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twaffle

My 'Childish' Trip Report - 40 years late!

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Game Warden

Great Twaffle: I'm really enjoying your hard work, as I'm sure the other members are.

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Alex The Lion

Fantastic Twaffle, please keep on sharing.

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basto

Absolutely amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing this Twaffle! Please keep it coming!

 

/Tom

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Hebog

Twaffle,

 

Thank you for all your hard work and bravery in sharing your early life. Now I must do some work - at least until the next chapter!

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twaffle

Hebog, you'll have plenty of time. I have boxes of slides to go through to try and chose ones which will be of interest. Then I have to scan them and of course I have to work as well. But I think doing this has unleashed so many memories, as Hari alluded to earlier. So many stories are coming to mind that I can't think which will be interesting and which will be as boring as watching a yacht race.

 

But thanks everyone for coming along on the ride with me.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot, Twaffle ...... very appreciative of your time and efforts!

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Pangolin

Everybody has said it already, but this has been great to see. Thanks for your efforts, Twaffle.

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twaffle

The rhino sighting was extremely rare, I don't imagine that there were more than a handful left. I remember even as a child, hearing adults talking about white rhino and hoe they thought they would all be gone soon. At least when we got to Kenya we saw large numbers of black rhino, which I loved.

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twaffle

One other comment about white rhinos, back then I am not even sure that the northern white rhino had been scientifically separated from the southern white rhinos. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that the northern rhinos were isolated to areas north west of the Nile. I don't know how long the 2 were separated and how widespread the northern ones ever were. When I have time I will do a bit of research. Dad has some old books from that time which may shed light on how rhinos were perceived in the '50s and '60s.

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madaboutcheetah

So, did the Rhinos at Nakuru come from SA?

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Game Warden
We weren’t to know that within 10 years Idi Amin would preside over the wholesale slaughter of the Acholi people.

That's a poignant line right there...

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twaffle
So, did the Rhinos at Nakuru come from SA?

 

Hari, I am pretty sure that all the white rhinos in Kenya came from South Africa … I may be wrong but when we were there we never saw white rhinos, they had been wiped out. I would be confident to say that the white rhinos which used to be in Kenya wouldn't have been Northern whites as they didn't cross the Nile. I must say though, that it does make me want to find out more about some of the issues that have come out of going through these slides. Someone reading may shed more light on this as my knowledge is woefully short.

 

Matt, very poignant and so sad. Idi Amin was a general when we were there, no one could possibly have thought how bad it would become. But no one probably imagined the genocide would be so bad in Rwanda either. When I first scanned the tribal slides a few years ago for an idea I had for a book, I did quite a bit of research on which tribes were affected the most by Amin's regime. It would be a good topic for a Masters or PhD, perhaps someone has already done that.

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twaffle

I remember visiting the ancient ruins of the Swahili town of Gedi. I don’t remember much about the first Mombasa visit but we stayed at Malindi (up the coast) and Gedi is just South of there. I remember dense jungle and great humidity. We walked through the undergrowth until reaching a clearing where you could see the beginnings of the ruins. Ancient stone walls still fighting to escape the encroaching plants. It was an eerie place with not many visitors, in fact I don’t remember any other people there at all. I don’t think the excavations had been going for very long because of the state of the town and lack of tourist infrastructure.

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Back in Mombasa, loading dhows.

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We returned to Kampala through Nairobi with a stop at the Nairobi National Park. The hartebeest and wildebeest fascinated us, but now when I look at the photos the hartebeest were mainly topi. We never knew them as topi, all the antelope with that unusual shape were called hartebeest. How ignorant we were!

This is a view over the river Athi in the Nairobi National Park.

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In later years, when we had settled in Nairobi, sometimes we would visit Nairobi National Park early in the morning just to watch the hartebeest (topi) and wildebeest at play. In those days the traffic was non existent so the trip took no time at all. We would drive out onto the plains, find the herds and sit with our thermos of tea and watch the antics. One of those simple pleasures that you don’t seem to get when on a safari lasting a couple of weeks. I will make a vow to spend more time just sitting with antelopes, no matter what everyone else wants to do! I will obviously need to travel on my own.

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twaffle

One of the holidays we enjoyed most was to Toni Nutti’s island in the River Kagera. This river is the remotest headstream of the Nile, coming down from Burundi near the north of Lake Tanganyika. It forms a boundary between Tanzania and Uganda before flowing into Lake Victoria. Of course, as I child I knew nothing of this, all I knew was that this was an adventure like no other. To cross the river we used a flying fox made out of metal mesh, swinging out over the turbulent water. The Africans pulled on the ropes to bring us safely to the other side. Toni had tame antelopes including a klipspringer and we used to fish in the river. If we caught anything it was a miracle, but we had so much fun.

This photo shows the river we had to cross.

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The slightly tame klipspringer.

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Fishing with Ton Nutti and our African helper.

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Lake Bunyonyi in the west of Uganda, a lake we appeared to come across many times although I have no memory of it!

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A view of Kampala from the old fort.

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Dad often had to entertain foreign visitors and we had some hilarious times taking some of these (arrogant and ignorant) men out. One particular occasion saw us watching a herd of antelope when the visitor leapt out of our car saying that he just had to get closer to get a better photo. I still remember my father yelling at him to get back in, but we have old cine film showing him careering around, arms waving, antelope pronking their way through the grass. When he finally came back to the car, very pleased with himself, we drove on with my father telling him what a fool he had been. We hadn’t gone far when we came across some lions feasting on the remains of a buffalo. Our visitor became very silent then.

 

1965 - yet another Murchison Falls safari.

 

and yet another Nile crocodile.

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I love this elephant, he has such beautiful tusks.

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Wild dogs were the most misunderstood animals of my childhood. Everyone hated them because of the way they kill their prey. We accept these things much more philosophically nowadays, but back then they were vilified and persecuted. I would love to see them on every trip to every park now, but that won’t happen. Conversely, we never saw a leopard in the wild in the 8 years we lived in Uganda and Kenya. I caught a glimpse of one on a tree branch in Lake Manyara, but no one else saw it. These days tourists are pretty put out if they don’t see at least one leopard.

 

Wild dog at Murchison.

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twaffle

Dad with his pride and joy.

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We made our first trip to the Abedares, a wonderful area with such beautiful forests.

On safari in our Jag … who said Kenya was minivan safari heaven!

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Mt Kenya from the road to Nyeri.

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We made yet another trip to Mombasa, driving via Amboseli. I remember the race we had over the dry lake bed with the friends we were travelling with. Exhilarating.

A vaguely seen Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park.

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Cheetah in Amboseli.

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This is one of two male lions, sadly the lighting isn't very good.

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A different cheetah on a kill.

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Mombasa … no touts on this beach.

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At Shimoni which is on the South Coast of Kenya.

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A sailfish being weighed for a local game fishing competition. We were just bystanders.

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Our time in Kampala was coming to an end. Dad was posted to Nairobi and I was secretly very pleased. To my eye Kampala was sepia coloured whereas the Nairobi I had seen was vibrantly coloured. I couldn’t wait for this new life to begin.

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Game Warden
I couldn’t wait for this new life to begin.

Nor can I. In the meantime tell us a bit more about the Toni Nutti character. Did you/your parents meet any other African old timers, still lingering on from another era?

 

Thanks again for one of the best topics on Safaritalk. Matt

 

(I think we have the embryonic makings of another Out of Africa...)

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twaffle

I'll talk to my parents this weekend to see if I can get more info on some of the people we knew. One farming couple who will appear a little later, now live in your neck of the woods.

Don't know about Out of Africa, more like the Griswalds meet the Flame Trees of Thika! :D

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Jan

More, more! I love it!

 

 

Jan

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Game Warden
now live in your neck of the woods.

If you have contact with them, pass on my details and hopefully I'll get to raid their slide collection too.

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Guest nyama
On safari in our Jag … who said Kenya was minivan safari heaven!

94-13.jpg

Well, this has style! :D

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Guest nyama
I think we have the embryonic makings of another Out of Africa...
This leads to the big question: who will wash Twaffle's hair? :D

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twaffle
Marvelous, keep them coming.

 

Hard to believe that the world was once as nice as thus?

 

Snik, keep in mind that the photos are real but my memories are coloured by decades of living. I was no doubt shielded from the difficulties of living in Uganda and Kenya, and there were many. You live in SA, you are fully aware of difficulties in everyday living that I can't begin to comprehend, I am sure. But for just having a wilderness at your back door, wild animals in abundance (although not as habituated as now, you had to work for sightings) it couldn't be beaten by anything we have now. It was just before the poaching devastation in Kenya and the Ugandan army's slaughter of everything which moved. If I could get in the Tardis and take us all back to that time I would tomorrow … the roads were better, more wildlife, more forests, more wilderness, fewer people, more hope, more spare time. NO plunge pools, no fences, no wooden walkways (I think that is a Bots phenomena), no mobile phones, no internet. BUT NO SAFARITALK!! :) Only one lodge in the whole of the Mara if I remember rightly, Keekorok, where we stayed once. No one went to the Mara much, Amboseli and Tsavo ruled supreme.

 

 

now live in your neck of the woods.

If you have contact with them, pass on my details and hopefully I'll get to raid their slide collection too.

 

I'll do that, I have their email and address.

 

 

I think we have the embryonic makings of another Out of Africa...
This leads to the big question: who will wash Twaffle's hair? :D

 

My mother always used to growl at me "if you don't wash your hair, I'll have it all cut off!" You must have been eavesdropping.

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ZaminOz

Twaffle,

 

Great photos of what must be greater memories. Thanks for sharing!

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rickmck

A really fabulous chronicle, Twaffle. Like nothing else seen here on ST or elsewhere... It's great!

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madaboutcheetah

Lovely to keep reading, Twaffle ....... Rhino, cheetah, Dogs along with all the other wonderful times!!! Enjoying every post of this thread..........

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