds of our accommodation were plenty. The Masai Mara is a huge reserve with almost every animal and every landscape you could imagine! On the second day we did a full day game drive, for lunch we had a picnic by the Masai Lake where we spotted crocodiles (they’re so much bigger than imagined!) and hippos. We sat and ate amongst fresh elephant tracks. After lunch the day became very exciting, we watched as a pride of lions stalked a pack of wildebeest – although to the lions dismay the wildebeest managed to get away. Later we found two lionesses with their cubs, and a cheetah on the other side of the grass plane who had encroached into the lion territory… This resulted in a big action stand down where one of the lionesses stalked and chased the cheetah away, fortunately for the cheetah they can run up to 90mph so there was a very slim chance of her being caught!
Back to Nairobi
For our last night we stayed in the Fairmont, the colonial feel of this hotel stood true to the fact that it’s Nairobi’s oldest hotel, having been built in 1904. Ending our incredible holiday on a high, we enjoyed a superb dining experience at Tatu, one of the capitals best steak restaurants – it certainly did not disappoint!
Kenya is one of the most naturally beautiful, and welcoming countries I have ever visited, however it is clear to see in some areas that poverty is a huge problem. Personally, I believe that whilst visiting a country like Kenya it is so important to contribute to the local economy whenever possible. The tourist industry alone helps to build a better future by providing jobs and income to businesses, but there is still more we can do! We purchased a lot of local produce, such as; tea, coffee and wine, Africa is renowned for its wooden sculptures and these are a perfect purchase to not only keep as a souvenir but also support local businesses. Whilst at the Masai Mara we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit a Masai village where the markets sell beautiful handmade wooden and beaded items, this is another fantastic way to help support the local people of Kenya.
We had the most amazing time in Kenya and have left with memories that we will surely cherish forever!