On November 9, 2010 I departed Seattle for my long awaited Safari with Abercrombie & Kent. I traveled to Nairobi aboard Delta Airlines, if possible opt for first or business class, it is a very long flight. Upon arrival in Nairobi I proceeded to obtain a Visa for $25.00USD, very easy to do on-site. Once that business was done I was met outside baggage claim by the A&K representative and transferred to the Fairmont Norfolk, a classy hotel built in a plantation style, our room faced the open courtyard, very lush and green.
Our group spent two days in Nairobi, which is quite a vibrant large bustling city. There is a lot of traffic, driving is on the opposite side of the road and there are no crosswalks and many pedestrians. Overall I thought it was very clean and nice city. Here we visited the baby elephant orphanage, the giraffe center and Karen Blixen’s home, author of “Out of Africa”.
Finally the long awaited departure for the safari portion of my trip begins. We departed Nairobi for Nanyuki (north of Nairobi) and were able to see quite a bit of the city and countryside, along the way we almost felt like royalty because all the children along the road will smile and wave excitedly. I stayed at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, an enclosed 100-acre gated oasis with a beautiful well manicured lawn, a pair of peacocks strolling the grounds, and former home of William Holden, a since past popular American actor. Rooms here are a little on the small side but boast fireplaces and gorgeous views of Mt. Kenya.
We had the opportunity to inspect the Sweetwaters Tented Camp. This beautiful camp has an exquisite dining room facing a watering hole – while you dine you can watch animals come for a drink! Next we were off for our first game drive in our large open land rovers. It was simply unbelievable; we were like children at Christmas, cameras clicking while standing in the vehicles.
Our next visit was to Borana Ranch and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, now known as the place where Prince William proposed. Our accommodations were at the elegant Laragai House, this is a private home with outstanding views and a great fireplace – this would be ideal for a large family or group traveling together. We had the pleasure of staying here for one night and then the next night we stayed at the Borana Lodge, featuring eight stone, cedar and thatched cottages, all uniquely decorated.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
We boarded a flight and headed to the Masai Mara National Reserve – there is nothing quite like this airport – flying in while giraffes and zebras are passing by. We stayed at two tented camps the Sanctuary Olonana and Mara Explorer. Both are located on the river and allowed us the opportunity to see hippos swimming from the sitting areas outside our tents. During a game drive on the Masai Mara reverse we saw an amazing family of lions, one male, one female and three baby cubs! In addition to the thrill of the lions, we also saw large families of elephants, a leopard, cheetah and lots of gazelles, impalas, and as previously mentioned a wealth of giraffes and zebras.
A safari trip to Kenya with A&K is a trip of a lifetime. The abundance of wildlife and feelings that arise within you upon seeing these animals in the wild is indescribable. Abercrombie & Kent does a remarkable job in taking you to the most exquisite and luxurious accommodations possible while retaining a magnificent closeness and oneness with nature that I will truly cherish forever.
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