Val’s Kenyan Experience: Day 1 – Welcome To Kenya
There’s a variety of reasons people come on the Kenyan Experience with the Nasio Trust.
For some it’s the idea of combining travelling across Kenya on safari with meeting and helping ‘real’ Kenyans. Some take part because October is the time when their kids are leaving the nest to go to college or university, and they want something positive to focus on.
Whatever your reason, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and visit a beautiful part of the world. Contact Jane to book your place for 2016: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Kenyan Experience
Nairobi Saturday 3rd October: Up at 6.30 for a 7.00 departure to Kilaguni Lodge in the heart of Tsavo National Park. There are 8 of us including Jane from the Nasio Trust who is leading the trip, and our drivers Jethro and Nicco, with Salim the mechanic, just in case the vehicles need attention (turns out he’s going to be pretty busy during this trip). We’re in 3 vehicles – one ‘Matatu’ and 2 Land Rover 4x4s which were donated to the Nasio Trust last year.
We get to the entrance of Tsavo National Park around 2.00pm, and have a 15km drive from the gates to the Lodge. Soon we arrive at the Serena Kilaguni Lodge reception, where we’re given a warm welcome by the staff. But our eyes are all on the watering hole which takes pride of place less than 25m from the open and expansive dining room. No animals are present as its 3.00pm – more of that later.
We have an excellent buffet lunch – the food is some of the best you’ll find in Kenya – and afterwards we check into our well appointed rooms with balcony overlooking the watering hole, with the Chulu hills and their red plains surrounding us.
After a quick dip in the lovely pool we head off in the Matatu for our first safari – we spot zebra, impala, dik-diks – the smallest antelope in Africa – a Marshall eagle – the largest eagle in Africa, giraffe, elephant, hartebeast and many more. The Matatu’s open roof allows us to see everything so clearly – it’s incredible to have all this wildlife so close. We appear to be the only vehicle in the whole of the national park.
it’s incredible to have all this wildlife so close. We appear to be the only vehicle in the whole of the national park.
We arrive back at the lodge before dark – just in time for the big show at the watering hole. Around 30 elephants are taking advantage of the water; it turns out there has been an unusually dry spell. Suddenly the elephants are still, then the mothers calmly form a barrier in front of the young ones. The reason becomes clear- a pride of 5 lionesses is approaching the water hole in the dusky light. One heads the hunting party, advancing very very slowly. We all look on wondering if they’ll manage to penetrate the barrier of large female elephants, but we have a feeling they’re not going to be eating tonight. Sure enough they melt into the darkness, the elephant go about their business and we head for dinner.
Suddenly Fiona spots a leopard walking slowly past; it realises there are too many elephant to handle, and, like the lionesses ambles on with no dinner.
Our dinner, by contrast is delicious, and we start to form a bond over the shared experience. We look forward to waking up to see what will be appearing in the morning.
- Discover the Nasio 4×4 challenge and experience Kenya for yourself!