Ask Dave

JAMBO!  The answer is nine….and counting!  In January & February 2023 I hosted 3 groups to make it ten.  No joke, even after I die, I have it in my will that my family has to take my ashes and leave them in either the Massai Mara in Kenya or the Serengeti in Tanzania – I’m open to either!

It is hard to explain this part of the world except that it grabbed my heart on my first visit in 1991 and every time I go back, I think that I really do not have to see any more elephants or lions in my lifetime.  But as I fly home, I’m usually planning my next soft adventure back. This place has me.

Adventures Africa

Tanzania is more expensive than Kenya but has the immense Serengeti Plains. Even though so vast, you can count on a lot of vehicles around a tree when an elusive leopard is found draped amongst the foliage – unless you get there first. I’ve been there and seen one from a distance in a 3 week trip and on the other hand had a lucky streak spotting 4 in 4 different locations a few hours. You should see lion and cheetah and a plethora of other wild animals.  During migration, the wildebeest are in the hundreds of thousands with predators nearby. The Ngorongoro crater is quite spectacular.  Animals can come and go as they please (there are no fences!) but tend to stick around for the most part on the crater floor. You see a lot in a short time, and at one point, I lost my love of this place but regained it after we figured out how to maneuver ourselves a bit better and generally go the opposite direction of the crowds. Lake Manyara, if you time things well can boast many thousands of birds – go there early in your safari. Tarangire has plenty to see as well.  Yellow fever shots are required.

Kenya actually has more to offer, and the value is better. The Mara is the Kenya side of the Serengeti (i.e. it looks the same), but is about 1/8 the size. It still would take you - days to drive from one end to another. Amboseli has a huge elephant population and if you’re lucky you’ll have a clear view of majestic Kiliminjaro. Spend the money and stay a couple nights at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club located right on the equator – but it’s high in elevation so expect cool nights. Close by is Ol Pajeita. You may have seen the Animal Planet series where they raise rhinos and care for chimpanzees. We include Samburu in our trips – it’s very hot and dry with the oasis in the middle with a river full of crocs and hippos and a sure place to see the local wildlife.  If you’re lucky you’ll see kudu, gerenuk, the grevy zebra and oryx, amongst the most beautiful ostrich native only to this climate. Near Mt. Kenya is the Aberdare forest and you may want to stay at one of the Treetop lodges. The salt lick attracts many beasts! Lake Nakuru can have a staggering amount of flamingos and is great to include on your driving route to the Mara.  I’d suggest to drive one way and fly out.

The Massai - One of a Kind!

The people are awesome. The Massai are welcoming, kind and interesting and I just can’t say enough about the visual delights and (outside of Nairobi) the smells as well.

The people in tourism love us Canadians. We’re kind and respectful and they really do go above and beyond to show appreciation to us. Don’t forget to give back. They need our business and I always suggest you bring some school supplies, sports equipment or clothes to donate.

It’s a long haul from North America, so many people take a bit more time, and having a pre or post at the beaches in the Mombasa area or Zanzibar are some places to consider.  Many will include a trip to Victoria Falls or perhaps Egypt – 2 bucket list items in one trip.  If you are in very good shape you might want to do a gorilla trek to Uganda or Rwanda.  It’s expensive and highly regulated, which is a very good thing. When Shelley and I went we had a very difficult hike up and down multiple mountains before we found our group – a long way to go for an hour with them, but one of those fabulous memories.

Hosted African Safari with Dave

I am most likely going to be hosting again in the Fall of 2024 and will have details in March.  Even if you don’t come with me, I will be absolutely delighted to help you plan your African safari experience.  I warn you now, if we do talk, you will have a hard time shutting me up!

Cheers for now,

Dave Frinton, Founder

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