Every week your Intrepid Express editor gets the fun job of telling someone they have won a trip! Can you imagine how excited you’d be if you received an email saying that you are a winner? No wonder Matt Bowman had to pinch himself when he found out he was off on a Kenya Wildlife Safari…
“I couldn’t believe it, there I was in a very comfortable hotel near the centre of Nairobi, ready to meet our expedition companions for the first time. Everyone was really friendly and ages ranged from about 20-40 years. That evening was our chance to get to know the group and explore the nightlife of Kenya’s great capital city together.
The next morning we embarked on our voyage which, although was focused upon camping, proved to be just as luxurious as any hotel in terms of cultural diversity and local interaction. It was well organised. In any trip there are normally times which you would rather forget, but for this trip, I’m planning on holding on to as many memories as possible.
A definitive highlight was the camping with the Masai Warriors. Having local tribesmen who were the real deal guarding your campsite from wild animals is amazing, and really interacting and getting to know the local people is even better.
I was completely surprised with the safaris. In my mind I expected to travel for a few kilometres and then spot an animal on the horizon. This was not the case at all, there were so many animals, it was ridiculous! No sooner had you spotted a black rhino only feet away from the truck, did someone cry out that they had just spotted a cheetah hunt in progress. Lake Navasha and Corunga were remarkable in their own right: watching the sunset with close to 600,000 pink flamingos is something I shall never forget. We saw the Big 5 on day one and I would say the only animal that we did not see was the aardvark (which is nocturnal!).
Also, on one of the safaris we stopped off for a picnic at the famous migration river crossing point where huge crocodiles can be seen searching for prey. I counted about 40 hippos just feet away from the water’s edge and although we weren’t fortunate enough to see a crossing, the guide said that just last week heavy rain acted as the catalyst for a crossing which resulted in 20 wildebeests falling victim to the crocs.
The food is another highlight – our cook was called Susan and day after day she prepared three exquisite meals. To prepare the food she was cooking, on the equipment she had available, and in that environment is completely mind-boggling. Two main meals a day is adequate, but to have three is just spoiling us! Some of the meals were local recipes, whilst others ranged from fresh salads to fish and chips.
The local guide was really good, and even the driver went above and beyond the call of duty to keep us up to date with African songs and good advice on where to go and see.
All in all I would recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a unique experience and a real insight into African culture, as well as seeing some of the most incredible spectacles of nature on the planet!”
* photo by Scott Marshall – Intrepid Photography Competition