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Another Kenya lover trip report

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We have just returned from 3 weeks in Africa 1 in Uganda for gorilla trekking and 2 in Kenya. Our most favorite was a walking safari we did for 4 days!! We had booked it through Game Watchers and they subcontracted it to Karisia Limited http://www.kerry-glen.com/. We flew from Nairobi to Nanyuki and were greeted by a driver and traditionally dressed Sambura warrior named Bontiface We had booked this trip with the understanding that we would be the only tourist and I was quite surprised when we were told 9 people we waiting for us at camp. I figured it would most likely be just the one night and the next day we would all go our separate ways. Our journey was a bit rough and bumpy but had a very interesting conversation and even spotted a White Rhino on the way.
Our plans were that each day camp would be broken down and then we would walk with the guides for a good part of the day where camp would be reset. We were also told that camels would be carrying our bags and once we got to camp we would not be needing a motor vehicle. I don't know why but we had no information about our camping facilities but we were excited.

So, after a 2 hour drive we pulled up to some very large boulders and told this is where we get out and walk the rest of the way. We did not see any camp site but many brightly colored warriors dressed to the hilt come out from the boulders. They were not 9 other guest but 9 other warriors waiting for us!!! One by one they greeted us with huge and warm smiles and gave us their names. We were showed to our tent (nice size for 2 & you could stand up) the shower, toliet and the mess hall, which was an awing a table and colorfull mattresses on the floor for us to rest. We were so excited that we could not see straight and when they asked if we were ready for lunch we realized we were starving. Lunch was fresh baked pizza, salads, bread and cheese...YUMMY!

After lunch we met the "old man" who along with Bontiface would be trekking us each day ...what a sweetheart with a delightful personality. He carried a spear and spoke some English so Bontiface told us the "old man" had been attached by a lion as a young man and pointed out his ear lobe that was in pieces and heavy scaring on his head. Rumor has it that the lion did not survive.

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    Thanks, Lee....wish I was happy to be home.
    Part 1:
    We went to investigate more and came to the kitchen (which was located a distance from our tent) and could not believe what a fantastic meal seem to appear out of nothing. The "chef" showed me his oven which looked like an old metal trunk which he places in the fire. One night he prepared a pippin hot delicious lemon meringue from the "can". While I was snooping around I spotted a cork screw and asked Cookie what it was for, he looked at my kinda funny and went searching for the answer and I clapped and yelled hurray when we showed me a bottle of wine.

    Back to the accommodations - everything was very clean, well maintained and thought out very carefully. The way our tent, bathroom and shower were positioned every day was facing away from the kitchen and camels so we really had complete privacy.

    So, now it's cooling off a bit and we are ready to hike along with Boniface, the old man, and a warrior who seemed to be 7 Ft. tall and carried a rifle. It was funny because one morning he came to over to me as I was stretching so I thought he would like to participate in a few Yoga postures with me and I showed him the tree pose. He was so darn tall he & could not stop laughing while Trying to touch his toes. My husband said the scene was priceless from a distance and sorry he did not pick up his camera. Back to trekking....We were told we if should come to a dangerous situation he rifle would not be pointed to the animal but in the air as to scare them off. Needless to say it was never used. So, we kept up a pretty hardy pace and just relished the sounds and stillness of the wilds. I cannot even remember what animals we saw but remember very well how happy my husband and I both were at that moment. At one point we stopped for 5 minutes had some water and listened to our guide's stories. From there we walked another hour and climbed to the top of the boulders near our camp. When we reached the top a million baboons went scattering as apparently the boulders stay warm and it becomes their bed at night. Also, we were met by 2 other Samburu warriors (much like the Masai) and it was there Boniface discovered he left his water at our earlier spot. He mentioned it to the young man who met us and he Flew down the boulders and sprinted to the spot (we watched through our binoculars) we had sat and minutes later came back flying up to the top- you could tell he loved his mission. So, we all sat together for our first sundowner together. I declined wine since the boulders were pretty steep and it was getting dark but told them I looked forward to it with dinner but my husband was happy with a Tusker
    When we got back to camp there was already a roaring fire going and we were asked if he would like water heated for showers. Hot showers? Wow! We declined as we were still bouncing off the walls and asked if we could take advantage of them in the morning.

    Dinner was served next to the bon fire and we had the best chicken I've ever had in Africa, usually it's pretty scrawny and dry but it was moist and tender, it was served with rice and vegetables and of course, my wine.
    We hung out at the bon fire with a few of our friends and suddenly hit the wall. It was suggested they wake us at 6:30 with hot water at our basin outside our tent and after breakfast we would start our full day. We wandered back to our tent and we trying to recall what the inside looked like as it barely glanced in....where there sleeping bag? We kicked off our shoes and climbed in to find a large, thin (but comfortable) mat trees, sheets and blankets nicely made up. I can't remember ever sleeping so well.

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    Wow, what a great story; I can't wait for the next installment. Normally I would not think of going on a walking safari, but after reading your description of Bontiface and fellow warriors, I'd sign up now!
    Especially if they are serving wine...
    Thanks for sharing,
    Cc

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    So the camels were with you for 4 days? Cool.

    9 Warriors Waiting! Isn't that part of a Christmas Carol?

    Good move on declining the wine. Alcohol, boulders, and dark don't mix well.

    Great report!


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    Thanks, to those who took the time to read my rambling.

    After reading what I've written so far I feel I've missed the main point for writing this report. Admittedly, I am not good at this but I felt so much passion and enthusiasm for this trip & feel I'm not portraying it on paper.

    Imagine it is your first time in Africa and you're out on a game drive and you feel so liberated and excited & you can not think anyone before you has every experienced this. You spot your first animal and you'd swear the driver is excited as you, now triple that and you feel what we felt. We did not see another tourist the entire time we were there and our meal companions were the warriors. On other safaris I'd rush back to my tent after being on a game drive, reapply makeup, attempt to style my hair & know exactly what I'm going to wear. Other than one day of a little mascara and tinted moistizer I never even looked in a mirror except to tie my hair in a scarf and wore the same clothes over and over on this trip.

    The many different personalities were interesting as well as fun and each was dressed better than the next, they truly belonged on the cover or National Geographic.

    Our guide Boniface was a very well spoken young man who was very interesting and could not do enough for us.
    Chile, the tracker had limited English but was forever making us laugh, we felt he was like one of our family with such a warm heart. While we were tracking the elephants he would constantly check the wind by kicking his toes into the dirt to see which way the wind blew. Apparently, the elephants could smell us before they saw us and if that happened it could be dangerous. One afternoon we saw a large herd in the distance through our binoculars and he told us we were headed to them. We were very surprised when we followed him in the opposite direction and trekked for a good hour. We later learned we were avoiding them catching our scent (it was a thrilling afternoon).

    Michael, the young man who lead the 2 camels that followed behind us (the others were loaded with supplies and sent off to our next camp) was probably the most elaborately dressed and every time you looked at him his face lite up (especially if you had a camera in your hand.)

    We had many different conversations with the them...Bonificae told us that his culture was very important to him and the elders in his village were encouraging the young people to get educated but to keep their customs alive and pass them to their children. He was very interested in our thoughts on Barrack Obama and felt it was not possible for a black man to be president of the US but would be very proud if it happened. He explained to us about the group circumcision of the boys and the festivals that happened at that time. Because his culture is so important to him he believed it was best for the girls to be circumcised and claimed if they did not want to it would not be done although no one would marry such a girl. Chile had 2 vwives and 9 children but Boniface said multiple wives were becoming rare.

    A couple young men told us (through an interpreter) that they loved their life and if they had a chance they would never leave their lifestyle. In fact, 2 said they had never even been to Nanyuki (the town 2 hours away).

    They were all so slim and sinewy and told me they loved milk and meat but had no taste for little else. They felt that if they did not stay lean it would be difficult to run and endure their duties as a warrior. Since they are so into their appearance I'm sure it was also a pride issue as well.

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    "I cannot even remember what animals we saw but remember very well how happy my husband and I both were at that moment."

    Hey, I think you're conveying perfectly just how special this trip was!

    Curious, though, given what you've said about your other safaris, how did you decide to do this?

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    In 1990 we went to Kenya for our first safari and fell in love. South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe followed years after. We love nature and the culture of Africa and wanted to do something different than game drives. We are both active and after doing a Internet search found walking safaris, the perfect solution!

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