Many people consider a safari to be a “bucket list” trip – in the same category as a trip to the Galapagos Islands. And, for many people, the bucket list doesn’t begin until after retirement. Here’s why we didn’t wait.
We Embraced YOLO
We’re strong believers in embracing “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), so we decided to embark on our safari journey before even turning 40. Who knows what the next 10-20-30 years (or month!) will look like for you or those iconic safari destinations? There is a certain charm to the warmth and hospitality of the Kenyan people and these places that we hope will never change – but we don’t recommend waiting to find out. On top of that, being younger will also make the long journey easier.
We Did Safari the Right Way
It’s also no doubt that a safari is a time commitment – not something you can really do (the right way) in a long weekend. So, once you make the time, do it right – give yourself a couple of weeks, and make sure you visit a few different areas of the country you’ve chosen. It’s also important to choose a reputable safari operator to guide you – the peace of mind is worth the price. For us, on our visit to Kenya, we visited 3 distinct areas after starting from our base in Nairobi with Micato Safaris:
- Amboseli: A national park (which means no off-roading), with a LOT of elephants and beautiful birds. A lower elevation means we definitely saw the impact of the record rains. (our stay: Tortilis Camp)
- Laikipia: Higher elevation and more varied, hilly terrain. This is where we had our first off-roading experience in Loisaba Conservancy, known for preserving the landscape with sustainability and anti-poaching efforts. (our stay: Loisaba Tented Camp)
- Maasai Mara: Closest to the stereotypical safari landscape with its open plains. THE place to see the big cats. (our stay: Mahali Mzuri)
See our infographic for more!
We Took Advantage of All There is to Offer
In addition to seeing so much wildlife, being younger may also afford you more opportunities for activities while on safari. A sampling of some activities (if time and weather cooperate) may include:
- Bush walks/walking safaris (with protection of course!)
- Meals and/or sundowners (drinks at sunset) in the bush
- Horseback or camelback safaris
- Runs with the locals (Micato even has a running safari!)
- Mountain biking
- Swimming (in camp pools, not in the wild!)
- Spa treatments
- Seeing anti-poaching dogs in action
- Visits to local villages to learn about their history and culture
- Waiting for your jeep to be dug out of the mud (we did say record rains!)
We Learned How to Give Back
Last, but certainly not least, we’re a fan of any trip that allows us to give back. Micato is a safari operator who does this very well – with their AmericaShare program. For each safari sold, they send one child to school, with additional options for visitors to give back. The program has continued to expand over the years, and we can tell that Micato is always looking for what they can do next!