African Family Safari


Girls just want to have fun

Each year my family and I have a get together where we set off to a remote destination. This year we opted for an African family safari: a five day camel trek in Kenya. This was the first time any of us was going to Kenya, a country well known for its colonial history and Mount Kenya.


For our first night we flew in with a private charter to Laikipia where we were booked to stay at Sabuk Lodge. The awesome appearance of Sabuk is thanks to the lodge being built with a combination of stone boulders and twisted wood with a thatched roof, all taken from the local landscape. The sitting room resembles an open terrace and we were able to sit on very comfortable couches looking over the grand Kenyan nature, sipping in the calmness of the atmosphere.

Although we don’t get to see a lot of each other, I believe that we are a very close family. My father, Phillip, and mother, Jeannette, have been married for 37 years, during which they had three of us, Nell, Leo and me. With every family get together in the last four years there have also been additional members, with both Nell and Leo having married.

We decided to go to bed early that night since our camel trip was starting in the early morning hours. Although very excited about the whole camel trip, I must admit that I did worry about how my backside was going to feel by the end of our trip. From what I’ve heard it can be quite tiresome and painful if you haven’t done it before or aren’t used to it.

A few camels, Laikipia Masai and us…

While we were having breakfast, our guides, or at least, the Laikipia Masai’s, were getting the camels ready for our departure. It was a leisurely five hour walk during which we saw one of the camp’s highlights: giraffes. There is a lot of work undertaken in this area with regards to conservation and education on giraffes. The Kenyan government has a programme where locals are taught more from a very young age about these gentle giants.

After, what Leo described as a “more than well deserved lunch”, we joined the rest of the tourists for a bit of siesta time. The siesta was followed with my parents enjoying forty winks, while the rest of us sat around the pool, reading, sipping cocktails and catching up on the latest of family mischief.

At sundown our parents joined us for sundowners around the campfire, where most of the tourists were gathering for the night’s events. There’s nothing more relaxing sitting around a campfire, especially with the ones you love, breathing in the fresh, African air. It always amazes me as to the difference in African countries. It’s almost like European countries: diverse, but you can still sense the similarities, mostly being that in Africa, everything seems to happen at a different pace than the rest of the world. Its “African time”, where you can sit back, relax and enjoy being the closest you’ll ever be to nature.

Almost back home

For the next few days we continued on the same schedule, camel rides in the morning, back at camp by lunch time, followed by an afternoon of leisure. I think we were all rather pleased by the fact that we didn’t spend the whole day on the back of a camel, because I could already feel that if we were on the camels longer than we were, I would not have lasted. It’s more comfortable sitting on a camel than what I expected, but definitely not something any of us were used to.

During our camel trips we saw a number of African wildlife, including more giraffes of course. Both my mother and I got really excited when we came across a herd of elephants, since we both quite favour the real King of the wild. By the end of our trip, we not only enjoyed some time in one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, but also good family time, bringing our relationships even closer than before.


Source by Lulie Swanepoel

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