What do you do when 2016 almost ends and you have still 9 days of holiday at work? Well you book a safari-trip to Kenya & a 5-day beach holiday to Zanzibar! While everybody is working their ass off in the freezing cold December in Belgium, we take off to Africa where it is nice & hot. For both of us it is the first time in East Africa and the first time we went on a safari. There is no doubt that we were extremely excited about this trip. Before we left, a lot of people warned us about the danger in Kenya and also the travel advice from the government wasn’t that good… After a lot of research, we decided to take the risk. We must say… we never noticed any sign of danger while we were there. Our advice for when you are in Nairobi; just be careful and avoid certain areas of the city. When you leave the capital, there are only smiling, happy and friendly people. The only danger there is in the national parks, is that you become a dish for a lion, elephant,…
Because it was our first time on a safari, we were a little bit more careful with choosing our safari partner, but we decided to book a 4-day safaritrip with Khanga Safari’s. The communication before arrival was perfect, so we felt confident about this organisation.
DAY 1: Nairobi – Tsavo East National Park
After a short night of sleep in Nairobi, our guides were ready to pick us up at our hotel to drive us to our first safari-stop: Tsavo East. Tsavo is not only the biggest (21 000km2) national park of Kenya, but also the oldest one. It is divided into Tsavo east and Tsavo west. In between there is a railway that can take you from Nairobi to Mombassa at the coast. When we talked to the local people there, they were telling us that Tsavo is really an underrated park in Kenya. All tourists go to Masaai Mara & Ambsoli, but they assure us that Tsavo is worth a visit! They were not lying; the park is absolutely stunning. Good part about it being underrated, is that we had the park and the hotel for ourselves! Apart from 4 other people we were the only guests, which was awesome. The hotel (Voi Safari Lodge) itself was beautiful and the view is spectacular. It is built on the edge of a hill and you can watch the wildlife from a safe distance from your room or the restaurant.
Tsavo East is known for one of the biggest elephant populations of the world. An extra, the elephants are a little bit red here, due to the dust in the park. Because the park is so big, it is more difficult to find wildlife here, but hey… looking for the animals is part of the fun!
DAY 2: Tsavo East National Park – Tsavo West National Park
Safari means, early mornings, but you get rewarded by the beautiful nature and the wildlife you see during an early morning safari through the park. You get the see the animals wake up and start their day. After 2 hours of animal spotting and taking a lot of pictures, there is a huge breakfast buffet waiting for us at the hotel.
Today we are going to the west side of Tsavo. Again, a day full of wonderful landscapes and several animals. For the second time, we had the park for ourselves, just as the hotel (Ngulia Lodge). Which was nice, because the personnel treat you like a king & queen. In the afternoon, there is another game drive planned, where we hoped to see the big 5. Until now, we have only seen 2 of them.
DAY 3: Tsavo West National Park – Amboseli National Park
At the early morning game drive, we were so lucky to spot a lot of animals and enjoy the nature in this park.
After a delicious breakfast, we are off the Amboseli National Park. First, we stop at Mzima Springs. This is series of four natural springs in the park, which is an oasis of green in the west of the park. Together with a guide, you can get out of the car and watch crocodiles and hippo’s. There is an underwater viewing point, where you can see the weird fished that are swimming there. When we were there, there was a female crocodile that had just laid an egg. We were able to go really close (scared to death then) to her. From the pond, you can watch some hippo’s that are floating and chilling in the water.
When you drive further to Amboseli, you get the see the volcanic activity in the park.
We arrived too early at Amboseli, so we decided to do something extra in the trip and visited a local tribe at a Maasai Village in the neighbourhood. Well you can’t say it is really authentic, because they ask a lot of money so you can enter their village (30 euro per person). When you arrive, they do their traditional dance for you, they explain how they make food and medicine and they show you their house. As Europeans, it is a true cultural shock, but it was nice to meet the local people. Our enthusiasm went down very quickly when they try to sell you all their handmade (you can find them anywhere) souvenirs at ridiculous prices. We wanted to buy 4 bracelets and a ceramic pot and they dared to ask 90 euros for that! Off course we ended up buying nothing! Because of that situations we had mixed feelings about visiting the local tribe.
After our visit to the Maasai Village we arrived at our lodge, Kibo Safari Camp, which was awesome. Our room was a luxurious hut with a view on the Kilimanjaro. You can’t wish for anything more, do you?
And finally, we saw what we were waiting for! Luckily our driver had incredible eyes and spotted somewhere far away lions. We waited for a while and YES, they were coming closer, really close.
We loved our safari tour in Kenya through these national parks. Everything was well arranged, so we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Our driver and guide, Christopher, was fantastic, friendly and made sure that we got the most out of this experience as we could. He was very patient, when we are taking millions of pictures and videos and knew a lot about the wildlife in the park. We had an unforgettable time there! We are not lying when we say this was by far our best holiday EVER!
We made a full travel video on this trip. Curious? You can watch it by clicking here.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our fantastic holiday in Kenya. If you have any questions, please let us know, maybe we can help you!
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And many more stories will come… so stay tuned!
Inne & Gilles