timing your safari

East Africa | Surinder | 16 March 2017

 I am a light on-board sleeper.. Personally I find it easier to catch a night flight from Heathrow (London) after a busy day of pretending to work, in the hope that I will be tired enough to catch some kip.  If I happen to find a good reason to stay awake like a good conversation or a long list of movies I have missed in the cinema, what I am counting on is a swift transfer to my hotel followed by a long snooze.  But I know that everyone is different as my partner for one loves the sport of people watching on the way to the hotel.  I am not a huge fan of Nairobi traffic, and especially those leaving from the Airport.

The solution I have found works for me is a day flight. Getting to Nairobi anywhere between 8 pm and 3 am. This means shorter queues at customs, quieter roads and nice hotel following a swift transfer.  However, if you happen to arrive when it is raining in Nairobi then you may as well ignore all of the above.  When it rains in Africa, it seems there are suddenly more cars on the roads, roundabouts get smaller, cars get bigger... well you get the idea.. its takes ten times longer getting to your hotel.  What gets me through at times like this is to get my 'rain rain' playlist.  I then open the window a tiny fraction and take in the odd little splash of fresh African rain on my skin...ahhh sweet scented African rain...

Your first port of call may almost always be Nairobi.. a bustling city with what seems to contain more cars than people at the busiest of times.. but if you are from New York or an M25 frequenter (London, UK),  this traffic on the way to your hotel might seem more the norm... 

When travelling by road to your camp or lodge, an early morning departure is always recommended (as early as 5-6 am). However, if road trips are not your thing, please note you have the option of internal flights flying directly to airstrips within game parks such as Masai Mara & Serengeti.

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