September 11 – 14, 24 – 30
Lake Nakuru National Park (rating: 7/10)
In addition to the flamingo lake, the main draw here is the overnight bush camping. If you don’t get a chance to spend a night in a tent, we would recommend spending more time in the Masai Mara. It’s great though to sleep in the middle of a dark field under the stars knowing that all sorts of wild animals may visit you while sleeping. In the morning, we were greeted by a herd of impala doing laps on the hillside right next to our campsite. Then we enjoyed Corn Flakes while fending off baboons.
Masai Mara National Reserve (rating: 9.5/10)
Game drives depend on luck, plain and simple. However, in the Masai Mara we felt that the way the drive was set up put us in the best possible position to see the animals. There was great radio communication, great access to good viewing spots and above all, lots of wildlife. One thing to look into before going is the time of year however, as animals migrate between the Masai Mara and Serengeti.
Elephant Orphanage (rating: 7.5/10)
It was good cheap fun to watch baby elephants bathe, eat and play for an hour, and as an added bonus we were treated to a baby rhinoceros as well. It was quite crowded, but we were still able to get close enough to touch the elephants if we wanted. Plus if you’d like, you can adopt an elephant for about $50 – $60 per year. We didn’t, but many others did and were quite excited about it.
Carnivore Restaurant (rating: 7.5/10)
We were told this Brazilian steakhouse is one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, and several of the dishes did not disappoint. The good: the place is huge, the atmosphere is great and the food is unlimited. The bad: the taste of the meat varied quite a bit from skewer to skewer and the wait for more food could sometimes be quite lengthy.
Great Rift Overlook (rating: 5/10)
There are many roadside stops where you can enjoy the grandeur of the Great Rift, however it seemed like all come lined with shops. And shops means merchants, and merchants mean constant in your face pushing products. It really takes away from the view, but if you’re driving by you might as well stop.
We can’t stress enough how happy we were with the Acacia tour we did. We bumped into many independent travelers along the way, and there’s no way we would have been able to kick off our world trip navigating Africa on our own. Sign up for the longest Acacia tour you can afford then don’t worry about anything except showing up with the right stuff – you won’t regret it.