Since our first trip to Africa in 2013, we have been infected by the Africa virus. A safari is a completely different way to travel. The experience of seeing untouched nature and the big wild animals in freedom is incredible. When else, on vacation, do you voluntarily get up every morning at 5:30am before sunrise, just to be able to experience this out in the wild. The vastness and the light in the African steppe touch the mind immensely. When you observe the large herds of animals, you feel very small, literally like being in another world. For the wildlife photographer, Africa is the absolute place of desire.
After 6 trips to Africa up to now, I have already gained some expertise that I would like to share here. At first I have arranged some general safari tips, followed by links to the reports about our last trips.
We have been on safari in Africa several times since 2013. On these trips we travelled with a private jeep and our own guide/driver in Kenya and Tanzania and visited several national parks and reserves.
Such a safari is quite unfamiliar at the beginning and completely different from other holiday trips.
In this short article, I have collected some of my experiences and tips that might be helpful for anyone planning an own trip.
Our last Africa safari was almost 3 years ago and the Africa virus in us gave no rest. In the meantime, a lot had happened. The world was almost at a standstill because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
In 2021, long-distance travel would finally be a possibility again, so we started planning a new trip.
This time we first went to the Masai Mara again for 5 nights. Then we flew with Mombasa Air for 2 days to Amboseli National Park and finally ended the trip with a 3-day stay in Lumo Conversancy, in the fantastic Lions Bluff Lodge.
As I changed my job on July 2018, my summer holiday was postponed in 2018. Instead, we planned a 10-day vacation over the turn of the year 2018 to 2019. This time, the three of us, my wife Simone, my daughter Luise and I, went to the Masai Mara for 9 nights. We were very curious how it would be there at this time of year - shortly after the small rainy season and without the big wildebeest herds, which at this time of the year are back in the Serengeti.
Hardly back from Tanzania last year, we immediately started planning the next Africa trip. This time we were again 6 persons, like on our first Africa trip in 2013. From the experience of our last trip we wanted to minimize the stressful drives as much as possible and therefore limited ourselves to only three parks with at least 3 days stay in each.
In 2016 we decided to visit the relatively less known so-called “Southern Circuit” in southern Tanzania. Unfortunately we only had 2 weeks vacation this time, so we booked an 11-day safari. Once again we planned a trip in our own jeep with our own guide, this time through the 3 Southern National Parks: Mikumi, Ruaha and Selous.
This time the 16-day trip led us through southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. We visited Amboseli National Park in Kenya, then in Tanzania the Tarangire National Park, Arusha, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Afterwards we made a short stop at Lake Victoria in Speke Bay and returned to Kenya for a few days in the Masai Mara.
In August 2013 our dream came true. Together with good friends we went on our first safari through Kenya. For me it was even the first time that I left the European continent. We toured through Kenya on an individual safari in our own four-wheel drive vehicle (Toyota LandCruiser) with an excellent guide who accompanied us the whole time (thank you very much, Eric!). We visited Samburu, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha and at last we spent some days in the Masai Mara. This great trip activated the African virus in us!