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+16 Art of Safari added 19 new photos . Yesterday at 9:30pm ·

?? From the understated tranquillity of northern Kenya to the teeming Masai Mara, our luxury Kenya safari gave us a fantastic overview of the country...

? Three nights at Sasaab

We certainly didn’t waste any time getting into adventure mode on this luxury Kenya safari! We stepped right off the plane onto quad bikes, and had great fun making our way to Sasaab, a lodge on private land next to Samburu National Reserve. After a refreshing dip in our private plunge pool, we took a camel ride to Sundowner Rock, where we sipped on aperitifs while taking in the view. Later, we enjoyed a private three-course dinner on our verandah before retiring early to our comfortable bed, eagerly anticipating our early morning game drive the next day.

We’d been lucky to see both reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra on our first day, and were keen to see the rest of the Samburu Special Five during our stay: the Somali ostrich, beisa oryx and gerenuk. After biscuits and tea we set off, necks craning in all directions, and were rewarded with sightings of both the ostrich and oryx, as well as elephant cavorting in the river! After a relaxing afternoon by the infinity pool, we had a wonderful time chatting to some of the other guests over dinner in the dining hall.

Following a luxurious bush breakfast we did a cultural visit, meeting the proud and colourful Samburu people at their village and bartering for some authentic jewellery. Then while my partner was on an afternoon game drive I spotted some hippo in the river, and decided to paint them using the art supplies in our room. My kids will get a kick out of my attempt at art! I rewarded myself with a massage in the spa.

Wanting to stretch our legs before flying to the Masai Mara, we spent our last morning doing a short walking safari, where we were delighted to see several gerenuk, standing up and browsing from the bushes. Samburu Special Five: check!

? Three nights at Sala’s Camp

Our flight was fascinating, as we got to see how the terrain changed as we moved from the dry north to the lush Masai Mara in the south, passing Mount Kenya and the Rift Valley lakes. We arrived at Sala’s Camp in time for lunch, which was served communally around a single table on the manicured lawns near the river – a thoroughly delicious spread that some baboon eyed out from the other side. We lazed away the rest of the day reading on the day beds while a plethora of birds darted among the riverine trees.

Up before sunrise on our second day, we soon found ourselves drifting over the Masai Mara in a hot-air balloon. We’d got the timing right perfectly, and were able to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration from above. As we soared near the Sand River we saw how many wildebeest had yet to cross it, the vast majority still straddling the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Seeing the plains covered in a sea of dark hides was one of our most memorable experiences. After a private dinner by the river we headed to bed; already we could hear the wildebeest were nearby, and we were excited to see them up close in the morning. short sexy wedding dresses

We woke to the clamour of these grunting beasts. Quickly dressing, we headed out to our verandah to see this, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. We were so agog that it was hard to tear ourselves away, but we decided to have breakfast in the bush, among them. On our game drive afterwards we even spotted Sala’s Pride, the reserve’s resident lion. To make the most of the migration we went horse riding in the afternoon, and were astounded at the amount of wildlife around. Dinner was a subdued affair, with everyone reflecting on what they’d seen that day.

On our final morning we we joined the staff, who we’d got to know well by now, for a lively game of bush volleyball. All too soon we were flying back home, awestruck at all we’d seen and experienced in just six days.

? What sets it apart

Although both lodges were set along a river, they couldn’t have been more different: the Moroccan-styled Sasaab, with its dramatic views of Mount Kenya, and the iconic Sala’s Camp, with its distinctive old-world charm combined with the thrilling drama of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Both camps were wonderfully remote though, one in a private conservancy and the other in the lesser-visited part of the Masai Mara, Kenya’s northern frontier, which allowed us an overall exclusive experience.

This safari truly did offer the best of both worlds, with just the right amount of relaxation and adventure. We dined like royalty; in fact the service was top-notch too, from our butler to our guides, who peppered the factual information they shared with personal stories that enriched our experience.

And there was so much to do! We’ll have to come back for fly camping, but otherwise we packed in a lot, from quad biking to camel rides, game drives, hot-air ballooning, horse riding and more. Plus we got to see both the Samburu Special Five and the incredible Great Wildebeest Migration, and our flight gave us a wonderful look at the land from the air. This safari covered all the bases, making me feel like I’d truly felt the heartbeat of Africa.

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