I leave for Kenya/Tanzania June 13 - Can't wait

Old Jun 11th, 2008, 05:41 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I leave for Kenya/Tanzania June 13 - Can't wait

We (8 family and 6 friends)leave June 13 for Kenya and Tanzania. It is my third trip to Africa and second to East Africa and I still get giddy with excitement. If only I could get this thrilled over everything I do!!! This week I am so busy trying to tie up all loose ends at work, but can hardly concentrate on anything!

June 13 JAX - AMS - NBO (we were able to get 5 free tixs with FF - 3 up front and 2 in the back - so we have 12 hours in Amsterdam and a day room at the Sheraton.)

3 nights NBO Serena (taking about 300 lbs of stuff to Nyumbani Children's Home)
2 nights Ngorongoro - Serena
2 nights Serengeti - Kirawira
2 nights Mara - Kitchwa Tembo
2 nights Samburu - Samburu Intrepids

I know it is a quick trip, but we are all so excited. Will be the first trip for 9 of the group! Will report back in upon return.

Ann
aowens is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 08:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 91
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ann - Have a wonderful trip!!I see that you are visiting Kichwa Tembo again.

Please when you get there tell everyone that "DJ" from Phoenix says 'Jambo'. I'll be heading back there early September and can't wait. Sounds like you may have the Mara to yourselves except maybe for the zebras and some of those wildbeasts gt;
DanaPhx is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 09:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a fantastic time! Congrats on scoring 5 tickets!
Patty is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 10:07 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are giddy now, I can only imagine the level of giddiness when you are surrounded by 9 people experiencing the wonders of Africa for the first time. I'm getting giddy just thinking about it!
atravelynn is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 02:27 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Safari njema!
Nyamera is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 03:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"If only I could get this thrilled about everything I do"

I'd be happy if I were as thrilled about 10% of what I do as I am when I'm in Africa!

Congratulations for making your third trip, and with such a large group of family and friends. You will have an amazing time (but you already know that, don't you?)!
Dana_M is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 05:11 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was in charge and put this one together myself and am the one in charge so hopefully everything will go smoothly! Yes - I loved Kitchwa Tembo and I have to go back to have some more macadamia nut flan! I already emailed to ask that they serve it!!!
aowens is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2008, 05:12 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pardon my not paying attention. I guess I wanted to make sure and say I was in charge! Ha Ha.
aowens is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2008, 08:03 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I am back and as always - Africa was fantastic. I loved every minute of it and can't wait to go back again!! I will try to write a quick trip report this weekend when I have some holiday down time and post some pics.

I will say that African Spice Safaris did an excellent job and far surpassed my expectations. Patrick Masila was exceptional as a guide and leader and Ann Njeri and her hospitality staff made sure no task was too great to handle.

Details soon.....I promise.
aowens is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2008, 08:21 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Welcome back, Anne - can't wait to read all about it!
LyndaS is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2008, 05:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you had a great trip. Please do post a report and photos when you have time.
Dana_M is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2008, 05:09 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,312
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yay! Glad to hear the trip was a success and hope you do get a chance to write something up.

Welcome home.
Leely2 is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2008, 09:43 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh where to start!

We had a minor snag on the way as Kenya Airways overbooked both coach and business class and gave away my mothers seat from AMS to NBO. They also had given away my nephew's seats in coach, but after realizing they were children and their mother had a seat they did give the children's seats back. They also gave my mom a seat in coach. I had called and made seat assignments 60 days before we left and when I stated this to the representative, I was told those are just requests! I thought they would ask for volunteers to give up their seats, but they didn't. If you didn't have a seat assignment you didn't get on! We left several people at the gate very upset!

I swapped with Mom and let her sit up front and I flew in the back. I will definitely be writing Delta a letter about this situation. I know we had free tickets and the flight was oversold, but we were given those seats months ago and I don't think our seats should have been given away. I know Kenya Airways is new to the Skyteam Alliance, and I just want to warn everyone that this happened so others can re-confirm their seats prior to leaving. I think it is too coincidental that they gave away 3 seat assignments on free tickets. One could have been a mistake, but 3 on different reservations sounds a bit fishy to me! We had Anne at African Spice re-confirm our seats for the return and they were different than I had been given originally (not seated together) but we did have seats so it was ok. I did notice on the return that again they over-booked business class and someone was bounced to coach. (She was up front very angry during boarding) Don't want to harp on this but just think others need to be aware!

So after we landed, we were met by Patrick Masila, who I had been emailing with for over a year planning this trip and Jefferson our driver. It was so nice to meet Patrick finally! Also, to our surprise was Tonnie Kaguathi, our friend and former guide that we have kept in touch with over the years!

We checked into the Serena and just relaxed and visited for the remainder of the day. Later in the afternoon we saw Rakita in the lobby. He is the Maasai that works for Micato. So we spoke to him and reminded him of our trip with them in June of 2006. He claimed to remember us, but I am sure he just said that! We asked about our previous guides and friends to make sure everyone was well and enjoyed catching up.

Later that evening most of the rest of our crew arrived and we all had a glass of wine to toast to the trip! We were here at last!

more shortly..........
aowens is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2008, 06:03 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Welcome back! I'm looking forward to hearing more. Several times in Africa, I've had different seat assignments than what I had booked. That seems to be fairly standard practice, but giving away seats should not be.

I've been quite surprised to find camp staff and even spice farm guides remember me from prior trips. I didn't ask; they just told me that they remembered me from prior trips. I guess we're being observed a bit more closely than we sometimes think we are.
ShayTay is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2008, 06:28 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,396
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
aowens -

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip despite the travel issues!

As for the problem on the AMS-NBO flight, it really is entirely the problem of Kenya Airways and Delta will likely ho-hum any correspondence from you. However, because the flight departed from AMS and therefore the EU, there are some very specific rules and compensation that Kenya Airways is obliged to follow. See http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l24173.htm for more info and specifics on compensation.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2008, 09:04 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a rough start. I know I can get bumped, or have my seat assignment switched when traveling, but luckily that has never happened to me on an international flight. Good for you that you considered it only a "minor snag." Thanks for posting the details. It will be useful to others.

What a nice surprise to see your former guide and friend. I'm looking forward to the rest of your report.
Dana_M is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2008, 09:06 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Rizuto thanks for the info. I don't expect anything from Delta, but I thought since Kenya Airways is pretty new to the skyteam alliance they might like to know if this is standard practice for them. I would think other airlines in the alliance would like to know if their clients run the risk of being bumped on a regular basis. Just thought it was worth passing on to Delta.

aowens is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:34 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We did all the usuals in Nairobi. I had adopted elephants for everyone for Christmas last year, and we had a private visit with them. This was well worth the money to just have our group with the elephants and trainers. I think it was definitely a highlight, especially for the newbies. We did the giraffe center, animal orphanage "cheetah hugs," the Kazuri bead factory, Karen Blixen's house and the National Museum. We also had brought a bunch of things for the Nyumbani Children's Orphanage. This visit was fantastic. We were given a tour of the home and met the younger children that were too young to be in school. We had a fantastic visit with the children and I know everyone was moved by the visit. I think we will all do much to help this home in the future.

After that we visited Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Samburu and the Maasai Mara. All of the parks were wonderful as always. We had great sightings at all. We loved all of our camps and lodge and it was a great trip all the way around.

For me there is just something about Kitchwa Tembo. I love the staff, location, tents... just everything about the camp and the overall ambiance there. We had some delays getting out of Tanzania and were struggling to make it to the Mara air strip before dark! When we landed the camp staff was waiting for us with a bar set up for sundowners by the runway! One of the highlights for all was our bush dinner in the Mara. The staff could not have been better or more attentive. I had emailed ahead and said how much I loved the Macadamia Nut Flan we had two years ago and would love to have it again. (Some may remember Kitchwa Tembo gave me the recipe and I posted it here.) Anyway - they fixed it for us at our bush dinner and everyone else agreed it was outstanding!!

I do want to make note of what we were told in Samburu. We were hoping to see leopards in Samburu. It has the reputation for them. We didn't see any which was ok, but I thought others might be interested in this info. We were told that camps stopped baiting the leopards in November. I didn't know they ever did bait them, but apparently some of the lodges baited the leopards every night for viewing. The wildlife service has also removed nine leopards from Samburu and relocated them. My understanding is that some were removed because of the baiting and some for re-population of other areas. The leopards that remain in the park are extremely shy and skittish, so sightings aren't nearly as common now. I don't know this to be true, but was told this by our guides, so I have reasonable confidence in it. I also am not trying to stir up the ethics on baiting, but just thought others would like to know this to check for themselves. We did have great sightings of other animals, but it was extremely dry!

I also want to note that the Kenya camps were pretty empty as we have heard. Everyone said things were getting better, but I felt like we pretty much had the Mara and Samburu to ourselves. We saw very few vehicles and only a few other people in camp. I can't say I have ever felt over-run with vehicles in Kenya like some others have, but I really felt sorry for the camps. I just hope things will pick up soon!
aowens is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:53 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to hear about the rough start, but glad the rest of your trip was wonderful. If you ask, Delta should refund you some miles for the downgrade (probably the prorated difference between business and economy). Technically, as rizzuto mentioned you're also entitled to downgrade compensation from Kenya Airways. However, I have no idea how that would be calculated on an award ticket and how likely they are even to respond.

I'm also glad to hear that the practice of baiting leopards in Samburu has stopped. Thanks for your report!
Patty is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:05 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for alerting us to the bumping situation with Kenya Airways. What a way to start your trip.

Good thing it went uphill from there. Interesting info on Samburu. If it is true that the baiting has ceased, that's good.

Welcome back!
atravelynn is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -