All posts filed under: Attractions

The Great Migration

Not to be confused with the people migration that happens in Nairobi every year, this is the real Great Migration. We got to experience it on our trip to the Mara. So, what is it? The Great Migration is the mass migration of wildebeest, zebra, and other animals such as gazelle and impala. The animals move, sort of following the rains, to get to better pastures and drinking water. They move between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Of course, animals don’t care about political borders and the Serengeti and Mara are the same stretch of land. So, it’s a mass migration across this vast area. Timing varies depending on the rains but usually peak time is in August. (I don’t recommend going in August as the park will be teeming with obnoxious tourists. More on that in a future post.) We got to see it in mid-July this year as the herds crossed from the Mara to the Serengeti. We got to view the crossing of the …

Maasai Mara

After nearly two years in Kenya, we finally went out to the Maasai Mara. We decided that it would be the prefect long weekend trip for J.’s birthday. We were not disappointed. We stayed at the Mara Siria camp (review to come soon) just outside the national reserve. The part of the Mara that we saw was the Mara Triangle, it’s about one third of the entire Maasai Mara National Reserve. The area bordered by the Mara River, the Oldoinyio Escarpment (where our camp was located), and the border with Tanzania (which doesn’t matter to animals because they don’t need passports) where it becomes Serengeti National Park. This part of the Mara is less crowded and is said to have has more animals. We certainly saw a ton of animals. We saw the big five: rhino (black rhino in our case), lions, leopard, buffalo, and elephants. We also saw the symbol of the mara, the Topi (a kind of deer)—that was a first for me. Highlights include a very full leopard snoozing away, lion cubs, …

How to Pack for a Safari in Kenya

We learn something new on every safari. At this point, we’ve gone for enough game drives and full safaris to have become experts in packing. Here are some tips from what we’ve learned from our experiences. Shoes Hiking boots/shoes or trail running shoes are great. Closed-toe Tevas (or similar) are also good if you’ll be in the vehicle the whole time. But bring along sneakers or hiking boots just in case. If you do any hiking, biking, or walking you’ll want your foot fully protected. Also, some lodges and camps have graveled areas. It’s not fun to constantly wiggle rocks out of your shoe. Clothes It’s all about the layers. It will be cold in the mornings, and game drives start very early. It will also get cold at night. Also, even though things heat up during the day, if you’re in an open vehicle, the wind will chill you. But you also don’t want to roast at midday and on sunny afternoons. Here’s how I layer: Tank top or t-shirt Long sleeve shirt or …

River Cafe

Review: River Cafe

The other week I met up with a friend at the River Cafe in the Karura Forest. It was a beautiful day and the setting was just perfect. The cafe is open air, but covered so you’re protected from the sun and rain. You feel like you’re dining outside. The atmosphere is laid back and comfortable. Too boot, the place is dog friendly. Not only that, but they make sure no dogs are too close to one another and they provide water and bowls for the dogs. The service was a touch slow, but not bad. Everyone was very friendly, so I was okay with things taking a little time given the great hospitality. The food was pretty good. They messed up both our orders. For me, my poached eggs (they asked how I wanted them and I said very runny) came out a bit too firm and my friend’s vegetarian meal came with bacon (uh oh!). I dealt fine with my eggs—they were still yummy. The waiter came back quickly with the right order …