Months ahead of our departure date it was time to prepare for the health side of our trip to the Massai regions of Kenya. This packaging from the four day oral dose of typhoid vaccine is just one part of our preparation. It is a clever reminder that we are traveling to a different part of the world.
Six shots preceded our typhoid vaccine and a regimen of anti-malarial drugs will follow beginning a few days before take off and carrying on for weeks after our return. Our pincushion arms have healed and we are now recently vaccinated (including updates) against typhoid fever, yellow fever, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitus A and B, Meningitis, and polio. Bring on Africa.
We have had our medical histories compiled and reviewed and received advice on what to eat and what to avoid. Lots of bottled water is in our future. No disposable plastic bags. They are illegal in Kenya. We have medicine for intestinal discomfort and deet to repel mosquitoes. Lots of deet.
We also have packing lists and limits on weight and types of bags we can use. Can I pack lightly enough to make room for all the camera equipment I want? The outfitter says I can photograph the night sky with a Maasai warrior as an escort. I will need a tripod for that and they are heavy.
The preparations are involved and the flights are long. But this is an adventure unlike any we have taken before.
We will be two weeks in the wild of Africa living in tents and seeing some of the most incredible mega fauna in the world. Our destination starts with a stay at a tented camp in Nairobi National Park. Over two nights we will take game drives and visit a renowned elephant orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. They do incredible work, having rescued hundreds of elephants and rhinos over the years. Check out their site if you are so inclined.
From there, we head by small plane to the Selenkay Conservancy and Amboseli National Park. We will stay in a tented camp in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. From there we will access the open lands of the conservancy, which occupies land leased from the Maasai tribe. The area supports a large herd of elephants. Also indigenous are Thomson and Grant’s gazelles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, zebra, gazelles, kudus, mongooses, porcupines, giraffes and yellow baboons. The game drives include one at night with the chance of seeing nocturnal aardvarks, serval cats, caracals, and bat eared foxes. Day hikes with Maasai guides include one to their village. I am going to have to look up some of the less familiar animals before we leave.
Around six days in we head to the Porini Rhino Camp located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where we will find ourselves in the foothills of Mt Kenya. Two days and nights here with game drives and walks. The camp is in a secluded valley on the banks of a seasonal river and under the shade of acacia trees. The area is a sanctuary for black rhino and chimpanzees.
From there it is on to the Porini Mara Camp with night game drives and a chance to spot an elusive leopard. The Mara and the Ol Kinyei Conservancy is home to the wildebeest, zebra, elephants, cheetahs, lions and leopards. Hyena, jackal, buffalo, eland, topi, impala, gazelle, and warthog are also around.
As if that was not enough, from Porini Mara we head to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy and it's Porini Lion Camp. More walks and game drives and a chance to watch the great wildebeest migration, dependent on weather and the timing of the wildebeest.
This latter event is a full day in the Masai Mara Reserve that annually plays host to this natural wonder of the world. Timing can be uncertain but if we are lucky we may get to watch as up to half a million wildebeest congregate to cross through the area seeking the grasses raised by earlier rains. Thousands upon thousands of hooves pounding the earth, rivers full of crocodiles waiting for a meal and the wildebeests' need to cross should make this unforgettable.
And then, two weeks after we start it will be time to head back, spend a day in Nairobi and catch flights home. Oh, and 24 more days of malaria medicine.
We haven't been there yet so these photos are creative commons images taken by others. The text is copyright Clinton Richardson. Next week? Images and impressions of Death Valley and suggestions about when best to travel there. It's a remarkable and photogenic place.
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We write for creative doers who seek inspiration from experience. Our readers are students of life, interested in travel, photography and ideas.
Clinton Richardson, has been writing and photographing for decades. His acclaimed venture strategy series is now in its 5th edition. His Ancient Selfies is an International Book Awards Finalist and an eLit Award Gold Medal Winner. Many of his images can be seen online at TrekPic.com.