Let’s go on safari

There is something mysterious and compelling about Africa, it’s a destination on almost everyone’s bucket list. It’s a massive continent composed of 54 countries with a population of 1.2 billion people. It is bigger than China, India, the United States and most of Europe combined and there are more than 2,000 separate languages spoken in Africa. It has a rich cultural heritage that varies from region to region as does the landscape. You could tour the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, go bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, or join GetAway Travel on safari in 2024.  

 Why a safari? 

 Are you wondering if a safari with a group is for you? Here’s the thing, you could explore the magical continent on your own — but there’s no guarantee without a guide, you’ll see anything but a lot of landscape. Granted, Africa is one of Mother Nature’s most amazing and fascinating accomplishments, so the scenery is gorgeous. There are deserts and swamps and floodplains and savannas and forests and not a lot of crowds.  

But there’s no guarantee you are going to see what are referred to as the Big Five: Lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and rhinos, without a guide. Safaris are done in conservation areas and national parks. Tours are organized to give short-term visitors an action-packed view of Africa in an all-inclusive package. Take advantage of your travel advisor’s organizational skills to see what you want, in suitable accommodations, in the time you have in Africa. 

 Explore Kenya and its wildlife 

 Kenya is home to a number of national parks, conservancies and wildlife refuges with great accommodations that will guarantee you some great sightings of wildlife, fabulous photos and memories that will last for a lifetime. 

More than 45 years ago work began in Kenya to secure areas to protect wildlife and also safeguard entire ecosystems and the diverse flora and fauna rooted in the history of the area. 

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is renowned for its work to protect elephants and it operates a very successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program. 

Elephants roam in the protected area as well as white and black rhinos. Sophisticated anti-poaching surveillance is conducted to keep the wildlife safe. 

Rhino with birds going for a ride

Visitors can learn about the conservation work and meet the orphan elephant babies during a mid-day milk break. The babies run from the forest in little family-type groups for their feeding and keepers introduce the elephants to visitors and tell their stories. Babies need to be protected from the elements and keepers are with them 24 hours a day, but the rotate among the groups so animals don’t become too attached to one person. The goal is to re-integrate the babies, in careful steps, back to the wild. 

Groups usually visit the Karen Blixen museum. The author of “Out of Africa” operated a coffee farm for several years after her divorce and processing equipment as well as other farm tools are on display. You can walk through the lush gardens, enjoy a snack at the cafe and shop at the gift store. 

 Meet giraffes and chimpanzees 

 Kenya’s Giraffe Centre was created by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife It is set up to help educate children and youth about Kenya’s wildlife and eco-environment but also to give visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a giraffe. The Rothschild Giraffe is indigenous only to the grasslands of East Africa. 

Kenya Giraffe Center

The sanctuary started out with only 130 giraffes and now more than 300 have been nurtured, with some being re-located to national parks around the area. You can feed the giraffes, under the watchful eyes of staff called educators, from a feeding platform. There’s a nature trail with fabulous views of the Gogo River as well as a teahouse and gift shop. 

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is one of Kenya’s most visited conservancies and home to the Big Five — elephants, rhinos, lions, buffalo and leopards, and so much more! 

Formerly a working cattle ranch, it is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and home to two of the world’s last remaining white rhinos. The 9,000 acres of open savanna grassland is home to six resident prides of lions, at least 30 cheetahs, 20 leopards, two packs of endangered African wild dogs and spotted hyenas. Guides take visitors to areas where they know you’ll get to spot wildlife interacting and night game drives mean visitors can spot animals that are a little more energetic at dusk including aardvarks, zorilla (similar to skunks, bat-eared foxes. You can go on bush walks, bird walks and even participate in lion tracking. Various species are monitored with state-of-the-art technology and smart fencing allows species the opportunity to migrate. 

The conservancy is home to Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The nature home of chimpanzees is a swatch of area from Senegal on the west coast to central Africa to Uganda. When the sanctuary in Burundi was forced to close due to civil war, Ol Pejeta along with the Jane Goodall Institute set up a sanctuary. Two groups of chimpanzees on 300 acres are maintained, most recovering from abuse and neglect. They return at night to indoor enclosures. 

 Stay tuned for more on Kenya in subsequent blogs as well as some more specific information about GetAway Travel’s planned safari group. If your hunt for adventure includes a safari, contact GetAway at:  (262) 538-2140, e-mail: sue@getaway.travel or paul@getaway.travel 






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