The beach and some moisture were calling after living in the dry, dusty, blood-nose, crocodile-skin, snowy-collar weather of Ethiopia’s 10 month dry season! We settled on a beach stint and safari in Kenya.
It began with the simple click of a mouse button! For what was meant to be a two hour direct flight to Mombasa from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, turned in to an epic six hour flight spanning three countries, an island and Africa’s highest peak.
In the continuing theme of AWA (Africa Wins Again), the first day was certainly one of those days. After a restless sleep due to the beats of an African nightclub beneath our bed and a drive to the airport in a forty year-old fiat held precariously together with blue twine, we arrived in time to discover that our flight was not listed on the departures board.
Finally after some complaining and many apologies we headed off toward our destination in business class supported by much champagne and cheese! Arriving in Mombasa late in the day we sweltered our way through the airport, resembling well-basted chooks by the time we emerged on to Kenyan soil, stripping our highland jumpers.
Diani Beach is a pretty, touristed beach on the southern coast of Kenya, adorned with white sand beaches, towering coconut trees, leech-like beach boys, red-saronged Maasai warriors, uber resorts and early sunrises and sunsets. Our time was spent luxuriously drinking sundowners by the pool watched over by monkeys seated in the majestic boabab trees above, setting sail into the sunset upon an ngalawa and swimming among the seahorses and lion fish hiding amidst the coral.
Then we flew off to our next nest, the famous Maasai Mara, the northern extension into Kenya of Tanzania’s Serengetti National Park. Although we missed the wildebeest migration by a good two months we were lucky enough to have rain and this brought many of the herd animals back over the border. Spring had also sprung and many new young were merrily bouncing around the plains or running for their lives. Tenting in an unfenced camp was also a highlight and cause for concern, as hippos, elephants, giraffe, lion and buffalo shared our temporary home. As a result, sleep was interrupted by the noisy munching of hippos next to our bed (literally) and the odd crash as they chose to walk through the guardrails instead of around them!
Going on safari is also a must do here. As most people tick the big 5 off their list, we were happy just watching the animals in their natural surroundings without any inhibitions what-so-ever! Lions mating, cheetah relaxing, elephants joining us for lunch, vultures and spotted hyena munching on a kill, mongoose and secretary birds hunting snakes, crocodiles patiently waiting by the wildebeest and zebra river crossings, giraffes gazing at the strange spectators in landrovers and antelope hiding in the grass behind the lion hillock were all in a days viewing.
Kenya – Hakuna Matata (especially if accompanied by a tusker!)