Author: Trevor Charles
Many questions hover at the backs of our minds every time we resolve to visit a new place. Is it safe? Will I enjoy the trip? What fun things can I expect? Worry no more- well, for your Kenyan safari at least. In this write up, we inform you of the 7 most adventurous things to do and see during a safari in Kenya.
- Game Drives in Maasai Mara
A Kenya safari is never complete without game drives in the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. This park has a wide array of wildlife including the Big 5 and spectacular vistas.
Most holiday packages to the Mara tend to be costly. Just as rough guide, a budget, 3 days Masai Mara safari cost anything from $200 per person for non-residents. A luxury holiday in the Mara can set you back as much as $2000 per day, but it comes with all the trims and accommodation in the best safari lodges such as Sir Richard Branson owned Mahali Muzuri.
For a budget-friendly Mara experience, consider visiting during the off-season months from January- June. Also, working with Nairobi based travel agencies such as AjKenyasafaris.com is normally cheaper than booking your safari to Kenya with international tour operators.
Game drives in Masai Mara give you a chance to see the Big Five up close. You may opt for a full day game drive, a half day game drive, a night drive or a combination of both day and night drives. Expect to see lions, cheetahs, leopards, large herds of elephants, spotted hyenas, oryx, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, and numerous other African animals.
Lionesses and cubs in the savannah. Photo: unsplash.com
- Zip Lining at Kereita Forest
Kereita Forest is part of the Aberdares National Park and has excellent ziplining facilities. The 2.4 Kilometer-long zipline is the longest in East Africa and it can have you cruising at speeds of up to 75Km/hr! That’s faster than the average horse on the Kentucky Derby race!
The zipline is maintained in strict observance of the EU safety standards and the facilitators are always at hand to guide you through the activity. While ziplining is the main attraction at Kereita, there are other supplementary activities such as archery, paintball, fly fishing and mountain biking available on site
Tip: The easiest and most convenient way to get there is by self-drive. It is also advisable to do your bookings well in advance to avoid having to wait upon arrival.
Children on a zip line. Photo: pixabay.com
- Climb Mt. Kenya
Scaling the slopes of the second highest mountain in Africa is a feat whose thrill cannot be overstated. The highest peak of this summit in known as Batian and stands at an elevation of 5199 meters. As with most mountains, you are at liberty to scale the heights you are most comfortable with. Aside from Batian, the mountain has two other peaks, the lowest being point Lenana at 4985 meters and Nelion peak in the middle at 5188 meters.
The locals are mostly comprised of members of the Gikuyu community, who traditionally revered the Mountain as God’s dwelling place.
Tip: Customarily the climbing party is accompanied by a crew of guides and helpers. It is advisable to find out how many people shall be accompanying you to carry sufficient cash for tips.
Picture of a mountain. Photo: unsplash.com
- See the Great Wildebeest Migration
Ordinarily, the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is the arena where a dramatic life or death dances are a constant.
If you plan your holiday in Masai Mara between July and November, you will witness the largest land migration on earth; the great wildebeest migration. During the migration, over 1.2 million wildebeest, zebras and various species of antelope migrate from Serengeti National Park into Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.
The climax of the Masai Mara migration safari is the Mara river crossing which occurs between June and August.
Tip: When in the jungle, it is best to wear clothes whose colors blend in with the environment, such as khakis, greens and browns.
Annual Wildebeest migration. Photo: unsplash.com
- Cultural visits
Africa is the second largest Continent on earth, with a dizzying plethora of peoples and cultures. In Kenya, there are 42 indigenous communities, each with its own unique customs and traditions.
Some of the most distinctive people are the Maasai. Not only have they preserved their culture, but they also live harmoniously with the wildlife. A visit to a Maasai village gives you a glimpse into the culture of these incredible people. The tall Maasai Morans (warriors) might even do their famous jumping dance (Adamu) for you!
Tip: Since the Maasai are a highly nomadic people, it is best that you ask your tour planner or hotel to organize the village tour for you, as they will be best placed to know where the Maasai are.
A Maasai man. Photo: unsplash.com
- Marine safari
With its 1420 Km long coastline, the Kenyan coast presents you with varied marine activities. Why not scuba dive in Diani, snorkel in Malindi and visit heritage sites such as the 14th century town of Lamu, the Fort Jesus in Mombasa and the Gede ruins ?
In the evenings, you can go for romantic dhow rides as you enjoy an ocean scape featuring the iconic African sunsets. Another option as you wind down your day is stand-up paddle boarding. Depending on the time of year, you could spot a family of Dolphins while at it!
Sea view. Photo: unsplash.com
- How about a culinary adventure?
There is an African saying that states that ‘one who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others.’ In that spirit, you will find people readily inviting you to sample a Kenyan meal.
This may include indigenous cuisine such as ugali (maizemeal), matoke (green bananas), Sukuma wiki (kales), mishikaki (skewed grilled meat) or even traditional greens all cooked the Kenyan way. It is a great way to learn more about the locals- so why not give it a try?
Meat on skewers ready for grilling. Photo: unsplash.com
In conclusion, as you prepare for your exciting safari, it is important that you remember that Yellow Fever vaccination is a pre requisite before you travel to Kenya. You could also enquire from your doctor about Malaria vaccines and always remember, it never hurts to plan ahead.