In June 2020 we had a personalized safari for my wife and myself in Kenya fully booked, plane tickets bought and a deposit paid to a company called Monkey Adventures. Then covid hit and everything was cancelled. I must compliment Monkey Adventures on being very accommodating, first postponing the trip for a year, then when that didn’t work out they gave us a coupon for our deposit value which we were finally able to utilise in June of 2022. Monkey Adventures always answered our emails quickly and worked with us even making a small change for us after our safari had started. They always made payments easy and secure. I would highly recommend this company if planning a trip to Kenya.
When we booked our trip we said we were also interested in seeing as many interesting birds as possible. They said they would book Dickson for our safari and it turns out Dickson has an interest in birds and he took us to places that are not part of a normal safari. We saw close to 250 species of Kenyan birds, see the link below. If you have any interest in birds be sure to ask for Dickson. Below is a picture of our guide Dickson and our safari vehicle.
As this may be our only trip to Kenya we wanted to see as much as possible. This meant a lot of driving but we did see a lot so it was worth while. The route we travelled, image below, and what you might expect at each are:
Samburu- we saw many different animals here as well as different species of birds so we really enjoyed it. Just a long drive from Nairobi.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy- this is a private conservancy that has many species but specializes in conserving Rhinos.
Lake Elementaita- water birds especially flamingos.
Lake Nakuru- small park which is popular as close to Nairobi. Many species of animals and birds to be seen especially lots of Flamingos.
Masai Mara- probably most famous reserve and can see almost anything here. Best place for big cats as we saw all of the species here.
Lake Naivasha- go here if you want to see birds especially water birds. Crescent Island is one of the few places you can walk around and you can get quite close to many species of animals.
Amboseli- many species to be seen but one of the best places to see elephants. Also if the clouds break where you will see Kilimanjaro.
Lumo Conservancy- another private conservancy where you can see many species. Must mention we stayed at the Lions Bluff Lodge and the individual cottages and they were extra-ordinary with unbelievable views.
Tsavo East- we stayed at the park owned facility and it is here that they had a concrete animal blind and we got the great elephant videos. We did see many more species here as well.
Finally I must say that the lodges, food and the service at every place we stayed was first class. Everyone goes out of there way to make you happy.
We are going to show the animals we saw in groupings and of course everyone wants to see the big cats so we will start there. We saw lions in just about every reserve we went to. We saw them at rest, at play, climbing a tree, eating and even breeding. Click on the images to see where they were taken.
We did a very short video of some lions playing.
There was a group of three male lions just resting off by themselves.
There was a pride of about 20 animals. The younger animals were playing.
These two lions walked right by the safari vehicle than climbed into tree. Very unusual behavior for lions.
This lion pride had made a kill the previous evening and were very full and leaving to go under a bush.
These two lions separated from the pride and carried on their business in private.
After the lions the most desired cat is the leopard. While lions are everywhere and easy to see leopards are elusive and shy. We consider ourselves lucky that we saw one in Masai Mara eating a wildebeest and on the very last evening of our safari we got a very nice picture of a leopard sunning on a rock. He stayed only long enough for a picture before he ran off.
Again a very short video of the leopard eating.
This leopard was eating a younger wildebeest.
The leopard had his fill. He tryed to drag the wildebeest away but it was too big.
This leopard was sunning himself on a rock. When stopped to photograph him he quickly ran away.
Finally the last big cat and possibly the cutest is the cheetah. We were lucky enough to see three adult brother cheetahs together in Masai Mara. This is unusual as they are usually solitary as adults. We also saw a mother cheetah with four cubs in Amboseli, first eating a kill and then resting under a tree. This is a very special treat as cheetah cubs have a 90% mortality rate so this mother was an extremly suceesful mother to keep them alive.
I have included an image of a serval cat in this grouping as this was also a treat for us to have seen as they are again not common and very shy.
A short video of the cheetahs.
Three adult cheetah brothers walke just by our vehicle and layed in the shade of the vehicle.
two of the brothers
The mom has made a kill and they all are eating
After they had there fill they rested under a tree. There is a fourth baby behind a bush. We were quite close so they are used to people.
We caught a quick glimpse of this cat hunting in the deep grass.
Next to lions I think the animal most people want to see are the elephants. Fortunately they are found everywhere in Kenya. Where we did see many was in Amboseli where they would wade into the water and eat the plants. Next was Tsavo East where the actually had a blind that we could get right down to eye level with the elephants.
Did you wonder what the babies do with their trunk while nursing. Watch this video to see. Also shows the elephants drinking water and an older male with huge tusks breaking apart a bush to eat.
This mom and baby are eating water plants in Amboseli.
A very old male elephant with a huge tusk. One tusk was broken.
Two large male elephants were coming to drink water.
The big male drinking water.
The baby was copying the mother in drinking and splashing water on itself.
After drinking water we were several times able to watch the babies nursing.
We also wanted very much to see Giraffes. Well they were pretty much everywhere in Kenya as about 30% of all African Giraffes are found in Kenya. If you select a picture it will tell you the griaffe type and where they are found as there are several species in Kenya.
On Cresent Island at Lake Naivasha is one of the few places you can walk among the animals. Here you can see how close we are to some baby giraffes.
This is a more rare giraffe they are protecting at Lake Nakuru. See the baby.
Again a group with a very young baby.
Again with a baby.
Again a more rare species.
We were fortunate enough to see so many different animals that we could just overload this site with images. We will just show some of the more interesting animals we were able to capture. One thing that was very interesting were all the different types of horns each animal had. Each image will tell where we captured the image.
We saw hippos in a number of places. You want to give them a wide berth as they can be dangerous.
This female had a young baby and was not happy to see us even though we were far away. Black rhinos have more narrow a mouth and are browsers.
Black rhinos are solitary but white rhinos are found in groups. They have a wider mouth and are grazers.
There was a troopp of 30-40 baboons many with young babies.
There was a larger bunch of these hiding under a bush as ner by was a Augar Buzzard waiting for them to come out.
These animals take over termite mounds making dens in them.
This is a more rare Zebra you can tell it from plains zebra as it has white under its belly.
These zebras have lines extending around the belly.
A baby nursing, always cute. These animals have incredibly long horns.
Famous for the great migration. They were starting to come from Tanzania but we were early for the migration.
Thes animals have interesting markings.
We show mostly individual animals but seldom wre they alone. They roam in large herds like these.
Lesser Kudu are smaller than Greater Kudu and have more stipes.
These are odd looking animals with long necks they are actually related to giraffe. They stand on there back legs and can reach high up into bushes to eat.
Again huge horns used to keep other males away and his females together.
These are the smallest antlope being the size of a smaller dog. Really cute and found all over Kenya.
We were surprise at how few hyena we saw. They are more noctournal and can be heard at night be saw them only a couple of times.
Jakals can be found whereever there is a kill as they wait for leftovers. Here a Cheetah has a kill in the bushes.