I arrived in Nairobi in the evening. I flew in from Arusha, Tanzania, where I had been on a 6 day safari of Northern Tanzania. I was met at Wilson Airport and taken to my city centre hotel by my guide, Benson. This gave me some hotel time and time to do a proper clean up after being on safari for a week. If I ever did this trip again, I would elect to stay in the Karen neighbourhood of Nairobi as it is less hectic than the city.
The following morning I was picked up by our driver and met my travel companion for the next week, Kate. We were driven down to Amboseli, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Nairobi. This gave us a good taste of Nairobi city and the daily life of Kenyans. We arrived at Amboseli Porini Camp in time for a leisurely lunch before heading out on a game drive with our Maasai guide. We ended the day with sundowners overlooking the Amboseli bushveld.
We spent 2 nights in Amboseli Porini camp. Besides the view of Mount Kilimanjaro, to me the highlight of the visit was a walk with local Maasai and a visit to their village. This was a fairly authentic experience as the camp guests are the only visitors that have access to this village. The village benefits from the income from the concession provided to the camp and the camp also employs a number of the villagers.
From Amboseli, we flew to the Masai Mara National Park via Wilson Airport (not shown on the map for simplicity). We split our time in the Masai Mara between the east part, staying at Mara Porini Camp, and the western part, where we stayed at Porini Lion Camp. Both camps are run on an eco-friendly basis using solar energy and recycling waste. Porini Lion Camp is on the banks of a river and had been flooded in December. The owners took the opportunity to erect new tents and improve the solar energy system which has added improved luxury to the camp.
Although the migration had already left the Masai Mara (and were heading down the eastern side of the Serengeti) in February, the game viewing was still good as there are a lot of animals that do not migrate. This was my first visit to the Masai Mara. I was used to safaris in Southern Africa and had never experienced the rolling hills and short grasses that make the Mara famous. It certainly makes game spotting easy when you can see the game from 2 kilometers away!