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Kenya trip report - 2nd segment, Nairobi and Samburu

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Day 1 – Nairobi
Guide – Jamaal from ESS
Norfolk hotel is less than so so, no water pressure in shower. We repackaged and down-sized luggage for the internal flights (we spent 9 days in Europe before arriving Nairobi). We stored the rest of our luggage with the ESS office.
Nairobi National Park – We saw
15 to 20 Masai giraffes, saw two giraffes twisting their neck together (we were told that is usually two males fighting)
a family of lions – 2 mothers and 5 cubs right in front of the car, no more than 5 feet away
70 to 80 plains zebras
A great warm-up for the upcoming game drives.
Sheldrick Center – elephant orphanage, it’s ok, we saw similar stuff in Thailand
Lunch at the Carnivore’s, not bad, we were so full we did not have dinner. Weren’t even hungry at breakfast the next day.
Animal orphanage – went in the cheetah cage to pat the cheetahs. No special arrangements necessary. There are many zoo attendants standing around, I just went up to one of them and asked whether we could go into the cage. He and another attendant walked us over to the cage and in we went. We tipped them a few $ each when we left. The place is little depressing, still a zoo, but the cheetah hug experience was great.
Giraffe Center – fed the giraffes, black long tongue; pretty good
Karen Blixen Center – not into history type of thing, so not very interesting to us
Went to ESS office – Met with Serah, the owner, pick up tickets for the internal flight, found out that the flight to Samburu had changed from 9:15am to 7:30am

Day 2 – flew to Samburu
7:30am flight took off at 8:40am for a 45 minutes flight – 2-engine prop 80% full flight – landed at incredible airport in middle of nowhere with gravel runway
Guide met us with a mini van – George – did a game drive on the way to camp
We have Intrepid Camp Tent 23 and 24, long walk to dining room, but very nice. I saw that tent S1 was twice the size of the other tents and asked the front desk if it costs more, but was told that S1 and S2 are bigger but are the same price as others. All one has to do is to request them.
Electricity at camp goes off from 4pm to 6pm and midnight to 6am.
Tents have a can of insect spray and a bottle of mosquito repellent. The repellent smelt so strong, kept everyone, not just the mosquitoes, away. Need to monkey-proof the tents on every exit – toilets need multiple flushes – ceiling fan in the tent.
Buffet breakfast and lunch, menu dinner. Very good
We saw
Cheetah – 5 of them walking across the road, George saw them, whipped around quick and got to the other side in time to see them cross right in front of us, what a treat.
Leopard – on the rock, raised his head once a while, but never really moved
Lion – one on the road side
Reticulated giraffe – lots
Elephants – lots
Dik-dik – lots
Impala – tons of them
Oryx
Monkeys
Baboons
Nikki took a great sunset picture while the van was moving.

Day 3 – Samburu
We saw
Grevy’s zebra – very rare, only around 2,000 in the world
Gerenuk (giraffe gazelle) – climbing trees
Buffalo
Lion on the rock
Crocodile
Elephant – a herd of 10, a baby chasing a bird around a tree, finally fell down with another baby on top of him. Nikki has video
Waterbucks
We really liked Samburu, a bit dry and arid, but abundant of wild animals. We saw 4 of the big fives, only rhinos left.

I will upload the photos onto Kodak Gallery after we go through them. We took thousands...

Pat

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