Karen Kelley, a Lifelong travel guru and Senior Travel Consultant with Preferred Travel of Naples has over 42 years of experience as a travel consultant. With world-class expeditions and journeys to some of the most elite places on earth, Karen explained why Africa is one of her favorite continents to visit and mentioned that many of her clients agree with her reasoning.
Karen clarified, “Many people decide to visit Africa to experience the animals and to see the distinct countryside, which is of course uniquely breathtaking. However, most of my clients that have traveled to Africa agree with me that the reason many of us desire to return again and again, is because of the compassionate people and measureless cultural experiences. The African people are proud of their beautiful country, are friendly, knowledgeable and love getting to know you.”
What Makes Africa Unlike Anywhere Else on Earth?
In her latest trip to East Africa, Karen visited Tanzania and Kenya. She explained, “Here in Florida, we live in paradise all year long, but for people wanting a 100 percent change in atmosphere, Africa is about as far away as you can get, and the trip is definitely LIBERATING!”
Karen feels that to undergo the healthful atmosphere fully; you have to stop and be still as you take in the clean African air, discover the massive Acacia and Baobab trees, and watch nightly sunsets of incandescent reds and oranges that will simply take your breath away.
She first arrived in Arusha just outside of Kilimanjaro and stayed at an old coffee plantation now serving as a hotel. The accommodations were serenely decorated in African design with dark hard wood floors, vaulted ceilings and garden tubs. Since the plantation is not in the depths of the jungle, Karen was able to safely take nature walks and hikes and visit the village market, but she also made it a point relax with a private massage in her room.
Her next stop and stay was at the Ngorongoro Crater, which has been referred to as the “Garden of Eden” of Africa. This is where their tour guide surprised them with a picnic lunch in the center of the lush green deep volcanic crater. “The zebras were so close that I could see their eyelashes,” Karen exclaimed.
She was then off to the Serengeti National Park on a small passenger plane, where she would spend the next few days seeing all of the “Big Five” animals of the African kingdom; lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, leopards, and rhinos (both white and black). In addition to this unparalleled experience, Karen was able to visit the iconic Mt Kenya Safari Club, which is the site where Stephanie Powers and William Holden established their animal orphanage. She fed monkeys, leopards, and giraffes while witnessing these remarkable rescued animals thrive from the expert healing care.
The Mt Kenya Safari Club, where numerous celebrities have stayed, offers a therapeutic lifestyle. Activities like golf, horseback riding and nature walks are available. You also have the option to take the two resident black Labradors around the spectacular grounds. There is no need for alarm clocks here as colorful peacocks roam and awaken you every morning.
Another spectacular hotel, was The Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. While built more recently, the hotel offers an authentic African ambiance. From the privacy of your bathtub, you can enjoy the natural surroundings while you soak your cares away, while viewing the animals drinking from the waterholes. If you want a massage, the technician comes to your room for tranquil moments amidst the utmost of luxury.
Karen explained that the Serengeti feels much like a desert, and for the first time in her life, she experienced an actual mirage, as she was on safari with five other passengers in a covered jeep. Karen was convinced that there was a glistening pond up ahead, but sure enough, as they got closer, it was the effects of the sun’s reflection on the crystal sands of the terrain.
Karen had a once in a lifetime experience when she visited a Masai Mara village. She was able to step inside the tiny circular mud huts that the people have lived in for hundreds of years. With cement beds, dirt floors, and twig furnishings, the encounter with these villagers, changed her perspective on life itself. While in the Masai Mara, she opted to ride a hot air balloon over the Masai Mara reserve, affording a panoramic view of the roaming herds as the sun rose. A champagne breakfast in the bush provided the perfect ending to a breathtaking experience.
Her last sojourn was at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, where the sizeable zip-up tent accommodations are overlooking the river. The word ‘tent’ doesn’t do these gorgeous quarters justice. They are beautifully decorated with African loomed red rugs, wood-lined ceilings, and mosquito-netting
beds. Equipped with private bathrooms for your convenience, these tents feel lavish but give you a true “Out of Africa” experience.
The Gift of Wellbeing is in Africa
The food in Africa is refreshing and healthy. With bountiful vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, and game, you’re sure to enjoy the fusion of African, Indian and British cultures.
What’s so special about visiting East Africa is that you always have free time to roam. Your guides are extremely knowledgeable and ease you into the African culture. Your trip will be a stress reliever, a great escape, and the memories you make will surpass your wildest expectations. A trip to Africa is perfect for those traveling solo, or with family or friends.
If you’re in need of a life-changing experience, contact the experts in travel and call Preferred Travel of Naples to converse with a travel consultant who truly knows the experience first hand. Whether you’re looking to travel with a group, private safaris, relax or seek adventure, Preferred Travel of Naples is the go-to travel specialist and they are ready to plan your trip of a lifetime. Your options are endless.
To find out more about East Africa or other fascinating destinations, please contact Preferred Travel of Naples at 239-261-1177 or visit preferrednaples.com.