Spellbound! ; Slider
© David Crookes/Wilderness Safaris

Spellbound!

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  The absolute highlight of my first-ever safari would have to be sighting lions in the wild, I imagined, or elephants – or basically any large or dangerous animal. Instead, here I am, looking at giraffes. They are big, too, but far more amusing. I find myself face to face with them very soon upon arriving in Kenya. While dozing on the terrace of my villa at the Segera Retreat, trying to recover from my flight and the long Jeep ride, I am awakened by a soft grunting. A group of six giraffes is approaching the watering hole about 100 meters away. All at once, I am wide awake, and the realization hits me that I’m in Africa and these wild animals are real. Nothing compares with a moment such as this. The giraffes are so big, so calm and right now all mine – and I have plenty of time just to stand and stare. With the noses stuck in the air, giraffes always look a little duck-faced, in fact they even look rather stuck-up. Their big, wide, manga-like eyes are shaded by eyelashes worthy of a drag queen. But it’s when they drink that these divas look the most comical: To be able to reach the water with their long necks, they have to splay their spindly, knock-kneed legs in a kind of wobbly split, but before they embark on that contortion, they take a wary look around, as though embarrassed to be striking such a pose. When I jump up to grab my camera, five necks follow me like synchronized motion sensors – they’ve spotted me, too, of course. When I finally turn my lens on them, they gallop off. The faster giraffes run, the more they appear to be gliding in slow motion. Long after they have vanished, I stand rooted to the spot, marveling and elated by what I have seen.

Spellbound!

From the luxury villas of the Segera Retreat in Kenya, you can see the Laikipia Plateaus - and if you're lucky: giraffes

© David Crookes/Wilderness Safaris

Getting There

Lufthansa is flying five times weekly from Frankfurt (FRA) to Nairobi (NBO) in March. Use the app to calculate your miles: miles-and-more.com/app