Text & Pictures by Melinda Stevens
Jambo, Karibu Kenya. Three words you will hear from every person you greet, three words you hear the minute you get off your flight, three words you will never forget.
When I was told I would be going on a 10 day trip to see the highlights of Kenya I could not believe that I was the lucky one chosen to do this trip.
Our trip started with one night in Nairobi, as im sure most of you would be, I was nervous as to what to expect. Nairobi is a lot of what I expected, bad traffic, congested roads and lots of people. In saying this, Nairobi wouldn’t be Nairobi if it didn’t have all of this, this is what they are accustomed to, this is their every day life and they love and accept it, I did not meet one local who could say to me they didn’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of their city.
We then had a quick one hour flight to Mombasa, where we were greeted with a friendly cultural dance. Our one night stay at Sarova Whitesands was an amazing experience; they put together a private beach barbecue for the 9 of us. With hand woven straw hats and carved out coconuts to drink from, we partied the night away singing karaoke!!
Our next stop was the Tsavo west Nationalpark, a four hour drive from Mombasa and well worth the visit. It is home to the red Elephants, they are red because they dust themselves with the red dust found in the park.
The next part of our journey was a six hour drive from Nairobi to Shaba National reserve. Possibly one of my favorite places. Samburu is home to the reticulated Giraffe and the Gerenuk. The Gerenuk is one of my new favorite animals, it looks like an Impala, but smaller, and when they eat they stand on their back legs to reach the leaves of the tree. We also saw the Grevy’s Zebra, also only found in Samburu region, its stripes are much closer together and much prettier than our normal Zebra.
After spending two wonderful nights at Shaba we made our way on a 6 hour drive to Lake Nakuru, where if you are in season, get to see thousands of pink flamingos. Unfortunately by the time we got there they had already migrated, but we still got to see plenty of pelicans littered across the banks of the lake. Here you get to see views of the lake, views you have never seen before. We also got the chance to see huge herds of Zebra and Buffalo.
After our night at Lake Nakuru we got ready for the 6 hour drive to the Masai Mara, a part of the trip I had been really looking forward to and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
I had so many expectations of the Masai Mara and every expectation was met, if not exceeded. We saw Leopard, a lioness and her cub feeding on a recent Zebra kill, Cheetah jumping on the Safari vehicle parked next to us, and a pack of about 13 Lioness, we also had a very anxious moment by being nearly chased by a very angry mommy Elephant looking out for her barely three day old baby, we saw it all.
We also got the chance to visit a Masai Village. What an experience to share their culture. It is also so sad to see them loose this culture to modern day life.
This has to be one of the best trips I have ever had the privilege of experiencing and would tell every one that Kenya is a must for the bucket list.