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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania
It's been 3 years, but I still remember my #safari in #Africa like it was yesterday. It was always an #aspirational trip for me, and it certainly did not disappoint. In Kenya and Tanzania, we tracked baboons and lions, and even pitched our tent in the middle of the Serengeti for the most unforgettable night of my life. I know I'll be back to Africa, I can only hope it comes soon.
My first trip to Africa was mindblowing. I say first because I know in my heart that it’s far from the last time I will go there. Africa is real, raw, perspective changing, warm hearted, happy and grateful. The first thing that I realised is that the smallest things mean so much in Africa. A smile, a wave, a high five to a little kid, taking a photo together with children and showing them what they look like in a photo just brightens up their whole world. I am writing this three years after returning and in an instant, my heart is full when I think of the children and people that I met in Kenya and Tanzania.
I travelled with On The Go Tours - It was a great setup with an experienced safari guide, driver and a cook. Being on safari, you learn to expect the unexpected. You’re camping, so accommodation is basic and you definitely need to bring your sense of adventure and your sense of humour. Showers and running water? Sure, on some days. We were grateful to always have clean drinking water and an imaginative cook that managed to create delicious meals over charcoal with a limited amount of ingredients – we loved Esa’s cooking!
Being on safari, you learn to expect the unexpected.
There isn’t a way I can describe the way I felt on the first early morning safari – the sense of anticipation makes your heart beat fast and you know something amazing is going to happen and you just don’t know quite when. That first morning at the campsite, a few of us were having a cup of tea with the cook and I noticed a large baboon ambling across the campsite. Our curiosity turned to mild panic when we realised it was a hyena and the girls and I ran to the camp kitchen and locked ourselves in the wired compound leaving all of the guys outside!
One of the best things about being in a safari truck is that you are above the height of a normal vehicle so you can see a lot more. It’s a photographers paradise and as the first trip with my new SLR camera, I had the most amazing training ground. I will always remember the moment I caught my breath when a giraffe surprised us as he stepped out from behind a tree. I took in the elegant, proud, beautiful way he walked, his big brown eyes with gorgeous long lashes and his cute little antlers pointing up on his head as he stared directly at me – I fell in love then and there.
Kenya and Tanzania Safari
Kenya Budget Safari
Mountain & Valley Discovery Tour in Kenya
The highlights I enjoyed the most were the Masai Mara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengheti National Park. There was one night at the end of our trip where we pitched our tents right in the middle of the Serengeti – unfenced and literally in the wild. I can’t say I slept well that night but it resulted in stories that I will carry with me for life. We were woken by lions roaring within metres of our tent and our guide yelled out from his tent for everyone to get ready immediately to leave on safari. There was no time to do anything but throw on your clothes and shoes and get into the jeeps which were smaller and faster than the truck because a pride of lions were chasing a lioness from another pride out of their territory. Within minutes we were driving alongside 5 roaring lions who were running at top speed chasing the threatening lioness out of their land. There was no time to photograph, I just stood up with my head out of the vehicle rooftop with the wind blowing in my face and marvelled at the incredible sight all around me. This is Africa, unbridled, unhinged and unexpected.
I can’t say I slept well that night but it resulted in stories that I will carry with me for life.
Africa is so exciting as a destination and it has so much to offer. You never know what each day will bring, who and what you will come across and most importantly, how it will change your heart. I dream of the next time I will return to Africa and I can’t wait to experience it all again. Just go and do it at least once in your lifetime and make sure you know two things: How to smile and say “Jambo” - it means hello in Swahili. It’s all you need.