It was a few years ago that the idea of an African Safari came up in conversation that we decided to give it a more serious thought. Despite the fact that I absolutely love animals, I was a bit hesitant mainly due to the fact that the trip is known to be quite outdoorsy. And at the time, I was not a get in touch with nature kind of person, in any way, shape, or form. But nevertheless, my adventurous side got the best of me and the next thing I knew, we were all geared up for the trip of a lifetime. As it turned out, it was the most humbling trip that I have ever been on my entire life. That is why I decided to share my magical experience with you. This particular trip has transformed me in many positive ways, from being more of an outdoor person to someone who now has a much deeper understanding and appreciation for Mother Nature and the wonderfully captivating African wild life.
And so we began our journey in Samburu, north of Kenya where we spent the first three days of our week long African Safari tour. We chose to stay in a very quiet and seclusive hotel called Saruni. It is a very small place with only 6 villas with an endless view of the Samburu land. There was a rapture of intense peace and quiet here making one feel that our journey has taken us to the end of our planet where only the most beautiful sunset and enchanting night sky await.
We had two full days to explore the Kalama Conservancy, Buffalo Springs National Park and Samburu National Park. The Game Drives would start before sunrise as we need to be at the park before the morning hunt for food began. The journey through the rough terrain was quite exciting with breathtaking view of the emerging sunset and wild life shortly thereafter.
I distinctly remember one of the first animals that we came across was an elephant and though we have all loved watching them back at the city zoo, seeing these animals live free in the wild is a whole other feeling that can only be described as breathtaking. That was their land and we were fortunate enough to be able to witness how they live and coexist with one another. But the excitement of our first Game Drive did not end there as we also came across many different exotic creatures that either fascinated or scared the bejesus out of me.
Yes, this did happen when a graceful but obviously hungry leopard came down from a tree and crossed our path as he proceeded to hunt for breakfast.
After our stay in Samburu, the rest of our trip was in Masai Mara where we spent the remaining four nights in one of the 12 luxury tents at the Naibor Camp. But as mentioned earlier, I was not an outdoor person nor have I ever been on a camping trip so the mere thought of spending my nights in a tent surrounded by wild animals was the last thing I would dream of for myself. However, I must take all of that back as it was the most wonderfully stripped back experience I have encountered on any trips thus far. The tent was of the highest standard, spacious, has everything you need and very comfortable. In the evening while we slept, guards stood over the premises or patrolled the entire area so there was never a worry that an uninvited wild guest would just stop by to say hello.
These two camp photos are from www.Naibor.com
Similar to Samburu, our Game Drives started around 6AM with breakfast in the bush shortly after sunrise. The drives continued until midday where we would head back to camp for lunch and some afternoon rest. Then, it was back out again for the evening drive just before sunset.
Sunset over Masai Mara
Along the way, we experienced nature in its most purist and uninhibited form with all different kinds of wild life cohabitation all the while hunting or caring for each other in order to survive.
However, two distinct experiences stood out and will forever hold a very special place for us. First and foremost, the people of Samburu and Masai Mara were two of the kindest people we have ever met during all of our travels throughout the world. They openly welcomed us into their land and share the jewels that made up this amazing journey. All of our guides worked hard to make sure we experienced the most amazing journey of our lives. In addition, toward the end of our stay, we had the opportunity to visit some of the villages and were met with such warmth and genuine friendliness making it more difficult to leave such a magical and beautiful land.
Second, the disreputable annual wildebeest migration into the Masai Mara by crossing the Mara river where impending dangers were everywhere for these herds of wildebeest that also included zebra. It was not the easiest moment to capture as it was unpredictable where exactly the crossing would take place. There were hundreds of spectators impatiently waiting as well as hoping that they have situated at the right spot for that much awaited photo opportunity. And once it did happen, a magical and very powerful force took control of the entire area as all went utterly quiet and the only distinct sounds were the fast moving clicks from our cameras and the thunderous movement of the crossing itself. One cannot escape the reality that not only you can see but also feel for what they have to go through as danger awaits.
And in fact, there was a moment as captured below where a zebra had merely escaped a crocodile as it was not able to fit his large jaw into this zebra’s neck and had to let it go. And more so to our amazement was when the younger and much smaller zebra who was swimming behind the croc had enough sense and turned back before he can be spotted.
There were many incredible moments and there are hundreds of photographs from our one week adventure in both Samburu and Masai Mara. Words alone cannot describe how humbling and magical the entire journey was so I have chosen here those particular moments that have captured my heart during this bewildering holiday. As we ventured out on our daily Game Drives, time seemed to stand still as we observed the way of wild life in Africa. It is no different from how we lead our daily lives, the settings and place might be different, but the law of nature will always coexist between two worlds. We look forward to one day return to Africa and continue on with the next chapter of our adventure.