The Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park, the Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park (Kenya) together with The Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania) are some of Africa’s most famous wildlife parks. The image of acacia trees on an endless grass plain epitomised Africa for us and then added to the scene, Masai warriors and their cattle. It was so colourful.
The annual wildebeest and zebra migration through the Serengeti and Masai Mara is the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet, with more than a million animals following the rains. This year good rains came in April, so by the beginning of May when we were there, the animals were already gathering to cross the river and outwit the crocodiles. This is a sight that will remain firmly imprinted in our memory box.
We saw 'The Big Five'; buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros and all manner of other animals, along with hundreds of species of birds. In special 4WD vehicles with pop up roofs, carrying a maximum of 7 passengers, we came very close to many animals. Imagine seeing four very tiny lion cubs crossing the track below us, meowing to their mother who was on the other side calling for them! Then came herds of elephants, and ladders of giraffe, again with babies. We just wanted to reach out and touch them, they were so close!
Mount Kilimanjaro with a cap of snow on its peak, popped out of the clouds and added a beautiful backdrop to many photographs. Africa is a photographer’s playground!
The accommodation of up-market tented camps was so much fun, and quite novel having a warrior escort us to and from our tents when darkness fell, checking that naughty monkeys didn’t dart into our rooms and snatch things. All meals were included, and there was a good range on the menu, so we were spoilt in that department.
Our pre and post safari accommodation was at the legendry Sarova Stanley Hotel in Kenya. It opened in 1902 and still retains its old-world charm; cosy leather chesterfields, a conservatory breakfast room and patterned marble floors in the foyer that the likes of Princess Elizabeth, Duke of Edinburgh and Ernest Hemingway have walked upon.
It was a wonderful two weeks!