Disasters of a drive-in-African safari in Kenya

An African safari filled with little and big disasters will stick in your memory and often this is the safari you learned and saw the most. In other words a safari with disasters can end up being the best safari ever. They are an intense experience and adventure and will be a fond memory when everything ends well.

For me the
best safari ever was a three weeks trip to the major parks in Kenya with a 4x4 safari vehicle, a driver/guide and a cook, staying at public campsites only. Some hassle was caused by the campsites sanitary facilities. They ranged from hostile to excellent and just a bucket with warm water was often the better option than the offered shower facilities. However, the best shower experience was in Amboseli National Park where the water came directly from Mt. Kilimanjaro and that beats all.

leaking tent and a safari vehicle that fell apart caused a more nerve-wracking disaster. The first 9 days of the three weeks safari were discussions and fights with the safari operator to get the leaking tent and the dysfunctional vehicle replaced. The summit of the first nine days was a flash flood that almost took me in the middle of the night down the river in Samburu National Reserve. The escape margin was only 2 meters and I had a good fright.

After two days of
resetting the safari tour with a new tent and safari vehicle only small things like a sand storm in Amboseli, hundreds of bats in the bathroom in Tsavo East and a flat tire occurred. The new waterproof tent of the size 2.10x1.50x0.75 meters of course never saw a raindrop and the replaced vehicle had never to cope with muddy roads. But it was good to have them, as I’m sure the rains would have continued, if the equipment hadn’t be replaced.

This must all sound like a pretty horrible safari, but it was not. It was an amazing
African safari with fantastic sightings where I learned so much about the bush. This safari felt like the ultimate bush experience I would not have wanted to miss.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa