Kenya is known for its amazing safaris in the Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli Park. It makes anyone appreciate the wonders of nature and nothing can beat the excitement of seeing the animals; especially the predators at such close quarters. A photo-feature on this exotic destination by Geeta Prakash.
The lazing lion couple, grubby gawking wild boars, grazing antelopes, sharp-eyed cheetahs feeding on a hunted antelope, glossy-manned wildebeest, a motionless sunbathing brown water-python, an uninterested jackal, pack of curious hyenas, romantic Masai giraffe pair, an elephant herd protecting the many elephant calves, hippos, early-rising ear-twitching rhinos & the mud-waltzing big African Buffalos – we saw them all – the impressive beasts in the wild.
The highlights, in my opinion, were the sighting of the wildebeast migration, the many species of colourful birds, and the exciting thrill when surrounded by hundreds of wild African elephants.
A major incident to remember was our encounter with a charging elephant bull, angered by the uninterested elephant cow and a lazy hippo by the lake, who came charging towards our boat in a moment of madness. But the safari drivers and other experts seemed to be aware of not only the beauty, but also the dangers lurking in the wilderness.
The visit to a Maasai village and meeting the tribe offered a glimpse into their lives intertwined with nature and the wild animals, and the mutual respect the humans and animals have for each other and the boundaries they maintain.
Tips for travellers
There are plenty of tips on the web, but some important ones are:
- Food – eat only cooked food
- Vaccinations – there are many recommended by the health agencies. The question is: Do we need them all? For example, a vaccination to avoid infection by worms that is available in sweet water like lakes. Before the trip it seemed unnecessary, but we went on a boat ride in Lake Nakuru, where kids dipped their fingers into the water. This did not worry the parents much, since we know they had the vaccination against any sweet water worm infections. So, taking the vaccinations recommended by the WHO and other health agencies not only prepares the body against foreign invasions, but also keeps the mind at peace.
- Clothes – wear light colours so as not to attract insects. The hotels are all prepared with mosquito nets and repellants, but still carry mosquito sprays.
- It’s best to take children at an age when they appreciate nature and wild animals, when they can understand the need to stay quiet not to disturb a lion lazing around, or when surrounded by wild animals close to your jeep. Get them interested and suggest that they document their experience. An inexpensive camera or a mobile phone could help them take photos.
- Binoculars are a must.
- Prepare yourselves with what to expect in these safaris – it will be a long day, starting at around 6:30 am (the Safari usually starts at 7). It ends between 4-7 pm.
- Think about how you want to record the beautiful visit, which might be an once-in-a-lifetime visit, be it photos or videos or blogging later. The photos you see here are some of my favourite. So get inspired and book your trip!
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