safari

Africa changes people.

It’s not every day that I get to set foot on a brand new continent and there are fewer to choose from. I went there full of trepidation, my head full of worries about crime and disease. Yes Nairobi can be dangerous, but it’s no more dangerous than Bangkok or Rome or New York. Watch out for pickpockets, follow the traffic, don’t go to certain areas, be careful after dark.

As a tourist expect to be harassed to buy stuff. People were friendly, with a purpose, but never hostile. Bargain for souvenirs and walk away if an agreement can’t be made.

Living conditions are basic, especially for the residents, many in huts of concrete walls and tin roofs. Roads full of potholes, sometimes entire sections of the tarmac has fallen away. Toilets are holes-in-the-ground but most times there is paper.

It’s all part of the experience.

The real beauty – the wilderness, the animals.

The contrast between the arid Mara and the lush Aberdares.

The sheer size of the plains.

Salt water lakes.

The heat.

That you can be driving along seemingly empty bushes then you turn a corner and there’s a herd of zebras.

Lions eating an eland.

Baboons fighting.

Thousands of flamingos and pelicans.

Elephants frolicking in the water.

Walking close to giraffes.

The sounds of birds and insects just outside your tent at night.

Here’s what we saw: giraffe, elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, servor cat, baboon, monkey, zebra, rhino, wilderbeest, topi, gazelle, impala, hartbeest, eland, waterbuck, bushbuck, hyena, jackel, warthog, wild pig, mongoose, vulture, eagle, malibu, flamingo, pelican, ostrich, camel.

Details in the travel section.