Goway Africa Expert Jervin Randria recently returned from a trip to Kenya, where she flew between some of the country’s best wildlife parks on an Elewana Sky Safari. Here we ask Jervin to share some highlights and selling tips.
Where did you travel in Kenya?
I was on an Elewana Sky Safari. We arrived into Nairobi, then travelled to Amboseli, Meru National Park, Masai Mara, and the Loisaba Conservancy.
Where is Kenya and how does one get there?
Kenya is in East Africa and is very easy to get to, with a multitude of carriers and routings. I myself flew on Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa. It was a very comfortable flight and offers great connections. Another great option is the non-stop flight on Kenya Airways from JFK to Nairobi.
What did you see and do on your trip?
I saw a ton of wildlife from the big 5 (elephants, lions, African buffalo, rhino, leopard) to other exiting sightings like cheetahs, hyenas, impala, zebra, and many species of birds. I was fortunate enough to see Mount Kilimanjaro for a few mins from Amboseli which made for a spectacular backdrop to my wildlife sightings there. I also had the privilege of visiting a Masai village just outside the Masai Mara which was very interesting.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Kenya?
I guess the issue of safety comes up quite often, however I was taken care of by our team on the ground from the beginning to the end and felt totally safe as a single female travelling alone. At no time was I concerned for my safety.
What was your favourite highlight of the trip?
There were really so many highlights it’s hard to choose just one but if I had to pick, I would say it was staying in the open-air room at Starbeds in Loisaba. It was one of my best experiences, sleeping under the stars and hearing all the sounds of the bush while tucked in a comfortable bed with a hot water bottle.
As a Goway Africa Expert, was there anything that surprised you?
The hospitality I received everywhere and the friendliness of the Kenyan people I met, especially within the Elewana Team that I spent most of my time with, was just phenomenal. I knew by their reputation that Kenyans are friendly and welcoming people, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but the genuine warmth I was showered with just blew me away. Truly, I was teary eyed leaving some of the camps because after just a day or two they felt like home.
What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend into another country and why?
Tanzania is always a nice, very natural add on to Kenya. the two complement each other and we offer a two week trip that combines both countries for a longer safari experience. Another option would be to add on a Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda, which is very easy to get to from Kenya, or one can end with a beach stay in Mombasa or Zanzibar to relax after the safari.
Are there any tips about travelling to Kenya that agents might share with their clients to make their trip even more enjoyable?
I say consider a flying safari if possible. I felt like a celebrity on the Elewana Sky Safari with our own private plane whisking our little group from camp to camp. You waste no time on the road but rather start your safari drive as soon as you land at each camp. It was an awesome experience and I highly recommend it.
Do you have a favourite local dish?
Ugali and mchicha (spinach) is my favorite!