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  • Taylor Bowden

My East Africa Adventure




While there are many ways to see Kenya & East Africa, you must decide the right comfort level for you. I may have camped in a tent, ridden in an overland truck, and cooked my own food, but this is definitely not for everyone! 


I toured Africa with Intrepid Travel because of their diverse options in both comfort levels and pricing. They have three levels: Basix (what I did), Original or Comfort style. Additionally, Intrepid provides both private and tailor- made itineraries

All of our Africa partners believe in giving back to the community from building a clean water well for local tribes to helping educate their children in small village schools – this is what I love about travelling with our partners.


So let’s deep dive into Kenya & East Africa!


Hot air balloon rides at sunrise (or sunset) over the vast Masai Mara, hearing lions roar from within 5 feet of them, walking in nature with a 20 foot giraffe, or playing soccer with the famous primal Maasai tribe are just a few reasons why Kenya & East Africa should jump to the top of your bucket list.


I first arrived in Nairobi and was transferred to my hotel, having no idea how this experience would impact my life...  I know, it’s cheesy, but Africa will leave a mark on you. As we always say in our industry, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and this couldn't ring more true about Africa.


We set out by safari vehicle for our first campsite near Lake Nakuru National Park.  Water buffalo, zebras, impalas, flamingos, storks, lilac breasted rollers (one of the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen), baboons, and 7 white rhinos all made an appearance in our first game drive.  What a spectacular first day – it was just the beginning……


We spent two nights in Lake Naivasha exploring hippo grounds, and Disney’s ‘Pride Rock’ inspired topography in Hell’s Gate National Park. This landscape was beautiful and totally untouched. Queue Disney’s famous song, “Circle of Life!”

My favorite experience began on day 3 when we actually camped in the bush with the Maasai warriors.  We watched the warriors jump close to 80 centimeters high and hum traditional Maasai songs. We were taught how to throw spears without slicing our ears. Yes, they are that sharp! We presented school supplies to the young Maasai children in exchange for several big smiles and small giggles.  In the evenings, we watched our warriors make fire using only 2 sticks, their spears and zebra poop.  We gazed up at the zero polluted stars in the vast Southern Hemisphere. We met Helen, one of elders in the tribe, who enlightened us more about the Maasai way of life. 

 

Our final highlight was in the Masai Mara National Reserve.  We witnessed morning activity as a leopard mother and baby roamed the bush. We were very lucky as this is an extremely rare sighting to see. We tried to keep up with 6 hungry cheetahs as they hunted for their dinner.  16 grazing elephants stopped us in our tracks while we waited for giraffes to cross the road before we could continue our journey. We observed (from a safe distance) vicious hippos & crocodiles in the Mara River. Our luck didn’t just end there though, as we also witnessed lions mating, and a mother lioness milk her cubs while her sister kept watch over their territory. Incredible!


In order to gain another perspective on the Mara I set out on a sunrise hot air balloon ride.  While I was a little hesitant at first (due to the price), I soon understood the value!  Words cannot do justice to this amazing experience. I highly highly recommend it! The imagery of sunrise over the Masai Mara topography still amazes me. It’s not just the spectacular sunrise, though.  You also get to watch the animals become active in the early morning from above-- giving you a totally different perspective into their world and plenty of photo ops! Hyenas, wildebeests, lions, giraffes, and elephants were started their day and I was watching from above…..  We were greeted back on ground with champagne and a delicious African bush style breakfast... coffee, tea, croissants, quiche, fruits, honey, yogurt, sausages, eggs, toast- you name it, they had it, and it was delicious.  Who knew a gourmet breakfast could be prepared in the African Bush? The detail that went into this trip did not go unnoticed.

So who’s ready to go to Kenya & East Africa? Let us help you plan the perfect Africa Experience.


Contact Red Letter Travel today to get planning!

P.S. All photos were taken by me, and I was given permission to post these beautiful pictures. Hope you enjoyed!

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