In this week’s London Evening Standard there was a feature on the Mara’s nemesis: the Serengeti. Apart from some chintzy nonsense about jewelled salads and a farcical faunal faux pas about okapis butting horns (surely topis) it was none too shabby…. for Tanzania. However, one line would leave even the humblest safari student gasping: ‘it is a joyful pleasure to shave in the open air as the African sun sets over your shoulder.’
Shaving whilst the sun sets, just to reiterate! This is the magic hour, the time the late sun gilds the predators’ to a burnished gold. The time the rosy orb silhouettes a line of gazelles as they dance and sprint with the grace and speed of Kipchoge. It is the time the distant Western horizon defies a thousand pantone pages as the final rays amplify an already searingly beautiful canvas. Most importantly, it is when the camera or binoculars are lowered as seasoned guides serve your chilled sundowner of choice.
Sadly this Serengeti charade takes place because of a set of nonsensical rules over timings in Tanzania found nowhere in the Kenyan Conservancies. Olare, Mara North and Naboisho may not yet have the fame of the Serengeti nor the beauty of Salisbury Cathedral, but ask yourselves where you’d like to be game driving, and, what is more, doing it off-road too.
N.B. Kicheche is at pains to point out it does not insist on shaving for dinner. For men or women.