John and I have always loved safari holidays and one that we really enjoyed a lot was a three-week trip that we took to Kenya. We started off in Nairobi and stayed at the famous Norfolk hotel. We arrived at the hotel in the midst of the disgorging of a tour coach full of Americans but it was, I have to say one of the best places I have ever stayed in.
The Norfolk Hotel has played a leading role in Kenya’s colourful history, and continues to be Nairobi’s finest and best-known luxury hotel. The town and later the
modern city of Nairobi grew up around The Norfolk Hotel, which still has its own private tropical gardens. It is a real oasis in the middle of a bustling city and the Lord Delamere Terrace that runs along the front of the hotel, is modern Nairobi’s most famous meeting place, where drinks and light meals are served continuously from morning until midnight under huge fans that turn lazily above you.
This hotel is a real treat and although it is not cheap I would recommend a night or two if you can manage it. You could try saving on other areas, such as with your travel insurance – try out www.insureandaway.co.uk, to manage a little visit to this place.
We left Nairobi and went on to Lake Naivasha. It is only 90 minutes away from Nairobi by road and has long been the place for those seeking to get away from it all. Joy Adamson, author of Born Free made the shores her home, so did Lord Errol and a host of other well-known personalities. At 1880m above sea level, the air is cool, crisp and refreshing. We stayed at the Naivasha Simba Lodge situated right on the banks of the lake. This fresh water lake was once Nairobis main landing strip for the luxury Flying Boats that came all the way from London. Travellers would then proceed to Nairobi by bus. Bizarrely, we found out, the lake has no known outlet, which is considered a requisite for a fresh water lake!
After that it was on to Lake Nakuru. We loved it when, as we drove into the park we came across a really big group of baboons. They were relaxing on the road and in the trees and were quite happy to pose for pictures. We also saw rhino’s, giraffes and so many beautiful birds. The flamingos made an awe-inspiring sight and we loved the lodge, where Hippos wandered up from the river at night making all kinds of rude noises!
Then it was on to the Mount Kenya Safari Club. All through the building the heads of various beasts were mounted on the walls of the old hunting lodge, relics of a bygone era. Huge skins lay on the floor but despite the fact that I love animals I was surprised to find I was not upset. These magnificent creatures had lived and died in a very different age to the one they were living in now.
Our room, when we reached it, was breath taking. A huge bed with a thick blanket draped over it stood in the centre of the high ceilinged room and a fire blazed in an enormous fireplace in front of which was a huge sheepskin rug. We finished off our trip with a week at the coast. I can honestly say that although we have been on many safaris this one will always stick in my memory.