A friend and I we discovered that Turkish Airlines offered really cheap tickets to Kenya/Nairobi from Denmark/Copenhagen, and within a week or so we decided to buy 2 tickets and then plan the rest afterwards.So with the tickets in our hands we opened pandoras box of opportunities for things to do in Kenya and Tanzania, to be honest there’re overwhelmingly many options.
We decided to go for a 4 day safari trip and then relaxing 6 days on Zanzibar. Since I’ve only been on a one day safari trip in Sri Lanka, I was pretty much clueless about planning such, and thank god for online reviews and Google. So here’s my 9 tips and tricks!
Who to go with?
First of all we gathered a lot of quotes from different tour operators, and since it was low (long rain) season ( March, April and May) the operators were able to give some good offers on lodges and such. We ended up buying our Safari trip with Sunny Safari, and they were very helpful, and patiently answered all our questions.
Sharing the ride?
We decided to have our own car, and I’m very happy we did that, to us it looked so uncomfortable to be more than 2 in the car. We didn’t had to discuss wether we wanted to stay for another 20 min in case we would be lucky enough to see the leopard go hunt, or stay and stare at the lion cubs playing around in the grass. To us it was a great privilege to be on our own, but on the other hand it also influences the price.
Pop up roof…
To us this was that most important thing, and since we stood up there and looked out for 4 full days we really took advantage of this! You really get to see much more up there and scouting for animals is much more fun!
We shared one, but next time I want my own that’s for sure – and bring a good one, actually the biggest you can carry.
You’ll ask questions!
So make sure to bring a book about the animals, you can buy books that describes the wildlife in each National Parc, so in our case we should have bought a book about Serengeti National Parc. When cruising around you see so many things you have never seen before, and you ask more questions than your guide can answer ( which is absolutely fine, therefore a book would be a great supplement for all your curiosity.) And since wifi is a little scarce, analog tools are much appreciated.
I’ve brought my Canon G15 Powershot, which takes amazing pictures - take a look here
. But for shooting the beautiful leopard and the Rhino that we saw from a distance, I needed a bigger lens so badly! So bring one if you can! This picture below is actually taken through the binoculars – I had to be creative in order to capture this beauty! However it’s far from optimal, I know!
What to wear?
You see tons of people wearing full safari gear – it looks sort of good, but honestly not necessary, you sit in the car most of the time, so you’re not really out in any situations where a full blown safari suit will do any difference, wear something that’s comfortable and in layers since it’s cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon.
It was very difficult for us to chose which national parcs we should visit, and it also depends on the season, entrance fees ect. But we ended up going to Lake Manyara
, Ngorongoro Crater
. If I could change it, looking back, I would have skipped Lake Manyara and taken an extra day in Serengeti National Parc, but then again it would also impact on the price significantly. But there’s just more to see and Serengeti is without doubt the place to be.
This is the view over the crater.
Low/short rain/long rain/high season
We knew that in May it was long rain and low season, so we were prepared for rain, but luckily it only rained one night, and it was cloudy in the early morning. The grass wasn’t that high yet but the animals were good at hiding anyways. Probably the best thing about this season was that the amount of people out there was very limited! At some point I felt it was crowded, but then I was told that in the high season, you could wait up to 2 hours to have your paper work done before entering Serengeti, further there would be more than 40 cars pulling up in front of the lions, and each car would have 3 minutes and then you would have to move on.
This picture, I took because I thought 6 cars was a lot, but comparing it to how it would be in the high season, this is absolutely nothing! And to me it’s reason enough to always consider low season. And as our guide Khalifa said, there’s never a bad time for a game drive in Serengeti!
This was what we all we’re looking at: