I brought my eyes and ears, nose and taste buds on my East Africa safari vacation. Using your five senses on a trip of a lifetime can be another way to fill the soul.
November and December bring the “short rains” in Kenya and Tanzania. These are typically brief and sometimes intense bursts that bring the bush to life. With these first showers, the landscape and wildlife quickly rebound after the long dry season. The earth smells fresh as grass quickly shifts into high-gear green.
Coffee is an extra special treat in Kenya and Tanzania. The aroma of freshly roasted and brewed coffee makes waking up before daybreak worth every first effort.
A safari is a visual overload of awe. Separate from the wildlife, breathtaking landscapes span from architectural acacia trees to the kopje rock formations that punctuate the limitless horizon of the Serengeti plain. Mount Kenya looms above the rolling hills of North Kenya. It’s no wonder the Ngorongoro Crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its dense mountain forests, volcanic highlands, vast plains, and cultural importance.
Flightseeing from camp to camp in a small aircraft provides another amazing vantage point of the brilliant topography.
A male lions roar can be heard from a distance as far away as five miles, and it will shake your bones! You might also be lucky enough to see this characteristic call. Elephants trumpet- a sound made when they’re lost, excited, angry or playful. In the pitch black of a moonless night, a family herd of elephants was positioned just off my tent at Lemala Nanyuikie Safari Lodge in the Serengeti, trumpeting loudly. The next morning, our Maasai guide shared that a lioness had been stalking the herd through the camp.
A slobbery giraffe lick or a trunk kiss from a baby elephant at the Daphne Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It’s all in the fun! A bush walk is one of the best ways to get up-close-and-personal with what makes the entire eco-system tick. But, it’s best to leave the touching to the Maasai guide.
Don’t underestimate the simple pleasure of a hot water bottle discreetly tucked under the blankets just before bed. You’ll appreciate the warmth in the cool evenings and be lulled off to sleep.
Gibb’s Farm Tanzania, in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, a short distance to the Ngorongoro Crater- is a spectacular example of farm-to-table lodging. Gibb’s Farm is a spectacular place to stay to explore the region, “a sanctuary for the senses”, they say. It is truly possible to taste the love, care and hospitality behind each culinary delight or sip of a hand-crafted cocktail. Nearly everything consumed is grown, raised, baked or created on Gibb’s Farm.
Culinary experiences abound throughout Kenya and Tanzania. Much of it influenced by India, with savory spices and unique flavors. Fine wines are imported from South Africa’s Cape Winelands and the local Tusker and Kilimanjaro lagers complement any meal.
–Rochelle, February 2020