Safari is a Swahili word that means journey. The first mention of the word often people will describe a safari as a trip to Africa where one expects to see the wildlife, stay in remote places. However, this is not always the case. A safari can be anything from experiencing wildlife, enjoying the beach, meeting and learning interesting cultures as well as engaging in extreme activities like bungee jumping, water rafting, rock climbing and mountain climbing. In this article we highlight several pointers on what your mum will not tell you about a safari. Being away from home on a safari can bring lots of thrill and fun as well as a spirit of adventure which is not limited to the young but cuts across all ages.
- SAFARIS ARE NOT ALL ABOUT GAME DRIVES
Although a safari in Kenya will have a Game drive included in them it does not have to be only about game drives. Kenya boasts of Beautiful beaches, and lots of top notch locations apart from the Games drives of tour various parks.
- WHERE YOU STAY GUARANTEES YOUR EXPERIENCE
There are all types of accommodation for all budgets. For that reason, your accommodation of choice really matters on how you experience your safari. There are hotels and cottages that are at the beach front at the coast making it an ideal location for beach lovers. For the wildlife enthusiast, accommodation within the park and ideally near watering holes and rivers one will be guaranteed of a magnificent experience with wildlife. There are literally all kinds of accommodation to cater for all kinds of needs; they include luxury, camping, hiking accommodation facilities for mountain climbers especially within our various major mountains like Mount Kenya, and Mount Elgon.
- GAMES DRIVES ARE MAGICAL
There are lots of websites and blogs that highlight how magical Kenya is and how our game drives are quite spectacular, however, no one ever tells you that the magical game-drives are mostly defendant on the time, location, the guide and sometime even the season. For instance an afternoon game drive will not guarantee you of much wildlife unlike a morning game drive. It is therefore of paramount importance that one trusts their guide as they mostly will understand the terrain and can discover possible wildlife hideouts. Night game drives are also available in some private conservancies hence spicing up your safari.
- NO GAME DRIVE IS SIMILAR TO THE OTHER
As much as Kenya boasts of an abundance of wildlife, one may expect or assume that all game drives to be similar. Nothing can be profoundly different than the various game drives one will undertake while in Kenya. Right from the Nairobi National park in capital Nairobi, to the savanna in the Maasai Mara to the extreme North, game drives will have one experience not just the wildlife but different terrain, temperatures, wildlife and cultures. For instance a game drive in the Maasai Mara that is famous with the wildebeest migration may have one experience a lion hunt on one end, a huge family of buffalos or elephants on another and during the wildebeest migration get to see the magical migration while on an unlucky day experience minimal activity in the park. At the Northern circuit, the parks is home to unique species like the reticulated Giraffe, gravy zebras, Besil Oryx, Long necked gerenuk, the Somali Ostrich among others.
- KENYA IS NOT ALWAYS UNSAFE
Whilst I must agree that some parts of Kenya can be relatively unsafe especially with the threat of terrorism attacks that the world has been experiencing in the past few years, Kenya is generally a safe place to visit. In the past, there have been several directives from various foreign embassies on places that travelers should avoid. However it should be noted that Kenya’s tourist attractions are always very much on high alert as well as the entire country. Where security is an issue the security department from the government always issues an alert. Tourists are always encouraged to visit and enjoy their stays with not fear. As is with other countries worldwide simple security precautions should be encouraged.
- SAFARI DRESS CODE
It’s always interesting to see a traveller wearing full gear of khaki. Not that it’s wrong, only it looks very 1900’s. Well, safaris in Kenya have no particular dress code. Light clothing is encouraged as the weather is generally on high temperatures. The months of June, July to August are generally cold and one may pack a few warm clothing. However, for someone coming from very low temperatures of below one degree, they may find Kenya’s winter to be quite nice and warm. Visitors intending to engage in mountain climbing, and other extreme sports should remember to pack essentials for the activities like hiking boots.
- FORGET YOUR SLEEP
For the duration you will be visiting Kenya, one might as well forget there morning sleep as most activities begin quite early if one is fully experience their safari as early as 6am. For one to see the wildlife in there beings and in plenty, a morning game drive is inevitable. This takes place by 6am which means you will need to forfeit your morning sleep. If you must sleep in or are not an early bird, then you might as well avoid the morning activities, though it would be nice to experience some of them as they are quite memorable. Similarly for the dhow rides and to marine parks, one is encouraged to engage in the activities early in order to maximize on the various activities that one can undertake. That’s not to mean that one cannot undertake the same experiences in the evenings.