Ever since I became an expat in the Middle East about 8 years ago, I have always wanted to go to Africa, as a holiday that is. Yes I managed to go to Morocco last year, but to me Morocco does not really represent Africa, as the people, the language and the culture are so similar to the Middle East…. well there are some similarity…. My idea of Africa was South Africa, but it seems that to go there is expensive, especially the air ticket.
Nevertheless, I decided to go to Kenya, as a compromise. The reason was:
- A Kenyan friend in Doha suggested to go on safari as she knew somebody who could organize a safari for us.
- Qatar Airways fly direct to Nairobi.
- It’s the wildebeest crossing location and I wanted to see that happening.
- It coincided with a public holiday in Qatar, so that I didn’t have to take so many days holiday
- It had to be a photography holiday, to learn more on photography techniques as well as witnessing the action.
- In order to get the value for money out of it, we decided to have more than a week and added another country:Tanzania.
Sounds very good, however, what I didn’t know was:
- Safari holidays are not a cheap holiday, not only that Africa is a bit out of the loop for holiday destinations, but also that safari destinations are in the middle of nowhere, where supply is hard to get, thus you pay premium for food and accommodation. However, once there, everything is paid for, we didn’t need to have any dinner expenses or the like.
- Preparing to go for this safari is also premium: travel insurance, vaccinations (just in-case – this is mainly for peace of mind) and not to mention new sets of travel gear: such as special “safari-attire,” soft travel bags (I used to travel with suitcase), and camera gear….
- Especially photography safari, you pay more for the facilities on site and expertise of the professional photographer, on top of your driver/guide.
- The wildebeest crossing schedule doesn’t follow a precise schedule annually, it depends on the weather/rain and the vegetation/water condition of where they graze. Thus once you are there for that week, the crossing may happened a few weeks before…😦
- My husband and I were not the only people who go on safari, the truth is there are hundreds of us on a safari (not with the same tour operator). Imagine how many tour operators and the tourists are looking for lions…. That end up we were swarming around a lion, thus to get a picture of the animal only is nearly impossible, there’s always another vehicle as a background.
- A simple point and shoot camera is only good for taking picture of people, not wildlife in action no matter how many time it can multiply and zoom in.