Diana’s First Trip to Africa
Kenya Knocks Her Socks Off!
Diana’s Kenya safari included visits to:
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
- Nairobi’s Giraffe Center
- Amboseli National Park
- Laikipia Plateau
- Masai Mara Game Reserve
First time in Africa…
Diana has been working with AAC for over a year now, and we’ve been eagerly anticipating the day she would first set foot in Africa. That opportunity came in October when she visited Kenya for two weeks to learn about the country’s culture and wildlife. She knew what to expect, of course. She’s been neck deep in all things Africa since she started. What she didn’t expect was how much more incredible everything seemed in real life.
The animals she saw, the people she met, the lodges she visited – it all knocked her socks off. She’s caught the ‘Africa bug’ – we were pretty sure that would happen! Here’s her story…
Nairobi is like most other cities – busy. But there is a gem right at the southern tip of the city – Nairobi National Park. I appreciated that the city has decided to keep this 45-square mile park right at its border. I had the privilege of doing two separate game drives here, and once out in the bush, it’s easy to forget you are so close to a major city.
In Nairobi, I also visited David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and learned about the efforts being put into saving Kenya’s orphaned elephants and rhinos, along with the steps taken to reintroduce them into the wild. The Giraffe Center is a MUST if you are ever in Nairobi. You get to learn about these majestic animals, feed them, and if you are brave enough – get a smooch from them!
If you love shopping, then you must stop at Utamaduni Craft Center. There are about 18 different craft shops in one large house and you can buy anything from bookmarks to furniture. It’s a lovely place and afterwards you can enjoy some lunch at their restaurant, sitting outside in their gardens.
“This location is perfect to relax and enjoy the surrounding nature.”
I had a few notable sightings in the Mara. The first was a leopard and lion confrontation. The leopard accidentally crossed the path of a lioness and they got into a serious quarrel. Fortunately, the leopard managed to escape by climbing up a tree. The lion then waited around for the leopard, lost interest, and left.
Next, I saw a family of 4 cheetahs attack a baby impala. It was an intense thing to witness a kill, and a very uncommonly lucky sighting from what I understand. The family was made up of a mother cheetah and her 3 sub-adult offspring – all pretty grown up and close to being left behind by their mother.
I witnessed a pack of hyena dining on a wildebeest and vultures waiting in a circle around the hyena for their turn to eat. It was a grand view to see the way the food chain works in action.
My favorite experience above all was lying in my tent at night being kept awake by lions calling to one another across the river. It was magnificent!
“My favorite experience was lying in my tent at night being kept awake by lions calling to one another across the river.”
And that was my first trip to Africa. Kenya is beautiful and has so much to offer. The wildlife is breathtaking. The camps are world class. The people are magnificent – kind, thoughtful, and smart. The overall experience made me hungry to see more of the African continent. I can’t wait to go back!