On Safari

Alison Mees on 01 February 2023
I love wildlife and photography, so decided to spend 10 days on safari in Kenya. I chose February for a few reasons: - It’s cold in the UK - Warm in Kenya and outside the rainy season - Good time to go for wildlife sightings - For the wildebeest migration it will be calving season, so I thought some great photographic opportunities.

Flying direct from London Heathrow to Nairobi in just over 8 hours with Kenya Airways. I personally like the direct flight option, the plane was comfortable, good service and food and with a night flight time to sleep.

Arriving 5.10am into Nairobi, swiftly going through passport control. As you now need to purchase your visa on line before travel, it certainly made things easier and quicker. My safari was tailor made as I wanted to visit two different areas in Kenya, with plenty of wildlife game watching and chance to take photographs.

The first day I spent at Eka Hotel, Nairobi. I liked this hotel as it was just a 15 minute drive from the airport and in a central location. The hotel was very comfortable, staff friendly and welcoming. My room was spacious, comfortable bed, lovely warm shower. Tea & Coffee making facilities in the room which was perfect after a long flight. I spent the day relaxing at the hotel swimming pool, just what I needed. I had both lunch and dinner in the hotel, tasty food and large portions.

Early the next morning I woke, breakfast at the hotel and then departed for the 10 minute drive to Wilson Airport – the domestic airport. Where I took a flight just 45 minutes to Nanyuki Airport. Met by my guide with a huge smile and welcoming ‘Habari’. I jumped into the land cruiser 4 x 4 vehicle and my safari adventure was about to start. The next 3 nights I stayed at Porini Rhino Camp, Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It’s a tented camp, with a waterhole and hide right in front of the camp (this was one of the main reasons I chose this camp). I was not disappointed, early morning start with a game drive before sunrise, a hamper breakfast sitting out on the open plains and only returning to camp just before lunch. Time for a hot bucket shower, then a tasty lunch, freshly prepared by the chef.

After lunch I would go down to the hide and sit and watch the animals and birds coming to the waterhole. Every day buffalo, zebra, elephants, giraffe and impala would visit. At 3:45pm we would have afternoon tea or coffee and cake, then depart for the afternoon game drive, only returning to the camp after sunset. A camp fire would be lit every evening to sit and enjoy a drink around it, followed by a 3 course dinner.

During my 3 night stay I saw black & white rhino (the conservancy has the highest number of black rhino in East Africa), elephants, zebra (including fighting zebra), giraffe, lions, buffalo, jackal, spotted hyena and even a striped hyena – which is rare to see. So many species of birds and the spectacular sunrise and sunset each day.

It was then time for me to depart to the next camp in the Mara. From Nanyuki Airport I flew back to Nairobi and then took another plane to the Mara – 45 minutes. I was staying at Porini Cheetah Camp, in Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Mara. Also a tented camp, just 6 tents so a very friendly feel to the camp. I chose this location, as I particularly wanted to watch and photograph a wildebeest give birth. I was not disappointed over the 4 night stay here. During my stay I got to watch cheetahs hunt, large prides of lions with cubs, bull elephants and families of elephants, jackals, bat eared fox, a leopard in a tree, two wildebeest give birth, plenty of young animals, dramatic skies at sunset. Also visiting a local Masai Village, where I got to visit a home and learn about the Masai culture, fascinating.

It seemed I had been in Africa for ages, each day was so very different, so many wildlife experiences. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, both the camps and areas were very different – which was just want I wanted.

After 7 nights I flew back to Nairobi, where I stayed overnight at Eka Hotel before my early morning flight from Nairobi to London Heathrow. If Africa is on your bucket list you certainly have to make sure you travel there as it is a very special place.