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Trip Report OHMIGOSH! Wild Dogs, Angry Leopards, the Samburu and Big Five all in one!

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Last night we returned from the most fabulous safari – I swear if it had to be our last one (but which it won’t be) I could be happy.

First things first though, here’s what you have all been waiting to hear - I must humbly accede with the findings of most of Fodor’s devout experienced safari goers – wow, I eat my words on group versus private! (I just know all of you oldies but goodies are laughing in your coffee while you read this saying ‘I TOLD her so’ ) :-) Well, yes, I am never afraid to admit it when I was wrong and you guys were right! I really did enjoy our first two trips with a group to Africa, and I do not regret doing two of them – but there really is nothing like being your own ‘boss’ on a private safari! Daniel would say ‘would you like to meet at 8 AM for a game run?’, and just because I could I would say ‘no, lets meet at 8:05’. And then to top it off if we were late by 10 min (something we would NEVER be on a group trip – even if it meant going out without our teeth brushed in order to make it on time) Daniel would say ‘Hakuna Matata, it’s your vacation’ ! Cool!

Before I get into the specifics, here’s the intro stuff:

Agent, Outfitter: Entire safari arranged by: DK GRAND SAFARIS (KENYA)
City portion Nairobi: WAYMARK SAFARIS (NAIROBI)
Tanzania sublet: WARRIOR TRAILS (TANZANIA)
Zanzibar extension: ZANZIBAR EXCLUSIVE TOURS (ZANZIBAR)

Guide: Entire safari (KY & TZ) guided 24 x 7 by: Daniel Kikemu, owner of DK Safaris
Nairobi City portion: Kennedy, owner of Waymark Safaris
Tanzania: Jackson, of Warrior Trails
Zanzibar: Mussa, owner of Zanzibar Exclusive Tours

Type: Private – Jim and I with our (adult) son Jamie
Logistics: Mostly fly, some drive
Been Before? Third time for us, first for Jamie

ITINERARY:
London, England – GTG with Kavey
Nairobi – Norfolk Hotel – 3 nights
Samburu – Larsen’s Camp – 2 nights
Mt Kenya Safari Club – 2 nights
Maasai Mara – Bateleur Camp – 2 nights
Serengeti – Serena Lodge – 2 nights
Ngorongoro – Lemal Camp – 1 night
Lake Manyara – Serena Lodge – 1 night
Zanzibar – Matemwe Retreat – 2 nights
Zanzibar – Stonetown – Serena Inn – 2 nights

This was, by far, the most INCREDIBLE trip that we have had, OHMIGOSH! It took Jim and I two trips to Africa to find ‘all’ of the Big Five and only 4 of the Samburu Five, while this time our adult son, Jamie – saw it ALL and more on his first time! I swear Daniel is the best spotter in the world!

As I worked all day today, I have not had a chance to look at any of my pictures, but from what I have seen of Jim’s and Jamie’s, I can promise you a ‘move-over National Geographic’ photo essay! Jamie purchased a Nikon D60 just before leaving. With just a week’s practice under his belt, we were absolutely amazed at his pictures as he would upload them and show us a slide show each night, I tell you he has the ‘eye’ as well as being a quick learner under Jim’s technical guidance on how to use it. He really is a natural! I won’t be able to load some up onto pbase until my ‘day off’ (a new rule in our household) on Sunday, so I won’t start into the report until then, but I thought I would at least write this intro to let everyone know we are back, and it was fabulous!

I promise more later!

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