So it’s the final day and we went via a Masai village on our way back to Nairobi and the airport. It was going to be a long drive starting at 7.30am and arriving 2-3ish. I was glad I had my iPad and some music, but still spent most of the time looking out of the window.
Visiting the village cost us $20 each and I would highly recommend going if you get the chance. There’s a small market you can buy handmade gifts from and all money made goes towards the village. There has been some bad press in the past where tour guides would take a big chunk of all money for themselves but this was more a problem with hotel-based guides and hopefully isn’t an issue anymore. I certainly wasn’t a problem for us. The first thing which hit me (literally) was the number of flies everywhere. EVERYWHERE. You do get used to it but it drove me insane for the first 10 minutes. We were shown around by the son of the leader of the village who at the time “only had one wife”. His father was 99 years old, had 7 wives and was still walking about without a walking aid or anything. That’s a damn good life expectancy, so their diet of meat and milk and without many fruit or vegetables can’t be too bad for you. I joined in with some dancing which just capped off the holiday and we were back on the bus to Nairobi. Because I recommend this extra trip so much I won’t describe any more so you can find out about them all first hand. But here are some images.
I don’t know if I should be criticising Thomson or whoever schedules flights but we were dropped at the airport at 1430 and the next flight back to the UK was at 23.50. The other family with us for the week got a 1900 flight to the UK via Dohar and arrived about the same time as us and they booked through another agent so I don’t know which option I’d prefer. Theirs was a longer flight with transfers but I guess food would have been provided and a non-direct flight may have been cheaper (I’m assuming through my little experience of flying). Ours was less time flying but spending more money on food in the airport and potentially a more expensive direct flight. Maybe we’re spoilt by going to more popular destinations such as Cairo, Florida or New York where flights to and from the UK are more frequent throughout the day. We flew with Kenya Airways who I can’t fault at all; their food was delicious for plane food and the staff were courteous. If you plan on going, check out these guys as a price comparison to British Airways who also had a flight to Heathrow leaving just 10 minutes before us.
I arrived back in the UK at 5.30am (UK time) and since I switched to a window seat on the plane I slept quite well so off to work I went for an 8am start. The last two days had left me a little sunburnt and on the first day I’d bought some aloe vera moisturiser from a supermarket which really helped. It helped so much that the area on my back I had missed with this stuff is the only bit which has now peeled (grim, TMI) but it does say something for (A) keeping up a high factor of sun lotion and (B) having a good moisturiser for after-sun. I’d been on factor 30 for all the holiday apart from these last two days when that ran out and I only had a factor 15. Frequent application wasn’t enough, hence the burn so this is a message to all to be aware of what factor your skin needs no matter how much of a tan you’ve already accumulated.
Thomson’s Mount Kenya and Masai Mara tour is very well organised and I’d recommend Pollman’s safari guides to anyone. Don’t go for a relaxing time, perhaps a couple of days down at Mombasa would be a good idea before returning home if you have the time/money (or Zanzibar as my parents have done). Take American Dollars as well as Kenyan Shilling, and be aware that prices are about the equivalent as in the UK. Lastly, take a good camera or you’ll be kicking yourself!
If you’d like copies of any of my pictures please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more pictures, see my facebook.