Organize and tackle a safari is not like going to the zoo on Sunday afternoon.
The visit of the great African parks often assumes the characteristics of a real “journey”, as would the original meaning of the word swahili safari.
Kenya is one of the most fascinating places in the world where there are the greatest number and the greatest variety of animals.
It is estimated that they are still living, and kept 80 species of large mammals. And these beautiful animals do not live in cages but in their natural habitat, in the vast expanses of the country.
The safaris, now that the ’80s are only photographic, represent one of the biggest tourist attractions. Travel through the rough slopes of the parks, maybe standing under the canopy raised your means, it is devastating emotion. You are constantly looking for a shadow, a profile, a move that will see the prey can be expected.
In the silence, disturbed only by the wind, check here a picture from the imagination or from the memories of the classroom is projected directly into the reality of a moment: that’s it … the animal is there that breathes or even looking at you . And you imbracciate your “weapon” and clicking a photo or download a shot with the camera.
Only later in the hotel or at home you will find that those images often flickering are the real testimony to the wonderful feeling that even today you can try.
Go on safari is tiring. The movements are difficult and tormented, but you can not give up such a unique experience. The goal is to see all the animals as possible, to recognize them, to classify them and above all to feel close to the great protagonists of the savannah.
The most obvious activity to be carried out in Kenya is the photographic Safari of which, remember, there are various types and prices (of course, if you book them on site will pay much less than booking from Europe).
The visit of the great African parks often takes on the characteristics of a real “journey” as it would like the original Swahili meaning of the word safari.
West of Nairobi, Masai Mara National Reserve, (Mara, as it is called by veterans), the most attended Kenyan Wildlife Park, rich in wildlife, is a nature reserve (where the Masai tribes have given to work the land and hunt) that covers an area not at all flat of 320 sq km and occupies a large part of the Serengeti.
Many tourists venture into exploration of at least part of the grassland, traying not to occupy the beaten track of wildlife during the annual mass migration.
The western border of the Park is the spectacular Esoit Oloololo Escarpment, while the highest concentration of animals is recorded along the edges of the reserve.
Everywhere are visible large herds of lions and, with a little luck, you can see them engaged in hunting.
In the Park live also many specimens of elephants, buffalos, zebras and hippos. Natural reserve rather than a national park.
Within the Mara is also a Masai village open to tourists.
The Masai Mara, connected to two daily flights from Nairobi, hosts a large number of hotels. The provincial town of Narok – a few hours drive west of Nairobi – is the main entrance to the Park (info on parks: Kenya Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 40241, Nairobi, 20-600800).
In the northern part of the Marsabit National Park & Reserve live the large mammals of Kenya: lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, buffalos, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, hyenas and gazelles.
Since the region is covered by a dense forest will not have much chance of spotting animals, unless you decide to spend a little time, maybe camping out at Lake Paradise, a volcanic lake that does honour to the name that brings.
It is a wonderful place to experience life in harmony with nature: few other camps of Kenya can boast similar landscapes and its tranquility.
Marsabit, the nearest town to the Park, is connected by a bus service with the Kenyan town of Isiolo, near Mount Kenya.
The camel safaris in tribal areas of Samburu and Turkana, between Isiolo and Lake Turkana, are without doubt the most unforgettable.
The other parks are to Amboseli, they live in the black rhino, the Tsavo East and Tsavo West the largest park in Kenya, the dense Forests of Kakamega that has over 330 different species of birds and the equally rich Lake Baringo.
For Other National Parks and Reserves see the link.
A Ranch in the heart of black Africa
For those who do not want to mix to mass tourism!
It’s easy to get caught by the exquisite details such as Murano glass globes over the lamps, sumptuous Hermès sheets, the perfectly polished silverware of Buccellati, Jacuzzis, but everything is just an embellishment of an unusual Ranch which is located in the heart of Kenya.
At Ol Jogi Ranch, Nanyuki, Laikipia Plateau, are mixed experience and nature.
The most charming of this refuge in the lush bush is the incredible diversity and density of wildlife including elephants in migration, 15% of the world’s remaining population of Grévy’s zebras and more than 40 of 790 black rhinos remaining in East Africa.
A wildlife sanctuary that was, until last year, inaccessible to the public for 35 years.
There feels like a tourist, but in your own home!
Here you don’t see ten Land Cruiser (ten is nothing short of) around a warthog as a meeting between “companions of snacks”, practical in use in most parks and reserves! And upon return, they, ashamed to report that he had taken the “usual rip-off”, well tell you face Tigers, Jaguars and if that wasn’t enough, even a white elephant! The truth is that having got ban from quacks even get off the Middle, could not even meet their physiological needs if not in their pants!
In 66,000 acres private nature (267 Km²), supervised by 120 Rangers and private security guards, taking advantage of the help of bloodhounds and attack dogs, you can make even night Safari and horse riding.
Guests, following the precautions given by Ranger, can move in on foot because at any given time are put in a position to know what they are doing and the risks they run.
The reserve is protected by cutting-edge technological equipment to fend off poachers (a serious threat in East Africa, now that rhino horn can sell for more than $ 30,000 per pound/453 grams on the Asian black market) and animals are backed by excellent veterinarians with medical equipment.
The reserve is one of the few places in Kenya that still can take care of the animals, keep them safe and feeding them. This has been so successful that local communities bring injured animals, care addition to the Kenya Wildlife Service who asked permission to transfer here animals in danger of extinction.
The Ranch is decorated with ornaments, but certainly nothing seems forced or theatrical, is not the work of an art director, but simply remained what it was in the family Ranch before it was opened to the public. The service is conducted by a staff that has worked here for decades so that guests can feel truly at home. The kitchen is cured by a French chef. Dinner could be served by waiters in white gloves at a table with candelabra, Crystal and carved silver trays, but the guest can show up in sneakers and jeans.
The owner is a passionate environmentalist who is pursuing another passion: the flight. Is a very simple person “in hand”, who likes to share his experiences and see the guests relax and connect with nature. His goal is to make self-sufficient the management of conservation programmes in reserve, with the help also of the revenue from Customers which basically do nothing but support this project, so this ambitious work could continue even without him and be a private business model for other conservation projects and community development in the region.
The reserve is home to a wide range of wildlife including rare and endangered species. Is a safe place for hippos, elephants, zebras, Buffalo, impala, Gazelle, wildebeest and hangout of various birds. From the veranda of the main house as the dining table, anyone can appreciate the view that offers backyard watering hole and the soil full of rock salt where wild animals are going to lick the salt (salt lick), these places, practically never devoid of wildlife. It is rare to see even a rhinoceros without getting up from loungers placed in a shaded area of the garden. Better yet, a long tunnel leading to a bunker with a stained glass window located few meters from the action of animals, to which guests can access both day and night.
Of course, staying here is not just an immersion in nature, but a particular lifestyle.
Still, the wild is what wins.
“Do not be formalistic on the house”, says the owner,“The home alone gives the wrong impression”.
Seek rather to live an experience gazing at nature.
Sweeping view of Mount Kenya!
Check out the rest by yourself in the gallery below!
The price? … contact me.
Optimism, patience and a good dose of courage. These ingredients with which to spend in Kenya a strenuous but rewarding period of your life.
Considered by anthropologists as the “cradle of humanity“, Kenya is also the heart of the African safari, they live in the most diverse species of wildlife across the continent.
The Safari in Kenya is one of the main tourist activities. Travelling in this spectacular land must be lived as a complete full immersion in nature, the desire for adventure and the utmost respect for a heritage to be safeguarded.
This portion of Africa offers variety of fauna among the greatest and wildest of the planet that you can see in all their beauty. Kenya offers corners of nature to stay or just to visit one of the most beautiful of the African continent.
You will be amazed by the vastness of the plains that stretch as far as the eye can see over much of its territory. A unique opportunity that will allow you to appreciate the beauty of nature and especially its grandeur. Seems to be back in time, when the pleasures of life were less sophisticated, but no less satisfying and mysterious.
Every kenyan park has its characteristic corners: in some contact with nature becomes total, in others you can admire unique shows in the world.
The places that I suggest are always those little visited by mass tourism and for some of them it is necessary a minimum of care. But it’s worth it!
And finally, if you aren’t real experts, organize a custom photo Safari with any agency, would only make a boring how exhausting “trip to the zoo” lined up like the Indians, structured as meetings between “fellow snacks!” because, usually, that’s what the agencies offer clinging to false security measures saving time! Arrange quite a do-it-yourself Safari!
Don’t rely on the case!
Only few tourists come on!
A safari can be a unique experience in life, so why waste it with the expenditure of time and money!
You can find useful tips, rules of conduct and information
– on the main national parks
– on climate
– the rooms in the lodge, tented camps & campgrounds
and much more ….
– you do not fully trust the agencies, but agrees with them your Photo Safari in detail
– do not believe the fake bans imposed by the agencies for their comfort and advantage
– remember that you can always arrange a Photo Safari do it yourself, then the rules and regulations are solely those dictated by the Kenya Wildlife Service
– not plan a Photo Safari less than three days within a single park excluding transfer time
– do not make more of an overnight stay in a lodge or a tented field: do not you cherish what others can offer you!
– scrupulously follow the rules of conduct of the KWS
– if you have any travel companions decide beforehand with them and the Agency places on the vehicle and the stops along the way, the chances to get off the means to be able to photograph animals or their physiological needs
– limit your travel companions: a maximum of four plus the driver, that a traveller must always be able to replace
– remember that, in the authorized areas, you can always get off the vehicle and approach the animals, but always remaining at a safe distance and respecting KWS and local signals. Many agencies will not allow it and pretend that there are prohibitions to avoid wasting time in their programs. Under these conditions you can also stay at home!
– stipulates a contract with the Agency where it is clearly written that will be respected only the provisions laid down by the Kenya Wildlife Service and will not be imposed impediments of any kind by the Agency
– do not let scruples: most if not all, of the Agencies respects only money!
For clothing and not just click here.
You can download rates of the Kenya Wildlife Service 2016/2017 in force since 1 November 2016
Travel between the parks of Kenya
The wisdom and foresight of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President, led to the first place Park, established in 1946, many other parks and the abolition of hunting, decreed in 1977.
Today the names like Tsavo, Amboseli, Masai Mara have become synonymous in the collective imaginary of Africa and represent an opportunity to get in touch and see dozens of superb animal species in a spectacular habitat.
The creation of these parks has saved many animals from a extinction announced and contributed to animal rights awareness inside and outside the country. Tourism created by the presence of the national parks is an irreplaceable item in Kenya’s economic balance.
With an area of 20,000 square km, Tsavo is the largest park of Kenya. The road from Mombasa to Nairobi bisects the Park, giving rise to Tsavo East and Tsavo West. These two parks have different characteristics, due to the watercourses and the fact that the altitude of the territory varies from 200 to 2,000 metres. In Tsavo, you can admire countless species of animals: bison, giraffes, gazelles, lions, leopards, zebras, cheetahs and the famous “red” elephant of Tsavo which include 10,000 copies.
The Tsavo East is characterised by the characteristic clay and savannah from thorny bushes including majestic baobabs tower above. All this is dominated by Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world.
To the North the Galana River surrounds the area of the park that can be visited and creates the Lugard’s Falls, a series of rapids before the Crocodile Point, while in the middle of the Park, in the area of Voi, a dense network of roads allows you to visit large areas of the Park. Beautiful and not to be missed is the boundless panorama which can be enjoyed from the hill on which stands the Voi Safari Lodge, from here, you can reach the Mudanda Rocks, an unusual rock formation of 2 km long, the characteristics similar to Ayres Rock Australia. Continuing North you arrive at the vegetation of tall trees that characterizes the Galana River. Here, where in 1898 Colonel Patterson, shot down the two lions “Men Eaters” who had sown panic and killed more than 28 Indian workers during the construction of the railway Mombasa-Nairobi, rises Patterson’s Camp. Through the Tsavo Gate surrenders the Tsavo East and Tsavo West comes in.
The Tsavo West has a multiple and diverse choreographic panorama of Tsavo East. They range from the beautiful mountains surrounding the shores of Lake Jipe, famous for the “bird watching”, the lush greenery and crystal clear waters of Mzima Springs, to the black lava flows of the Chyulu Hills and extinct volcanoes. Underground rivers flow suddenly, giving rise to incomparable beauty sources as Mzima Springs, Finch Hattons and Ziwani. In these wetlands vegetation is exuberant and hippos have their natural habitat. The rare black rhino can be seen in the Rhino Sanctuary, around the Ngulia Lodge, while enchanted waters of Mzima you can see whole families of hippos and crocodiles and fish watching through the glass walls of the underwater room. On the road to Severin Camp lies the Chaimu Crater, a dormant volcano, less than 200 years old, which can also be climbed, and the Roaring Rocks or “screaming rocks” so called by the sound created by the wind that passes through. From these rocks 100 metres high it enjoys a magnificent view of the Tsavo. Further South towards Lake Jipe one comes to the springs of Ziwani Camp. In this sanctuary, just outside the official boundaries of Tsavo, you can make an afternoon safari walk and an unforgettable and exciting night safari in the light of headlights (strictly prohibited in the rest of the Park). To the North, passing Chyulu Gate you leave the Tsavo West and you are in the volcanic area par excellence, characterized by lava flows of enormous proportions. Through this myriad of extinct volcanoes that are the Chyulu Hills and facing a 200 km route that traverses the Highlands Masai we arrive at Amboseli Park, dominated by the imposing of Kilimanjaro.
Located 200 km south of Nairobi and surmounted by Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli is probably the most visited Park of Kenya. Its original extension of over 3,000 square kilometers was reduced because of the conflict between the wild fauna and the masai population dedicated to sheep living on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, and is now limited to 390 square Km. This area is placed on the bed of a dried up lake, and is characterized by a series of waterholes, irresistible lure for all animal species. Among these the most important is puddles Ol Tukai which gives its name to the splendid lodge overlooking Kilimanjaro. The plains of Amboseli live the masai giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, lion, cheetah and the rhino, but this Park remains the most interesting area of the whole of Africa for close observation of the elephant.
The sight of groups of elephants grazing or while you bathe in pools of water, is definitely the most exciting recollection of each safari. Amboseli is also an excellent area for bird watching, especially around watering holes, where you can admire the pelican, the pygmy goose, osprey and the king fisher which breeds in reedbeds at the edges of swamps. Significant point not to be missed is the Observation Hills. Back to the top of the Hill you can enjoy the unforgettable view of the whole valley of Amboseli, columns of dust raised on the horizon from the herds of animals and of course the superb Kilimanjaro.
The Kilimanjaro with its 5,895 meters is the highest mountain of Africa and is characterized by the perpetual snows covering the summit of this extinct volcano. Often hidden by clouds for most of the day, the mountain offers the best of himself in the early morning and at dusk and his vision alone justifies a visit to Amboseli Park.
Safari: clothing and not only
We often have questions about before going on a photo safari, for example which use bag and what you put in. Much depends on chosen locations, time of year and length of this, in many ways, unforgettable experience.
Anyway I will try to give some guidance and advice.
First of all it is preferable to provide for two luggage: a backpack to take with itself and a duffle bag with our luggage itself. The backpack will serve us to carry with us every day, camera, binoculars, money, documents, sweatshirt, sunscreen, sun hat, etc. Put bag in clothes, shoes, products for personal hygiene, etc. usually a soft bag is more convenient and sticking it in a plastic bag before loading it on the vehicle to protect it from dust and possible showers. Do not bring expensive jewelry and objects and it is good practice to avoid flaunting wealth to avoid attracting any attackers who unfortunately never fail in every part of the world.
The ideal is to choose a comfortable and suitable to stay many hours in the car. Usually it is hot, but early in the morning or in the evening bit could do. The ideal is to dress in layers to cover/uncover depending on situations and times of day.
Here is a list of what is good to bring:
cotton pants, boots or hiking shoes (comfortable), T-shirts, sweatshirt or fleece sleeved kway. Swimwear and slippers. Baby carrier. Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (security) and moisturizer, bandana or scarf for the wind, insects repellent. Personal hygiene products. Wipes and/or napkins handkerchiefs. A flashlight with batteries. Portable hair dryer (optional because it is hot and in some lodge is provided in the bathroom, but not always there is current to use).
For campers towel (or robe) and sleeping bag (only for camping safari, not to the tented camps). Generic drugs (antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, eye drops, broad-spectrum antibiotic, disinfectant/intestinal antidiarrheal).
Don’t forget any drugs you take regularly. Do not drink water if not sealed bottles.
There are no limitations to any type of cameras or camcorders. It is strongly recommended to bring a good number of memory cards and spare batteries since on-site difficult to find such material. We recommend that you use cases (or plastic bags) for protection of the equipment from the sand/dust.
To recharge the batteries the power outlets may be different from those in Italy, so it is best to obtain a universal plug (type). Almost always in tented camps electricity generators are switched off at around 23.30 and rekindled the next day at 6.00; lighting with candles and often happens sockets to recharge batteries are only in the lobby.
Remember that in most African countries is strictly prohibited to photograph airports, military installations and vehicles, government buildings, bridges, military in uniform.
The Masai sometimes ask a small tip to be photographed. It is good though to ask permission before people photograph them.
Is very useful to have a binocular or/and a telephoto lens (at least 200-300 mm).
The phone works almost anywhere. You can buy before undertaking the journey, local cards also prepaid data traffic with very affordable rates for both domestic and international traffic. Often in the lodge and is available, free of charge or for a fee, internet access or Wi-Fi.
Binoculars: The parameters can easily be assessed are the two numbers 8×40 or 10×30 where the first digit indicates the magnification factor (8 times, 10 times) and the second the lens diameter (40mm, 30mm). Now, while it can be said that a larger diameter of the lens almost always means a better quality of the binoculars (in more light, thus more image resolution but greater weight and dimensions), with respect to the magnification factor (normally 7 to 10) have to be careful because the higher the smaller the field that you see, the greater the jitter unless you have a good grip. Sometimes it’s better to look with an 8x rather than with a 10x if you do not know how to be very firm. Recommended: Binoculars Bushnell Trophy XLT 8×42 (Euro 210.00).
These are the two parameters easily assessable as I said, with regard to construction slow and a lot of other things you’ll have to rely on the known brands and to your feelings.
Recommended: Binoculars Steiner Safari UltraSharp 10×26 (Euro 115.00). It thanks to the additional visible, the model 10 × 26 will bring your subject so close observation of what you would expect with a much larger binoculars. The optical highcontrast shine to the high contrast, natural colors and astonishing clarity.
However, I must add that in a jeep on the go and even stop, but with the engine running and then with that annoying, the 7×50 is strongly recommended, so you do not make long walks, the considerable weight it is the only drawback (about one kilogram and with a good footprint). It should not be ruled out even a 10×50, ie 10x magnification and 50mm diameter lens front. Depending on the money you have available, different brands: Pentax, Nikon Canon (stabilized binoculars), have various models of various cost and quality, the economy segment found the Ziel, on the wing of luxury Leica and Zeiss. Keep in mind that over 10 enlargements will struggle to use it freehand while a large diameter front lens port to be used for the night sky. To eliminate the inevitable shake use freehand are stabilized binoculars to help you at the touch of a button, you get a great detail resolution as on the support of a tripod.
Recommended for those who can afford it: Binoculars Zeiss 20×60 T * S with image stabilization (€ 5,830.00).
Cameras: I were you I’d take a camera body of the Nikon D3300 with VRII 18/55 mm objective lens and a safari suit, ie a VR 55/200 mm, which allows you to get quality images far superior to any compact camera (the digital SLR camera , complete the two goals, it is sold at a price of Euro 750.00. See details and specifications). With the focus on the 200 mm able to photograph animals from a distance and with a good light you will have the chance to go to ISO 100, and then the crop while maintaining good quality. Lately some people, to whom I recommended something similar, have returned very satisfied, I would say very surprised of the quality of the picture obtained.
If you do not fit in the budget with the Nikon D3300 also try to see offers Canon Type EOS 1200D with EF-S 18/55 mm (only the camera body is priced at Euro 290,00 + Euro 60.00 target. See features and technical specifications). But you must still bring their own a Canon EF-S 55/250 mm (Euro 200.00) or Tamron AF 70 / 3 00 mm (Euro 130.00) . SLRs that I mentioned are very light and compact (not bulky) because the autofocus motor is inside the goal miniaturized.
For beginners I think is better a good compact. The market of compact Nikon with an excellent 28x optical zoom as the model Coolpix L340 (Euro 155.00. See details and specifications) that capture the image very quickly, avoiding as much as possible the effect “on the move”.
For the more demanding it is on the market model Coolpix P610 with 60x optical zoom (Euro 410.00. See details and specifications). For beginners it is advisable not to use Dynamic Zoom.
These cameras are a kind of compact halfway between digital and SLR.
I hope I have been helpful!
Kenyan Safari Company
Nilnkatha Building (next to Bella Plaza), Mombasa, Kenya
Eel Pie Island Twickenham Middlesex, TW1 3DY, United Kingdom
Customize your Photo Safari with Shadrack Kahindi or Alice Komora in Kenya, with Nikky & Tommy Cooper in United Kingdom;
List of links that I hope will be helpful to plan and organize your Safari:
(When necessary use translators)