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Kenya Safari!

I’ve toured 9 countries in Africa but something always draws me back to Kenya. It is the core soul and heartbeat of the continent. My past clients were profoundly satisfied classifying it “best vacation ever.” This time with the addition of a visit to Jane Goodall’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary it was no different. Africa is best enjoyed within the comradery and comfort of a group. We had a marvelous adventure with our 2 groups of 90 people on the Kenya safaris over 2 two week periods.

It was brilliantly orchestrated and I as I moved my “troops” from Nairobi to Mt. Kenya, Sweetwaters, Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Masai Mara. Our suitcases swelled enroute with purchases of handicrafts nearly bursting our jeeps, but we moved well.

Our deluxe accommodations of swimming pools pampered us in total comfort throughout. It was a trip worth remembering. The highlight was at the Masai Mara were we stayed in luxury tents with en-suite bathrooms (and resident monkeys) as well as a personal day visit with a Masai tribe and village.
There were game drives each morning and afternoon to photograph an astonishing number of animals including the BIG FIVE: Lions, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Leopards, and Rhino. Seven guides in Landovers brought us so close it’s like a virtual Discovery Channel. We’ll saw Mt. Kenya, The Great Rift Valley and Lake Nakuru colored pink teaming with a quarter million flamingos.

We toured the Rothschild Giraffe Center, home of Karen Blixen, (author of “Out of Africa”) and a baby elephant sanctuary. Other safari highlights included hot air ballooning, white water rafting, seeing a cheetah bring down a gazelle and witnessing the migration of about 20,000 wildebeest crossing a river of giant croc’s. It was a spectacle right out of the Discovery Channel. I kissed a Rothschild giraffe and petted a 2 ton rare black rhino named Ronnie. It ended with a farewell feast at the famous Carnivore Restaurant.
This was a meticulously designed program with an easy air schedule and a leisurely itinerary. Nearly everything is included in this budget price of $2500 including air!. My words can’t begin to cover it all. I’ve seen nature’s wild as it was meant to be seen. A part of me was indelibly changed after such an amazing discovery. Karibu sana!

Cheap Flights To Africa

 

A Kenya Safari Holiday Must Include The Meru National Park

The Meru National Park is a must go to destination if you are planning a safari holiday in Kenya.

It is over 320 kms from Nairobi, on the slopes of the Nyambeni Mountain range to the north east of Mount Kenya at an altitude of between 1000-3400 Ft and has an area of over 850 sq Kms.

It has been in existence since 1968 and became famous as the home of George & Joy Adamson and Elsa the Lioness, whose grave is marked here, who lived in the Kora National Reserve, which along with the Bisanadi, Rahole & Mwingi National Reserves are associated with Meru.

Meru is a great place to go for a Kenya Safari Holiday because not only is it wild, beautiful and relatively uncrowded, because it is the least visited of Kenya’s larger Parks, but it also has a good cross section of game to view.

This is brought about firstly by the position of Meru which lies across the Equator, and is split by thirteen rivers and many mountain streams, which branch out from the Tana River at the southern border.

In terms of scenery there is everything from high woodlands to wide open plains with a huge number of riverbanks.

A section of the park has been designated as a wilderness area, and so there are no roads there, although the rest of the park has decent access roads and tracks, which deteriorate quite dramatically in the rains.

The game you should expect to see will include large prides of lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, and Lesser Kudu duiker and Dik Dik antelopes. You may also see some of the largest herds of buffalo in Kenya, with a lot of hippo and crocodile in the rivers. Meru was one of the areas that suffered most through poaching twenty years ago, but good policing and security patrols have driven out the poachers.

There are believed to be over 300 different species of birds here at Meru so if your Kenya Safari Holiday is primarily one of ornithology then you should be more than happy to see species including Peter’s Finfoot, Pel’s fishing owl, kingfishers, bee-eaters to name just a few.

The beauty of Meru is that you will not encounter many other tourists when out on a game drive.

To get to Meru is a question of driving for around eight hours from Nairobi to Meru town. In all probability you’ll need to organize a Safari Lodge package, and this would be part of it. If you want to access Kora National Reserve, along with the Bisanadi, Rahole & Mwingi, then this can be difficult and needs organizing in advance.

There are three airstrips that you can use to access Meru on your Kenya Safari Tour.

The times to visit Meru on your Kenya Safari Holiday are definitely the dry months, and the climate is generally hot and dry with an average altitude of around 2000 feet. You’ll find the nights are quite pleasantly cool, even a jersey in the evenings!!

The summer months are December through March, the rain then falls between March and May. The winter is July to September and it rains again between November and December.

At Meru you will need to take precautions as it is a malaria area, so wear light long sleeved clothing and long trousers with DEET sprayed on as the most effective insect repellent.

You need to sleep under treated mosquito netting, and the doors and windows should be screened against mosquitos. If you are lucky enough to have a fan or even airconditioning then even better, but just remember malaria prophylaxis doesn’t totally prevent Malaria, it’s best to cover up and spray.

The Meru is probably not the best National Park to visit if this is your first ever Kenya Safari Holiday, but if you have an eye for detail and previous experience then you must not leave it out as part of your next Kenya Safari Tour.

 

An Overview of Kenya for Travelers

Kenya is a crossroads country in Africa, which means a little bit of various African countries reside there. More than 40 languages are spoken and as many as eleven different ethnic groups can be identified. The religious breakdown is also very diverse. Despite this variety, the country has a fairly harmonious existence. The national slogan is harambee which loosely translates to lets pull together.

Compared to other sub-Saharan countries, Kenya has historically been advanced in infrastructure and general living standards. During the colonial period, England controlled the country and developed the area. Kenyans were not allowed to participate in government, much like South Africa. As you might expect, Kenyans rebelled and eventually became independent on December 12, 1963. The Kenya People’s Union then became the only political party and ruled until 2002. In October 2002, the National Rainbow Coalition dominated elections.

Following independence, Kenya continued to grow economically and the standard of living was the envy of much of Africa. Unfortunately, corruption threw a wrench in the proceedings the country has suffered from a lurching economy for the last 15 years. In 2003, the country turned things around and things have generally improved since then.

Kenya covers 224,960 square miles and is slightly smaller than Texas. The capital is Nairobi. Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 9,000 feet in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west. The climate varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

The people of Kenya are known as “Kenyans.” Total population is 30 million and growing at 1.7 percent a year. Ethnic groups break down as Kikuyu 21 percent Luhya 14 percent, Luo 13 percent, Kalenjin 11 percent, Kamba 11 percent, Kisii 6 percent, Meru 5 percent. Religious break down is Indigenous beliefs 10 percent, Protestant 40 percent, Roman Catholic 30 percent, Muslim 20 percent. Languages include English, Swahili, and more than 40 local ethnic languages. The literacy rate is 65 percent and life expectancy is 49 years of age.

As this brief overview reveals, the country suffers the economic problems of many countries in Africa. That being said, it is beautiful place that will hopefully overcome such hurdles. It is definitely a place you will remember visiting.