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Camels,Cakes, and the ever illusive lightning; Indisposed in Kenya


dlo
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Back for my second trip report here on Safaritalk in as many years hopefully this one will be as witty and charming as my first one. http://safaritalk.net/topic/15086-namibia-and-zambia-2015-what-could-go-wrong-this-time/

 

Now with that shameless bit of self promotion out of the way lets get to this trip. The purpose of this trip was to celebrate our 10th anniversary when we got married at Governor's Camp on Jan 6 2006 and to celebrate the wife's (from this point known as Chris) 40th birthday on October 30th. Two birds with one stone as they say and since we were not going to do 2 trips we opted for a late October trip.

 

The early leader in the clubhouse was Mana Pools and maybe South Luangwa but its so damn hot I started having real doubts. Then I got an email in early January from KLM with a 3 day seat with some crazy prices! We now had to make an early and quick decision and I pulled the trigger on Kenya for $1050 from Winnipeg which is easily the best airfare I have ever gotten. I then contacted Gamewatchers and about 10 revisions later(sorry George!) we were booked and ended up with this,

 

Oct 23- 29 hours to Nairobi

Oct 24 Eka Hotel

Oct 25-27 Selenkay Adventure Camp

Oct 28-30 Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp

Oct 31 Nov 2 Governor's Camp

Nov 3 Fairview Hotel, Go to Sheldricks

Nov 4-6 Rhino River Camp Meru

Nov 7-9 Karisia Walking Safari's

Nov 10-11 Fairview Hotel

 

Because the adventure camps closed at the end of October we had to reverse the order of the trip that we wanted and our connections forced us to stay in Nairobi in the middle of the trip. Random confession here I like Nairobi and it's no hardship for me to spend some time here. My only problem when I booked this and since we've been home is that those who read my other report know I really enjoyed the adventure bits of my trip and while we were supposed to do some Mountain biking it didn't work out.

 

I try not to head on safari with a long wishlist as the most memorable sightings have always been things I have never thought of. But I did hope to get closer views of gerenuks, eland which I never seem able to get close to and greater and lesser kudu. i also really wanted a view of Kili from Amboselli. Lots of ellies in Amboselli and cats in the Mara and whatever else that was thrown at me. I would say we were pretty successful.

 

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There is a lot of blood in my pictures but also lots of babies and maybe even a little action for a lucky lion or 2. I also fulfilled my promise of getting lots of different birds so hopefully that will be appreciated by the birders. Preamble over we can now get to the day by day starting at the Eka on the 24th.

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@do Great start to what is going to be a very interesting TR. Looking forward to the rest.

 

Each image so far is excellent and will no doubt have a good story behind it. The lion just beyond the canvas suggests a relatively close encounter

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I´m sure this will be an incredibly charming and witty report. ;-)

 

Very cool itinerary. I love the peeking lion and the bloody Vulture, but that Cheetah - Wow!

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Excellent start! Can't wait to follow along. Im particularly curious about the lion peeking out from behind the canvas!!

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Love the vulture! Looking forward to more.

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You could also have called this blood and babies but that's a bit disturbing. Ten years flies by, eh? You got your gerenuk I see. Happy Anniversary, what a great itinerary to celebrate #10. Far better than the traditional tin and aluminum.

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Excellent! Another trip report to enjoy on holidays, perfect!

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Been looking forward to this and you're off to a cracking start!

 

Intriguing title has me wondering where the cakes fit in to your safari!

Edited by Caracal
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Really great photos, all of them, but I keep going back to that cheetah.....

 

Looking forward to more. Congrats on your anniversary!

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@@dlo, that Vulture is something, he certainly hasn't been eating the Cake. Bring on the wit and charm.

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@do Great start to what is going to be a very interesting TR. Looking forward to the rest.

 

Each image so far is excellent and will no doubt have a good story behind it. The lion just beyond the canvas suggests a relatively close encounter

Very close and a little nerve wracking. We had a couple of other close calls including one where I practically jumped into Chris's lap!

 

I´m sure this will be an incredibly charming and witty report. ;-)

 

Very cool itinerary. I love the peeking lion and the bloody Vulture, but that Cheetah - Wow!

I'm probably going to have an overload of all those pictures and there will be way to many lion pictures for sure.

 

Excellent start! Can't wait to follow along. Im particularly curious about the lion peeking out from behind the canvas!!

The peeking story will be coming up very shortly, I promise.

 

Love the vulture! Looking forward to more.

Lots more bloody vultures to come!

 

You could also have called this blood and babies but that's a bit disturbing. Ten years flies by, eh? You got your gerenuk I see. Happy Anniversary, what a great itinerary to celebrate #10. Far better than the traditional tin and aluminum.

I'm glad you came up with camels and cakes before blood and babies! I looked at that trip report on fodors recently and laughed, that might be the longest trip report in recorded history.

 

Excellent! Another trip report to enjoy on holidays, perfect!

Welcome aboard xelas. I've always said it's thanks to you that I do these. I just wish I had as many to write as you do!

 

Been looking forward to this and you're off to a cracking start!

 

Intriguing title has me wondering where the cakes fit in to your safari!

They all fit into my stomach that much I can tell. I have to leave the rest for the report so you will keep coming back.

 

Really great photos, all of them, but I keep going back to that cheetah.....

 

Looking forward to more. Congrats on your anniversary!

Thanks Alex. I cooked dinner and we went to Star Wars for our 11th yesterday, I think she preferred the 10th!

 

@@dlo, that Vulture is something, he certainly hasn't been eating the Cake. Bring on the wit and charm.

I didn't leave any cake. As far as wit and charm prepare to be disappointed just like my wife!

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Regarding your last comment in Post #10. If you take her to Africa, your wife can't be too disappointed in you. I'm sure she finds enough wit and charm, that come through in your reports, to keep you around another 10+ years. I see you are already on number 11! I am honored to have helped supply the title.

 

I do hope at at least one cake is chocolate, or maybe even just the frosting. If not, that would be a disappointment.

Edited by Atravelynn
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After a few hours sleep at the Eka and a decent buffet breakfast we braved Nairobi's not so bad traffic to Wilson for our 7:30 flight to Selenkay. We were the only passengers on the yellow wings flight other than the co-pilot and pilot who appeared to be about 14. When he mentioned he had a brief fling with a girl from Saskatchewan (Neighbouring province in Canada) I mused he was far to young for a girlfriend which caused his co-pilot to have a good laugh at his expense.

 

Upon landing we are hit by the heat and dust and quickly jump into a vehicle for a game drive back to camp.Along the way it was just great to be back and we would get lots of the usual suspects. Stopping at a pretty dry waterhole we get treated to lots of zebra who proceed to kick the hell out of each other in a battle for some water. The thuds are incredible and combined with the squealing when one gets a good biting for his troubles its a pretty good start. We also got quite a few eland that actually don't flee when close to us.

 

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Our baby faced pilot.

 

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A typical dusty scene.

 

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We ran into this happy little ostrich family further on, but with lion attacks on ostriches on the increase would they still be happy for long? Driving up to another waterhole some elephants decided the hole wasn't adequate and decided to excavate further along the road.

 

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After breaking the pipe it was time to make a retreat. We got some more generuk and eland and then headed into camp. Its really good to be back!

 

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Next up some night driving and our first lions.

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I counted at least 12 ostrich chicks. The dust adds character to the photos. So do the zebra kicks.

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@@dlo - red earth and piercing eyes jump out from your initial images. Congratulations on ten years married and looking forward to more pictures and tales from this latest expedition....even if Arsenal gets a mention.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

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@@dlo - red earth and piercing eyes jump out from your initial images. Congratulations on ten years married and looking forward to more pictures and tales from this latest expedition....even if Arsenal gets a mention.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

The red earth was the first thing that jumped out at me from my first trip ever to Africa. No Arsenal mentions this trip unless we talk about Gideon who picked us up at the airport and we proceeded to discuss that for about half an hour boring Chris . But no , no Arsenal mentions!

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Arriving at camp we find out we are the only guests, this a good news bad news thing for me. I much prefer the private vehicle but it feels awkward having all these guys in camp basically with only us to take care of. Chatting to Daniel our guide I mention it is Chris's b-day on our last day at Ol Kinyei and could we maybe do something. Well of course Daniel replies and he proceeds to email Ben at Ol Kinyei to let him know. Daniel mentions cake but I shake that off as she is allergic to everything and can't eat cake.

 

A quick word on the food at the Porini Camps. Great, they easily handled all her allergies and we were able to talk to the cooks and check out the kitchens. Feeling stupidly jet lagged we have a short nap before heading out on our afternoon game drive.

 

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Our humble home for 3 nights its very good value full of friendly knowledgeable staff, I would have no problem recommending to anyone.

 

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So it was the usual suspects to this point and at 6:45 it was time to put the spotlight on for a night drive. We didn't see much for a half hour and honestly I was just exhausted. But this was when the switch was flipped, I'm sure you have all had those quiet game drives, not much happening and then BAM that one thing happens that elevates it from average to holy s**t that was great and suddenly I'm not tired anymore.

 

The spotlight ahead of us we see some elephant ahead of us but the guys don't want to shine it right on the elephant. All of a sudden crashing out of the bush on our left an eland comes running by and suddenly someone exclaims lion as it follows shortly after. Well this is exciting but its dark and everything is so fast and before you know it its over. The chase aborted but we get to follow a female male and a cub or two for a water break.

 

Watching the king of the jungle hop around on the rocks doing all he can to avoid getting his paws wet makes for good entertainment and he shows some serious frustration at a cub for bothering him with a pretty nasty roar.

 

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All in all a bit of a quiet day but a good one nonetheless. It was impossible to get any shots of the chase as it happened so fast but were only 2 days away from a steady stream of lions.

 

 

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Excellent quiet day. Nice teaser before and nice cruelty on the plane.

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Early start today with a full day game drive heading to Amboseli. Bone dry until half way into the park from there some rain had fallen and a little further you hit the swamp. A good variety of animals but the cats prove illusive today.

 

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A lot of dust storms early on but we got some greenery further on.

 

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Lots of ellie's including this adorable little guy who just couldn't get that itch scratched for about 5 solid minutes.

 

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Thirsty babies seems to be the theme of the day.

 

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The swamp was filled with hippos and ellie's and loads of bird life.

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As i said the birdlife was very good and if I had a big year thread this would be the start of my post. Of course the hard part are the I'ds and if I had to do that this post would never get done!

 

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Even though the flamingos were miles away it was good to see them as they are one of Chris's favourite birds.

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One last set of pictures from Amboseli.

 

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A good day in Amboseli was had by all and a pleasant dinner and chat with the guys in camp. What I really enjoyed about this safari was that in each camp as well as the drivers in Nairobi was the level of conversations we got to have. We got all the usual questions about home and life in Canada and what animals we have, but we also had a lot of deeper talks about the state of the world that I found so enjoyable and interesting.

 

Next post will be a cat trick and a cake!

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I hope Chris had some decent binocs to check out the flamingos from afar. I love running giraffes. Nice to see the elephant show at Amboseli was on for your visit. About time we get to the cake!

Edited by Atravelynn
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@@dlo I'm curious about the gerenuk at Amboseli. I've only visited Amboseli twice - 1973 and years later 1996 - but I don't recall seeing them on either occasion or even thinking that I was likely to. Are they fairly common there?

 

If they were running then the nearside giraffe was using underhand tactics to win the race. Looks to me that he's barging the other off course!

 

I agree with @@Atravelynn - bring on the cakes!

 

PS What was that last baboon nervous or excited about? (Sorry but someone had to make a comment!)

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@@Caracal I did see gerenuk when I visited Chuyulu Hills last year and stayed at Ol Donyo Lodge. So obviously there must be gerenuk in Amboseli.

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I also did not know about Gerenuk in Amboseli, very cool you saw them, and Lesser Kudu as well!

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