This weeks memory is going back to the summer of 2009 when my family and I travelled to Kenya for 10 nights – we hired a van and had a driver, Anthony, take us from reserve to reserve starting in Nairobi where we spent our first night at Giraffe Manor.
If you get the chance to visit this part of the world, Giraffe Manor must be on your list of places to visit! – As soon as you drive in, its very old school elegance and the staff were super friendly and accommodating. We were taken back with how up, close and personal we were able to get to the wild animals. We even shared our breakfast in the main house with the giraffes (How cool is that?!).
So after that first night, the fun really began!
We got back in our white mini van and took a – what seemed like days worth of -drive[ing] to start our safari vacation. Our first reserve was Sweetwaters Serena Camp and wow – driving in was like being on set of a real life Lion King set! Our accommodation was luxury tree houses. When walking from dinner to our tree house we walked past the open waterhole, cautiously as the camp is home to all wildlife – Lions/Zebras/Rhinos.. but it was so incredible to watch the animals so undisturbed. The reserve also has the only chimpanzee sanctuary in the country and we visited it – only to find one adopted from home, Abu Dhabi.
Our first safari trip out was the next morning, and it was unreal.
Sweetwaters is a private game conservancy and home the biggest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, we saw plenty of zebras, giraffes, bores, and then… one Black Rhino. Yes these animals are in some form of captivity but they are still wild, so our driver made it very clear from the start that we weren’t to leave the vehicle because anything could happen but my mom being the person she is doesn’t take no as an answer very lightly so when she asked to stop so we could get out and get near it, we did. We didn’t just get out.. we approached it, and stroked it like we would our dog. It was so rough but skinny and it made a few grunts but remained so calm.
Post lunch and a swim we were keen to head back out..
Day four was pretty much just another day in the van travelling to our next location, Keekorok Lodge – its located in the Maasai Mara National Reserve so on the way there we stopped at a Maasai Mara camp and it was quite eye opening to see how these people are livening/how they cook/to see that instead of going to a super market and stocking up on sodas and water they had pumps in the ground.
The resort is beautiful. We stayed in bungalows which over looked the grounds and legit like ten thousand monkeys! My brother and I were just chilling watching the TV and had the porch doors open not thinking anything of it when all of a sudden our room was filled with monkeys and man, these animals are intelligent – they were in our bags taking our sweets, a handful sat on our bed with us and some sat at the glass doors pulling faces at ones outside while we ran to the bathroom to hide – haha
Our evening ended here with a horse ride(of which we had to wear the dorkiest helmets!)
Day five, we woke up covered in mosquito bites!
My dad and I got up early and safari while Craig and my mum sat by the pool.
Following a late check out we headed to venue #4 – Ilkeliani Camp, this time we didn’t have too far to drive as we stayed in the Maasai Mara area. We stayed here for two nights, in tents.. tents in the wild.. so cool! The photos below are from the afternoon/evening safari drive on our first afternoon at Ilekliani.
Very early hot air balloon ride, followed by a Champagne breakfast anyone?!
So because I feel like I’m dragging on a bit, I think I’m going to end it here..