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Famil review: Kenya feel the love tonight


NICKY OOSTHUIZEN, WA State Manager for Bench Africa, had a front row seat to the pachyderm version of The Bachelor on a trip to Kenya.

I recently escorted a small group of travel industry specialists to Kenya. The majority of them had never set foot on African soil, thus the excitement and anticipation were high.

 

 

Those expectations were more than matched as Kenya overwhelmed us with its natural beauty and diversity. Oh, and there certainly is ample opportunity within this country to view African animals. After all, it is home to some of the most famous national parks in the world.

 

From Tsavo East National Park, one of Kenya’s oldest and largest parks, we journeyed to Tsavo West National Park. The Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks are home to some of the last big tuskers left in the world.

 

Tsavo West National Park was a definite memory builder. It was like being on the set of the Out of Africa movie, yet this film set incorporates views of Kilimanjaro. This is the highest free standing mountain on the planet, which proudly owns a spot on the ‘Seven Summits’ list. Not to be underestimated…

 

 

The road snaked through the most diverse landscapes. From driving amid black volcanic rock formations, to meandering through the lush African wilderness and valleys boasting endless views, the scenery touched our souls. How could one dare nod off or even close an eyelid? Missing out was not an option! 

 

Eventually we reached a hidden gem, Mzima Springs. This area is covered with volcanic lava rock, although over the years Mother Nature has blanketed it with lush green vegetation, thus birthing a majestic oasis.

 

A footpath led us to a thicket where water continuously flowed out of the earth. Some estimate that it may take two decades before rainwater makes its way to the surface to form this memorable natural spring.

 

During our stay at the beautiful Setao Elerai Camp, with its breathtaking views of Kilimanjaro, we had the opportunity to visit Amboseli National Park, situated a mere 12-kilometres away.

 

 

Amboseli boasts savannah, bush land and barren, dusty stretches of land where eerie whirlwinds dance. It’s home to a palm savannah and a lush green swamp where hundreds of different animals congregate daily in order to enjoy this natural source of fresh water.

 

It was here that we spent time enjoying bush reality TV at its best: The Bachelor in Amboseli!

 

It all started when a handsome elephant walked across the savannah towards a herd of females, clearly in search of his perfect partner.

 

At first the matriarch checked all his credentials. Values, track records and trunk sizes were discussed. Which of these fine ladies would be his?

 

 

He moved slowly around the herd, eyeballing each lady, making certain he chose his best match. One of the ladies was busy cleaning her teeth; another attempted to fix her make-up while another covered herself with the most expensive dust perfume. Mr Handsome certainly stole the show that day!

 

Apart from wonderful experiences like this, another thing a travel brochure is unable to capture is the sensory experience Africa offers.

 

From the moment the country’s distinctive scent touches your nostrils to when the sounds of birds, insects and animals overpower the hearing, Africa massively over-delivers.

 

I have encountered many pristine parks in Africa; however, Amboseli stole a piece of my heart. I thank you…

 

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Published: 12 August 2019


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