This year, we wanted to make one of our dream trips, a Safari in Kenya. On the occasion of Christian’s 30th birthday, we decided to take advantage of the December long weekend in Spain, to enjoy 7 days of Safari in Kenya.
You will see it throughout our post, but we think it has been one of the best experiences, if not the best, of our lives. Even though it was a short trip, it is one of the first times that we have been able to experience the culture and the people of the place we have visited, the Masai and the Masai Mara.
In this post we are going to give you a summary of our 5 days in the Masai Mara and the 2 days in Amboseli National Park, but first we want to put you in context about the kind of trip we have done.
It was clear to us that we wanted to make our trip as sustainable and respectful of the environment and the people who live there as possible. We had received feedback that on safaris there are a lot of people on safari and we don’t think we would have felt as comfortable with that situation. That’s why we investigated how we could do this and thanks to Pablo Strubell’s podcast Un Gran Viaje, we found out about Trip To Help.
This company that Raquel and Xavi have set up, Trip to Help, is an agency that organises trips in a sustainable, ecological and environmentally responsible way. What exactly does sustainable travel mean to them?
- The conservation of ecosystems and the good use of the natural resources of each territory.
- Socio-cultural heritage and the continuity of local traditions and ways of life.
- A fair distribution of the benefits that your trip brings, putting local communities at the centre as the main recipients in order to contribute to a viable and sustainable economic development over time.
Basically, they organise your trip with the idea that 80% or more of your money invested stays in local community projects, with no other intermediaries. They currently have trips to Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and are opening a route to Morocco for 2024.
For our trip to Kenya, they took us to Adcamp, the project of the Maasai leader William Kikanae to enjoy our safari in Kenya.
Adcam y William Kikanae
Adcam is the project set up by the Masai leader William Kikanae in collaboration with the Spanish Rosa Escandell. It is a social project carried out by Masai and for the Masai and is based on 3 fundamental pillars:
- Creation of a quality school in the Masai Mara area to facilitate the studies of the children of the area regardless of their resources.
- Giving work to the Masai community in their place of birth, making sure that these people are employed and that the money you invest stays there.
- Empowerment of women in Maasai society. Women in this culture have always been lesser than men and this project aims to enable these Masai women to have their own income for their families by making handicrafts that are sold to tourists visiting the area.
Adcamp is located in the Lemek conservation area, outside the national park. In this conservation area, the Adcam Maasai have special permits. There are a lot of animals in this area and few people on safari, so there will never be an overcrowding of tourists. The tourists who visit the project stay in their camp, a totally ecological camp that is a marvel, they make you feel at home from the first moment.
We would like to dedicate a little bit of time to make William known. This man was born in the heart of the Masai Mara in a Manyatta (Masai village) located in the interior of the conservation area. From the age of 8 to 15 he had to walk 20km one way and 20 km back.
Safari in Kenia: Days 1 and 2
Our first day at Adcam was the most relaxed of all. We had arrived the previous day in the afternoon, and after resting and getting to know our Maasai guests, we waited to start our activities the next day.
In the morning, we visited the Manyatta women’s village next to the camp, a Masai village where the women live with their children. We were able to spend some time with them, they showed us their traditional dance, their houses and how they were built with mud and they showed us the products they create, in a market where we were able to buy several interesting souvenirs.
On our return, normally we would have visited the school and spent time with the children who attend, but December is their vacation month, so it was empty. We also visited the school they have in the camp to see how education works there and it was very interesting.
After a nice meal, we spent the afternoon with the Maasai playing games like archery and walking around while we got to know them and asked them questions about the Mara and their culture. It was super enriching to get to know things about them first hand and learn how they live. As you can see, one of the main particularities of the trip is its cultural connection, getting to know them up close and personal and learning about their customs and culture, something we felt was better than anything in the world.
When we finished dinner, they had prepared a bonfire for us where they taught us dances.
Day 3 of Safari in Kenia
On this second day is when the safari really began. The day started super early, with the sunrise and a very interesting activity, a walking safari. We walked almost 6km through the savannah alone, surrounded by herbivorous animals (hence we could walk) in an incredible experience. The scenery was spectacular, full of animals, green immensity and typical trees lost in the horizon. After the hike, a spectacular breakfast was prepared for us in the middle of this immensity.
After this experience, we returned to the camp by car to rest and eat and prepare for a very special afternoon, our first trip into the savannah by car. We were very lucky, as we were able to see a family of lions, elephants, wildebeest, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, pumas, gazelles… it was truly an experience that left us speechless.
But this was not the best that awaited us. The Masai had prepared the star experience for us that night. We went deep into the savannah until we reached the Mara River, where the hippos were waiting for us. We were able to watch them as night fell and see the coordinated departure of dozens of them to eat at 8 pm (every day they leave at the same time). Brutal.
Nearby, our accommodation for the night awaited us, a tented camp in the middle of a clearing in the savannah. They prepared a dinner there with the whole group and with them, and we made a bonfire where they told us stories and we were able to do a lot of things with them.
Third day of safari in Kenya. As we mentioned, we woke up in a clearing in the middle of the savannah and, after having a coffee, we continued our safari by car through the area for 2 hours where we saw again many animals to end up returning to the area where we saw the hippos. there, they had prepared us a breakfast overlooking the river. It was great because we could see the behavior of these animals in the water and photograph them.
When we finished, we were taken to Adcam camp to rest until the afternoon. The idea in the afternoon was to make a visit to see the white rhinos that are protected in the area by several guards, but the road to get there was super bad because of the rain and we had to turn back. We took advantage of the time in the afternoon to continue to meet the Masai and exchange stories and rest.
This day of safari in Kenya was super intense. We woke up super early to go to see the local Thursday market that takes place in a village near the camp. There is a market of animals (goats and cows) and another of objects, fabrics … it is very curious to see something more typical about how they live on a daily basis.
On the way back, we were able to complete the next day’s activity, to see the white rhinos. What an amazing animal. We were able to photograph them, talk to the guards, who explained to us how the animals live and some particularities about them.
And, after these two activities, we finished the morning with another safari drive and a lunch in the middle of the savannah under the shade of a tree, in a magical and spectacular place. The truth is that we would never get tired of eating with those views, they were exciting.
In the afternoon, we just did a sunset safari, and what a spectacle. We saw one of the most beautiful moments of our lives. A pride of two lionesses with 8 cubs playing in the middle of the grass and then in a tree in the evening light of the savannah. It was a barbaric moment, we leave you some pictures because it is totally worth it.
With much regret, we headed to the camp to finish our stay in Adcam and spend the last night with our group mates and the Masai.
Day 6 and 7
To complement our stay in Adcam, we were given several options to do the last two days. We decided to go to Amboseli National Park. This place was 7-8 hours drive from Adcam, as the roads there are not the best and you have to turn around a lot. The trip and accompaniment was done by Adcam themselves, we were accompanied by a driver and a Masai guide to help us (William’s son).
The main attraction of Amboseli is the view of Kilimanjaro in the background, as it is located on the border with Tanzania. We were able to enjoy a full day of safari in the park. The opinion we have is that it is very different from what we had experienced the previous days. For us, if you first do the Masai Mara there is no point in visiting Amboseli as you will be disappointed, because it is very different. Being a national park, everything is marked by roads and you will see many animals at a great distance, so the experience is not so exciting and it seemed to us that there were few animals to see (probably because of its extension and distances). It is a totally different safari experience in Kenya, but if you do it before the Masai Mara you will surely love it.
The best thing about this day of safari in Kenia is that we were able to see one of the animals we were missing, the cheetah. We saw it hunting, an incredible experience. We had lunch in the same park at a lookout point towards one of the park’s lakes.
To sleep the two days, we did it in a place called Eco Camp Amboseli, which was not bad and had a brutal view of Kilimanjaro.
There are trips that leave a mark and this is one of them. It was one of the best experiences we remember and will remember because we never expected that doing a safari in Kenya could be like this. We were captivated by its culture, its people and we would have stayed much longer there.
If you have any questions about our experience we will be happy to help. You can contact us through comments or social networks.