During July and August this year I was fortunate to visit Kenya and Tanzania. I wrote a few posts on Facebook and I was subsequently amazed by how many people read, commented and asked if I'd write more about this beautiful country and her people.
I am fortunate enough to have now visited Kenya three times, and my love affair with the game reserves and National Parks really began in the 90's when I was invited by Somak Travel to experience my first taste of wild Africa. Because Somak Travel demonstrated such excellent knowledge and care to detail on this trip and my next one, I didn't hesitate to contact them when it came to arrange our special holiday this year.
This trip, my husband, Chris, and I flew by Emirates to Nairobi for our first night stay in the gorgeous Nairobi Serena Hotel. Considering we were in the heart of this frantic capital city, the hotel was an oasis of calm and tranquility. It had been over 20 years since I'd last stayed here and I wasn't prepared for the enormous increase in traffic. A journey of only a few miles can take an hour at certain times, and this is worth remembering if you want to cross the city during 'rush' hour by taxi.
Somak Travel has a dedicated compliment of knowledgeable staff and these people eased our way both before and during our trip. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them. 10/10 so far!
After leaving Nairobi, we had our first day travelling 'up country', en route to the stunning Aberdare mountains for one night's stay in the Aberdare Country Club. The journey took just under four hours and during that time we climbed from a height of 5,500 feet (1.680m) to 6250 feet (1905m) - if you get a headache put it down to the altitude and not the wine!
The Aberdare Country Club is gorgeous old colonial. Set in the national park, there is a fenced off area where you are taken by a guide to explore and view game. Within the large grounds of the hotel however, we were within waking distance of warthogs, gazelle, giraffes and zebra. Magic! and are first taste of wild life up front and not behind the bars of a zoo.
That night we enjoyed wonderful cuisine, and then afterwards we curled up in bed with hot water bottles after enjoying a night cap outside warming our hands and faces in front of the fire pit. High altitude has to have some compensation!
The next day we had another four hour drive, through sumptuous countryside as we made our way to Buffalo springs, in the Samburu game reserve - one of my favourite game reserves.
We'd driven north across the equator, and I could hardly wait to see our camp which was to be our base for a few nights. Ashnil Camp exceeded all expectations. Superb accommodation, great food and the game viewing excellent. Samburu is not as large as the Masai Mara or the magnificent Serengeti in Tanzania, but it has its own uniqueness...fewer visitors and species of animals which are not found elsewhere...reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and Somali ostrich. We were also lucky to view lion, less than half a mile from our lodge and on the last morning we were woken by the sound of lions roaring as they made a kill.
A fantastic trip so far and loads more to share...please look out for part two of my elephant walk blog.
Thanks for dropping by,