Africa Kenya Travel

On safari in Kenya: Galleries and tidbits from my adventure

Jambo! Welcome to my Kenyan safari. An absolute dream three years in the making.

Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is extremely lush and known as a rhino sanctuary, so if you’re out with a guide I’m guessing they’ll make it a priority to find rhinos – both black and white – first. My guide was great and over a couple of nights in the park we saw about 16 white rhinos and four black rhinos. Black rhinos are a much smaller population and are extremely skiddish. Consider yourself lucky if you come across one. If you don’t see rhinos in Nakuru, you’re unlikely to see them in other Kenyan parks.

My favourite memory though from this sanctuary had to be the first morning game drive. About 10 minutes in, we saw a mother lion and her three (big) cubs. Cubs stay with their moms and away from the pride until the age of two. Up until this point she also hunts for them. My guide and I sat about six feet from the four of them for a half hour, unbothered by other animals and even other tour groups. It was amazing.

Masai Mara

Everything good you’ve heard about Masai Mara is true. The park is huge, hundreds of miles in radius and you really need a great guide (thanks, Danson) to see the big five. Patience is absolutely a virtue in the park because without it you could easily give up and go back to camp. There may be an hour in the day when you see nothing, or perhaps you’re searching for the elusive jaguar and keep coming across antelope and zebras.

For first-time safari goers, I suggest requesting early morning games drives (6am start) and late afternoon game drives (3pm). The animals seem to be the most active at those times. Midday in summer means full-on sun. You won’t catch most of the animals in direct sunlight during this time, instead opting for a bush or shady tree.

Also, while the park can get busy with other cars, be thankful. Without fellow tours, you might never see some animals. A gathering of safari cars is a green flag that something like a big cat is sleeping under a bush or in tall grass. That’s exactly how I sighted my first of two leopards.

Amboseli National Reserve

Amboseli should be Swahili for elephant as opposed to tembo because this park is overflowing with large herds. I went during the dry season and had to patiently, yes this again, wait out a dust storm the first day. The landscape isn’t lush during the dry season, making it easy to spot animals, especially large ones from miles away.

Amboseli has the beautiful backdrop of Mount Kilamanjaro and ”Rafiki” trees, as I like to call them. It also has a very large lake in the center where you can find flamingos, hippos, elephants, basically all animals at some point in time. I’d love to return to this park during the wet season when it’s green and booming with babies.

Pro tip: Invest in a camera. While my iPhone was great for photo and video, some of the best were taken by my Sony A6300. A standard lens should do the job as it will allow for a slight zoom.

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