As this blog post title suggests I may like the Lamy Safari just a little bit. This was the second fountain pen I purchased when exploring the world of fountain pens over a year ago. The price was good, I was able to see the pen in the flesh at a retailer and the range of colour options were fantastic. Despite the range on offer I went for a very monotone feel.
I started with a medium nib white Lamy Safari because at the time I thought the colour was unusual for a fountain pen. I also wanted to use the pen at work and didn't feel brave enough for a bold colour. I bought the pen from John Lewis alongside a pack of Lamy T10 black cartridges and I was away. After about a month I bought a black barrel, black fine nib version alongside a converter and this has now become part of my regular fountain pen rotation.
The design of the Safari is pretty simple. The pen is just under 14cm long. There is a sturdy clip on the pen lid, an ink peep hole in the barrel allowing you to monitor your ink levels and an embossed Lamy logo at the bottom of the pen barrel. The Safari has a plastic body which means it's very light and comes with a stainless steel nib. Being light it's easy to write for long periods of time without getting hand/wrist ache. The one area of the pen design that divides opinion is the moulded grip section. Personally this doesn't bother me and isn't restrictive. You can hold the pen at slightly different angles without any issues however if you have a very unusual pen grip then this may be an irritation for you.
My preferred set up with the Lamy Safari is to use cartridge convertor. I have used the Lamy T10 cartridges, however as most fountain pen geeks will attest to, using a wider variety of ink options and colours is much more fun. I currently have the black Safari inked up with the Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao. It's like a mini match made in heaven.
I definitely prefer the fine point nib on the Lamy Safari. I am however a fine nib fan so this isn't a big revelation. The medium nib I find a bit too wide, laying down a line which is too thick for my personal preferences. Some notebooks cannot cope with the weight of this line and you get a lot of bleed. With the fine I find this less of a problem. I can use the fine nib Safari with my Field Notes memo books with a small amount of bleed through, but nothing too off putting.
You do get a bit of feedback with the Safari. It can be scratchy on the page but it's almost endearing. It's not an off putting experience and you are paying less than £20 for a fountain pen the writing experience won't be faultless. With a nice quality ink I find that the ink flows a lot better than with the standard cartridges. The Safari was the first time I had tried out a convertor and the experience has been brilliant.
The Lamy Safari fountain pen is a fantastic full sized entry level pen for people looking to experiment with fountain pens. I wouldn't say it would be my first choice for the price but there is something about this pen I really like. It's always in my fountain pen rotation being used regularly throughout the week. With the varied options in terms of colours and the convertor the Safari offers up endless possibilities. If you're trying out fountain pens or just generally enjoy using a fountain pen I would definitely give the Lamy Safari a try.