If you’re planning an adventure on Africa’s Rovos Rail or the Blue Train – two of our World’s Top 25 Trains® – don’t make the trek without adding a safari extension for some up-close animal encounters.
That’s our conclusion after our recent study tour to East Africa with one of the world’s top safari partners — Micato.
Read on for highlights!
An elephant family on its daily march to the swamps in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. IRT Photo by Rachel Hardy.
Trundling along in Kenya’s dramatic Laikipia Conservancy, our guide stops suddenly to admire a giant male elephant with enormous tusks playing in the river below, splashing and spouting.
A mother and her cubs watch us with casual curiosity in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. IRT Photo by Rachel Hardy.
The elephant swims across the river, lumbering through a pod of dangerous hippos. He trumpets angrily, seeming to scream, “Let me pass!” The hippos scatter.
Wildebeests leap across our path in the Serengeti. IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
Quietly approaching a female lion in our Land Rover, we admire her from about 20 feet away. She looks at us placidly, and then, deciding us worthy, she pads into the woods and returns — with her two-month-old cubs.
Perched on a road in the middle of the Serengeti, we witness an incredible sight: the beginning of the great migration — 1-2 million wildebeests and about 600,000 zebra and other hooved animals —heading north to grassier, wetter Masaai Mara. The roaring wildebeests cross single-file in front of us.
Lying in our luxurious tents, we listen, enchanted, to the sounds of nature all around us: weaver birds flitting and chirping, hyenas crunching the bones of their prey, the honk of a hippo in the river right outside our tent, the seemingly thousands of birds waking us in the morning.
A rainbow comes out over Amboseli National Park during our nightly “sundowner,” where our guides serve us drinks and snacks atop a lookout point. IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
A Maasai welcome for IRT’s Rachel Hardy as we step off our bush plan and into the Maasai Mara Reserve. IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
Giraffes in Serengeti National Park. IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
For both of us, traveling together made everything extra special: seeing our lodgings for the first time, admiring the beauty of the zebras (Rachel’s favorite) and spying our first family of elephants (my favorites!).
We hadn’t gotten to spend so much time together in years!
We loved what our guide called the “little five hundred.” A sampling of the feathered little five hundred: top left: guinea fowl, center left: mating crowned cranes, bottom left: weaver bird, center: malachite kingfisher, top right: saddle-billed stork, bottom right: ostrich. IRT Photos by Eleanor & Rachel Hardy.
We loved visiting a Maasai village in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Here, the women prepare to greet us with a traditional song and dance. IRT Photo by Rachel Hardy.
Interested in joining one of our South or East African departures? Space fills up early and quickly for journeys on Rovos Rail & the Blue Train – and of course for all the prime safari camps. Call us: (800) 478-4881 or (502) 897-1725. Email us: email@example.com Or vist our web site: http://www.irtsociety.com.
Eleanor Hardy, IRT President & co-owner, and Rachel Hardy, IRT’s newest travel associate, were honored to be invited to join Micato’s study safari in Kenya & Tanzania. Many warm thanks to Micato owners Jane & Felix Pinto and the entire Micato team!