My previous blog covered ‘How to prepare yourself mentally for your Kenya trip?’, in this blog I am putting down my experience on actual preparations.
Lets be honest, though according to Kenya tourism website there are about 500,000 tourists visiting Kenya every year, its still an unusual destination which needs unusual preparations.
Choosing the Tour Operator:
First thing we need is TO (Tour Operator), we can either choose local TO operators (like in India we have Cox and Kings, Yatra, MakemyTrip and more. Or we can choose one of many tour operators based out in Kenya. I chose my TO from Safari Bookings link.
I feel booking a Kenyan To is a wise decision as they know the country and situation better than booking from your own country. Send inquiries to multiple TOs and get quotes from them, compare the parks they are taking you to, compare the price based on various quotes received and then choose with a calm head.
Once you have your TO decided, he’ll offer an itinerary to you, if you know nothing about the country then feel free to ask them questions and differences among various parks, travel duration and any other query that may come in your head, regardless of how silly it may sound.
Kenya is a country where you need to take few vaccinations for your own health and also it may be a immigration requirement for your country.
Here is the list from WHO with requirements and recommendations for each country. Vaccination certificates are not needed while entering Kenya, its needed while returning back to your home country and fail to produce one can keep you under observation for few days at the airport itself.
Itinerary: itinerary will mostly be planned and proposed to you by your TO. Some major national parks in South Kenya are as follows:
- Masai Mara – The Best of all.
- Amboseli – Famous for Elephants and breath taking view of Mount Kilimanjaro
- Tsavo East/West – For Big five
- Lake Nakuru – Though TOs say that there are millions of flamingos but there are none now, however there are good chances of sighting White Rhinos there
- Lake Naivasha – Famous for boat ride and walk with herbivores on the crescent island
- Samburu – This is in northern Kenya and sights and wildlife are expected to be different from what you see in southern parks.
- Equator – Yes, you can actually pass through equator while in Kenya. Its a tourist spot
Need to plan your itinerary with what you wish to do and how your TO is planning it for you. I had to choose between Samburu and Amboseli. Equator comes while travelling to Samburu and Amboseli has view of Mount Kilimanjaro. I finalized on Amboseli. Why?? This picture on internet convinced me in couple of seconds: