Africa Senior Specialist Arista shares her journey into travel and highlights from her recent trip to Kenya and Tanzania.
I started at Audley ten years ago, fresh from university and keen to work in the Travel Industry. It’s something I always knew I wanted to do. From a very young age I can remember traveling to all the corners of my home country South Africa and this instilled my passion for travel and wildlife.
I did my degree in Tourism Management and moved to the UK with the hope of getting a travel related job to send people on trips to experience the magic of the African continent. The day I started to work at Audley was a dream come true and working as a specialist creating these amazing adventures for clients to my home continent will keep my passion for exploring and photography an ongoing desire.
The opportunity to return to Tanzania and Kenya
I’ve traveled quite extensively throughout South and East Africa but my recent research trip to Tanzania and Kenya definitely has to be the best one yet! I spent three weeks exploring the main safari destinations and was yet again blown away by the wildlife, landscapes and cultural interactions. This trip wasn’t just about revisiting the main areas, it was about finding new places and excursions to allow us to keep creating unique experiences for our clients.
Below are just a few of the things I saw during my travels and why East Africa is such a unique destination. I feel truly lucky to have set foot here again and count the days before I go back. (All the photographs below were taken by Arista).
My trip started off in southern Tanzania in my favorite area called Ruaha National Park. Here you can spot all the big game and buffalo herds over a thousand strong. It’s easy to overlook the smaller creatures and interesting plants though. I had a field day following this butterfly around, appreciating the smaller things in life!
From Ruaha I headed north to the foothills of Kilimanjaro where I stayed with Maasai in the most amazing setting. It’s one of those places where you either lose or find yourself. I enjoyed a medicine walk with a Maasai Warrior on my first afternoon and learnt so much about their traditional way of living.
After witnessing their spear throwing practice it was time for their traditional dance. It’s an enchanting experience, especially while the sun is setting and the atmosphere is incredible. The singing and their voices create the most rhythmic sounds. It’s so infectious you can’t help but get up and dance with them.
From here I headed further west via Tarangire but no visit to the north of Tanzania is complete without a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater. It’s famous for many reasons, but I had the pleasure in spending an hour watching this incredible tusker feeding amongst the flowers and not caring at all about the few hitchhikers on his back. To see an elephant with such amazing tusks is a rare sighting and I consider myself very lucky!
The Ngorongoro Highlands is quite off the beaten track but I can highly recommend it. I spent some time in a Maasai boma with this tribe. The landscapes are some of the most beautiful in Tanzania and the women’s shy nature is so intriguing.
Most people dream that when they visit the plains of the Serengeti, they’ll see a cheetah. For me there are few things more exciting than spotting this increasingly rare cat. I was so lucky during my trip though… I saw 16 cheetahs in just two days here!
During my last few days before heading to the Northern Serengeti to see the Wildebeest Migration we found this male lion, just chilling with his incredible mane, almost as if it’s just been styled. When you’re sitting watching this animal, taking in its size, you can see why they’re such a sought after animal to be seen on safari, and also why they’re so feared by everything else too.
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