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With all the unfortunate things happening in the area, lost in the shuffle is the fact that one of nature’s most spectacular events, the Great Migration, is taking place at the moment, with millions of wildebeest crossing over between Tanzania and Kenya.
If going on a safari is on your bucketlist, then seeing the Great Migration should be in parenthesis. A few months ago, we discussed what the best time of year to go on a safari was, noting that with the Great Migration comes loads and loads of crowds. That’s why this travel writer feels Africa deserves two “trips of a lifetime,” one to see the savannas at peace and the another to experience the Great Migration.
Most voluntourism projects involve hands on work along the lines of digging ditches, playing with children, or feeding animals, but Fronteering.com has a different opportunity for burgeoning journalists that lets them hone their skills while learning a new way of life.
The Journalism Ghana project pairs volunteers with a local newspaper in Ghana where they'll help gather news, write stories, research, and investigate local issues.
Despite a past where everything and anything was up for grabs, not many game meats are still available to eat legally in Kenya. Considered "protected game," it is illegal to eat a majority of the exotic animals these days, including lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala, wildebeest, warthog, and elands, among others.
The Kenyan government banned sport hunting in 1977, but allowed limited hunting to cull animals and harvest game meat until 2003 when it was shut down completely because of the on-going poaching problem. In other words, it's become a numbers game in Africa.
Safari Travel / Kenya Travel / Africa Travel / Masai Mara Travel / Laikipia Travel / Nairobi National Park / → All Tags
The savannas of the Masai Mara
Last week, this writer visited a few of the safari regions in Kenya, including the Masai Mara, Laikipia, and Nairobi National Park. As you will see in the descriptions below, all were unique in their own ways, each offering a different experience in terms of scenery and game. Nairobi National Park was impressive because of its proximity to the city, Laikipia provided a safari/cultural combo, and the Masai Mara flexed its muscles and showed why it is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
There are two types of safaris to be had in Kenya: One that occurs during the Great Migration, and one that does not.
The Great Migration starts in July and is one of nature’s greatest spectacles. Over a million wildebeests cross the plains and savannas of Eastern Africa, providing visitors with what would seem on the surface to be endless opportunities of interaction. But while it's true that animal activity in the region might be at its peak, it’s not necessarily true that you will get the most intimate interaction. The reality is that along with the abundance of animals comes thousands of tourists.
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Those who have been following the news are aware that Kenya has been the target of Somali terrorist groups and, obviously, the attacks have been incredibly heartbreaking. Considering we are covering so much of the good coming out of Kenya, this writer doesn't think it's fair to leave that elephant completely out of the conversation. Admittedly, before deciding to make the journey from my home in Denver, I too wondered if it was safe to visit Kenya.
On my trip it was confirmed that, in terms of taking a safari, the answer is absolutely yes it is safe. The risk of danger in the national reserve areas like the Masai Mara and Laikipia are no greater than encountering a problem in any of America's national parks. Like here in the States, terrorism in Kenya has thus far been limited to populated places like Nairobi and Mombasa.
You know that you go to Kenya to digest the wildlife and the culture, but what should you wash it down with? In this addition of Monday, Five Thirty, we check out the common cocktails you’ll want to try during your trip:
The word “dawa” means “medicine” in Swahili, and this combination of gin, honey, and lime will definitely do wonders for your spirits. Most of the honey sinks to the bottom, so be sure to stir as you go. With the honey and the lime juice hiding the bite of the gin, this is a cocktail that goes down easy and tends to sneak up on you, earning it a reputation as a healer of whatever ails you.
We have many tales to tell about our trek through the safari camps of Kenya, but what better way to start than to show you the final product right off the bat. A trip to the game reserves of Africa is, after all, all about the interaction and insight you get with one of the world's most dramatic ecosystems.
The photos below were all taken in the Masai Mara, Kenya's most infamous and iconic national reserve. This week, we'll highlight it in more detail and compare it to other regions throughout the country, giving you the rundown on how they differ in terms of landscape, culture, wildlife, and appeal. For now, enjoy these photos we took on our game drive last weekgetting up close and personal with lions, elephants, buffalo, and giraffeand look for more within the stories to come.
Wish You Were Here / Kenya Travel / Nairobi Travel / Safari Travel / Adventure Travel / Africa Travel / Masai Mara Travel / Laikipia Trave / Mombasa Travel / → All Tags
This week, we've been hopping around Kenya, bouncing between safari camps and reserve regions to discover one of the most dramatic ecosystems in the world. We started in Nairobi, then circled through Laikipia, Masai Mara, and now the town of Watamu outside Mombasa. You can find Nairobi easily on the map above, and we've circled the three other areas to give you a sense of where our whereabouts.
Next week, we'll begin our coverage of the county, including how to get around, what to expect from the safari experiences and natural landscapes in the different regions, the food, culture and people, and some thoughts on the state of tourism in the country on a whole. Below, we provide a preview shot of the scenery.
Less than four months after his death, the South African tourist board has launched a new website and interactive map to help visitors relive the life of Noble Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela.
Mandela, often referred to by his clan name 'Madiba,' has long been heralded in South Africa and throughout the world for his activism, which included spending 27 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state. As it turns out, he was trying to do just that. When an international campaign got him released from prison in 1990, he became the first president of South Africa just four years later, ending the reign of the apartheid government.
The reasons we could give for making a trip out to Tanzania are almost too many to count: the staggering beauty of the landscape, the vastness of the sky, the richness of the wildlife, and the friendliness of the people are just a few.
Given the country’s size, if you’re planning on covering major distances in a short space of time, or wanting to see different parts of the country (the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Selous, Zanzibar), you’ll have to resort to flying to get from A to B at one point or another.
Rather than a practical necessity you have to deal with, we’d almost urge you to find a way to fit one leg by air into your itinerary, as it’s bound to be from dirt strip to dirt strip by small Cessna aircraft, like the Cessna C208B Grand Caravan above; a totally different – and pretty cool – flight experience.
Searching Google Maps yields all kinds of "Easter Eggs"little surprises tucked away but discoverable to those paying close attention. For example, there's planes flying by, Britain's most picturesque streets, and even the world's largest slip and slide. But it's a feature found in the no-man's-land Ténéré region of the Sahara Desert that really raises eyebrows. Enter coordinates 16° 51′ 53.75″ N, 11° 57′ 13.36″ E into Google Maps and find a tiny dot that is actually a massive shape of an airplane.
This, a landmark hand-built of rock and one of the aircraft wings, is actually a memorial to the 170 people on UTA Airlines 772 who perished when a terrorist suitcase bomb exploded the aircraft in 1989.