What better way to start a trip in Kenya than in the Maasia Mara at a wonderful camp, hand selected by Seas4Life Safaris. We got to connect with the people who ran and worked on the Mara Elephant Project – those at the forefront of protecting these magnificent animals, their habitat and engaging with the local communities. After experiencing the magic of the Mara we hopped back to Nairobi where we stayed in a beautiful home surrounded by nature and got to visit the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick shelter – whose core work involves the rescue and rehabilitation of milk dependent orphaned baby elephants and rhinos.
The next day we took the breathtakingly scenic road into the rift valley and arrived at Ajuba house, right on the shores of Lake Naivasha. Here roam freely, Hippos, Zebra, Waterbuck, Leopards, pelicans and more. We spent our time walking, cycling and water skiing with Julie Church – our guide, and simply relaxing before heading back to the city, for the next leg.
Stepping onto our luxury 60ft traditional Dhow for our five night adventure to Lamu, took our breath away. The boat we took, was filled with luxuries that allowed us to unroll our gorgeous bedrolls and sleep under the stars, on deck, in comfort.
Some did diving, others snorkeling, swimming, kayaking or water-skiing and then just ambling along the beaches. Around the crystal waters of the archipelago were activities that even less active members could join. We were spoilt by the chef on board who catered for all our wants and needs – vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or carnivore. We even got to fish and eat the catch. Eating either on deck or on a deserted beach under the moonlit sky, every night.
One of the best things about this form of travel is the flexibility to set sail or anchor in what feels like your own little slice of paradise with no pressure of getting up and out at a certain time. We felt like we had the ocean and beaches to ourselves, far from the crowds. We woke up at our own leisure, ate, drank indulged in activities as and when suited any individual or the whole group. This allowed for magical moments such swimming with pods of dolphins without any time constraints.
On Kiwayu island we met some wonderful people at a Robinson Crusoe style camp for sundowner drinks. Other islands included the idyllic Kui and Rubu, for exploring the mangroves, and kayaking. Here, we caught our own mangrove crab with the local fishers.
‘One of the best things about this form of travel is the flexibility to set sail or anchor in what feels like your own little slice of paradise with no pressure of getting up and out at a certain time. ‘
The focus of every Seas4Life Safaris trip is education and conservation which is what drew us to booking with them. After such wonderful and inspiring land experiences we were excited to visit and learn about the coral reef transplanting that has successfully taken place in Kiunga. Julie has played a vital role to this end. She pointed out some coral transplants she and the KWS/ WWF team had planted in 2002. It was incredible to see reefs once completely barren and dead to be so colourful and have so much biodiversity once more.
Sharing a private boat with friends and family and having magical encounters with both marine and land animals is something we will all treasure forever. Julie has so much passion and knowledge of the biodiversity which makes up the ecosystems both in the water and on land, that having her guide us heightened our experience. Feeling completely immersed in it all we have come away with a new found respect and love for our blue planet.
Our trip was something completely different from the usual beach holiday packages we’ve come across before. Seas4Life safaris enabled us to escape all the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist traps and go on TRAVELER’S TALE adventures we would never have dreamed off with exclusive access to the sea, land, animals, scientists, local people and their environments.