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Goway Africa Expert, Yael Marom, has just returned from a trip to Kenya including Masai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo National Parks. Yael shares her insight into what she learned from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Kenya?
That it is a dangerous destination, when the opposite is true. People are very friendly and welcoming. I heard the word “Karibu” (meaning “welcome” in Swahili) several times a day from different people. Also, outside of the capital city of Nairobi, all of the major destinations are national parks and the only real danger in being dumbstruck by the splendour and wonder of everything around you.
What was your favourite hotel/lodge and why?
Kilanguni Serena Lodge in Tsavo West National Park because of the scenery of the Chyulu Hills and Mt. Kilimanjaro just about everywhere. The moment you walk into the lodge you face the massive floor-to-ceiling open air windows facing the hills, the mountain, and a waterhole where game viewing is highly likely as you sip your wine or have your breakfast. I literally sat there for hours just in awe of the majestic beauty of the bush. The same can be said for all of the rooms, which offer spacious balconies also facing the waterhole. Also, the service was gracious. All of the staff were ready to assist at all times with a smile.
What was your favourite unique stay/experience?
The hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara. The balloon not only gives you a unique aerial view of the park and its wildlife, but also goes where the vehicles can’t. You get a true bird’s eye view of the surroundings at dawn, which only adds to the magnificence. At the end of the balloon ride a champagne bush breakfast is served to top off the experience.
As a Goway Africa Expert, was there anything that surprised you?
I was surprised to be game viewing while on a regular train ride from Nairobi. Also, I was surprised at the wildlife in the park bordering the city. Apparently a lion managed to get into the city itself a few years ago and was roaming the streets until he was safely captured and brought back to his home. Thankfully, no harm was done to man or beast.
What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend into another country?
Tanzania, especially the Serengeti, which is the much larger extension to the Masai Mara. It would ensure you get to see the millions of animals roaming this massive national park during the world-famous migration.
Are there any tips about travelling to Kenya that agents might share with their clients to make their trip even more enjoyable?
Many people don’t know about Mombasa as a fabulous beach destination. Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania, is quite well known and visited, but Mombasa is still on mainland Kenya and is easily accessible by train, road, or a short and affordable flight. Mombasa also has an international airport and travellers can easily fly home from there.
Do you have a favourite local dish?
The Tilapia fish is delicious!
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