Susan’s Top 5 Experiences in Kenya
Senior Operations Specialist Susan recently visited Kenya. During her time there she visited Nairobi, the Masai Mara, Mara Naboisho Conservancy, and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. She shares her top five highlights from the trip below!
I loved visiting Kenya in June. The weather is cooler and there are fewer tourists. It’s not the right time to see the wildebeest migration but there are still many amazing resident animals. The long, green grasses in the Masai Mara this time of year made the gorgeous landscape even more stunning. Without further ado, here are my top 5 experiences in Kenya:
- Nairobi – David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 5 pm Visit: I fostered the sweet elephant Maisha (meaning ‘life‘ in Swahili), so I was able to avoid the 11 am crowds, as elephant fosters have the option of a VIP visit. There were only about 20 other guests, so it was a very intimate time spent watching the elephants come back and get settled in for the night. It was wonderful to see how much the elephant keepers really care about the animals. I would also recommend lunch or dinner at Talisman if you visit Nairobi. The restaurant has delicious organic food and lovely indoor/outdoor seating. It’s easy to while away a few hours on the terrace snacking and enjoying the ambiance or strolling through their latest art installation.
- Game Viewing: The Masai Mara has great game viewing all year long. The migration passes through from around August to October, but the other months of the year still provide incredible game viewing activities. The scenery was stunning but spotting the majestic male lion, Blackie, stole the show and my heart! Also, there were so many babies – baby lions, elephants, zebras and even a baby rhino.
- Tented Camps: I personally prefer to stay in a tented camp instead of a lodge. It keeps me closer to the nature I’ve come to see. The sounds of cicadas, lions, elephants, hippos and hyenas in the distance are incredible – nothing compares. I especially loved Naboisho Camp. It has gorgeous tents and the location of the campfire was amazing for stargazing. The camp is in a private conservancy that borders the Masai Mara. There was more game in the conservancy than in the Mara, and unlike the Mara, you can do night games drives and walking safaris. There were no crowds at all, which was wonderful.
- Equator: I loved crossing the equator while driving from Nairobi to Ol Pejeta. The drive was very scenic, from pineapple fields to mountains, including the craggy peak of Mount Kenya looming in the distance. Stopping on the equator to stretch our legs and take an obligatory photo under the equator sign was fun and sent me home with a nice keepsake.
- Laikipia/Ol Pejeta: Visiting the last two northern white rhinos in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, as well as the commemorative site for Sudan (the very last northern white male rhino who passed away earlier this year due to age-related health issues) were poignant stops, and a good reminder of why tourism is so important. It provides jobs and helps protect wildlife.