After a few nights in Madrid, we had completed almost four months in Europe and it was time to move on to Africa. We were all excited to spend the next two weeks in Kenya, traveling under the guidance of Micato Safaris. When the 4:00 AM alarm sounded on our day to depart for Nairobi, rather than the complaints we usually receive when waking up early, the girls were bouncing and chanting Africa with each step. Getting to Nairobi from Europe was a much easier trip than it is from the states. While still a decent travel day, our flight to was only eight and a half hours from Amsterdam. We booked our airfare roundtrip from Madrid, with a connection in AMS. Doing so allowed us to leave two bags in Madrid in the hotel storage and travel to Africa with only one suitcase of needed items.
Upon arrival in Kenya, we were met by Tim, who would be our Micato guide and Safari Director for the following two weeks. One of the aspects that set Micato apart from many other tour operators is the Safari director assigned to each group. The Safari directors are there to meet you upon arrival and are the last person to wish you farewell before boarding the plane back home. The directors stay with you on all flights escorting you from camp to camp throughout your time in Africa. They take care of all the logistics, communicating and coordinating daily activities as you travel from camp to camp.
We were all excited for our time in Africa. The start of the trip was even better when we were able to arrive in time to visit with Uncle Fletch and Aunt Karen who also happened to be traveling on a Safari of their own. We scheduled ourselves to have one extra day in Nairobi also gave us extra time to visit with both Fletch and Karen and have time to visit with Faith, a young lady our agency has sponsored through her schooling for the past several years. Now in her first year at University, it was great to see the girls and Faith having so much fun together.
On our first day in Nairobi, we enjoyed breakfast with Faith and a leisurely morning where we played on the hotel grounds. Tim then picked us up and brought us to the Pinto’s house where we had a wonderful lunch with Jane Pinto, Tim, Uncle Fletch, Aunt Karen and their group. That afternoon, we returned to the hotel for a swim in the pool and some more down time. That evening we joined Fletch and Karen for dinner before wishing them farewell – they were heading off to their first Safari camp the following morning.
The next day, after breakfast, Tim brought us to the Rothschild Giraffe Centre where we learned some new ways to feed the giraffes, the favorite of course by holding the pellets in our mouths for the giraffes to lick them out. We then transferred over to the Hemmingways, Hotel, our home for the next two nights. After lunch and settling into Hemmingways, our next adventure would be a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Micato had adopted two elephants on our behalf, and as a result, we were treated to an hour with the young elephants after the shelter’s normal operating hours.
Our time at the elephant orphanage began with observing the elephants running in from the wild. After returning to their stalls and guzzling about two gallons of milk hand fed by their handlers, we watched the elephants play. Some came to visit and interact with us, others kept their distance. It was impressive to observe the different personalities, the gilrs really connected with one of the young ones who would hold their hands with his trunk.
Our last full day in Nairobi we spent visiting America’s Share, the school Micato started. It was great to see all of the kids learning and studying in the school and learn about the growth that has taken place over the past several years. Driving through town on the way to the center, all of the local kids would jump up with big smiles and wave as they saw our Micato truck rolling by. After our visit to the center, we had a nice afternoon with Faith and then did our best to get to bed. The following day would be the start of our time on Safari.
We all really enjoyed the experience at the Hemmingways Nairobi where we were fortunate to spend two days at the Hemmingway’s Hotel before our safari, and then return to hotel for one final night at the end of our trip.
The hotel room accommodations are bright and spacious, service outstanding, food in the restaurant very good. The girls loved playing on the open grounds and relaxing by the pool. The hotel was the perfect venue to relax before or after time on Safari.
On Tuesday, we went to Africaaa! We met the best guide ever. His name was Tim. After that we arrived at our hotel in Niroby [Niarobi]. Yet another city…
On Wednesday, we had breakfast and met up with the nicest girl in the world, her name is Fiath. I had sausage, potatoes, yogurnt and mixed vegetables for breakfast. We ate lunch that day with the pintos. They served an awesome homemade lunch. We had vanilla ice cream with birthday cake for dessert. Tim even got me a second piece of cake and ice cream.
Thursday, we went to a giraffe center. Wed this giraffe named lily by holding the food in our lips! Then this chick took us somewhere. in that somewhere, we held giraffe bones! They were so heavy. Held the leg bone and the bottom jaw bone. We saw so many giraffe bones.
After lunch we met up with Tim again. He took us to the elephant orphanage, we even adopted one! Her name was Kiombo. Kiombo was sweet, but not as sweet as Dilolo. Dilolo held our hands with his trunk.
On Firday, we went to America’s Share that is a school for people who wouldn’t be able to afford school and stuff. We also bought bead necklaces and cute heart badges. We got to spend the entire day with Faith!
First, Faith had lunch with us. She even swam in the pool with us. I was about to dunk myself when she pulled me in. Then we had dessert. I got a chocolate sphere. After dessert, we played a big round of tag. Faith even got to have dinner with us that night. I had an awesome drink with dinner, African Mixed Tea. It is hot tea mixed with warm milk. We had an awesome day and were sad to say goodbye to Faith. We hope we can see her again after our safari.
On our first full day in Nairobi, we met up with Faith for breakfast! Faith is a beautiful teenager who ma sponsors to go to school. After breafkast, Faith played Tag, Marco-polo, and Concentration with us. Concentration is a game she learned at her school, it was very fun. After freshening up a bit, we went to Mrs. & Mr. Pinto’s house for lunch. The Pintos are the people who own and founded Micato Safaris, the company we are in Africa with. For dinner that night, we ate with Uncle Fletch and a few of his friends to celebrate Fletch’s birthday.
On Thursday, we went to a Giraffe Center. Tim, our guide, taught us how to feed the giraffes from our mouth’s! Inside the center, we got to hold one of the giraffe leg bones – it was so heavy! That afternoon, we gave Tim some medicine for his hurting tooth. Then we went to the elephant orphanage.. When we were there, we adopted two elephants, Kyombo & Nabulu, but the elephant we liked the most was Dololo – he really liked playing with us.
On Friday, we met up with Faith and she showed us around her old school. We bought some necklaces there. Then we brought Faith back to the hotel with us, at lunch, swam in the pool, ate dessert, played more games and ate dinner. It was a great day with Faith, I sure am missing her now!
While a few of our cruise partners visit Kenya, the best way to truly experience the country is to also spend time in some of the camps, parks & concessions.
A cruise may provide you with an opportunity to touch the outer edge of the country of Kenya, but in order to experience all the country has to offer, one needs to get in and explore the interior of the country. We were very fortunate to spend our two weeks in Kenya under the guidance of Micato Safaris.