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

Friday - - Contents -

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

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