Destination of the Month – Samburu National Reserve

Elephant Crossing the Ewaso Ng'iro River - Samburu National Park
Elephant Crossing the Ewaso Ng’iro River – Samburu National Reserve

 

This reserve is a rare gem in Kenya’s North arid savannah that rests calmly on the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River, where countless and varied wildlife nourish from the life it brings forth. Longer hours to drive, but worth every memory it leaves you with. You can choose to fly, which will take you roughly one and a half hours, or you can drive for about 6 hours to get there.

Like any other park, Samburu has its own unique features that no other park possesses. It hosts the Special 5 animals; the Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa oryx and the Somali ostrich. For book and movie lovers, you might know that it is in this park that Elsa the Lioness, subject of the bestselling book and award winning movie Born Free was raised by conservationists George and Joy Adamson. The park is also home to Kamunyak, the Miracle Lioness who adopted 6 oryx calves and fiercely protected them from predators.

Compared to other parks, Samburu might be fairly small in size, but it’s incredibly abundance in variety of wildlife will surprise you. We easily spotted the big three cats – lion, cheetah and the African leopard as well as elephants, Cape buffalo and the hippo, the reticulated giraffe and other smaller animals like the dik-dik, the African wild dog and more.

The birdlife of Samburu is prolific. All through the riverine greenery of the park, hundreds of bird species both tiny and huge fill the air with chirpy mating rituals or fly about in hunt for a noon meal – including the Marabou Stork, secretary bird, and several types of vultures like the palm-nut vulture – which, unlike the others actually belongs in the eagle and hawk family. The second largest crocodiles of all time – the Nile crocodiles, bask unhurried beside the river.

Samburu is a must visit destination for animal and bird lovers, and definitely for you if you love road trips. To make a safari in search of Samburu’s special five for your next Holiday Bazaar Safari, send us an email on [email protected] or call us on +254 722 354 333 / 733 616 445

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Photo of the Week: Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral

Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral
Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral

This is an interior shot of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A cathedral from the medieval era, Notre Dame means “Our Lady of Paris”. It sits atop what was a pagan city – the Ile da la Cite. It’s the most visited monument in Paris today, perhaps for being one of the finest models of French Gothic architecture characterized by elegant “flying” buttresses, a naturalistic theme and extravagantly detailed windows that allow light and colour to gush in. Completed in the 13 century, it’s been an object of desecration during wars as well as expensive restorative projects that returned it to its former glory.

Paris’ Eiffel Tower needs no introduction – it’s always been a favorite since it was built in 1889, holding the distinction of the world’s tallest building until just 2004. Its third floor at 276m is Europe’s highest observation deck – the dizzying height affords mesmerizing views of the frenzied activity below. The Louvre, an erstwhile medieval fortress is now an unrivaled gallery of antique art, including of course the ubiquitous portrait of Mona Lisa by artistic genius Leonardo da Vinci. Paris’ highest point is Montmartre, atop which sits the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, whose spiraling 300 steps takes you to its dome, another unbelievable vista of iconic Paris.

For the best weather friendly and less crowded months, visit Paris from April through June and October through November.

 

Photo of the Week: Banff, Canada

Banff Canada, street view
Banff Canada, street view

This is a photo of a street in Banff, Canada, a resort town nestled in the crook of raw and unyielding nature in Canada’s Banff National Park. Because of the rich and dramatic nature it’s set against, Banff’s an exciting bundle of every outdoor activity imaginable including skiing, mountain climbing, biking, bird watching, fishing, canoeing and skiing. Banff National Park is sanctuary to wildlife like the antlered elks, the sea hawk, the grizzly bear, the hoary mamort which will alerts of you of its presence with its trademark whistle long before you spot it, and many more animals.

Banff’s home to staggeringly vivid-blued, world-famous Lake Louise and Lake Morraine. Their emerald appearance is caused by the sun reflecting off the “rock flour” caused by the movement of glaciers beneath their surfaces. Both lakes are surrounded by the intense scenery of rugged, ice peaked mountains and mighty waterfalls – inspiring a reverential feeling.

The Icefields Parkway is another scenery in Banff – a highway punctuated by centuries-old glaciers, waterfalls, an undulating hill range and precariously deep valleys. One of the jaw-droppers are Peyto Lake, another gorgeous blue lake, and also the Mistaya Canyon which features distinctive, curiously curvy walls.

The Banff Gondola is a dizzying, 8 minutes and 4 passenger gondola ride up 670 m in the air to the peak of the Sulphur Mountain, revealing more incredible views of Banff’s panoramic scene: fine lakes, age-old ice fields, dense forests and precipitous landscapes.

 

Photo of the Week: Kremlin, Moscow

Kremlin, Moscow
Kremlin, Moscow

Kremlin” means “fortress inside a city”, and it’s what the Kremlin is: a fortified complex at the very heart of Russia’s capital. The Kremlin dates back to 1156 and was the seat of the tsars and other ruling elite. Today the complex is a maze of alluring cathedrals, imposing palaces and museums, and the presidential seat of Russia, all harking back to an age ago.

Cathedral Square is the converging point of three splendid churches: the Assumption Cathedral with its five intimidating golden domes – which was were new tsars were crowned, the Cathedral of Annunciation, the Cathedral of the Archangel – with extravagant ornate decorations and flower shapes and the burial grounds for Russia’s greatest rulers.

The deservedly named Tsar Cannon facing the Kremlin State is the biggest cannon in the world. But that’s not where the accolades end: it’s an inspiring work of art with a roaring lion detail and a stark reminder of the all-or-nothing wars of yesterday centuries.

Still, the most disarming sight is the one atop the 81m high Ivan the Great Bell Tower. At the foot of the tower is the Tsar Bell, whose proportions are off the charts – at 7m long and weighing over 200, 000 kg, making it the world’s largest. The story goes that after its architect learned of its fracture, he died of grief. Luckily, the bell remains an absolute delight to behold.

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