Why an African bush safari should be on every Arizonan’s bucket list
Lovers of wide, open, scenic outdoors and pristine beaches would be ecstatic on a Kenyan safari.
When picking a holiday destination, most of us want to experience new things while still maintaining some familiar aspects of our everyday lifestyle.
We desire an adventurous tour that exposes us to new things yet retains some of the attractive features and conveniences we usually enjoy at home.
In many ways, that is the perfect definition of a Kenyan safari. Like Arizona, Kenya enjoys warm weather most of the year. It also features boundless picturesque spaces in the form of savannahs, beaches, and friendly people.
The country also offers a host of bonuses, such as exotic animals, lush greenery, spectacular sunsets, and is a cultural tour where you meet people unique to Africa.
As a foreign visitor, you can therefore experience a comprehensive cultural, marine and wildlife safari all in one go! Below is a cocktail of the elements making Kenya a global safari sensation and why you should also check it out.
Most people have heard of the Big Five, but few have ever seen them up close in their natural habitat. The Big Five are the African Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, and Rhino.
They were so-called due to how difficult it was for trophy hunters to slay them. Thankfully, trophy hunting is now illegal, and the populations of these magnificent beasts are at an all-time high.
Compared to visiting animals in a zoo, seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is an incomparable experience. In the wild, you witness the animals in their true survival mode, untamed and unsullied.
One of the best ways to enjoy this wildlife magic is during the annual wildebeest migration. It is one of the most dramatic and adrenaline filled wildlife excursions known to man.
Set in the award-winning Maasai Mara Game Reserve, hundreds of thousands of Wildebeests, Zebras, Gazelle and other wild herbivores cross the treacherous Mara River every year.
It is a treacherous yet necessary journey where the animals move from the neighbouring Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into Kenya’s Mara plains in search of grass.
As a visitor, you get to witness the big game as they make a thunderous entry into Kenya, flanked by equally big predators.
Aside from apex carnivores such as Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards, there is a healthy dose of Crocodiles in the Mara River.
Other players populating the Mara ecosystem include Jackals, Hyenas, Giraffe, Warthogs, Waterbucks, Dik-Diks, and many more, not to mention over 500 bird species.
2. The people
Kenya is home to some of the richest and culturally diverse communities in Africa.
Some of the more prominent ones are the Maasai, Pokot and the Samburu.
Not only have they preserved their rich cultural heritage, but some of their villages are near the wildlife hotspots, making them easily accessible to visitors.
During your tour of the Maasai Mara, you can opt to visit a Maasai village and enjoy learning about their culture. The Maasai Morans (warriors) might also enthral you with tales of how they manage to live harmoniously with some of the world’s deadliest predators.
While at it, you could get authentic Maasai souvenirs and artwork. The Maasai are renowned craftspeople, producing functional ornaments and jewellery featuring intricate beadwork. They also excel at telling their stories through ornate carvings.
3. The Beaches
Wind down your Kenyan safari with a tour of the coast. Being a tropical country, Kenya has exquisite beaches and warm, moderately humid weather. The beaches range from white-sanded to golden beaches, all contiguous with the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters.
Since the country has a total of 536Km of coastline, there is plenty of shoreline to go around, meaning you will not suffer from crowded beaches.
The activities you can indulge in at the coast are so many that you will be spoilt for choice. There are options for everyone.
For those who prefer moderate activity, swimming, snorkelling, romantic dhow rides, and kite surfing are some options.
Hardcore adventurers can ramp things up with scuba diving, jet-skiing, and deep-sea fishing. Some of the big marine game you can hope to reel in include Sharks, Striped Marlin, Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, and the Broadbill Swordfish.
You could also opt to swim with Dolphins and Turtles on the south coast.
Besides watersports, the coast also offers a glimpse into ancient East Africa. Learn about the Indo-Arab trade at Fort Jesus, a UNESCO world heritage site located in Mombasa. History buffs would equally love visiting the Gede Ruins and the towns of Malindi and Lamu.
4. The infrastructure
Back to the conveniences that we mentioned earlier, Kenya’s infrastructure includes good roads, robust air travel, and an excellent telecommunication network.
The country also boasts a dependable electric power system and great security.
While travelling from the capital by air is possible, a road trip is always a better option for those who desire to sample all aspects of their journey.
That is because it allows you to take pit stops along the way and experience facets of the Kenyan culture you might otherwise miss while in the air.
Furthermore, thanks to the excellent road network, your travel is onboard comfortable safari vehicles. Here, think off-load vehicles such as the Toyota landcruiser, the range rover and more.
5. The Accommodations
Tourism is one of Kenya’s key revenue earners, and as such, plenty of investments have been dedicated to ensuring it avails world-class services.
That extends to the accommodation facilities available.
5-star accommodation is available whether you are at the heart of the Maasai Mara or in one of the country’s major towns. These come with the trappings you would expect from deluxe accommodations of a similar class anywhere in the world.
It is also possible to take a budget safaris and stay at boutique yet comfortable hotels. With the help of a professional tour agent, you can fashion a customized safari of your dreams at very competitive rates.