Kenya / Tanzania with A&K - Photos

Sep 24th, 2007, 02:37 PM
  #1  
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Kenya / Tanzania with A&K - Photos

We did the Highlights of East Africa trip to Kenya & Tanzania the first 2 weeks of August. What can I say about Africa that hasn't been said already? It is an amazing adventure, not a vacation. We selected A&K for several reasons, one of which was their reputation, quality of vehicles, hotels used. they did not disappoint. I saw a lot of crowded vehicles with sweaty people on the roads and that would not have made me happy. I am sure we could have saved some money with other operators, the Mikato (?) jeeps looked nice as well. A few things I learned - shop for gifts when they say shop, there were not many opportunities other than the hotel gift shops
Des1713 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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We did the Highlights of East Africa trip to Kenya & Tanzania the first 2 weeks of August. What can I say about Africa that hasn't been said already? It is an amazing adventure, not a vacation. We selected A&K for several reasons, one of which was their reputation, quality of vehicles, hotels used. they did not disappoint. I saw a lot of crowded vehicles with sweaty people on the roads and that would not have made me happy. I am sure we could have saved some money with other operators, the Mikato (?) jeeps looked nice as well. A few things I learned - shop for gifts when they say shop, there were not many opportunities other than the hotel gift shops and the collectors den in Nairobi which was OK. I needed way more cash than they recommended. I never saw ATMS and there were 30 minimums to use credit cards in the hotel gift shops, tips, etc...$8 waters in Heathrow, etc... There is a Nairobi Java House in the Nairobi airport if you want to bring back coffee beans. I stayed at the Serena hotels and they were better than anticipated. The culinary highlights of the trip were Gibb's Farm and the Mara Intrepid. The best game viewing was Amboseli, the Ngorogoro crater was a bust for game viewing but we had a fabulous bush lunch! The people were deightful, the roads were bumpy, the flights long but worth every minute! Misc: I kept to the weight limit -- others did not -- obvious by the fact they had a new outfit every night at dinner =) -- my clothes got dirty filthy...buy used on ebay if possible. I used only US dollars.

Here are our photos and thanks for all the packing tips - I used everything I took! I would pack a cheap fly swater next time...listen to me..."next time" - I am addicted!!!

www.brightsidebasics.com/hea
Des1713 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Saw your photos--nicely grouped eles, nicely grouped lions, nicely grouped zebras (especially those drinking), and I can't believe I can actually write nicely grouped cheetahs. Some striking pairs two of giraffe and those two wildebeest facing away.

Glad you were happy with your trip. Gibb's does have food to remember for a lifetime. Sorry the crater was a bust. Just no animals roaming around?

What are your thoughts for a return?
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Awesome pictures!
safarimama is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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I read somewhere else about bringing a fly swater. Where did you need it or was it most of the time? What was the problem with the Crater - not many animals and/or too many vehicles?
Loved your photos.
QueenofDaNile is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Great photos. I really like the croc eating the baby hippo. Did the croc catch a live baby hippo, or was he eating a dead floater?
thit_cho is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Des; great photos..were the ellies in Amboselli?; if so what was the weather like there in August - was it as hot and dusty as I have heard? Were the temps warm during day and cooler at night. Any info is helpful. Thanks, Cc
chacheetah is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Ngorogoro Crater was hyped so much in the books as having the best wildlife that we were a little disappointed. We got up very early and had a white knuckle ride in the dark and fog to get down into the crater to hopefully see some morning kills. We just didn't see many animals period. But like I said we enjoyed the most amazing catered bbq bush lunch that it made up for the lack of wildlife. We also saw so much in Amboseli - our first stop, and a lot in Lake Manyara, much more than expected, so it was OK. My friend I traveled with whispered to me that it was the Bore-o Bore-o crater. But we did see a blurry spec they told us was a black rhino. That night at dinner the guide said all the chatter on the radio as we were driving home was about the rhino being in the road -- so even though I didn't see the black rhino the crater does offer that potential.

I loved the people and hospitality (individual and professional) in Kenya -- waiters go to college to be waiters and they take pride in their jobs. But Tanzania had some awesome game viewing! Our tour director in Tanzania was formerly the head of anti-poarching at Serengeti and he really knew the Park which was worth its weight in gold. I think that's how we got so close to the leopard.

We were very lucky and saw very few moquitos. The down side is that you let your guard down and don't remember your deet! The Amboseli Serena Lodge had the most if I recall. Too cold at Ngorogoro Crater.

We stayed at all Serena lodges until we got to Mara and then we were in the tents at Mara Intrepid -- they were recently upgraded from what I understand and are FABULOUS. Next time I'd try all tents. Also our A&K tour director in Kenya Said Sambura Park is a must when we return to Kenya.

I am uncertain about whether the hippo was a kill or a floater, I got it on video -- much more dramatic than the stills.
Des1713 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Yes, all the elephants were in Amboseli. I expected to see a lot of elephants there as I am familiar with the work of Cynthia Moss who has an elephant reserach center there...but it was incredible!!!! We were parked there for a few hours watching them interact. It was the early morning overcast weather.

It never got too warm high 60s -low 70s except in the Serengeti. I wore long pants the entire time. The pools were not heated and the others in our group fond the water too cool to swim.

The weather in August was very pleasant. We did see rain in the afternoons at Mara and a major rain storm the day we flew back to Nairobi.

Oh, and Safai Link doesn't really tell you what kind of plan you'll be flying...I guess it's determined that day, whatever shows up....our group got split into two smaller groups and I was put on a single engine plane in rain and lightening which I did not love since I hate flying...but it's part of the adventure I guess.

Des1713 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Des,

Recent Mara reports indicated loads of vehicles and interference with animal behavior. Did you encounter that? What were your experiences with the human animal in the Mara?

Your photos don't show any of this.

Thank you!


atravelynn is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Your pictures were absolutely fanastic! They could be in a magazine! Are you a professional photog.? What type of lens did you use?
davisesq212 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:04 PM
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I didn't think there were too many jeeps in the Mara, except waiting for the wildebeest river crossing! We were all stuck for 3 hours unable to move. In all the parks I felt like we were almost alone until there was some action - like a kill - then the drivers from all the various tour companies are on the radio yelling in swahili and all the jeeps step on the gas to get to the scene.

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. The camera used was a new Canon rebel xti with a canon zoom - 75-300 image w/ stabilization lens. There was only one other person in the group of 14 with a digital slr camera. Every one else had point and shoot. First time with a digital slr -- lots of practice before leaving and a lesson from a pro at the camera shop.
Des1713 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Wonderful pictures. Especially the leopards!
Samcat
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