Above are a few pictures from my trip to Kenya, visiting Tsavo East National Park, near Mombasa.
Safari Tour and Tour Guide
We booked a 1 day safari with Bongo Safari for under $150 USD. Luckily we were able to bargain for a real good deal. This was partly due to our timing.
April was a tough month for Kenya’s tourism. Following the mall attack in Kenya by Somali militant group Al Shabab, Kenyan tourism was at an all time low. The state was hostile. The military was conducting random checks and we were warned to keep our passports with us at all times- not having it available could mean serious consequences even as tourists.
We woke up at 4 am and had our tour guide, a friendly man by the name of Anderson pick us up outside our Mombasa hotel. A family man who was full of energy and had a vibrant personality, Anderson gave us insights into Kenyan culture, his own life and plenty of stories about his safari experiences throughout the course of years.
Anderson was quite impressed by my our energies. He found us far more outgoing than other “Indian” girls. It was also nice to learn from him that East Africans strongly value outgoing personalities because most tend to be free spirited, outgoing and full of life as I could see was the case with him.
Hearing Anderson speak so passionately about the animals- and seeing the same passion in others residents I met – I could note that Africans have a much closer connection with nature.
Maybe its the warm weather, maybe its the lack of wealth which allows for appreciation of non economic resources, or maybe its the fact that Africa is blessed with wild life found nowhere else in the world which is why people in East Africa had a much deeper bond with nature.
Even looking at Anderson’s life, he valued such simple things:
- Relationships with friends/visitors-tourists
Anderson’s personality is certainly not a type found only across Africa/East Africa, but his personality and lifestyle was a reminder of how beautiful it is to live a life of simplicity and how much we tend to complicate life in the western world with influences from capitalism and technology.
Not having read up on safari’s too much, it came as a surprise to me how long it took to come across animals. Going on a safari does not guarantee animal sightings. You might see certain animals, you might not.
The thrill and unpredictability of animal sightings although can be frustrating at times, it can be equally gratifying once you do sight an animal you were longing to see.
Our morning was tough, we saw animals but from a far. They were so far, we could barely see them on camera. Following our lunch outside the city, during the afternoon we were met with much better luck in the park. Elephants, Giraffe’s, Zebra’s Chameleon and lastly the Lion and Lioness, we kept encountering these animals at much closer distances.
Although I loved my experience at Tsavo East, I would heavily encourage Safari enthusiasts to visit Serengeti National Park in Tanzania for a chance to see a greater variety and higher concentration of animals. The likelihood of seeing the endangered rhino is also much greater.