What are the most common elements that must be present for a vacation to be called “a vacation“? A great location, a nice hotel, good food and pleasant weather would be the most essential ingredients to make this happen. Add to that the presence of world-famous monuments, companionship of friends and the ability to meet new people and your trip can be rated as a roaring success. Even then some holidays are more memorable than others and what makes them so is the occurrence of unpredictable events. So its most likely that a cruise to Antarctica, road trip across South America or crazy magaluf holidays would be more memorable than a visit to Paris, Venice or Sydney.
On September, 2004, at the Transport Dam watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, during a Safari Holiday guided by Frank Watts, something spectacular happened. Members of the safari holiday group which also included an amateur photographer David Budzinski, witnessed something in front of their eyes which no one had ever imagined in their wildest dreams.
“I was so lucky to be there with the camera, much luckier to be able to take some of the footage. I truly was blessed at the time to hold it steady and catch what I did, because very easily, I could have missed so much,” said Budzinski.
What Frank Watts, David Budzinski and other members of the tour who were on a safari holiday witnessed in 2004 was later uploaded on YouTube in 2007 under the title “Battle At Kruger“. It went on to become one of YouTube’s earliest viral video sensations with more than 66 million views and 79 thousand comments as of September 2011. It also won the Best Eyewitness Video in the 2nd Annual YouTube Video Awards. The video also became the subject of an article in the 25 June 2007 issue of Time magazine, and was featured in the first episode of ABC News’ i-Caught.
When it comes to planning a trip that can be adventurous, memorable and life-changing, the first idea that should bounce of your head is that of a safari holiday. Kenya is the place to go if you want to enjoy the classic African safari holiday. From the Great Rift Valley to the lofty peak of Mount Kenya, magic and excitement await. Every step you take brings another experience. Kenya is a magical land, full of wonderful and almost alien landscapes and some of Africa’s most famous wildlife. Lions hunt here, whilst zebra and wildebeest graze the savannahs and migrate across vast swathes of the country in spectacular style (a brilliant setup to witness something similar to the Battle at Kruger). The Masai Mara remains one of the world’s most iconic wildlife locations, as big cats and hyenas wait, like restaurant customers perusing a menu, as hordes of game animals hurry past. Lets have a look at some of the spectacular sights on offer at a safari holiday in Kenya
Red Cloaked Masai Warriors
The Masai Mara is also the home of the famous red cloaked, cattle owning warriors of the Masai people. Whilst they are somewhat less ferocious than they used to be, they still live in traditional communities, tending cattle as they lead their herds across the plains in search of pasture and water for their beasts.
The Great Rift Valley is also the location for vast plains and savannah and anyone stepping out of the vehicle here will feel the huge sense of space that makes even the most confident human being feel vulnerable and small. The wildlife here is amazing and you can explore by safari vehicle or on horseback. Prides of lions hunt here, whilst herds of elephants graze amid the acacia trees. Ornithologists will enjoy the lakes of Navaisha and Nakuru, where more than 400 different species of birds flock.
Slopes of Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is second only to Mount Kilimanjaro in terms of being Africa’s highest mountain and anyone looking to enjoy safari holidays in Kenya should make sure that they visit this location. Regarded as a holy place by the local Kikuyu people, who call it a place of light, it is a majestic place to be at sunrise. Whilst its steeper upland slopes offer plenty of challenge to mountaineers and serious climbers, less serious hikers can find plenty of trails to enjoy too.
Not all of Kenya’s wildlife attractions are on the mainland though and many people contemplating taking safari holidays in Kenya may be tempted to head out to the island of Lamu. This tropical location has rolling dunes and beautiful long beaches. The old town on the island also has some streets to explore and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean provide excellent views.
Pink Flamingos Flock at Lake Nakuru
However, it is for the spectacular inland features that most people visit Kenya. A great site for wildlife lovers can be found at Lake Nakuru, where pink flamingos flock in their thousands. White and black rhino often come to the shores of this soda lake to drink and shelter in the trees, whilst buffalo, zebra and cats, like leopard and lion, also visit.
Whether you are planning your first safari holiday in Kenya, or returning for a repeat visit, you’ll never cease to be entranced and enchanted by this marvellous country. From the mountains to the plains, the vibrancy of what you will see is hard for anywhere else to match. Not too forget, if you are looking to capture something similar to what David Budzinski did then its highly unlikely to do that at any of the standard tourist destinations that people flock to. So be bold and try your best to experience at-least one safari holiday in your lifetime.
Note: This is a guest post by David Gaughan. After enjoying the first of his many safari holidays in Kenya back in the 1980s, he fell in love with the country and continues to visit on a regular basis. He now writes extensively about African travel matters for a wide range of travel blogs and websites.