Twiga, Duma & Simba

“The safari jeep trundles down the gravel road embedded between the grassy meadows. Many Thomson’s gazelles can be seen grazing in the surrounding grassland. Suddenly the driver’s walkie-talkie makes scratching noise and the safari guide starts speaking into it in fluent Swahili. His conversation is incomprehensible, except for one word ‘Duma’, which comes up repeatedly in his talk. The driver suddenly changes direction and steps on the pedal, telling everyone that the ‘Duma’, African Cheetah, is somewhere nearby. Far in the distance many safari jeeps are lined up, waiting for just a glimpse of the handsome beast. All of a sudden the driver stops the jeep, there’s an alarm call of the cheetah’s presence. Every passenger in the jeep is waiting in anticipation with bated breath, looking around for the fastest animal and…..”

What happens next? Does the show-stopper arrive? Do the people get to see the Duma? Well, to get the answers to these questions you have to plan an African safari this summer. Any tourist who has opted to take a holiday in Kenya will have come in the sole intention of being away from the daily humdrum of city life and be close to nature. This is what Kenyan Game safaris actually offer you and give you your money’s worth. Home of Africa's original wildlife tour, Kenya is also the setting for much loved film 'The Lion King', and draws in visitors by the bus load every year for safari adventures. It has some of the best locations to spot 'The Big Five' (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino), like the Masai Mara, Kenya’s world-renowned national park. The Savannah (tall grasslands) of the Masai Mara is one of the best known and most popular reserves in the whole of Africa, which borders Tanzania at the Mara River. You will almost certainly see wildebeest, zebra, impala, twiga (giraffe), Thomson's gazelle and elephants. If you are lucky, you could catch a glimpse of the elusive leopards, simba (lions), hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as are very large Nile crocodiles, who lay in wait for a meal as the wildebeest cross on their annual quest to find new pastures. Every July (or sometimes August), the wildebeest travel over 900 kms from Tanzania's Serengeti plains ( across the Tanzanian border) , northwards to the Masai Mara and the Mara River is the final obstacle. In October or November, once they have feasted and the grass has all but gone, they turn around and go back the other way.

A long, treacherous drive up the hill, cutting down the Rift valley finally takes you to the Lake Nakuru National Park. Nakuru means "Dust or Dusty Place" in Maasai language. It is situated 140 kilometers north-west of Nairobi in the Nakuru district of the Rift Valley province and covers an area of about 188 square kilometers. The Nakuru lake provides the visitor with one of Kenya’s best known images. Thousands of flamingoes, joined into a massive flock, fringe the shores of this salt water lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water, the flamingo are a breathtaking sight. The lake has become world famous for these birds, who visit the lake to feed on algae that forms on the lake bed. But Nakuru has more than just flamingos. The park not only gives the visitor the joy of watching the elegant water birds but also the magnificent larger animals like the lion, wild bison, the black Rhino and the Rothschild Giraffe.

You might have visited many zoos around the world and seen many wild animals caged inside. Kenya is one place you enjoy seeing animals free in the wild, and you caged in!

Africa is usually associated only with wildlife; but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It has so much more to offer! South Africa is known as the Europe of the African continent. It has everything from natural beauty to nightlife, shopping, spas, casinos, & theme parks. It is safe and has a plethora of entertainment. Johannesburg’s popular attraction, the Gold Reef City theme park, is built around an authentic 19th century gold mine, and brings together fascinating historical attractions with some of the most thrilling rides in the southern hemisphere. For a day of frenetic family fun, it is a must visit place.

If you're looking for some freak-out fun time, just over an hour from Jo’burg you'll find Sun City, one of the best holiday options around. Not only can you relax on man-made beaches, throw some dice in the casino, or catch a quick round on the world-famous Gary Player Golf Course, but you can also take a drive around the adjoining Pilanesberg Game Reserve, which regularly serves up the Big 5 to its visitors. This is truly a holiday destination to meet all needs! You could also visit the Victoria Falls, a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Known as the ‘Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls is twice as tall as the Niagara Falls and several times longer. Although not the highest, the widest or the greatest volume of water, they have the largest sheet of water for any fall in the world and are a sight not to be missed.

With so much to see and do, you will undoubtedly be left awestruck in Africa. So when are you planning your African Safari?

Team Veena World