Travel

Travel Thursday: Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Safari comes from a Kiswahili word safari which means travel. Nowadays it’s synonymously associated with going to Africa and viewing game. I have been to Amboseli before but this was back in the day when the roads were not as accessible as they are today.

Before the journey to Amboseli started, I obviously had to pick up my guests/clients from the airport in Nairobi. There after we drove to Amboseli with our driver Martin; thanks to my partnership with a tours and travel company. They specialize in eco-friendly hotels and sustainable travel.

The distance from Nairobi is 215.5 km.Kenya has had a lot of road accidents in the past, due to this the government came up with a solution; fitting  P.S.V (Public Service Vehicles) with a speed governor. This ensures that the vans meant to carry passengers travel at 80 Km/h.This obviously increases the time spent on the road. Not to worry, there is a lot life happening along the road. Vendors selling their wares, lorries carrying containers and so on. As you near Amboseli; the magnificent  Mt. Kilimanjaro can be seen.

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Mt Kilimanjaro, greeting us on our way to Amboseli

My guests and I stayed at the Amboseli Sopa Lodge. The stay was Full Board (FB). That basically means 3 meals a day for those of you who do not know accommodation terms. We only had to pay for our beverages we consumed during our stay. In this particular hotel, most bills are paid at the end of your stay when checking out. Better keep track of your spending!

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We arrived during lunch hour, checked in, went to our rooms. I stayed in room 31.The decor was rustic with a mixture of old and new. I liked some aspects  which gave me ideas for my future house. It was comfortable and spacious enough to practise yoga. I had a veranda where I could sit and relax. Although the Vervet monkeys seemed to enjoy it more than I did. When I arrived they  were hovering around waiting for something to happen. Perhaps, previous guests had slipped them some food.  In my previous post I have mentioned wild animals should not be fed. The room has a safe so you can store your valuable items in there.

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Nice bed

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My Room

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Interesting way to upgrade a lantern

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey

After laying my luggage down and taking what I needed (my camera) I headed straight for lunch with the group. Some had time to take a swim .

Swimming Pool at Amboseli Sopa

After which we left for an evening game drive at 4 in the afternoon.This is a good time to view animals as it is cooler and most animals would be heading to the watering hole.

Amboseli is the best place for viewing elephants, different species of birds, Mt Kilimanjaro ( if there is no haze), giraffes and other animals. We did not spot lions on this trip there are lots of grazers and browsers within the park and other cats.

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Giraffe Crossing

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Elephant Crossing

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Crowned Crane Dancing away

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A herd of Elephants Crossing

The following day, on our morning game drive, we spotted a cheetah from a far that had just finished its meal and was looking for shade as it was getting hot. We took lunch boxes with us for this game drive and my food allergies were noted. I appreciated that.

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My Lunch box. No dairy & eggs.

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Chicken breast, apple and banana, pineapple juice and a packet of crisps. Yum!

The menu at the restaurant at Amboseli Sopa is à la Carte. It included soup, main dish and dessert. They had vegetarian options too. Due to most of the soups having cream, being allergic to dairy, I settled for the consommé. It came a point where I realised that each consommé tasted the same despite being chicken or vegetable. Local produce was predominantly used in the preparation of meals.The cheese and crackers however, were sourced from somewhere else (my guest ordered this instead of dessert). The only thing that was odd about the cheese & cracker was they put a slice of onion as garnish. Maybe something more aromatic would have been better. The food overall was tasty and the portions substantial. Being a wine lover I was disappointed that the wine glasses were small. The wine selection was wider in the bar. As a bigger group I would recommend buying a bottle instead of a glass of wine when having meals.

I enjoyed my stay at Amboseli Sopa.The staff was friendly and helpful and they ensured that everything flowed smoothly. The dining room had a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Which most guests could not resist taking a picture including I.

Mt Kilimanjaro in the morning

Mt Kilimanjaro in the morning

As for WiFi the hotel has WiFi but it only works properly on one table. This was rather frustrating for my guests who would have liked to show off their pictures to their friends on Facebook. It wasn’t a deal breaker though.

If you have any food allergies be sure to explain to your guide/ booking agent before hand and at the hotel. The hotel had been notified of my allergies but I had to relay the message again. The Food and Beverage manager (I forget his name) was excellent and very helpful when it came to ensuring that my meals were allergy free.

Most hotels in places like Amboseli use generators to power electricity. So if you need to charge your electronics or want to take a nice hot/ warm shower after the game drive. Pay close attention to the times the generator will be on. Waking up in around 4 am in my room it was pitch dark. I liked that they had a torch, match and candle on the bedside so no need to be afraid of the dark.

What I also liked about the lodge is local Maasai women were selling their jewellery at the hotel shop. It was specifically designed for them. I bought some items for myself  the prices were on the higher side but I kept in mind that the money I spent  would be used for the community.

I highly recommend visiting Amboseli if you want to get away from the city and want to view elephants and birds this is the place to be.

Asante Sana the staff and team of Amboseli Sopa. I will not hesitate to come back, hopefully I can take one of my readers with me?

Have an adventure filled day,

Namaste,

Donna

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    thekenyancamper
    19/03/2015 at 14:20

    Always nice to read about a fresh take on Amboseli. Nice article and keep sharing!

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