Manager of Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates, Joanne Kennedy, recently spent an action-packed 14 days in Kenya. Following an itinerary of 1 night in Nairobi, 2 nights at the Karen Blixen Camp in Masai Mara, 2 nights at the Satao Elerai Safari Camp in Amboseli National park, 1 night at the Satao Camp in Tsavo East National Park and 2 nights in Mombasa, here Joanne shares with us the highlights of her great African adventure.
After travelling within Kenya on a private aircraft with Bench International tours, it’s now going to be hard to travel any other way. Following an Emirates flight from Brisbane to Dubai and then Nairobi, our Kenyan adventure began in luxury with a drive right up to the private plane where we chose from 10 leather recliner chairs that swivelled 280 degrees. Taking my seat, I turned my chair towards the window so that I could get a bird’s eye view of the scenery. Our pilot was amazing and provided a running commentary, through our individual head sets, of where we were and what we were seeing. After a smooth landing, we swiftly disembarked the plane where a vehicle was on hand to collect us. Finally a flight with no check-in or boarding pass, just a seamless and simple way to travel. I could get used to this!
Some words and phrases that come to mind to describe my visit to Kenya include majestic, serene and exciting. The people are always smiling in Kenya, the children are always happy and waving, the animals are always putting on a show. One of the best shows of all, was a kill I saw on safari in Masai Mara. A cheetah and two of her 6 months cubs killed a Thompson gazelle and then proceeded to have a feeding frenzy. Typically, one might feel a little uneasy at the sight of a cheetah feast but watching from the comfort and safety of our 4-wheel-drive for the best part of an hour was incredibly thrilling. I even managed to catch it on film.
Visiting the Masai Mara village was also a special moment. Upon our arrival the friendly locals put on a show of singing and dancing for us. They also showed us how they live, cook and sell their wares. Throughout my time there I don’t think I stopped smiling. To witness such simple living, really made me appreciate our lifestyle in Australia.
Another highlight of the trip was camping in a cabin at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro in the Amboseli National Park and waking up in the morning to watch the clouds clear to reveal a spectacular snow capped Kilimanjaro. In fact most areas within the Amboseli Satao Elerai Safari camp where we stayed enjoyed a view of the awe inspiring mountain.
But it wasn’t the only camp that boasted amazing scenery. Each camp we stayed at had something different to offer. From the views of the rushing river in front of our tent at the Karen Blixen camp complete with hippos and crocodiles basking in the sun. To make the most of the view, each afternoon we would sit in a long row a few feet from the river and enjoyed Sundowners, Dawa cocktails and bitings (Kenyan word for appetizer). What a life; to be able to just sit and watch animals living in the wild.
Nairobi as an overnight stopover was simple to do too. There is a great restaurant in town called Carnivore that we desperately wanted to go to, but unfortunately time would not permit.
Our last night was spent in Mombassa, which was a great way to end an amazing trip. For our last African meal we dined at the Tamarind Restaurant where I savoured delicious chilli crab served with rice. To make the messy meal less so, the crab was accompanied by a very interesting finger bowl and swinging bucket of warm water, lemon slices and hand towel - a very novel idea.
Of all of the highlights, nothing beats wildlife watching in Kenya. My favourite animals I saw were the giraffes, zebra, cheetahs, lions, hippos, elephants, elands and monkeys. Seeing the baboons and their tiny babies was such a treat while bird watching was incredibly colourful. I loved seeing jackals and dik diks (small antelope) too. Though I didn’t want to get too close to the hyenas, warthogs, crocodiles, wildebeest or buffalo, it wouldn't be Kenya without them.
Contact Jo directly or phone us on 13 70 71 to arrange an amazing holiday in Kenya.
- Travel Associates