TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Friday, 13 January 2012

A Kenyan adventure

As noticed on Tots100 (through a friend) they are offering the chance to win a holiday with Al Fresco Holidays if you write a blog about a memorable holiday. I have been very lucky that as a child i had lots of holidays with my grandparents- one of the benefits of living in Belgium while they were here in UK. but i have chosen Kenya in 1997 as my memorable one.

I had always wanted to go there and do a safari. So since i was married that year it seemed like the perfect honeymoon, it was very expensive and at a mere 21 took us 18 months to save up for. But eventually we made it and were off. The travel was horrible since we had a stop of 6 hours in what was basically a tin shed with no bottled water of packet food. But i was excited as we were at least on Kenyan soil. The first part of our trip was disappointing, i knew the area would be poor, but i was naive and didn't realise how poor. And to my embarrassment i was sick. The day after we got there and were heading out to the safari i came down with a migraine. My loving new husband very nicely said he wasn't asking the driver to stop in the rough part of town and to open the window of the bus and stick my head out. Some of you may laugh- this is exactly what i had to do. I missed a poor Kenyan man by inches as we drove past him. (to this day not many know this so you are very lucky). We arrived at Tsavo National park a few hours later and got our first look at where we would be staying. The lodge was fabulous, made from wood and other natural substances, it had a thatched roof and huge open veranda that looked down the cliff to the park. At the edge of the gardens was a patio area with thatched open sided shelters and some telescopes you pay for 5 mins viewing. The view was breath taking.
We had all sorts of visitors to that patio from spiders, lizards right up to the monkeys who would beg for food. they would even sit on the telescope and copy us by trying to look through them.
we were on safari for 3 days, we saw female lions, one was no more than 5 feet away, she was young so we were told. We laughed at Giraffes bending their long necks down to drink at the water hole- they almost had to do the splits. I took a wonderful photo of a mother and baby elephant coming over a slit incline in the terrain. We chose later to have this enlarged and put on the wall.
My favourite part and in a way most shocking part was seeing the elephants climbing the cliff face in the evening to get to the lodge. I never realised or thought that they would be able to do that. Initially the noise of them crashing through the trees was scary- it sounded like people attacking (and we were out there at a time of unrest), but once explained to us we had a good look and through the darkness there they were, determined to try and reach the top. The staff had to chase them away for our and the animals safety.
Seeing a black panther climb a tree for food has to come a very close 2nd to climbing elephant. The panthers come out at night to eat, and sitting on the balcony of the 3rd lodge we had a perfect view of one. I was in awe. They have been one my favourite animals since, and one i frequently see in dreams.

Once the safari was over we went back to a hotel where they had upgraded us to a nicer room, we had a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket as a gift and spent the rest of our time lazing around the pool. We had the chance to eat buffallo- this was very succulant and tasty. I gave the crocodile a miss- more because i was too lazy to walk to the other side of the hotel and go to the BBQ there. I also had my 1st taste of indian there compliments to the honeymoon couple. As a rule i can't eat chillie or curry- it makes me very ill. But for me they made whatever i wanted and left those spices out, what they didn't tell me is they compensated for that with extra pepper. My poor mouth!

Having heard all about our holiday my son now wnats me to take him there to see the animals in the wild. He believes as me that they look happier- their expressions are different to those we see in Zoo's. I know many will disagree, but i firmly believe animals such as the ones i saw should be protected in their natural habitat. One day i will take my son and daughter to Kenya, and i will show them all the things i fell in love with there. I can honestly say that although my marriage failed, this was one of my best holidays so far. I only wish i had some pictures on my laptop to share with you all. But alas that was the daysbefore digital and i haven't had the chance to scan and save all my proper pictures to disk yet. One day i will, and i will share some pictures then.

And if telling you all about it gives me a chance at winning a holiday, then it was a pleasure to share and remember. If you also want this chance then please go to Al Fresco Holidays Wish me luck.


  1. lovely description and i will come with you too if I am not too old when you go again