Hakuna Matata from Kenya

Tripoto
2nd Jul 2016
Photo of Amboseli National Park, Kajiado County, Kenya by Anuj Tikku

Madagascar was a blast! Now I need to head forward. It was time to bid adieu to Antananarivo and fly into the Jomo Kenyatta Airport (IATA: NBO, ICAO: HKJK) at Nairobi for the next leg of my African adventure. Visa was not an issue, though, yes, Indian passport holders need one with a fee of $50 for a single entry tourist visa. You can apply for an e-visa also.

The Kenyan Landscape

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

I was booked into the Radisson Blu hotel and once checked in, I spent the next two days resting and getting my bearings around the bustling new city.

I was advised by my bankers at India to not to use my credit cards in this part of the world. It is a bit like the credit card fraud capital of the world though, no it is not, as per statistics that I can see that is, in fact, the US. I was advised and took an ICICI Multi Currency Travel Card - a sort of "pre-paid" card with a stipulated amount of dollars loaded onto it which can be topped up according to my need. I felt that the card was, in fact, a God's gift of sorts considering how secure it made travelling and transacting.

I roamed around the city and found myself a tour operator for a 10 day trip around Kenya covering the Amboseli National Park, The Masai Mara Game Reserve, Mount Kenya and others. $250 a day all-inclusive was a bit steep to me but it was a private tour and the service has been excellent so far.

Soon, we blazed around Nairobi, headed to sample and see the wilderness of Amboseli wildlife at its closest.

I had this huge SUV with an open top all to myself with an exclusive guide and driver. We were to get to a camp at the park.

Legs that go on forever - Ostriches at Kenya!

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

It was about an eight-hour drive from Nairobi. We stopped en route for food and other rations for the camp. Once at the camp, I had a tent to myself and it was aptly named Hippo.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

Other tents had names like Baboon, Zebra etc. and I was pretty happy with my camp's appellation. After a lunch of chicken cooked African style with peas and rice, we headed for the park.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

I realised and saw the magic of having an open top SUV. It was so convenient for me to take photos of the animals and they were also able to get near to us.

Kenyan Ostriches - proud & defiant!

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

First I saw a group of ostriches and then, a herd of zebras followed by lions and wild beasts before long wild donkeys. Before long, I managed to glimpse a hyena as well.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

The view was glorious and my camera worked overtime. I got some great shots of the sunset among the trees and, of course, the lake.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

On the way back, I watched as we passed Mount Kenya in all its majesty just staring at me from afar.

Mount Kenya the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

Truly this was a magnificent land of Disney's Lion King and it felt like I was right in the middle of all the action. All the animals looked like characters in the film - a mind blowing experience.

The majestic mountain of Kenya!

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

On the way back, we stopped at the local Masai Village and I was greeted by Thrombo which means The Chief. He showed me around the village.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

I danced with the Masai and saw how they made fire with a stick, a piece of wood, some elephant dung and straw.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

It is an art in itself and a trick one must learn to survive in the wild. I strolled through the village which had huts made of straw and cow dung. It looked not too different from the villages of India in U.P. or Bihar.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

Except that the Masai are a polygamous society. They also keep cattle, raise goats and keep donkeys.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

They are an ancient nomadic tribe of Africa and have kept their tradition and way of life intact for thousands of years.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

I went into one of the huts and saw their kitchen and cooking utensils. The beds are made of cow hides and their markets sell colourful artefacts and jungle jewellery.

Photo of Hakuna Matata from Kenya by Anuj Tikku

The word Amboseli means the Hurricane in Swahili as this land has witnessed many hurricanes and, hence, the name.

That is the legend of the land and its wildlife park. For me, it was a very satisfying experience.

Originally posted on tikkustravelthon.in

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