WONDERS OF KENYA

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Aug 2018 11:18:50


 

By DR PRAKASH DEO,

K enya –aplethora of wildlife and infinite wild life surprises. From the beautiful costal cliff of Watamu, to the beach of Lake Victoria. The great Kenya Rift valley and the wonders of wildebeest migration in Masai Mara, from Mara River from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya, is a life time divine experience and to me is a unique family destination for lovers of wild life.

A true Kenyan Safari starts and ends in an astonishing experience and assimilation of many life changing experiences. Bundled with innumerable extensive conservations and natural surroundings, are serene tranquil and peaceful reserves and parks, with a range of birds and wild life species, which include the “BIG 5”.

Alongside Masai Mara, there are lot many conservation parks worth visiting. But, it would take more than a month to visit all, which is practically impossible for the tourists. As a wild life adventure tourist, having visited Kenya before this tour, two times, I wanted to explore a wild life adventure group, who can make a tailor made program for us for 7-10 days, during which we can visit and enjoy all important sites in Kenya. And Indian Wild Ventures managed by two young entrepreneurs, Vaibhav Jugade and Sarang Jog helped us to plan our one week tour to Kenya covering Sweet waters, Naivasha Lake and Masai Mara. To me, these three sites, with limited time available with the tourists provided us an excellent opportunity to better understand wild life and birds of Kenya.

Moreover, the wildlife expert of Indian Wild Ventures was with the group who had in depth knowledge of flora / fauna / birds and of entire African wildlife. The expert accompanying us during the visits to wild life sanctuaries used to share details of critical aspects and other important things to observe, everyday in the morning and evening. This helped us to visualize and enjoy wild life with a different perspective and created an enthusiasm and keenness to observe and enjoy more. Wildlife in East Africa, Kenya in particular, has been adjudged the best in the sub-Saharan Africa.

There are many dense forests in India having abundant population of wild animals, aquatic life and birds, but they are not clearly visible due to shelters available in the jungle whereas in East Africa, Kenya in particular it is because of the grass lands, the wild life can be enjoyed from the shortest distance. We were a group of 14 people from Nagpur, all wildlife lovers who wanted to makeatrip to Kenya, and hence approached “Indian Wild Ventures” who in turn planned and conductedatrip for us which covered wonderful destinations to observe very large animal biodiversity.

After reaching Nairobi, next morning we went straight to Sweet Waters tented camp, excellent luxurious tented accommodation. After check –in and lunch we went for the Game Drive. Enroute, we enjoyed sighting of Zebras, Impalas and various types of herbivores like Thomson Gazelles / Grant Gazelles, bush bucks, water bucks etc. We then visited Chimpanzee park which had 2 families of chimpanzee of 39 numbers in two areas separated by a river. The oldest chimp was almost 33 years old. Most of the chimps were friendly with the visitors.

After that we went to the Rhino park, where black and white rhino are protected. Early morning next day we went to the water hole in the camp area and saw hundreds of black/white storks. The sight was so pleasing to the eyes that one would love to continuing watching for hours together. In the mean time zebras, water bucks, Topis too made their presence felt.

As Sun was rising beautiful birds were sighted and we were lucky enough to capture them in our cameras. After breakfast we left for Lake Navisha. For a short time, we halted at the Equator. By lunch time, we arrived at Naivasha. After lunch we left for boat ride in Lake Naivasha where we sighted hippos and variety of birds. We sighted Pelicans, Herons, Storks, Kingfishers etc and also specialty of Lake Naivasha “The African Fish Eagle”. After the boat ride we arrived at Lake Navisha Sopa Lodge and had delicious dinner at the club and retired for the day.

This property is on the bank of lake and in the evening and early morning one can find hippos, water bucks, zebras, impalas and giraffes freely moving around in the premises. A very unique experience. After an early breakfast next day, we departed for Masai Mara Game Reserve via Narok Town where we took a short stop at the Curio Shop, had a cup of tea and saw articles at Curio Shop, all handicrafts. We arrived at “Azure Mara Camp” which is on the outskirts of Masai Mara Game Reserve.

After having lunch at the tented camp we left for afternoon Game Drive. The Masai Mara Game Reserve has all BiG 5, The Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopards. Immediately after entering the Reserve, we started sighting various species of birds and animals in their natural habitat. It was an unbelievable experience. The drivers of our vehicles were not only expert drivers but also educated guides. They could sense animals from long distance and took vehicles in those directions in discipline, right on trails following the rules of the National Reserve. Availability of Vaibhav as our guide with updated knowledge of African flora and fauna made our safaris more interesting .

After returning from the safari we shifted to Mara Sopa Lodge for next two nights, amidst the Masai Mara game reserve. This property is perhaps the best in Masai Mara. Next morning post breakfast, we packed our lunch boxes and started for our safari. We entered grass land and saw herd of Zebras, wildebeests, Impalas, Giraffe families, Lion pride with kill, secretary bird. By noon we came across a pair of Cheetah. They were in search of shelter. We then drove to the highest point en route to Mara River from where we could see large number of animals (wildebeest, Topis, Impalas, Eland and Zebras) gathering near Mara river for annual migration from Serengeti National Park of Tanzania to Masai Mara. We then moved to Mara river where we were able to see Hippos and big Crocodiles waiting for their prey.

By the side of river were wild buffaloes. We waited for long to have glimpse of migration. Our time was getting over, hence started back for the exit gate. On return journey, we saw Lion, Topi, African elephant etc. Evening was very special as our tour organizers had made arrangements of live music with delicious food. During our stay in Masai Mara we had an opportunity to visit a masai village and interact with Masai tribe.

At the end of safari, my experience: Nature is not only that WONDERS OF KENYA which is visible to your eyes, it also includes inner picture of the soul. The continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is important to the quality of life of humans. There is something about the experiences of safari that makes you forget all your sorrows. I would strongly recommend all wild life lovers to visit Masai Mara. This unique experience will help you to leadalife with a different perspective and containment.