Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Just returned from Kenya/Tanzania...exhausted but working on report

Just returned from Kenya/Tanzania...exhausted but working on report


Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 859
Go Hawks? OK - Now I know why you didn't respond when I told you I was your neighbor in Nebraska! No worries, being a Husker doesn't carry the elan it used to...;-)

Loved your report and photos.
cooncat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
WOW on your Photos!!!

Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 22nd, 2005, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,479
Hi Jazzdrew
Thank you for your pictures and report. I've shown them to my 14 yr old daughter & asked if she can cope with the kills when we go in January - she say - sure!
Onme thing - is that your camcorder (or rather CAMCORDER) in print # 217? Or was it a film camera for documentary makers? It looks like it would use up our combined weight allowance!
Did you have any problems going overweight & if so what was the charge?
Sarvowinner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
cooncat - Sorry I missed your earlier question. It is great being a Hawkeye these days, maybe more so than a Husker...but you have had a long run at the top...time for some new blood!

Thanks for the comments on the photos from everyone. I wish that I had remembered to take the bean bag. A number of long distance shots were blurry because I could not steady the 12x optical zoom. I am really glad I didn't spend more on camera gear - It is obvious that my skills as a photographer is well behind the gear. Iused program mode for almost all the shots, except for some of the sunset shots. I used the macro mode for close-ups that I like. Also used the night portrait and Aperature priority for some shots. Lots to learn before I would need to upgrade.

Sarvo - I took both a Panasonic FZ15 with 2 gb of memory and a Canon ZR65 camcorder and 6 tapes. I am so glad I took the camcorder! I have finished editing 4 of the 6 using Pinacle editing software and am most happy with the results. We also took a point and shoot 35mm film camera for back up, but rarely used it. I used 2 batteries for each. I was able to charge both sets of batteries every night.

We took alot of stuff...but we didn't have a problem with overweight. OUr largest bag was not quite 19 kg. I can't imagine anyone taking more than the 3 of us!

Carrie - your 13 year old will have a great time. My son suggests to be sure to have a private safari so you have plenty of room to spread out. Our son was able to rest using the 3 sets in the back of the Land Cruiser on the longer drives.

Other quotes from our son:

1. Don't need to bring a Gameboy because everything you see is interesting.

2. Listen to the guide/parents to learn about the animals, plants and african way of life. It is interesting.

3. Go swimming as often as you are allowed! Favorites places to swim was Kirawira and Tortilis.

4.The animals are much closer than you will expect but they will not bother you. Make sure your mom doesn't "freak out" when she sees her first close elephant, lion or python.

5. The food is close to "good old American food". Favorites were Kirawira and Giraffe Manor - Ice cream at Kirawira, Talipia at Giraffe Manor.

6. If you go to Giraffe Manor be sure to feed the giraffe from your mouth. It is like a dog kiss!

7. The tents are very nice and you will slepp well - it is not like a "camp-out". You will be taken care of well. Every morning you will be woken up with hot chocolate, tea, coke light, and pastries.

8. You will probably meet other kids at each lodge. It is fun to learn where they are from and to hear about their safaris.

9. Be sure to doa Massai village visit- it is very interesting. Go to their school and their traditional houses (bomas). I got a ceremonial cane from the cheif's son, a lion's tooth and a lion's claw necklace from the maasai warriors. I also got a spear that is cool.

10. My favorites - waking up and feeding giraffes at the Giraffe Manor while we ate our breakfast. Seeing lions hunt on game drives. Seeing black rhino in Ngorongoro. Seeing the start of the migration in Serengeti, especially when they were all over the raod and we had to drive right through them. Seeing the python when it scared my mom. Crossing the bridge at grumeti river then climbing the tree. Scaring the impala from the airstrip at Grumeti so our plane could land to pick us up. Massage at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Plating chess with my dad and with our host David at the Giraffe Manor. Watching the dogs chase the warthogs at Giraffe Manor.

Last quote: "I REALLY enjoyed going to Africa. I wold go again."

Hope that helps
JazzDrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 23rd, 2005, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Thanks for all of the great advice. I'll be sure to share it with my son. I'm sure my boy will have plenty of opportunities to tease me about "freaking out"; although it will be my husband who will scream like a girl if he sees a fifteen foot python.
CarrieS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 23rd, 2005, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Great pictures and nice travelogue. What a fabulous experience to share with your son! I hope we can do Tanzania some time soon.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6
Great photographs!
Been looking at albums from various posters - trying to get an idea of what there is to see and plan our own itinerary.

Your photos look absoultely captivating!
Where was the waterfall? Which park?

Nicola_683 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2005, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592

Thanks so much for sharing the super pictures! Thanks also for letting me see Shida and the orphans before I get to see them in person.

Now, if your like the rest of us, you are already preparing the next trip!

JanGoss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2005, 03:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
Nicola - The waterfall is on the Olmati Crater hike near Ngorongoro Crater.

Olmati is about a 30-45 minute drive from Ngorngoro. Actually we ended up going into the crater for a morning game drive then drove on to Olmati after noon. As I recall it took a while to drive back from Olmati to the Serena, maybe 1 hour or more.

We picked up an armed ranger in the morning, drove down the Ngorongoro crater for a game drive, then drove to a small maasai village where we picked up another local maasai guide. We had our lodge pack picnic lunches for all of us. The hike is quite steep at times. It is very pretty - great views. It is nice to get out on your feet and explore the hills. We climbed considerable altitude - maybe 1,000 feet. I would say that you would need to be in ok shape to do this. My 65 year old mother would not have made it!! We had a wonderful guide that arranged a special treat for us. He talked the ranger and the maasai guide into taking us beyond the summit of the mountain down to the waterfall for our picnic lunch. It was wonderful eating our picnic at the edge of the waterfall.

We did not see any animals (close) and that was a good thing! The guide told us that they have encountered buffalo on occassion, thus the need for the armed ranger.

JazzDrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,373
Great Pictures! Thanks for sharing!
matnikstym is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2005, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Wow, your photos are terrific, some of the best I have seen in a trip report. Thanks for sharing, Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2005, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Hope you are well rested and over any jet lag. That's just about the time that the pangs to return start!

Thanks for the report and photos. Such luck you had with the lions. From the kills to the kopjes.

You caught that giraffe mouth feeding/kiss on film.

Where did you see the young rhino and the mother and baby rhino? Great shots!

I loved the tortoise at Lake Manyara.

The baboon family with the baby was adorable. Kind of like the 3 of you on safari.

With your wildebeest and zebra pictures, it appears you were in the midst of the migration. How fortunate.

atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2005, 07:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
Atravelynn - You are right. I already want to start plans for the next Africa experience. Afraid the bug has bit indeed!

The rhinos were in the Ngorongoro Crater.

The only dissapointment was the lack of leopard. We chose to sleep in a couple of mornings along the way, and bet that we would have seen them if we had been out earlier. We were so close twice. Once in Manyara we missed a leopard in a tree by minutes according to the vehicle in front of us.

I also wish we could have seen cheetah closer. We say 2, but they were at a distance.

But, all the rest of our encounters were amazing. Good reason to plan the next safari.

I have the first three days of my report/journal written, but want my wife to edit it before I post here. It is too long and rambles with too many gramatical mistakes.

I shold be able to post the first installment tomorrow.
JazzDrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Great to hear your son's feedback...I've been trying to persuade some friends of ours to consider a safari with their children and it's good to know your family had such a great time.

Thanks for posting.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2005, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
Here is the first installment of my report. It is very long. More of a journal. I apologize in advance if I bore anyone who reads it all...I am sure I am repeating information presented many times on this board. At any rate this report takes you from our departure to Amsterdam, Nairobi and the first half of day one in Amboseli...

Africa Safari Journal
June 18 – July 4, 2005

Saturday, June 18

It was nice to be leaving Cedar Rapids in the afternoon instead of having to get up at the crack of dawn. We’re on the plane to Detroit hoping everything is in order in Africa. Our luggage is heavier than I thought it would be, but well below the 20kg limit. We took our 2nd dose of malaria medication (Mefloquin) before departure. We will need to take one a week for 5 more weeks. Hope the weather is as nice as it was in Cedar Rapids. Our Northwest flight to Amsterdam was on a new Airbus A330. Very nice with personal tv screens with games games for Adam to pass the time on the 8 hour flight. I had to sit next to a man much larger than me. Made the trip uncomfortable.

Sunday, June 19

Arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in the morning. Cleared customs and took nice new Mercedes E Class taxi to Amsterdam Hilton. Cost 30 Euros for the 3 of us. Weather is very hot (33 Celsius). Hotel is very nice and in a residential neighborhood on a canal. Service at hotel is excellent. We were able to check in to room mid-morning. Decided to take a nap and shower. Stayed in room until 1:00 PM then walked through Vondelpark. Lots of locals enjoying Sunday afternoon in the park. Very pretty. Ended up at the Hard Rock Café where we ate 3 years ago on our Switzerland/Holland holiday. Ate lunch next to window with a nice view of the canal. Seemed like everyone not in the park was boating in the canals or biking. Decided to either rent bike or a canal bike later. Walked back to hotel through park again, about 30-45 minutes. Nice to get some exercise. Cleaned up and ate a long, wonderful meal at the hotel right on the canal. Asparagus was in season and featured on the menu. Finished dinner late, 10:30 PM! It was light outside until almost 11:00 PM.

Monday, June 20

Stayed in room until checkout at 11:00 AM. Purchased strip tickets for the tram from the hotel gift shop. This worked out great, easy to use and cheap. Took tram to a Dutch pancake restaurant that we enjoyed 3 years ago. Walked a couple blocks to the Heineken Brewery to take a tour but was closed, again! Same thing happened to us 3 years ago, is closed on Mondays. Decided to try again when we return in July. Rented a canal bike and enjoyed riding to Anne Frank House. Very hot (91 degrees F). Dropped the boat off by the Anne Frank House and walked to the flower market. Ordered black and gold tulips (Hawkeye colors) to be delivered in the fall. Walked by the Koningsplein intersection that we saw many times on the internet before we left.


Took another tram back to hotel. Claimed our luggage and had the concierge arrange taxi for us to the airport. Another very nice Mercedes van. Cost was 30 Euros again. We were able to check in at the KLM counter for our Kenya Air flight. Easy check-in. Ate fast food at the food court in the airport. Decided to check e-mail at internet café in airport before departure. Adam played Runescape with the left over minutes. One of Adam’s friends was playing back in Cedar Rapids. Technology is amazing! Had to go through extra security (x-ray machines and additional questions) as we started the boarding process for the 8:40 PM flight. Kenya Air plane was very nice as well. New 777 with individual video screens again. We did not know what kind of food to expect, but it turned out to be good and quite normal for us. Flight was long. We flew over Europe, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Slovenia, Albania, Greece, Crete, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Sudan then finally Kenya.

Tuesday, June 21

Arrived in Nairobi on time at 6:15 AM. Weather was misty and foggy. We were very glad that we had visas arranged ahead of time by sending our passports, visa applications, and $50 each to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, DC. There were long lines for those people who had not done this. Some confusion for people who waited in wrong lines and/or who and not completed paperwork completely. There were even people who had no idea that they needed $50 for the visas! Easy passport control and customs. Had to fill out a separate declaration form for each of us. Collected our luggage and could see the Wildtrek representative (Brian) from luggage area. We were very glad to have all of our luggage and to see the Wildtrek representative.

I was really worried what we would do if there had been a mix up here. It was obvious that most everyone else was being met by their operators as well, although there were a few Americans who were arranging transportation upon arrival. Things were much more “normal” than I had expected. As we planned this safari everything seemed so exotic. We had so many concerns about how our transfers would be arranged and had asked both Roy’s and Wildtrek many questions. Now that we were in Nairobi it was obvious that the Wildtrek representative knew we had concerns. He spent half an hour going over all the details of our “program”. We felt much better already. The representative bought us coffee and water at the airport as he went over the program. Then he used his cell phone to call our driver to see how much longer until he would arrive. It turned out that traffic was bad (it was misty and sprinkling) and there apparently was an accident (with other vehicles) that blocked traffic and delayed our driver. After a half hour our Wildtrek guide, John, arrived. John and the Wildtrek representative carried our luggage to the Nissan mini-bus and we were off. We learned that John would take us to Giraffe Manor then continue on to Amboseli today and meet us at the airport in the morning. We learned the next day that John left Nairobi at 2:00 PM and arrived at Amboseli at 6:30 PM.

The mini-bus had plenty of room for the three of us and all of our luggage. It also had a high frequency radio that was on nearly all the time. This was reassuring in case we were to break down. There was bottled water for all of us and a coolbox in the front. Drive from the airport to the Giraffe Manor was very, very rough. The roads were terrible. Large pot holes everywhere. The roads were very narrow. People were everywhere, mostly walking to work. Drivers went where they wanted. Jet lag, the misty conditions, driving on the “wrong” side of the road in the industrial part of town made us very nervous. We felt much better as we approached the Giraffe Manor. The conditions of the buildings, grounds and security improved the further we drove. We noticed guards with automatic weapons at the entrance to some properties. The drive from the airport to Giraffe Manor took about 45 minutes. Finally arrived at the Giraffe Manor compound, complete with gate and armed guard. Drove past gate through a hilly, wooded, dirt road. All of a sudden we saw the manor! It was just like the pictures we had seen on the internet! Wonderful! A little further on, we had to stop because there were GIRAFFE on the road directly in front of us! We all giggled with excitement. What a wonderful way to start an African safari. John stopped to let us take pictures and videotape then continued on to the Giraffe Manor. We were greeted by the manager, David and his wife Nadine and their staff. By this time it was 8:00 AM. David and Nadine led us into the manor as the staff collected our luggage. There were giraffe and warthog in the front lawn as we entered the mansion. We were led to the breakfast room where we ate an excellent breakfast of juice, toast, eggs, bacon, etc. We met a couple from England who had arrived the night before and were departing after breakfast. They had been to Africa before but this was their first time at Giraffe Manor. Just as we were finishing our breakfast one of the giraffe, Lynn, poked her head in through the window! Soon we were feeding her, just as I had pictured in my mind from the website and TALL BLONDES video, although the giraffe was much larger up close than I imagined. The tongue was amazingly long and rough. We fed the giraffe “pony pellets”, which were sort of like small dried dog food. This was followed by a trip to the “slobber room” (lavatory) to wash up. We were quite impressed with the entire experience. The staff service was excellent. Think high end cruise ship sort of attention. We were taken to our rooms upstairs. We were assigned an entire half of the second floor of the manor! Andy and Arlene had a large bedroom facing the front lawn with a king sized bed and fireplace and Adam had a large bedroom in the back with a roomy full bathroom connecting the two bedrooms. We were instructed that it would be a good idea to use the bottled water instead of the tap water to drink and brush our teeth, so there was bottled water in each room for us. We were also told that the electrical generators might turn off on occasion. We could see 3 or 4 giraffe and many warthog from our bedroom window. We were certainly in another land!

We cleaned up and were asked if we wanted to go see the baby elephant being fed at the Sheldrick Orphanage. They did a program open to the public only once daily at 11:00 AM. Although we were tired, we were eager to see this. The Giraffe Manor provided a staff member to drive us in the Giraffe Manor Land Rover to the orphanage. It took about 15 minutes to get to the orphanage, which is on the edge of the Nairobi National Park. A bit of a bumpy dirt road drive to the orphanage. Our driver would meet us after the hour long program. By the time we got to the orphanage the mist had stopped, but it was still cloudy. There were about 25 people listening to one of two orphanage staff members who explained how the orphanage works. Not long after our arrival more staff members led out a baby rhino! It was so cute. As the staff member was describing the rhino there was a commotion in the back as a large rhino appeared from the park! Scared a few of the people around as there is nothing between us and the rhino. It turns out the large rhino was recently released from the orphanage and sometimes came back to see the handlers and/or look for food. The handlers started yelling at the rhino and chased it off. Seemed a bit dangerous it me!

Next 9 baby elephants were led in. Actually they ran in as large milk bottles were placed in front of us for the elephants to drink. We really enjoyed hearing the elephants trumpet and snort as they raced to the food. We learned that it took a long time to develop the correct formula that the elephants could tolerate. They obviously got it right as they drank every drop quickly. After they drank the formula the elephants were given branches to eat, and a couple of them got close enough for us to touch. Their skin was hairy and rough. After the feeding the elephants played with tire tubes and balls. All this time the staff members did a great job of describing elephant behavior and each elephant’s story. Not long after the elephants came out we noticed a group of young (8 year olds) African schoolchildren all dressed in purple uniforms. What a field trip!

After the presentation at the orphanage we were met by a different Giraffe Manor driver and another couple who had just arrived and were staying at the Giraffe Manor as well. So we all climbed aboard the Land Rover and were driven back to the Giraffe Manor. We learned that the couple was from County Cork, Ireland and were on their honeymoon. They had come to the orphanage directly from the airport and had not been to the Manor yet. We were met by giraffe again as we drove up, the same as earlier. The newlyweds shared our delight. More feeding of the giraffe, followed by lunch with our hosts (David and Nadine) and the newlyweds. Lunch was salad, tomato soup, 2 kinds of quiche, cooked tomatoes and lemon and bananas fried with sauce. Another good meal.

After lunch we decided to tour the Karen Blixen museum/house from OUT OF AFRICA. The GM guide drove us to the Blixen Museum. I really enjoyed this as I have read the book and seen the movie a number of times. The house was smaller than I had imagined. Everything was well kept. The house was used for the exterior shots for the movie, but was too small for interior shots. It was donated to the government who turned it into a museum. Andy forgot to bring Kenyan shillings so we had to use US dollars to buy something in the gift shop, receiving change in schillings so we could pay the entrance fees. We had a nice guided tour and bought a Christmas ornament in the small gift shop for our collection.

Next we were driven to the nearby Kazuri bead/pottery factory for a tour. We bought some nice pieces as gifts. We were driven back to the GM and were taken on a private tour from the Giraffe Manor to the Giraffe Center Sanctuary next door to see more giraffe, including Jock, the big male who is kept away from the females. Jock was even bigger than the others. We were able to feed Jock, who is 19 feet tall. He wrapped his tongue around our entire hand to get every last morsel of food!

Back at the manor we were treated so well, like one of the family. Everything is included at Giraffe Manor, including drinks (possible exception, champagne, but that was not a problem for us). We had the best personal attention at all times. We were made to feel at home and very special. No wonder celebrities like Walter Cronkite, Brook Shields, Richard Chamberlain, Dick Clark, Johnny Carson and Jack Paar all chose to stay here! We had drinks (Tusker for Andy, wine for Arlene, soda for Adam) by the fireplace while Adam played chess with David in the den. More feeding of giraffe. Names of giraffe included Laura, Lynn, Betty, Jock.

We took quick showers or baths followed by a special dinner in the formal dining room. Before dinner I had plugged in my camera and video batteries to be charged. All I needed was the adapters for the plugs, no converter needed.

Dinner was very intimate, just the three of us, the 2 newlyweds and David and Nadine, all served by candlelight by some of the 16 staff members. Power had gone out in the kitchen, so dinner was a little later than planned. Food was wonderful, or “brilliant” as David would say. Soup, salad, Nile perch (tilapia), green beans, potatoes, fresh berries and ice cream. After dinner we were off to the sitting room for drinks, coffee and tea. We were in bed by 10:00 PM – the jet lag was catching up on us. Room was so nice with mosquito netting, fireplace and candles in room. While we were at dinner our beds had been turned down and the mosquito netting put in place. Quite lovely indeed. Fell asleep easily, but Andy woke up at 12:30 AM and was awake until 3:00 AM.

Wednesday, June 22

We were awakened at 5:30 AM for our flight to Amboseli. Still quite dark. We packed and went downstairs for breakfast. Both David and Nadine were there to greet us. David took us outside to see the giraffe sitting on the ground a few hundred feet from the manor. David said he had not seen them come this close at night in a while. One of the giraffe (Laura) approached as we went inside for breakfast and were able to feed more giraffe at the breakfast table. Still can’t get over the concept of feeding giraffe while eating your breakfast! At 6:15 a Wildtrek driver arrived at the Giraffe Manor to take us to Wilson airport for our 7:30 AM flight to Amboseli. About a 30 minute drive. We had received our tickets from the Wildtrek representative who met us at the airport the day before. We put together a tip for the staff ($40) and left it under the visitor’s comments book in the entrance hall. As we left Giraffe manor I asked Adam how he liked it. His response was an 11 ½ on a scale of 1 to 10!! A pretty strong rating from an 11 year old!

The transfer and flight to the Wilson airfield was all so easy. I had worried how the details would work, and felt silly now that we were being provided with such great care and service by everyone. Wilson airport is very small. We cold see our small twin engine prop Air Kenya plane from the check in area. We presented our ticket to the counter, and the same lady checked our bags and manually searched us. That was the security. Then we simply boarded the plane, along with 4 or 5 others for the flight to Amboseli. The plane had a capacity of about 30. The weather was cloudy but comfortable. Our bags were well under the weight limit, which surprised us! Take off was uneventful, and the flight lasted about 45 minutes. As we made our descent to Amboseli and broke cloud cover I saw my first animals from the plane, zebra and wildebeest! Once we landed we saw John, our Wildtrek guide, waiting for us along with 5 or 6 other vehicles, some ready to pick up new arrivals, others dropping off clients for the continuation of the flight. The airstrip was very small, but the runway was paved! There was a small tin building at the end and another smaller building in the back for the toilets.. Looked just like the ELEPHANT KINGDOM DVD that we had watched so many times! John loaded our bags on the mini-bus while we used the toilet. I was amazed how many animals I could see from the airstrip – zebra, wildebeest and a hyena! We were all a bit nervous as we approached the toilet…would there be an animal behind the building? Was there a snake in there? I promised Arlene I would check out it out for creepy crawlies before she went in. Nothing there! We were lucky as the toilet was flush type with running water! We met a very nice couple from Australia who had been on the plane with us and were staying at Tortilis as well. They were using A&K. I wondered if they knew how much they could have saved by using Roy’s! We were later to visit about this at a meal.

As soon as we left the airstrip we saw more and more game. I was amazed at the amount of game and how close we were. We saw hyena, wildebeest, buffalo, waterbuck, Tommy’s gazelle, grant’s gazelle, zebra, ostrich, Egyptian geese, crowned cranes, ibis, elephant, plovers, impala, hippo, warthog, African fish eagle, heron, oxpecker and many other birds all within the first hours in the bush. We had a wonderful game drive until about noon. The highlight was an amazing elephant encounter. About 30 minutes after we landed we came upon a large herd of elephants who came right up to us. We were all alone, no other vehicles around. We watched for a long time as the herd came up to us, looking right at us and crossed the road within 4 or 5 feet of us. There were a couple dozen elephant including some very large females and some babies. One of the babies had lost its tail. Our guide thought it could have been from a lion or hyena when it was younger. We really enjoyed watching the young elephants play. I loved hearing the sounds as they got closer and closer. One of the elephant gave us a good scare as she flared her ears and trumpeted before the herd passed. Arlene and Adam were very scared by this because I had shown them a video of elephant charging a safari vehicle before we left home. The size of the elephants is amazing, and they certainly could do plenty of damage if they wanted. But I assured Arlene and Adam that we were o.k. and they the elephants were used to seeing humans and our vehicles. I imagine that John got a kick out of all of this.

Around noon John took us to Observation Hill for a hike and toilet break. This time the toilet was not nearly as nice! Simply a hole in the ground. Not a problem for Andy and Adam, but much more an issue with Arlene, but she managed. There are limited places where you are allowed to leave the vehicle, and Observation Hill is one of them. We enjoyed hiking up the hill – it was good to get some exercise. The view from the top was nice. We could see many elephant, hippo and buffalo in the distance below. After Observation hill we drove to a Maasai village inside the park. We arrange, through John, to meet the village leaders. When we arrived we were greeted by the entire village, all dressed in bright red clothing and colorful beads. We were treated to singing and dancing. At one point Adam was invited to join the warriors. They chief’s son spoke English and described everything that was happening. The village, or boma, is surrounded by a circular fence of thorny acacia branches. After the singing and dancing, we knelt down and the villagers said a prayer for us to have a safe safari. Next we were invited past the outer acacia fence into the boma. We were told 105 people live in this boma. There were many small mud/dung/straw huts that were directly inside the outside circular fence. There was an inner fence where the cows and goats were kept at night. During the day the Maasai took the animals out to graze.

We were invited into one of house of one of the chief’s wives. The Maasai practice polygamy and men can have many wives. The house was very small, only 4 ½ feet tall. We all had trouble getting in, especially Andy! We learned that the Maasai made everything they need, except for the shoes they use. They use rubber from tires that they find along the roads to make sandal like shoes.

To be continued...
JazzDrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Just so you don't think you're reporting into a vaccuum: I'm really enjoying your report, JazzDrew.

Looking forward to more.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2005, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,481
Another ditto. Great report!
sundowner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 2nd, 2005, 03:32 AM
Posts: n/a
JazzDDrew -

Great report. But I'm sure you're going to finish this revised more detailed report before I get mine done; I've been putting out a day at a time... can see you bypassing me on the way to concluding mine. Regardless, keep it up, as it's great.
Reply With Quote
Aug 6th, 2005, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I believe you took the new Panasonic digital camera with you. Was that what most of your photos were taken with? If so, then that's a great plug for the camera. Can you give any feedback on that camera? Thanks.
atravelynn 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 02:24 AM.