You can never truly say ‘goodbye’ to Kenya because even when you are miles and miles away, the memories made there are good tinder that are always just a spark away from a new safari adventure! If you’ve been on a safari in Kenya, you will know that ‘farewell and see you soon’ is a far more apt parting because you know, as the saying goes, that “in Africa everything bites, but the (Kenyan) safari bug bites worst of all”.
In the meantime, we thought we would share some of our favourite little safari moments – those moments when you’re truly amazed by Africa. Just to relight that travel yearning fire and remind you what waits for you in Kenya.
Waking up at sunrise to capture the golden light on those 22 snoozing lions
It’s early, still dark in this wild corner of Africa. You’re slowly waking up from a cosy night’s sleep in your warm tent hearing your room steward asking whether you’re awake, and that your hot coffee and biscuits are ready. The excited anticipation of an early start to head out for a game drive through the captivating wilderness that is the Masai Mara in Kenya.
After a quick hot shower and a delicious cup of smooth, strong Kenyan coffee you head out to say ‘good morning’ to your smiling and passionate Maasai guide. Ready for another day in Africa, where opportunities abound to experience exhilarating wildlife sightings and simple moments basking in nature’s effortless beauty.
That first sip of a sundowner
Hot and slightly dusty after the afternoon game drive, you make your way towards the bar, chatting animatedly with your guide about the day’s sightings. The bartender is ready with an embracing smile and a casual “Would you like a cold drink?” Will it be a cold Tusker or an icy G&T? This is the hardest decision you’ve had to make so far during your safari.
You sit, by the roaring fire, outside under the cosmos, with the distant sound of crickets and light chatting from other guests and the camp staff. Taking delicious sips of cold G&T, with ice and a touch of lime, entranced in the glowing orange and blue flames. Already reminiscing about the days you’ve had and the memories you’ve made, while in the back of your mind, you’re also anticipating the next day’s adventures.
Is it there? Not sure…your spotter is chatting excitedly! Has he seen something? Must have, surely… The car edges forward, as your spotter directs your guide. Suddenly there’s tension in the air, everyone is still, quiet. Don’t talk, sit still, breathe quietly is all you’re thinking…
And then suddenly, there she is! Silently gliding through the tall golden grass – how did we miss her! So many beautiful spots, so majestic, and not paying any attention to us at all. Then she turns and looks right at you; the adrenaline, the excitement, the pure joy of that glorious moment you finally spot the elusive leopard.
Lose yourself dreaming under cream canvas
After a day filled with activities and adventure, then an evening of good wine and an even better three course meal, it’s time for bed. Back at the spacious cream canvas tent, the showers hot and the robe fluffy. The canvas lightly flaps in the night breeze as you slide between crisp white sheets. The hot water bottle that your steward earlier put in place has made the bed into a warm cocoon.
Moments of the day play softly behind your eyes, as you drift off into a well-deserved deep sleep, with the sound of lions roaring in the distance. This is you, living out a fairy-tale, your number one on your wanderlust wish-list. Top bucket-list priority ticked!
Submerged in bubbles, and surrounded by the wilderness
A little hot, a little dusty but smiling from ear to ear. It’s been one of those magical days, an unbeatable morning game drive, scrumptious bush lunch, an electric bike (or e-bike) ride through herds of wildebeest. And now it’s time to relax in the best and luxurious fashion, a traditional outdoor canvas bath. Step into the bubbles and lose yourself in a world of timeless indulgence and romance. Soak up the scenery and enjoy the stillness for a while.
So, when you next step outside to take a breath of fresh air, think about the place you most miss or wish to see for the first time. Then book that safari to either rekindle or create the first little sparks, those magical travel moments we’ve all missed during this time of travel hibernation.
Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris. Cottar’s 1920s Safaris is an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa.