We’re left speechless as the Big Five put on a show like no other in Kenya and Tanzania’s wilderness.
A luxury safari in Tanzania and Kenya gives privileged sightings of some of Africa’s most extraordinary animals, with an important message of conservation, discovers Liz Jarvis
wo lionesses are devouring the carcass of an unfortunate wildebeest enjoying every moment of their banquet, pausing every so often to lick the blood from their lips and savour their meal; but they’re not alone. They’re being watched by three hungry hyenas, their mouths visibly watering as they wait impatiently for the lions to have their fill before they move in for scraps. It’s like something out of a wildlife documentary – but it’s happening now, right in front of our Jeep, in the middle of the Masai Mara.
A safari is an adventure like no other, and ours takes us to the best national parks in Africa – in Ngorongoro, the Serengeti in Tanzania, and Amboseli and the Masai Mara in Kenya. As this is a luxury safari with specialists Tauck, the attention to detail is superb. We’re transported between four parks on private and small planes, and for our game drives we’re in Land Cruisers with no more than four other people – so we all get a window and when the roof is open we can stand up and look out at will.
Everyone in our group is like-minded and keen to experience as much as possible. Many have good-quality cameras; we all compare photos and sightings, and a special bond quickly develops because of the shared experience. While most meals are eaten family style, there are plenty of opportunities to dine alone or spend time as a couple, but friendships are soon formed.
Accommodation throughout our tour is of the highest quality. In Ngorongoro, that means a lodge with views towards the crater; in the Serengeti, it’s the outstanding Four Seasons Serengeti, with its glorious infinity pool overlooking a watering hole where we watch zebra and dik-diks (small antelope) having a drink while we swim; and we cross the equator at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Lodge. For me though, staying in a luxury tented lodge on the banks of the River Mara proves to be a revelation. I am not a natural camper, or even a glamper; but this is on a whole different level. The Fairmont Mara Safari Club lodges are beautifully furnished, with four poster beds and proper bathrooms and floors, and verandas where you can listen to the hippos on the river as they grunt to each other. In addition to the indoor bathroom, my lodge has a secluded outdoor shower, and it’s a fantastic experience to be able to shower under the trees