Where did the summer go?
This morning as I drove to the Walters Theatre I noticed that a number of trees are showing off their first bits of fall colour. I was surrounded by dull skies due to dreary weather conditions so the tree colours easily jumped out at me.
The first official, “Travel With Bradley” tour departs for exotic, Kenya early in October. I must admit that when I started as a tour operator almost 32 years ago I never dream’t I’d be planning and leading a Safari to Kenya.
I announced this journey at my recent travel shows. An Africa tour operator contacted me with some “last minute-very limited space for a Kenya Safari” at a tour price that couldn’t be beat so after a great deal of research, I decided to offer the program even though it was impossible to publish it in my new tour brochure which was already at the printers.
October is high season in Kenya due to the mass wildebeest migration. This is known as the “World Cup of Wildlife”. Nowhere in the World is there a movement as immense as the wildebeest migration. It is believed that the wildebeest journey is dictated primarily by the animals response to the weather as they follow the rains and the growth of new grass.
Many travelers plan their Kenya Safari years in advance but my passengers need to make a quick decision so this afternoon I hosted a gathering for those that are joining me on this special adventure and the Canadian representative for our Kenya Safari, kindly joined us.
The first thing we compared was what innoculations the Travel Clinic Doctors advised us we need. There is surprisingly a shortage of yellow fever vaccine – in fact the supply will soon be depleted. I didn’t have any problem getting my dose but 2 of my travelers needed to travel to Mississauga in order to get their shots and 5 others have been called with specific dates when the vaccine will be available prior to our departure. Everyone understand the urgency to get this done and hope to be vaccinated by the end of this week.
We discussed what we need to pack and what can be left at home. Lightweight, long sleeve shirts are needed to keep mosquitoes off – Capris or knee-length clothing is a good idea for women in conservative Africa – a rain jacket will be packed just in case along with comfortable running shoes. Clothing colours are also very important – black and blue not only attracts additional heat during the day but is tempting to the tsetse flies who pose health risks. Its therefore important to stick to lighter colours and neutral not bright tones. After days in the African savannah our clothes will easily get very dirty so I don’t plan on buying new clothing for this adventure.
Temperatures can be hot during the day and cold at night even though we are so close to the equator so warm layers are important.
Sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer and malaria pills are on our packing lists too along with a flashlight and electrical converter.
We need to consider what electronics are important to bring. I’m thinking that its best to leave my fancy tablet at home as it can easily get damaged in the weather conditions. Posting pictures and my blog can wait. I also plan on bringing a power bank with charger so I can keep my new, “especially for this Safari” big-zoom camera charged. Passenger, Donna Lotus reminded me that I tell everyone who buys a new camera prior to a tour that it is important to play with it before departure so they aren’t trying to learn how it works during the trip. Yes Donna, I will start practising.
We were excited to learn that the safari vehicles we are traveling in are wi-fi equiped.
Instead of bringing pencils and candy for the local children we were reminded to be responsible travelers and give donations directly to reputable organizations while we are there. Unfortunately many children in Kenya realize that when they spot who they call the “muzunga” we provide an opportunity for them to receive free things and some will drop out of school because they can make more money from tourists than local jobs.
My passengers have now all met one another and we are just like family. We are guaranteed to bring home many stories that we look forward to sharing with you.
This Kenya Safari Journey is guaranteed to be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.