Recently, the governments of Kenya and India agreed to strengthen the relationship and collaboration between the two countries. For those like myself, who have , this was great news. It meant I had less protocols to follow and that the cost of getting my dream holiday was even lower.
My younger brother has always been fond of nature documentaries, especially those featuring wildlife. If I was being honest with myself, I too could do with struck me as the perfect adventure for the both of us.
Since a visit to a consulate office was no longer necessary, all that was left was to find a travel agent, plan for the trip, and get the necessary health checks- a process that proved pretty easy.
Our travel agent, AjKenyasafaris, accurately briefed us on all the vaccinations and health tests we needed before travel. They also gave us tips on what to pack for the trip, the places we could visit and the activities available. But more on that later.
First we had to formulate an itinerary. This was vital as it informed the ultimate cost of the Kenya safari holiday we were about to embark on.
In all honesty, much of the decision making was made much easier by the assistance we got from the travel agent.
As specialists in the Mara National park, they not only understood the intricacies of the Maasai Mara, but they also had working relationships with most of the service providers in the park.
That meant they could advise us on the current rates of accommodation and recommend the best hotels. They also enlightened me on the best time to visit the park based on the kind of experience I was hoping to have.
With a clear idea on what was on the ground, scheduling the trip and the sequence of activities I wanted became easy.
As I soon found out, Kenya has a multitude of is the crowning jewel. As a result, there are a variety of Kenya holiday packages or deals to choose from.
As far as wildlife attractions go, travelers can visit more than 40 national parks and reserves spread all over the country.
These include the Tsavo East and West National parks, the Samburu national park, Lake Nakuru National park, the Amboseli national park, Nairobi National park, and lots of others.
There are also lots of beaches and coastal attractions with fascinating colorful marine life and lots of water sports and activities.
For our first Kenya vacation, we decided to focus on a 3-day visit to the famed Maasai Mara.
According to James, our safari agent/ consultant, the Maasai Mara national park is full of thrilling activities and has been sometimes known to host visitors for as much as 13 days at a time.
As it turns out, no game drive is ever like the next and true enthusiasts go on several game drives to spot as much wildlife as they can. The game drives may be full day game drives as well as night game drives.
There are also hot air balloon rides for those wishing to experience the park from a different viewpoint. I was very interested in the balloon ride idea.
Other activities at the park include walking safaris, where you get to see the animals while on foot, camping, bush dinners, and visits to a Maasai village to meet the famous Maasai people.
After weighing the different activities and the respective cost of the different Kenya holiday packages, we went for a mid-luxury safari. Our itinerary was as follows:
Day 1: Arrival to Kenya and travel to the Mara by road with night game drive
Day 2: Hot air balloon ride and full day game drive
Day 3: Visit to a Maasai village and travel back home
The trip from Juba to Nairobi was short, with our flight only taking 2hr 30 minutes to get to JKIA Nairobi.
I loved the fact that we found our agent had a driver already at the airport to receive us. It was a pleasant surprise and an excellent welcome to Kenya. Our Kenya vacation was off to a good start.
Upon introductions, he promptly asked whether there were items we wished to buy in the city but we couldn’t think of any. So off to the Mara national park we went.
Upon arrival, we checked in at our pre-booked hotel, the Mara Eden safari camp. After some rest and refreshments, we went on a night game drive where we saw several nocturnal creatures and also enjoyed a bush dinner.
The second day involved a balloon ride at dawn which lasted an hour.
Throughout the experience, my attention was torn between the riveting sunrise in the horizon and the wildlife activity taking place just beneath our feet.
I had no idea that Africa had so many large land animals. From lions to elephants, buffalos and giraffes!
Later during the day, we had an opportunity to see them up close as we rode around a 4x4 safari Land Cruiser and got to hear interesting stories about them from our driver.
, we were taken to a Maasai village where we met people from one of the few indigenous communities that still hold on to their culture.
I especially loved the adimu dance that the Maasai morans performed for us. It is an ancient courtship ritual performed when a young man woos his bride.
It was a jam packed three days and my only regret was that I hadn’t planned for a longer Kenya safari holiday.