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Trip Review - May 9th - 24th

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We arrived in Nairobi on BA on May the 10th and checked into the Ngong House (www.ngonghouse.com). This is a simply magical location with treehouses as your accomodation. The food served there is also amazing, and I highly recommend staying there for a day pre or post your trip. On a sad note, for those who have stayed there before, the Owner / Manager for the last couple of years Christoff, passed away in a plane crash a few months ago. Paul his father, has taken control again.
Our first stop was to Samburu, and the Larsens Tented Camp. We got lucky in that we had the camp to ourselves for our 2 nights there. The staff were great, and the "tented" camp was very nice. The tent was huge, had running water, and was much better than I was expecting. We had lunch on the first day at a table overlooking the river, watching Elephants drinking about 50 feet away. I was like, wow, what a great start to the trip. Over the next couple of days, the game drives were great, and we were able to view just about everything in the park except for Cheetahs. The weather was great, and as it was the low season, we had most of the park to ourselves. Samburu is a little more arid, and it gives you a somewhat different view from the Mara. They also have some unique animals, namely the Reticulated Giraffe, and Grevy Zebra. We also visited a Samburu village, and toured where Survivor Africa was filmed.
We went back to Nairobi, and had a night at the Norfolk Hotel. We checked in to the hotel, and spent the afternoon with Kennedy from Waymark Safaris (thank you very much for the referrals of Kennedy off these boards). You can reach Kennedy at waymarkt@nbnet.co.ke. Kennedy took us to the Karen Blixen House (a little boring), the Giraffe Manor (great place to feed the Giraffes and get some close up pictures), followed by the most amazing visit to the Animal Orphanage. He has some contacts there, and we received personal service, and access to pretty much every animal, and cage. We got to help feed the Cheetahs, and I have some great pictures of me "petting" the Cheetahs. We also got into just about every other cage (except for the Lions) for some amazing shots. We had an excellent afternoon, and my one regret is not spending more time in Nairobi and area with Kennedy.
Our night at Norfolk was nice, and they have a very good menu.
We next went to the Chui Lodge at Lake Naivasha, and I have to say this was the best place we stayed in our trip. The Chui Lodge is on a private reserve, and has only 6 extremely deluxe Cottages, with some rustic African themes (www.oserianwildlife.com). Our game drives here were amazing in that we got to spend a lot of time with their resident Cheetahs. Chui Lodge is on a private game reserve, and they have imported many unique animals to the area, including the Grevy Zebra, and White Rhino. After dinner, we were pleasantly surprised to go back to our room to a nice fire in the fireplace. The next day we went on another game drive and got to spend some time walking along the lake, seeing a lot of Hippos and birds. We were also able to spend some time with a 3 day old Giraffe, who had no fear of us on foot, and got within 5 feet of us. We all regretted leaving Chiu after only 1 day.
Our next stop was to the Porini Camp at the Mara (www.porini.com). The Porini Camp is a little more rustic (bucket showers versus piped in water), but was also a great place to stay. The staff here were great, and treated all 10 of us extremely well. Our first full day was a really long one, as we were up at 4 am to get to the Mara for dawn for the Balloon ride. I have to say, despite the $350 cost per person, this was an amazing trip and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. We spent a little over an hour in the air, and had some amazing views of scenery, and wildlife. The highlight was towards the end, when we were able to follow a pride of 8 Lions walking though the grass for about 5 minutes. After a champagne breakfast, we plunged into the Mara for our full day Safari. What can I say, we literally say 100's of animals, and got many a picture. In the afternoon, we found a pride of Lions, and spent about 3 hours with them lounging, fighting, frolicking (every 15 mins, lol), and hunting. The male of the Pride twice fought off challengers to his "women". It was a long day, but very worthwhile. The next day we went on another game drive, and flew back to Nairobi for lunch at Carnivore. I loved Carnivore, and tried all the selections of meat - croc, osterich, etc.
We next went to the Porini Camp at Selenkay, near the Amboseli Park where we spent 2 days. The camp was very similiar to the Porini Camp at the Mara, and we were again very pleased with the service. Amboseli has a plethora of Elephants and other animals. There are also some amazing views here of Mt. Kili in the background. They has slightly different vehicles here, and had a "bait" seat at the front of the vehicle. I have to say sitting in this seat was amazing and thrilling. It was expecially nice sitting there on the night drive, and using the spotlight to spot animals.
Our trip in Kenya ended up with one more night at the Norfolk.
We next were off to Rwanda for a Gorilla Trek, which I will continue the review of.
Our entire trip was booked though Gamewatchers who happen to own the Porini Camps. I would definitely recommend them, and they can offer you just about any camp, and price range. You can view all of their information at www.porini.com.
If anyone has any questions, please message me.

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