It was five years ago I went to Kenya and everyone knows to steer the conversation away from the subject unless they then want me to reminisce about my one week trip to the country for several hours. I brought a part of Kenya back in my heart. To try and put it’s magic into words is almost impossible.
Yes, I spent most of the week on safari and discovered just how much I loved it, but it was more than the safari experience, it was the people, it was the culture, the surprisingly beautiful landscape and something that just hit me and felt like somewhere I belonged.
With my upcoming safari trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, I’m starting to look back. I’m surprised I’ve not been back to Africa in the years that passed. I guess I’ve always known that I can’t better my time there and in fact I’m fully aware that I will never have a better travel experience; you simply can’t regain the magic of the first time you see a lion in the Masai Mara.
I went because it was a cheap beach holiday due to a package tour bargain that offered no single person supplement. Travelling solo has never concerned me on a package holiday, as I’ve always met people as I’m checking in and this trip was no exception.
On the transfer on the coach from the airport, I heard whispers from people commenting on how poor the country looked. I didn’t see that. I saw past the poverty, and I saw something rich, something I envied: I saw a rich strong community working closely together. As we sat in traffic, I watched the ladies in the shop doorways who were walking back and to between each other, chatting and laughing. I watched the group of men struggling to get an old car onto a trailer, it seemed like anyone walking by were stopping and helping.
Having heard the wildebeest migration was actually going to be in the Masai Mara, I was desperate to go. To cut a very long story short, I decided I only live once and I was armed with a credit card and booked a 3 day safari in Tsavo east and west and a 2 day safari in Masai Mara. The best impulse buy of my life.