It's easy enough to get on a flight to Nairobi, then go on safari in the Masai Mara and see an incredible amount of animals, and hopefully some amazing sights such as this cheetah. But it doesn't have to be nearly as expensive as some may think. Check out a backpackers like Milimani, within walking distance of downtown Nairobi, where they can set you up with just about anything worth doing in the country. A must do while stopping over in Nairobi is to tour the enormous slum Kibera. A place like Milimani can set you up with a local who lives in the township who will show you around for as long as you want. It's an incredibly humbling experience.
Then get on one of their budget safaris. They are well priced, a few hundred for two or three nights, food included. Milimani will organize the return transportation- the driver is also your guide and stays with you the entire safari. The lodging is in tents, just outside the gates to the Masai Mara, and there may not be running water and the toilet may be a hole in the ground, but you are staying adjacent to a Masai village and have a well tended fire to sit next to under the stars while having a beer-- if you brought some with you. The Masai will show you around their village during the day, while game drives are every morning and evening, and the amount of wildlife in the Masai Mara is amazing. And it doesn't matter if you spend a few hundred on a safari or a few thousand, the animals are all the same.
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National Geographic in Real Time
It might be illegal to come to Kenya and not go on a safari. The savanna of Masai Mara National Reserve is the picture you had in your mind of Africa.
There are herds of zebras, buffalos and wildebeest graze shortly after you enter the park’s gate. Within a 30km loop you’ve seen elephants, gazelles, giraffes, and lions. A menagerie of wildlife just as National Geographic had describes it.
As we drove through the park, staring slacked jawed, gawking at each animals, I set aside my own discourse on God and religion and thought, if there really is a GOD who created the world in 7 days….WOW….What an imaginative and creative guy he must be. To dream up ALL of these animals and let them co-exists in an eco-system that self sustains and complete. Holy Shit!
An experience that lives up to one’s expectation can be rare. To meet that expectation and hold you in awe is even harder still. A safari tour of Kenya’s national park might seem touristy and pre-packaged (which it is) but there is nothing like seeing all these amazing animals in 3D and merely meters away from you.