My first African story

“I had a house in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills………” and so is the beginning of Karen Blixen’s popular book and film “Out of Africa”. And I believe, that every person should have their own story of Africa, as it effects every single person who visits this amazing continent, in such a powerful way.

Crossing the equator in Kenya, Africa overland adventureCrossing the equator

I have recently been flicking through my old photo albums, a pastime that I must confess I am rather partial to, when I came across photos and a surge of wonderful memories, of my first ever safari, at the ripe old age of twenty – just before the graduation photos, first car (cringe) and first interview outfit (even bigger cringe)!

Now I was extremely fortunate that my father was posted to Kenya for a number of years, to help with many development projects in the East of Africa. So, on my first trip to visit them in Nairobi, encouraged by my parents, I booked a place on what looked like, an old army truck, with thirteen strangers from around the world, and set off for a week on my overland adventure to camp and explore Kenya.

I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that I wanted to see some of this amazing country and hopefully spot the Big Five (although I wasn’t even sure what the Big Five were!). And oh, how I did that, plus so much more (btw the Big Five are Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo). You cannot imagine the bond you build up with these supposed ‘strangers’ in only a few hours, let alone a few days. And more importantly, the bond you build up with the country that you are exploring.

Kenya overland safari and adventure
Kenya overland safari and adventure

Cooking, feasting and camping out under the star-lit skies, was incredible. One night, we even heard the hooves of some African wildlife trampling so close to our thin sheets of canvas that separated us from them. The next morning, my newly acquired tracking skills could determine that a lion had been through our camp in their hunt for a tasty zebra!!

I only made it around a small part of one country on that occasion, as I only had one week to spare – and I didn’t know what to expect. However, if I knew then, what I know now, I would have MADE time to go for longer. I’m now planning my next adventure to Africa so my children can create their own African story….

Where would you go and what would you do, if you had one week to travel?

If you would like help to create your African Dream and your first African story, then Amanzi Travel would love to help you, based on your personal preferences.



A truly life changing experience, working on wildlife and community volunteering projects in Africa over eight years ago, convinced Gemma Whitehouse to give up her job as a Marketing Manager for an international organisation and use her skills and expertise to set up a company that would offer others the same amazing opportunities with a service second to none - thus Amanzi Travel was born.

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