africa chooses you

 

kenya kids by lauren barrellFor most people choosing to travel to Africa means carefully planning the adventure of a lifetime. For lucky Express reader Barbara Reid that wasn’t quite how her Kenya safari came about, but she enjoyed it so much that it’s almost as if Africa chose her…

“To quote Little Miss Sunshine – “I won, I won, I won!” I received an email informing me I’d won a Kenya Wildlife Safari. After entering competitions for a very long time – it was my turn!

With just under a month I managed to organise airfares, immunisations, visa and myself. I added two extra days in Nairobi before and after the safari. The first two days were filled with visits to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre and the Nairobi National Park. All excellent places to visit. I am now the sponsor of a beautiful baby elephant for a year – a good way to spend tourist dollars.

Our group met in the evening for a briefing and the following morning we were greeted by our leader, Victor, in the truck we were to travel in for the next week. We met our driver – David, and cook – Joshua. Our group numbered twelve, which gave us room to spread out. Five from the UK, one from Denmark, four from Germany and two from Australia – a good mix.

Each day held a highlight, such as the flamingoes at Lake Nakuru; hippos and sea eagles at Lake Naivasha; Masai in the Loita Hills and the amazing animals of the Masai Mara Reserve. Each day we saw lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, elephant, rhino, monkeys, wildebeest, many different breeds of antelope and, of course, brilliant birdlife. A sensory overload.

Outstanding events included the very friendly, hospitable and welcoming Masai tribespeople. We were encouraged to photograph and question. How many people can say they have had an escort of a Masai warrior, armed with bow and arrows, whilst on a nocturnal visit to the loo. Thorn bush fences being all that stood between us and the animals of the area.

We were fed superbly, always had someone to answer questions and lend a hand. As I won this trip I came into a slightly different category to that of the others. They chose to go to Africa – I ‘fell’ into it. I am just so very glad I took the opportunity to do something different and experience such a thrilling landscape.

Advice – take spare memory cards and batteries as the photo opportunities just keep on coming!”

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* Photo by Lauren Barrell

 

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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