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Imelda’s African Adventure - Rwanda & Kenya July 20th 2006 to July 30th 2006


Sep 4th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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HI Cyn,
Sorry, I was typing while you posted. 'Kenya Express' is the nickname for Warthogs. I think they are called that because they just take off and run with their tails in the air - so funny!

To be honest Cyn, Mule and Sammy were very different - Mule just wasn't a people type of person - at least that's the impression we got but Sammy was in a league all of his own - he was downright rude (You'll have to read the next installment of my trip report to see just HOW rude!). He also spent LOTS of time on the radio and we couldn't believe it when he just did his own thing so many times (skipping the Ellies TWICE and then spending about half an hour with the two lions on 'Lion day' just because HE wanted to)... I really didn't get it. The icing on the cake was when he pointed out that Topi. Anyways, the reason I posted about him here is so that this doesn't happen to anyone else here. Really, had we known he was going to be so bad we would have asked to change guides on the second day but thought 'he can't be this bad - he HAS to improve' thinking that it was miscommunication - but it DEFINATELY wasn't. I suppose, had we not had Samuel on that first evening we would have thought that Mule and Sammy were the 'normal standard' of guides in Kenya.

I promise once I finish the report (which hopefully will be quite soon!), I will get working on those photos!

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Sep 4th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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It is a good thing you have such a good attitude. From sullen guides to mediocre food (I think I read that) to the Burundi thing, your positive outlook has made the best of all these situations so that the wonders of Africa remains your focus.

You have me curious about the next installment on rudeness.
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Sep 5th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Hello Imelda!

Well, I have finally caught up a bit on my reading - I went to bed with a good book written by Imelda last night! Almost made it to the end, but had to put it down at 12:30 - early to work this morning!

What a fabulous read! And you should really be proud of both yourself and Deck - you really do take life as it's comes - an admirable attitude! It would seem that you did have a few challenges thrown your way - both big and small and by-the-golly you guys sure came through with flying colours!

I agree 100% on Kennedy - he is an incredible person that will make sure that you have a good trip in all ways possible, I too noticed how much he paid attention to all the details and genuinely cared about us having a good time! The expresion on his face in our pictures at the cheetah hug said it all actually. Someday we will return, and do a whole safari circuit with him. Did you by any chance though let him know that you found Mule's 'enthusiasm' a bit lacking?

You really did not seem to get the 'best of the best' of the guides - but at least you did get a taste of it and what better reason to go back again thatn to try and rectify that situation?

You had me rolling in my seat (well, bed...) when I read about the lotion bottle and the bath tub - yeeeeewwww... I think I will cross staying at the Milles des Collins off my list! Maybe just a lunch so we can see it someday for the historical 'factor'!

By the way you didn't mention how you 'liked' the balloon ride - did you have any problems with the heights at all - are you glad you did it?

Looking forward to the rest of your report, my good friend, and I am starting to 'finish' mine at lunch today!!!

Once I completely finish yours - I'm on to Sandi's now!
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Sep 5th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Towering Topi \/ \/ \/

Rude guides are so much more interesting than nice guides – in trip reports.
I’m glad the animals were fantastic.

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Sep 5th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Imelda, I am so envious of your many days on the Mara... but not envious of your driver

9 cheetahs is amazing!
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Sep 5th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Still reading and enjoying your trip, Imelda. What great sightings in the Mara. I love seeing the baby giraffes and of course the cheetahs.
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Sep 5th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Hi Lynda,
Sorry the report is loooong but I did warn at the beginning! and sorry to have kept you up so late on awork night! I'm glad you're enjoying it though.
Yes, we did come up with some challenges but for some reason we didn't let them bother us too much. I suppose we felt lucky to be in Africa at all and I had spent so much time getting it all sorted I wasn't going to let ANYTHING spoil it. Sammy was definately the biggest damper but thankfully the Mara totally made up for it. You would swear the animals 'knew' we had a less than perfect guide and decided 'aw, lets give them something to smile about' and appeared before us! The sightings REALLY made up for the bad guide and truely, had the sightings not been so good, we wouldn't have been so upbeat and you know... every cloud has a silver lining of some description

Yes Kennedy is a dote and we had great fun with him. He did ask us how we got on with Mule. I really didn't want to whinge to him as I know he would have been very dissapointed but I din't cover it up either - we said 'he was OK' and left it at that. I 'think' Kennedy picked up on it and I didn't want to make him feel bad by going into too much detail. He's too nice of a guy to do that to.
I'm glad you had a laugh about the Mille Collines 'lotion incident'. I couldn't believe someone would actually do something like that AND it wasn't a cheap hotel by any means either ... next time it will be the Intercontinental for sure
Sorry, I meant to say about the balloon ride - we absolutely LOVED it!!! The heights thing wasn't even an issue and even if someone was totally terrified of heights I don't think that they would be scared. It was so peaceful and the views were spectacular. We have just one compliant ..... it wasn't long enough! We could have happily stayed up there for another hour! Would I do it again?... Most definately! It's just such a different experience and I think that it's something everyone should do at least once.

Hi Nyamera,
Yes, a towering Topi - I knew you'd like that! And yes, we really were spoiled by the game viewing... thankfully! Glad you found my description of Sammy interesting - just a pity he wasn't

Hi Wayne,
We were SO excited about the cheetahs. We had 'missed' cheetah on our first trip to Africa so we were delighted to see some this time. The Mom and cubs were so cute and I was really sad to hear she lost one of them a few weeks ago but I guess that's life.
Seeing the other three 'un habituated' cheetahs had my heart racing though - a real thrill! although it was a very short glimpse I was very excited about it.

Hi Cindy,
We too loved the babies. We had never seen many babies before so it was very exciting.


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Sep 5th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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JULY 28th - Animal Petting Here We Come!

Our last day in the Mara and I’m definitely a little bit sad. We were up and ready for our last game drive bright and early. We met Sammy and off we went. “We are looking for Leopard” he told us! This is a leopards territory he tells us of the area just below the Serena (the area we thought of as our ‘back garden’). We had never driven this area before.
Our first sighting is a Crowned Hornbill on a termite hill, then some Giraffe and a pair of Dik Dik – our first in the Mara. I attempt to get good shots of them all with my trusty FZ30 but horror of horrors, for some reason all the photos are coming out blurred - it’s as if I have the shakes... but I haven’t!!! . As hard as I try I can’t get decent shots and now I’m panicking a little. What if I can’t fix it!!! What about those beautiful cheetahs I’m going to hug in Nairobi and my foster Ellies too – what if I can’t fix my camera and I cant take photographs of them?!!! I change some settings and try to figure out what I did since last night to ‘break’ the camera. Eventually I guess I must have pressed some button or other by mistake so I try adjusting the anti-shake setting. I can’t remember which one I should be using and the manual is back in the lodge so I just guess. I turn the camera off and then back on and after much perspiring, it’s working again .... Now I breathe!! I still don’t know what I had done wrong but thankfully it was OK. Talk about anxious moments!!

We search in and out of clusters of bushes for leopard finding only Baboons. We see two Little Bee Eaters (another first) but don’t manage to photograph them – we’re on a mission! A few minutes later we spot a lone lioness by the river. She is on the move. We don’t follow her but we watch a male Impala as he watches every move the lioness makes. We move off as soon as the lioness is out of sight. We have just left the lioness when two young males are spotted. We watch them as they stroll past. With so many lions I know the chance of seeing leopard is slim if not very unlikely but we continue on our ‘mission’. We spot a Goliath Heron a couple of Zebra and some more Crowned Hornbills which I manage to get a couple of ‘non-shaky’ shots of. We move onwards, MORE lions!! This time two males of about 31/2 – 4 years old. These too are on the move. We don’t follow them but move on again. Not too much further away we spot ... you’ve guessed it ... MORE lions! This time two males of about 2 years old. They look relaxed enough until they realise that the other two, older lions, are in the area. On that realisation they quickly jog away.

We drive on. Next up, a group on Mongoose. These are very skittish and I just manage one half decent shot of them with a Topi in the background. After that we turn back towards the way we came. We spot some Elands far away. Suddenly, an antelope in a very big hurry flies across our path and just vanishes. We hardly see it as it has come and gone so quickly. It turns out it was an Oribi Gazelle which Sammy tells us is nocturnal (I actually subsequently looked up Oribi Gazelle in the net to see what exactly it was we saw and found out that they are NOT nocturnal!). We continue on our way and suddenly we realise we are back at the Serena .... and entering the gate .... it’s only 8am. We are disappointed we didn’t get a longer drive (we thought we could easily have spent another hour on the drive) and again Sammy never filled us in on the plan. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly, without warning, be finished our safari in the Mara. Anyways, we pull up at the Serena and as we hadn’t sorted the tips this morning, we ask Sammy if it is OK to leave his tip at reception for him. He tells us he will be driving us to the airstrip for our flight so we say OK, we’ll give it to you then.

First off we go for breakfast. There we meet the couple we spoke to last night. It turns out that they are flying back to Nairobi on an 11am flight today also. Deck picked up the bill from reception and we looked it over during breakfast – good thing we did because they had overcharged us for the room – they hadn’t deducted the deposit. After breakfast we went back to reception to get it sorted. With a revised bill we went back to the room to finish packing, look over the bill and sort the tips. Having OK’d the bill and finished packing we sat down to do the tips into envelopes. We gave the standard tip to the ‘general’ staff plus a separate tip for the room attendants. Sammy had taken us on 3 days of game drives plus this mornings ‘jaunt’ so we decided (or rather Deck decided) he was getting the standard tip for 3 days so in to an envelope it went. We went back up to reception with our luggage (they wanted us there at 10am) and settled the bill. One thing to note on this – when I made the reservation I was quoted in US$. I paid the deposit by credit card in US$ and asked when the remainder was due. I was told that I could pay it at the Serena by credit card. What I wasn’t told though was that if I paid by credit card it would have to be paid in Kenyan Shillings, then converted over. I hadn’t budgeted enough cash to pay in $ so I had no choice but to pay by credit card and by paying it in this way it actually cost me about $60 more due to the exchange rate. If I were doing it again I would have paid the bill in advance from home.

Anyways, bill sorted, checked out and ready to go, we head for some outside seats where we meet up with Maxine & Robyn again. We have a nice chat and take one last look at the spectacular view from the Serena – I will miss it!
Sammy told us he would pick us up at 10.15am but he doesn’t show until well after 10.30am. We load up into his vehicle and our luggage is loaded into another vehicle with that of the people who had Samuel as their driver and we set off for the airstrip drinking in the last sights of the Mara along the way. All too soon we are there. We wait in the vehicle while Sammy goes to get our luggage. He takes it out 0of the other vehicle and leaves it at the edge of the airstrip for us. Sammy then busies himself with luggage etc. belonging to arriving guests on a large AirKenya flight. Then another AirKenya flight arrives, this time a much smaller plane, and Sammy is even busier. When he had gotten more or less sorted Deck called him over to give him his tip (as he hadn’t come over to us since we arrived at the airstrip). Deck gave him the envelope and Sammy said he would be coming back to us, he just took the envelope and carried on with the arriving guests. Well, a little while later we spot Sammy going into the toilets. Deck guessed Sammy was checking the contents of the envelope – subtle Sammy was not! Anyways, to cut a long story short, Sammy never came back to us; he just took off with some new clients without so much as a wave or a Thank You. You know, it really didn’t surprise us; it just reaffirmed our thoughts on him - rude and ignorant! The tip we gave him wasn’t a bad one – it’s what many people give as a standard tip and we gave it for what was most definitely sub-standard service. Throughout our trip we over tipped absolutely everyone, except for Sammy that is, and boy were we glad we didn’t.

By now it was well past 11am with no sign of our SafariLink flight. There was another family waiting for the same flight so we didn’t worry too much – after all we were on African time! In the meantime, the people who had boarded the large Kenya Air plane for their Nairobi bound flight had to disembark, as there was a mechanical problem. After a while they were loaded up into vehicles and taken to the Serena to wait for another plane. We had originally booked the Mara flight with Kenya Air but because SafariLink fly from Naivasha we cancelled with AirKenya and booked both legs with SafariLink instead. We were really glad we did because it would really have messed up our Nairobi plans if we were on that grounded plane. Eventually, almost an hour late, the SafariLink plane arrived. This plane was a 14-seater with two large seats right at the back. We ended up with there seats which was great as they had LOTS of space with a large gap between them and the next ones on the other side of the door. I was fine with my claustrophobia issue. We took off. Once we were up we saw an amazing sight – thousands and thousands of wildebeest making their way , almost in single file, towards the river. We just imagined what the migration would be like in a week or two ... Awesome! Then from Decks side of the plane he saw a herd of zebra crossing the river – what a last sight of the Mara!!! We made one stop before we headed for Nairobi – Keekorok I think. It was a good flight and soon enough we were landing in Nairobi.

When we land at Wilson airport we are escorted out, through what appears to be customs, through a gate outside the airport. We are asked if someone is meeting us – Yes, Kennedy. Someone brings our bags to us ‘Wait Here’ we are told. We wait a little while but we don’t see Kennedy. The first guy comes back ‘Do you know who is picking you up?’ - he seems intent on making sure we are OK. Soon I spot Kennedy. He has been waiting for Debra in SafariLink to telephone him on his mobile to let him know when our flight is in as it was delayed. When I spotted him he still hadn’t gotten the phone call and he was asking some guy if he knew what the story with the flight was. It was now 1pm and was drizzling in Nairobi. We loaded into Kennedy’s Suzuki Vitara. We were supposed to do Karen Blixen, the Giraffe Centre, Utamaduni Shopping Centre for lunch and then visit our foster Ellies at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Tomorrow we were supposed to ‘Hug the Cheetah’ at KWS and do a little shopping. Kennedy asked if it would be OK if we did the ‘Cheetah Hug’ today instead of he could arrange it .... OF COURSE!!! I’m not too sure why Kennedy wanted to change the ‘hug’ to today but we had absolutely no objection. Kennedy was a bit worried about the rain though but we told him ‘what’s a little rain’, we’re from Ireland where it rains all the time and the drizzle in Nairobi today could hardly be classed as rain! So Kennedy makes a phone call to see if the ‘hug’ can be done today and we set off.

First stop is Karen Blixen which is actually a relatively quick visit. We get one of the guides to show us around but don’t bother with a walk in the garden as suggested as, number one, it’s still drizzling and number two, Deck isn’t than ‘into’ gardens and this one doesn’t seem to be that exciting. After Karen Blixen we decide we’re getting a little peckish so Kennedy suggests the Utamaduni Centre for lunch. There, the restaurant is most accommodating. As you already know, I’m vegetarian and I don’t eat cheese which can cause problems, but not here! Everything vegetarian on the menu has cheese - no problem; they make me THE most delicious fresh ravioli especially! It is absolutely gorgeous, especially after living on salad for the past 4 days! Deck has a burger and chips which he says is the best meal he has had since he came to Africa! Kennedy has the chicken which he actually sends back as it is undercooked but it is OK when it returns. We don’t actually go into the Utamaduni Shopping Centre, as, by now, we need to make tracks to hug those Cheetahs.

Along the way we have some really good fun with Kennedy. He really has a fantastic sense of humour and we got along fantastically. I remembered to ask him the story about his name Leely and it was a very interesting story. Lynda, I asked him about the tinted windows on the Vitara too..... And they’re all down to you!! Actually, they really are a very good idea for Nairobi and would have worked perfectly for us too had Deck managed to keep his up! .... Kennedy told Deck there was no problem with him smoking in the Vitara and of course deck didn’t need to be told twice and took full advantage , keeping the window rolled down while doing so. This defeated the purpose of the tinted glass a little!

Anyways, back to Nairobi ... It wasn’t too long before we reached the KWS and my heart was beating faster with anticipation. I could hardly believe that we really were going to hug those cheetahs. After so much planning the time was almost here and I was just SO SO excited! We waited in the vehicle while Kennedy telephoned the guy who was arranging the hug to check all was in order - it was. A few minutes later our guide (Francis I think his name was … can you believe I forgot to write it down and now I’m not sure ) arrived. Kennedy was still worried about the rain and gave us a large umbrella to take around with us. We walked with Kennedy and Francis to the entrance where we paid the fee and entered. Francis took us around to all the enclosures and Kennedy left us to it half way through. Most of the animals looked fine but I felt that the pigmy hippo wasn’t happy. He was in the corner of his enclosure and didn’t move and I felt sorry for him. We went to see the leopard and he was high up in a tree. Francis told us that some people throw stones at him so he hides in the tree - poor thing. We also saw the hippo and beautiful Oryx who is the one that the Lioness in Samburu ‘adopted’ – an unbelievable story. The two beautiful male lions weren’t really interested in coming too close to us. There was also an albino zebra, buffalo, hyena gazelle and one of my favourites: three Colobus monkeys – two adults and a baby. I would have LOVED to have gotten in to their enclosure and had originally asked Kennedy about entering other enclosures which he said he would arrange but with Darren’s trouble yesterday with the cheetah hug we didn’t even mention to Kennedy about this (on the journey Kennedy told us that Darren had problems with the ‘boss’ the day before). Anyways, as we went around the park Francis told us about all the animals. He was a really lovely guy and we couldn’t believe it that he is a volunteer and doesn’t get paid for his work here – how sad as it shows that he really loves these animals ... he should take Sammy’s place in Serena!!!!!! Anyways, as we are walking around my excitement is growing and I can hardly concentrate on the other animals when we reach a closed in area. Francis introduces us to the cheetahs’ keepers and within a couple of minutes they are opening up a large gate. We enter an area which is shielded from the publics view. They tell us we will be seeing the cheetah here as there are lots of people outside (which there are!). We walk a few feet and there in a smallish enclosed area is one of the cheetahs – I catch my breath … this is it! They open the gate and as I begin to walk in Deck hesitates, yes Lynda, he hesitates and asks ... ‘is it safe’ I just say, yes, come on, and he does. Well, this cheetah just loves to be petted. One of the keepers takes the camera and just clicks away and another keeper videos us with our camcorder. The cheetah (I can’t believe this either but I can’t remember her name either – guess I was too excited to take it all in!) is missing some fur around her neck and they tell us that she has some sort of internal mite but she is being treated for it. She has taken a total shine to Deck … she licks and licks and licks him until he is complaining (albeit half-heartedly) that his hand is sore . He is wearing a baseball cap and she takes a shine to that too and actually tries to remove it from his head ) and talk about purring – she just adores being petted. Soon it’s time to leave and I just don’t want to but the beautiful girl is beside the gate and obviously wants to go back out to her outside enclosure with her buddies so we say our goodbyes and leave the enclosure. We are exhilarated and sad at the same time and return to the entrance is a bit of a daze. It was definitely one of those memories I will cherish for the rest of my life - AWESOME!!

next up Sheldrick Animal Orphanage ...
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
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Sep 5th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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ok, that Sam is just the WORST! Too bad you didn't tip him in Monoploy money

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Sep 5th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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"Too bad you didn't tip him in Monoploy money"

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Sep 5th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Kennedy was exaggerating a little bit. We didn't have any trouble at the KWS orphanage and had plenty of time with all three cheetahs. But we found out later that Kennedy and Richard (the volunteer guide) were worried the whole time that the boss was going to show up and throw a fit. Imelda, I guess that is why they took you to a separate enclosure out of sight of the public to spend time with your cheetah.
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Sep 14th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Hi Guys,
Sorry, I sort of abandoned the last of my trip report for the last couple of weeks but I haven't forgotten about it. Here is just a little more ....

Darren, I'm gald Kennedy was exaggerating and you didn't have any hassle - that would have been a bummer.

On the way back we are very unsure how much to tip Francis, especially as we know the keepers are expecting their cut. In the end we decide on $30 (I’m still unsure if this was enough?) and some key rings / pens etc. We meet up with Kennedy again and we say goodbye to Francis as we head off for the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. The Orphanage isn’t far and on the way we pass by Kazuri Beads but don’t have time to stop – maybe tomorrow. When we arrive at Nairobi National Park (the Elephant Orphanage is inside), a guard takes Kennedy’s details and lets us in. We travel along a roadway for a couple of minutes and we arrive at the gates to the Orphanage but they are closed and there is no one in sight to open them. We sit and wait for a few minutes. Kennedy then decides to phone someone to get the telephone number of the Orphanage so that he can then telephone them and get them to let us in. Turns out, the person he phoned has already left the office so they can’t get the phone number. Next, Kennedy decides to get out and go to the gate .... Guess what, it wasn’t locked, just ‘closed’... ha, ha. ‘Open sesame’ Kennedy says and we’re in! We drive towards the Orphanage buildings when a keeper comes running towards us – ‘stop’, we are bringing in the Rhino (Shida) and he won’t come in if he hears the vehicle. We park up and follow the road to the buildings. Shida, the baby rhino is in his pen when we get there but the Ellies are still not back from the park yet. The keepers tell us we can go over to see Shida while we are waiting for the Ellies to be brought in. So over we go. Shida is being bottle fed and loving it. Watching this huge rhino (he is very large even though he is still a baby) guzzle the ‘bottle’ with serious slurping is hilarious ... What a ‘big baby’! I ask the keeper if I can pet him (Shida, not the keeper ) and he says yes. Shida wasn’t too keen on the petting though and when he was finished his bottle he moved back from the gate to a large oversized ‘plate’ of some sort of powder in the pen. He started into his meal when next thing, two visitors enter the pen through the back – the resident Warthogs! Of course they want to share Shida’s meal. Well they edged closer and closer and closer. Shida was very tolerant and would let them have some food and then would nudge them away. It was really comical to watch.

In the meantime, the Elephant babies arrived and were put into their stables so we decided to say goodbye to Shida and say hello to the Ellies. I think it was Sidai and Kamboyo we saw first. Then Sian who has the least hair and the softest shin and LOVED being petted. Baby Makena was next and then little Zurura with whom the keeper was playing, wee, wee, wee, he called to Zurura as they played. Zurura is very funny and stole some of Makenas food (leaves) through a gap in the timber between the stalls. Next we went to Kora. Makena and Kora are my two foster babies so it was really exciting to see them. All of the babies loved sucking my finger. They had just had some coconut oil rubbed on their skin to keep it soft and I found out that this leaves quite a mess . Poor Kora has a piece of bone broken off in his jaw from a bullet shot and has a very bad infection which they have been trying to treat since he came to the orphanage. There were talks of operating to insert antibiotics directly into the infected site but the keeper told us that this is not going to be done. Instead poor Kora is getting 10 injections per day and this seems to be helping. Next (and last) was Lualeni, the Matriarch. She is such a dote. She ADORED sucking my finger, to the point, when I went to take it away, she wrapped her trunk tightly around my arm to hold my finger in place I couldn’t stop laughing at her. Kora is actually ready to be moved to Tsavo except for his jaw, as is Lualeni but Kora can’t be moved until his jaw improves and Lualeni is being kept with Kora until they move to Tsavo together. Lualeni’s keeper told us that the keepers get up every 3 hours to feed the Ellies 24 hours per day! They only get 4 days off per month. Their beds are in the stables with the Ellies and these are only thin foam mattresses on top of bales of straw with two thin blankets each AND Kora and Lualeni are in more ‘outdoor’ type enclosures (because they are older – around 2 years) and I’m not sure if their keepers have anywhere else to sleep other than there.

We left Lualeni and went back around to all the Ellies again to say goodbye. When we went back to Lualeni to say our final goodbye (can you tell I didn’t want to leave them!), a woman brought a small plastic bowl of something. At first we thought it was a supplement or something for Lualeni but I couldn’t have been more wrong – it was the keepers ‘dinner’ (If you could call it that!). When he got that we said goodbye but we were shocked, including Kennedy. It was a very small bowl of corn and cabbage – how could a grown man who gets up every 3 hours, 24 hours a day, sustain his health and live on such food and such a small amount?! Kennedy told us that these keepers get paid very little – only about $100/month and with Nairobi being expensive they find it very difficult to live on this.
On the way to our hotel we talked a lot about the situation in Kenya and Kennedy told us how he started out on his own with less than $100 to his name. I really admire him for his courage and determination. On the journey back to the hotel and that evening I thought a lot about the Ellies and their keepers. I was disturbed with the keepers conditions and I felt somehow partly responsible for the keepers being in the situation they are in. After all, I have fostered two Ellies, which, being a good thing in itself, is the reason these keepers are here and are not being looked after properly. They don’t even have the basics of such things as warm blankets to sleep with. I was very sorry I hadn’t realised this before I went to Kenya because at least then I could have taken some things with me for the keepers – sleeping bags etc.
We decided that we wanted to go back to the Orphanage tomorrow at the regular visiting time (11-12). We hadn’t originally planned this but I just had to see the Ellies one more time before leaving Kenya and we also wanted to give the keepers something for themselves so we arranged this with Kennedy, He would pick us up at 10.30am and this would be our first port of call.

We arrived at the Nairobi Serena sometime around 6.30pm. Kennedy insisted that he stay with us until we got checked in even though we told him there was no need as he had a fairly long drive back home. Check in was quick and we said goodbye to Kennedy before being shown to our room ... Oh, oh, it’s a twin and I had booked a double. A phone call from the room and we are told ‘it’s OK, we will have a double ready for you in 15 minutes’ so back down to reception we go. We have some complimentary drinks outside near the bar. After about a half an hour finally our room is ready. Up we go and by this stage we are pretty tired, Deck more than me, so we decide to have a little rest in the big comfy bed. We discuss the day and at about 8.30, nod off .... there went dinner!
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
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Sep 14th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Your animal interactions at the orphanage are amazing.
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Sep 14th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Great report, thank you very much.

Would you happen to have contact information for Richard in Rwanda? You also mentioned that you would recommend him for Uganda as well, has he done that before? My plan is to spend about 8-10 days in Rwanda and Uganda, starting in either Kigali or Entebbe and ending in the other one.
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Sep 15th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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Lynn, Yes, those babies were fantastic and I was VERY sad to leave them.

Tacos, Glad you are enjoying the report.Richard is a FANTASTIC guide and I wholehartedly recommend him. He has done many trips around Rwanda and Uganda so if that's what your interested in then Richard is your man. If you want to e-mail me on im_civil at hotmail dot com I can give you his details.

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Sep 15th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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Makena is my foster baby ele as well! Because of our schedual, we can't stop at the orphanage on our trip, and I am so dissapointed, especially after reading your report. It was so fun to read about your visit, though...Thank you!
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Sep 15th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Email sent, thanks a bunch.
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Dec 19th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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topping...just bc this has to be one of the funniest trip reports ever.
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Dec 20th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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This must be "normal operating procedure" in Africa. My husband was going from Nairobi to the Serengeti and ended up in Zanzibar!!! Same scenario - he asked which plane is going to the Serengeti and the guy says "that one." He thought it strange when he saw coral and clear water -- didn't realize that the Seregeti was on the coast of Africa.

What an adventure it was!!!
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Dec 24th, 2011, 12:42 AM
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Thanks so much for bumping this report...what a riotous read!

Just sorry it wasn't finished and no photos were posted.
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