Let’s go on Safari!

Wanderlust (noun) a strong desire to travel.

It began simple enough–a wondering-type question our daughter asked nearly a year before…”Would you want to go to Africa for my birthday?” It doesn’t take much to entice us, but this time around a global pandemic made us push the pause button. The desire to travel again was strong and outweighed the various risks, including getting a yellow fever shot which is super expensive. With passports and vaccinations in hand, we were off on a new adventure.

Map of Africa

We were fortunate that Lindsey had spent time in Africa and had a good travel itinerary in mind. We spent the first part of our vacation in Nairobi, exploring the city as we acclimated to the time zone (a full 12 hours forward for those of us on the US West Coast). Then, it was a short flight to the Maasai Mara for a 4 day safari. I was apprehensive about the 20 hours of travel from Los Angeles to Nairobi–broken up into 2 legs (LAX-Amsterdam-Nairobi)–but the excitement of the trip combined with in-flight entertainment and enough food and snacks to keep us distracted made the time pass quickly. And despite a pandemic, all of our flights were full. Eager travelers just like us, so happy to be going somewhere that wearing a mask for the duration of the flight was only a minor nuisance.

We worked with a great travel agent who helped us book our accommodations for the safari portion of the trip but when it came to getting around the busy, bustling city of Nairobi, Lindsey’s experience was clutch. We stayed at a hotel centrally located near several shopping malls and easily accessible to Uber and DoorDash drivers. Although security throughout the city was high–we were screened at all public buildings–the Kenyan hospitality shone through, gracious and always with a generous “Welcome Back!”

Our Itinerary:

  • 2 days travel to Kenya (you “lose a day” with the time zone difference)
  • 4 days in Nairobi: stayed at Movenpick Hotel-Nairobi, giraffe sanctuary, elephant orphanage, Karen Blixen house, National Museum of Nairobi
  • 4 days in Masaai Mara National Reserve: stayed at Sanctuary Olonana Game drives daily.
  • 1 1/2 days Nairobi: flights from Kenya to Europe leave at midnight so we spent a day souvenir shopping and getting our mandatory Covid tests administered at the hotel.

What you’ll need to travel to Kenya:

  • Current passport
  • Kenyan Visa
  • Health Screening Form
  • Current Covid 19 Vaccinations and Negative Covid Test (to reenter US)
  • Yellow Fever Shot