07 September 2014

5 Top Reasons to visit Kenya

5 Top Reasons to visit Kenya

Kenya has been the
top African safari destination for decades for at least 5 good reasons. During the times of “Out of Africa” the people came for the big game hunt, but fortunately that has changed. Compassionate people like the Adamsons, known from the lioness Elsa (Born free) did enormous efforts to preserve nature and wildlife, that future generations will be able to see lions and elephants still in the wild. Safaris in Kenya are heaven for wildlife photography and nature lovers.

Top reasons to visit safari country Kenya are:

  1. The Great Migration in the Masai Mara with the spectacular Mara River crossings.
  2. The country is still wild with unspoiled national parks and national reserves for authentic African safari experiences.
  3. The sheer size and number of national parks and national reserves with a great diversity in landscape, vegetation and wildlife.
  4. The incredible tribal culture of the Masai and Samburu.
  5. The very beautiful coast with places like Lamu, Watamu and Diani Beach as the perfect safari extensions.

Kenya is
great year round and not only during the Great Migration. There is always plenty of wildlife in the Masai Mara and the other national parks and reserves. Kenya offers enough to see and do for many more than one African safari. It is a safari destination to visit again and again without ever getting enough.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Top South African safari tour: Best of Kruger & Cape Town

The classic top 2 must see South Africa sights are Kruger National Park and Cape Town. The vibrant mother city with Table Mountain, beaches and the famous V&A Waterfront is perfect to enjoy great hospitality, delicious food, shopping and sight seeing. Kruger National Park offers outstanding Big Five sightings and the safari of a lifetime.

The chosen safari lodge is a
private game reserve in the Sabi Sands, an area renown for exceptional leopard sightings. A maximum of 6 guests on the game drive vehicles and professional ranges and trackers allow great wildlife sightings. Not to speak of great service and food. The stay at the lodge is fully inclusive.

African safari tour is very convenient with direct flights from Johannesburg to the safari lodge and from the safari lodge to Cape Town (the itinerary can also be reversed). Your time will be used for holiday only and not for layovers at airports or waiting in queues. This 8-day tour is a great getaway with only highlights on the list.

View and download the itinerary

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

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

How to make sure you can go off road on African safari

Going off road on African safari game drives is essential for the safari experience. It makes a big difference seeing the lion a hundred meters away or 3 meters away. Not only for wildlife photography lovers, but also for all safari guests, seeing the Big Five through the binocular is not the same than having them sitting next to you.

Be aware, that in general
national parks do not allow off road driving. Also night game drives are prohibited, except for some parks exclusively for their own operations with limited numbers of guests. Safari National Parks are open to the public and it would do severe damage to the bush and animals, if off road game drives would be allowed. To make people listen high fines are in place and guides can loose their license.

The situation is different on
private game reserves. Game drives are regulated and rules for the number of vehicles on sightings are in place. Off road driving is allowed for the Big Five, but not to see an impala close up. Also there the protection of the bush and wildlife is of concern, but due to the private character of the game reserve, the safari experience is so much better. It is an incredible experience to follow a leopard through the bush and being able to witness otherwise hidden wildlife interactions or even a hunt. Private game reserves or private concessions are in all major safari areas like Sabi Sand/Kruger South Africa, Okavango Botswana or Masai Mara Kenya.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa