Back from Kenya

Reply

Sep 13th, 2003, 06:19 AM
  #1
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Back from Kenya

We got home last night after 2 long days of tiring travel. I'll try to do a trip report of sorts within the next week. If anyone has specific questions now, I'd be happy to answer, but I can't sort out things in my mind right now to organize anything to make much sense. (I think its called JET LAG) We ended up with just under 800 pictures in total after we had deleted obvious errors, the animal turned or walked and no head was in the frame. Everything is such a jumble in my head right now, even though I was able to sleep well last night. We came home to no air conditioning. Since we live in Nevada, and Kenya is cold now, we have roasted and until we get that up and running, we are sweltering. Later. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 07:02 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592
Liz:

So glad to hear you have arrived home safe and sound! We know what the jet lag can do, so we will await your, what I know will be exciting, trip report.

Please try to let us, who are leaving shortly, know anything new we should know about security, weather, etc.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed. I'm due to leave next weekend, and there is a possibility Hurricane Isabel could hit New England. I sure hope not because Kenya and its people and wildlife are beckoning me every minute!

Welcome back Liz, you have been greatly missed.

Jan
JanGoss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #3
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks Jan-
I wasn't prepared for how bad things are there for the people. Tourism is down so dreadfully that Governors Camp was closed from around January until June. They combined the four camps into Little Governors and kept that one open. Very few Americans are travelling there this year in comparison to last year and prior years. Mosly Italians, Australians, Japanese, other Europeans are visiting now. The reception told me when I asked who all was covered by the Staff tip, was the laundry and the kitchen staff. In other words, none of the people we saw and dealt with. There were, we estimated about 20 others we dealt with on a daily basis, not covered. We were expected to take care of them. How much? How many? We just weren't prepared. We could have left hundreds more but just didn't have it with us. I don't know what to tell you. Take lots of small money and give it out generously. They are all so nice and won't say anything, but they have to be hurting terribly. I still feel bad about it, but we could just not afford to take care of everyone. We tipped the driver well, we left over what was recommended for the camp staff. I went back and tipped the fellow who waited on us at dinner and the man who cleaned the tent. What else could we have done? What about the people who escorted us to our tent? We had to be escorted due to animals in camp. There were so many of them. The person who brought us coffee in the morning for wake up? It was not the same person every day. We were not prepared as I said. Just be aware that most of these people have not been working as you would expect normally.
Airport security is wonderful. We didn't see anyone when we arrived at the airport, but when we left we went through at least 6 or 7 security checks. No one could have gotten through without being thoroughly searched. We felt very safe leaving, even on Sept. 11th as it was. We were going to go in to town to eat on our departure, but ended up going to the Carnivore to avoid downtown. There was total security getting into the Carnivore lot. Police guard at the gate.
Thanks for the kind words. I thought of you all a lot while we were there. I wish I could compose a report but my mind isn't able to sort out the jumble going around in my head right now.
Really we appreciated your help on our planning. I think the not having to worry about those things was the best. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 09:24 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
Dear Liz
Welcome home and sorry to hear about how bad the tourism situation is - I was thinking it must be pretty poor just going on the amazing special deals available right now.
I hope you were still able to enjoy your trip and look forward to hearing about it more once your mind unjumbles!
I just got back yesterday from a week with university friends in Lincolnshire. Very enjoyable but not Africa. I did take my Africa guide books and magazines with me to read!
Love
Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 09:26 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Liz, welcome back! Don't be so hard on yourself, it took me months to get my life in order to have the time (and the perspective) to write up a trip report. We are just glad you're back. Also, one of the Yahoo news headlines the other day was how tourism worldwide was harming the ecosystems. It was misleading because careful tourism is good for the economy and also the environment as it encourages and unables locals and the gov. to preserve it. As you say, Kenya needs our travel dollars. Get some rest.
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 11:49 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592
Liz:

Just got back from having my hair done and what is on Animal Planet but the migration at the Mara River!!

Thanks for your thoughts about the economy. I knew it was desperate from the Kenyan papers. When all but 23 of 80 employees were let go at Ol Tukai Lodge alone you know things are really bad. That is why I decided to go now just to be supportive of them and let then know I care. I just can't wait to get back and see how many I know are still there.

Tipping has always been a concern. I tend to overtip becuase I am truly grateful for the services I receive. I typically tip 1,000 KES or about $12.00 for each game drive, about $6.00 per day for the lodge/tent steward, $5.00 for porters carrying bags, plus envelopes for the bar personnel, front desk and others when I leave. The thing that confuses many, not just Americans, is whether or not to tip if meals are buffet style, so I think many people do not tip them which is unfortunate.

Satao Camp has a staff tip box with a note which read, "There is a staff tip box at the bar. Tips are shared equally among all employees including the ones you may not have seen, yet who contribute greatly towards making your stay a pleasant one. These tips are very much appreciated".

I would like to see all lodges do something similar. You could continue to tip those who have done something special for you, and then you could leave a general tip for those who may have helped you only once or even for those you never ran into.

Our Kenyan friends work so hard to make our visits enjoyable, that we want to see them treated well. And yet many such as cooks in the kitchen, landscapers, office personnel we never see or get to thank. The tip box is a great way of letting all know how much we appreciate what they do for us.

I didn't realize how much we Kenya lovers are rebels until I read in the East African Standard on 9-12 "US
envoy (the new US Ambassador William Bellamy) says the travel advisory to Kenya stands. The travel advisory REQUIRING US citizens not to make non-essential travel to Kenya still stands.
Bet you never realized you were a rebel huh?

Hope you have gotten your air conditioning up and running. By the way, how COLD was it in Kenya. I am taking both shorts and long pants. Do I need a jacket or sweatshirt?

Jan
JanGoss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 12:06 PM
  #7
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jan-
I didn't realize there was such a warning about travel to Kenya. I looked on the State Dept. site, etc. Well, sorry but I went anyway. Actually I have always known I was a rebel, but didn't realize it this time.
It was soooo COLD! Coming from 114 to the 40s at night, brrrrr! We had to have hot water bottles at night. And we LOVED them. I wore a heavy fleece jacket every day. It warmed up around lunch and got hot from noon to around late afternoon. I got real sunburned and we had to keep the tarp over the top of the vehicle after that. Showers could only be taken after lunch. We had hot water in the early morning and late evening, but who wanted to get undressed? Not me. I didn't take shorts. Took convertible pants but never took the legs off. Lots of folks had halters and shorts on though. It rained every other day. Some thunder and lightning storms too. The hot water bottles got held tightly then. tee hee.
Air Conditioning is fixed! Whew! This house in only 3 years old, so is AC. The bill today would have been about $800.00, but we had purchased the 10 year warranty plan from Carrier when we moved in. Wow! Was that lucky. Didn't cost us a cent. New motor and fan.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment. This was our farewell to Kenya, and Kenya realized and said farewell back. No regrets, she let us out of her grip. I didn't realize how much Botswana meant to us. We talked about Botswana every day to each other. It is not my intent, now or ever, to persuade anyone to go anywhere. But since this was my 5th trip to Kenya, I was glad for the opportunity to say goodbye, and I do not regret that it is over. It was wonderful and both I and Kenya understood. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 01:08 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
Liz
You have such class, truly your note above about saying goodbye to Kenya brought tears to my eyes.
Looking forward to corresponding about Botswana.

And now to the all important question:

What fine specimens did you find to name for me and for Susan?

Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 01:19 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Hi Liz!!!

Kavey beat me to the punch .. oh well. I emailed her during your absence and mused about what you were doing and seeing. You were frequently in my thoughts. I look forward to hearing about your trip. Rest up, unpack then get those fingers of your typing because I am dying to hear about your trip. And, of course, what animals you named after kavey and me!! Welcome home, girlfriend.
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 02:19 PM
  #10
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Oh yeah! I found something to name alright. Oh yeah! You just wait and see. Oh yeah!
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 03:21 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 646
Yes, welcome back Liz. Looking forward to see some of those 800 pictures and hearing more about the trip. The Lord willing I hope to visit Kenya next spring when maybe things will be much better for the citizens your mentioned. Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2003, 06:48 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Can I try to guess? Did you name a wildebeest that you saw getting gobbled up by a crocodile after me? Or was it the big hippo that kept you up at night? Ha!! Look forward to hearing about your trip, and, honest and truly, welcome back.
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 14th, 2003, 05:55 PM
  #13
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Our photo album is now up. If you are interested in viewing it, just follow this link. http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.js...0_530971550103
Let me know if this doesn't work. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 14th, 2003, 07:27 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Oh, Liz!!! They are brilliant and I am sure there is a story behind each shot!! I can't wait to hear them, especially the hyena in the water with the buffalo, the zebras crossing, how you got such close up shots of the cheetah (is that "Susan"?), the gorgeous giraffe (is that "Kavey"?) and everything else. Thank you so very much for sharing those with us. Rest up, get your thoughts in order, then starting tapping away on the computer keys, because I can't wait to hear all. Again, I am so happy that you returned all safe and sound. Waiting to "read" all about it.
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 14th, 2003, 07:55 PM
  #15
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Susan-
Glad you enjoyed. You did see the captions, right? You met "Susan" and "Kavey". Yes Susan was also the one who hopped up on top of our car. I touched her feet and petted her bottom (through the canvas). I didn't want to go on and on about the name, but she was the only female cheetah we found. The only way I could display them was in the order we saw them. Working from 800 to 150 took me all day. Report will follow in a few days or so. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 12:05 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
Oooooh oooh oooooh - I am at work but I cannot wait to get home and see the photos...

Liz, if you had to sum up the trip in one sentenxe, how would you describe it?

Love
Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 03:41 AM
  #17
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Liz -

Checked out the photos this morning. They're great. Must have been some job getting them down from 800 to these 150.

Looking forward to your trip report once you're back to yourself.

Welcome home. Sandi
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 04:48 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Liz: No, I didn't see the captions - will have to "force" myself to look at the photos again! Ha!!! I am eternally grateful that you named the cheetah after me. I was afraid you were going to say you named a hippo in my honor! As others have indicated, we look forward to reading your trip report. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 05:04 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Liz: Just got back from "forcing" myself to look at your photos again. It was "difficult" to do it, but I "managed." Ha!!! This time I got the captions. For whatever reason - no doubt my computer - I didn't get them last night. As I said, they are brilliant and you did think of Kavey and me! You did think of the "divas"!!!! Again, thank you so much for sharing them with us. I wish I could just jump on a plane and go. Yes, that was Jonathan Scott in the vehicle, and you also got Simon King in the picture as well. We saw them as well when we were in Kenya last year. How about that for a job? Roaming the Mara all day being surrounded by wildlife!!! Again, welcome home and I can't wait to read about your trip. Kavey, hurry and get home to look at the photos!! You are in them as well - and might I add that you look quite stunning!
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 05:40 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
I can't WAIT....
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:18 PM.