Animal lovers all over the world flock to Africa, in particular East Africa, to watch wild life. Nowhere else can you find such a high concentration of animals so clearly visible to the tourists. Tropical rainforests are supposed to be the ecosystems that have the highest biodiversity, but the dense vegetation makes animals living in them hardly visible to anybody.
Throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, many hunters and travellers from Europe and America were attracted to Africa by its breathtaking beauty. The sight of untrammelled plains rimmed with volcanoes and carpetted with thousands of antelope and wildebeest moved the hearts of rogues as well as romantics. But above all, the attraction of the safari life was the unparalleled freedom it allowed.
The Swahili word safari is rooted in the Arabic safariya, which means a “voyage”. Colonial settlers went on safari when they stocked up with supplies from the nearest market town just as today a Kenyan marketing manager making his rounds of the company’s branches will say that he is going on safari. Modern travellers to Africa, however, will understand safari as moving around in a game park in a special vehicle that allows almost unobstructed views of the surroundings.
I did my first safaris in Tanzania in the year 2000. I visited Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara National Park, and the experience so impressed me that I promised myself another safari trip in the not too distant future.
It was some 7 years later before my second safaris materialized. I chose to visit Kenya in the month of August in year 2007 because that month falls smack in the middle of the great migration period of the wildebeest which are in Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during this part of the year. I contacted Acacia Holidays of Nairobi, Kenya by email for the necessary ground arrangements with specific requirement that I must see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
The group consisted of 12 persons: my wife Lee Beng Eng and I, our daughter Chin Woey and her husband Lee Khim Yong (it’s their honeymoon!), our son Chin Bin, my brother Chin Mee Sin and his wife Kong Poey Sam, my youngest brother Dr. Chin Mee Shian, my regular travel partner Chang Chee Keong and his wife Leiong Siew Mooi, and my regular diving buddies Dr. Teh Yew Yin and Chris Chin Weng Goon.
From 16th till 27th August, 2007, we visited the following places: (1) Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve (2) The Treetops in Aberdare National Park (3) Sweetwater Tented Camp in Ol Pejeta Conservancy (4) Lake Nakuru National Park (5) Kisumu beside Lake Victoria (6) Masai Mara National Reserve (7) Lake Naivasha (8) Amboseli National Park
The accompanying photos are but a tiny selection of all the photographs taken by me and my son during the trip. Hope you like them.