Intrepid’s Susan English has seen the world’s 3 biggest waterfalls, swam in the 3 biggest oceans and climbed the highest peaks in Australia, South East Asia and Africa. But she was obsessed with one niggling omission on her bucket list and for that she had to travel to Africa…
“My quest? To tick off the ‘Big Five’. Even though I’m not a fan of the term, since it’s a throwback to days when these animals were the hardest to hunt on foot, I was desperate to see lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros in the wild. Imagine watching a lion patiently stalk its prey, or seeing our planet’s largest land mammal foraging for food and snapping tree trunks like toothpicks!
The time had finally come and everyone in our Intrepid group was buzzing with anticipation. We had an idea what Kenya had in store for us, but on Day 1 there was no way we could have imagined the absolute thrill of not only seeing the incredible wildlife, but also meeting the amazing people that call this special part of the world home.
The Maasai are famous for their colourful dress and incredible leap, but there is so much more to this resilient and proud people. It was a real privilege to spend time in their village and learn about their ancient culture from a local elder. We got to take part in chores and even helped milk their prized cows, but then after work was done it was time to kick up our heels, Maasai style. Boy these blokes can boogie and bounce! The cheeky grins on their faces as they watched us try to imitate their rhythmic leaping made it all the more fun.
The wonder of Kenya can be found in its stunning and diverse landscapes, in the incredible wildlife that roams its plains and most of all, in its people. And what about my obsession with the Big Five? Turns out I’d ticked that off by the end of Day 2 in Lake Nakuru National Park. Sure it was a thrill and I’ll never forget my first glimpse of a magnificent rhino or seeing a leopard lazing in the fork of a tree, but I quickly realised that there was much more to Africa than the Big Five and I was going to lose count of my amazing experiences in Kenya!”
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* photo by Sean Handler – Intrepid Photography Competition