One highlight that wasn’t part of the official excursion was the 2-day Safari I had the chance to take part in. A tour guide took 5 other participants and me in a jeep from Mombasa about 4 hours north into Taita Hills Wildlife Sancuary, a national park in the middle of Kenya.
During these two days we had the chance to see all the animals that lived in this area, such as zebras, giraffes, elephants, antilopes, buffelos, gazelles, monkeys and lions. The tour was timed perfectly to take amazing pictures: We went on a game drive in the evening during sun set and left the next morning at 6 am to be out for the sunrise. It was incredible to see wild animals in their natural environment – pictures that I had only seen in the media before.
My accomodation during the night was in lodges that are built on stilts surrounded by wild life. There was a water hole right next to the lodge that attracted elephants and zebras. In the evening we had the chance to see whole families of elephants which really impressed me. At night, I could hear nothing but the noises of wild animals through my open window.
The fact that the lodges are built in the middle of nowhere but offered 4 star hotel conditions raised my thoughts a lot. On the way to the national park we had passed so many poor villages where people lived in huts made of mud and children filling water from a little water whole. I felt bad to experience the disparity of living conditions within one country. Of course, the luxury standards in the lodge clarified for me how much importance is put towards tourism in Kenya and that it offeres important job possibilities.
To sum up, going on Safari was a life time experience that I really appreciated. First, I enjoyed being in wild nature seeing all the animals in their natural environment. Second, I recognized through real experience that tourism plays a major role for Kenya. But I also got to know the opposite side of the medal. Traveling to the middle of the country I was sadly confronted with seeing a lot of poverty.