Like so many of us, I’ve found it hard being locked up for most for 2020. I craved a trip to wild open spaces where I could feel like the world hadn’t completely turned on its head. I’d been dreaming of going to the Maasai Mara. The chance to see the Migration with so few other travellers beckoned like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I booked my flight to Kenya. I can honestly say that I’ve never been so excited about a flight from London to Nairobi. Kenya always pulls at my heart strings, more so in 2020 when travelling has been so limited.
Kenya welcomed back international travellers on the 1st of August and has been a pioneering example as to how well this crisis can be managed and overcome. Any fear of flying is instantly removed as everyone entering Kenya must provide a negative PCR Covid test done 96 hours before departure. This cleverly reduces the chances of it being brought into Kenya and how I wish every country had a similar policy in place. Being on a plane and knowing everyone on board is Covid-free is a very comforting thought.
Before this trip, I wondered how the whole travelling and safari experience would have changed. To my delight, I discovered that it’s like it was before Covid. In fact, it’s better. For now, flying means wearing a face mask. Big deal, we are all getting used to this – a small price to pay to protect yourself and others. At Angama Mara, the team follows strict government procedures to protect their staff and their guests. The staff wear masks, but as a guest you don’t wear a mask unless you want to. This means breathing fresh air in open private safari vehicles, enjoying all your meals where and when you wish (as Angama Mara always did before) and it’s easy to socially distance and still chat to other guests.
Angama Mara is doing so much behind the scenes to protect people that your guest experience is 99% as normal – I won’t go into the ins and outs of what they are doing, but so much of what was already being done pre-Covid is being done more rigorously now. The safari industry has had similar protocols in place for years, as the very nature of safari is space and privacy, so travelling feels no different.
So, let’s back track. For six months I’ve felt like a caged animal with no end to this in sight. The remedy: take a quieter than normal flight, travel seamlessly to the wild open spaces of Kenya and drown in the warm welcome of the entire Angama Mara team. Priceless.
I’ve been to Kenya many times and can honestly say this trip was the most special because travelling now feels all the more special. Whilst we were at Angama Mara, Sophie our expert guide kept on raising the bar higher and higher. On day one, after seeing my first ever river crossing with tens of thousands of wildebeest, I told her: “This was my best ever day on safari”. Her confident answer of “I can do better than this” was bold, I thought. Two days later, we saw two huge river crossings which were even bigger, two lion kills at the crossing point and a leopard all before we sat down for breakfast at 09h30 with tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra around us. The memory of that morning will be with me forever.
My advice is get on a plane now, seize the moment and experience the Migration almost all to yourself. You won’t regret it. Kenya and Angama Mara has recharged my soul and it’s done me so much good to step away from the media bombardment of negative news. The positive news you are looking for is in Kenya at Angama Mara – book that flight now, you will have the trip of a lifetime. Carpe Diem.
Thank you so much Angama Mara, you spoilt us rotten.
Filed under: East Africa Travel
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