Kenya : Tryst with our wildlife adventure Part I.
Updated: Feb 7, 2021
That's the first word you here when you visit Kenya. Jumbo means "Hello" in Swahili the local language of the country. People of Kenya are so warm hearted and welcoming that you instantly feel at home.
I still remember when I was planning this trip in 2017 and I told my family and friends that I am going to Kenya, everyone laughed at me thinking why would someone go to Kenya instead of so many beautiful places to see in the world. But we were stuck on Kenya, first because I love wildlife and secondly because my 3 years old was more than excited to see the wild animals up close. But believe me every second in Kenya was full of excitement and we did not regret our decision to visit this mesmerizing place even for a moment.
First and foremost thing that needs to be kept in mind while visiting Kenya is that everyone visiting the country needs to get a yellow fever vaccination done, which is done near International Airport, Mumbai one month before the trip. It is also to be noted that you should not be vaccinated for anything else 15 days before the said vaccination. Thankfully I missed the regular vaccination for my son and did not fall into the 15 days bracket. It is very important to take the vaccination 25-30 days before the trip so that your body gets immune to the vaccine.
Kenya is known for its wildlife where you get to see the Big Five. (Lion, African Elephant, cape buffalo, Rhinoceros & Leopard.)
Our's was a 6 days trip to Kenya and we booked it through Veena World tours and travels. Our guide was the driver from safari.com named David Gatua who was extremely knowledgeable, jovial and always on his toes. We are still in contact with him through Facebook.
Aberdare County Club
On our first day we landed in Nairobi and after going through not so very tedious immigration we freshened up for our journey ahead. It was a direct flight from Mumbai, India which took around 6 hrs to reach Nairobi, Kenya. You can buy a local SIM card at the airport itself. We were picked up by Safari.com driver from the airport in a canter; we had our lunch in the canter itself and stopped at our first stop, The Aberdare County Club in the evening where we had a short tea break. Aberdare County Club is one of the best places to stay and is surrounded by Aberdare National Park. We had our tea and cakes surrounded by deer’s, peacock and innumerable beautiful birds. Imagine the excitement of my little one.
Note : We stopped at a local store for shopping and bought some articles for ourselves and family. Bargaining is very important since they quote exorbitant price and in fact give you articles for almost half the price they quote.
Aberdare County Club was the reception to the place we were suppose to stay. So we placed our luggage and carried only one bag to our hotel for the night "The Ark". Staying at Ark is an experience in itself. Surrounded by dense forest on all sides one can get the feel of wildness. It takes around 45 mins of bumpy ride to reach "The Ark" from Aberdare County Club. Once you check in its pure Bliss.
They have a special deck from where you can see the animals that come to drink water in an artificial pond, we caught a glimpse of two of the 5 Big Five's viz. Cape buffalo and heard of Wild Tuskers. We saw baboons and various other creatures and beautiful birds on the deck. The Ark has a unique custom of ringing bells in your room whenever any animal is seen from the deck. For e.g. they ring one Bell for elephant, 2 bells for cape buffalo, 3 rings for Leopard, and so on. Whoever wants to catch the glimpse of the animals can go to the deck and if they don't want any disturbance they can switch off the bell given in the room.
At night before Dinner we were shown wildlife documentary and were also assisted by some wildlife enthusiast to answer our curiosity. While dinner we saw African golden cat outside the hotel in verandah. Unfortunately we had only one night to spend in this beautiful and unique hotel. I could capture some beautiful birds in the morning before checking out from the hotel.
The line of Equator
We check out from "The Ark" early in the morning and started our journey to Lake Nakuru, the most fabulous spectacle in the world. On the way we took a small stop at the line of equator and were demonstrated the the famous water flow experiment which shows water spinning in different directions on both side of the equator and staying stable on the line of equator.
We took another stop at Thompson falls for tea and coffee break, which is exactly midway between Aberdare National Park and Lake Nakuru and is also close to the equator. We got a beautiful view of the falls from the rim of the gorge where they have made a viewing area.
Since we were short of time we did no go to the base of the Waterfalls. People here find various ways to earn money and in one such incident a local guy came and placed a Iguana on my Husband's hand and later charged us for the same.😁
We reached Lake Nakuru Camp for lunch, rested for sometime and left for evening game drive around lake Nakuru at around 4 P. M to catch a glimpse of Rhinos and flamingos. Rhinos are not found in Masai Mara since they prefer to stay near water. As we started the game drive we saw Zebras and Hyenas roaming around freely.
Though it was not a season for flamingos we could capture some on the bank of the lake along with various other water birds including their new borns. We also saw a Rhino family....baby Rhino played careless of who was watching him. We also saw a lion sitting on a tree, resting probably after a good meal. We came back to our lodge excited but wanting for more as our guide cum driver told us that this is just a trailer and picture is yet to be relieved.
After Check out from Lake Nakuru Camp we headed towards the most exciting part of the Trip i.e. Masai Mara where we very lucky to witness live hunt adventure. We will share our experience about the same in our next Blog.