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OHMIGOSH! Wild Dogs, Angry Leopards, the Samburu and Big Five all in one!

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Jun 10th, 2009, 11:19 PM
  #1
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OHMIGOSH! Wild Dogs, Angry Leopards, the Samburu and Big Five all in one!

Last night we returned from the most fabulous safari – I swear if it had to be our last one (but which it won’t be) I could be happy.

First things first though, here’s what you have all been waiting to hear - I must humbly accede with the findings of most of Fodor’s devout experienced safari goers – wow, I eat my words on group versus private! (I just know all of you oldies but goodies are laughing in your coffee while you read this saying ‘I TOLD her so’ ) Well, yes, I am never afraid to admit it when I was wrong and you guys were right! I really did enjoy our first two trips with a group to Africa, and I do not regret doing two of them – but there really is nothing like being your own ‘boss’ on a private safari! Daniel would say ‘would you like to meet at 8 AM for a game run?’, and just because I could I would say ‘no, lets meet at 8:05’. And then to top it off if we were late by 10 min (something we would NEVER be on a group trip – even if it meant going out without our teeth brushed in order to make it on time) Daniel would say ‘Hakuna Matata, it’s your vacation’ ! Cool!

Before I get into the specifics, here’s the intro stuff:

Agent, Outfitter: Entire safari arranged by: DK GRAND SAFARIS (KENYA)
City portion Nairobi: WAYMARK SAFARIS (NAIROBI)
Tanzania sublet: WARRIOR TRAILS (TANZANIA)
Zanzibar extension: ZANZIBAR EXCLUSIVE TOURS (ZANZIBAR)

Guide: Entire safari (KY & TZ) guided 24 x 7 by: Daniel Kikemu, owner of DK Safaris
Nairobi City portion: Kennedy, owner of Waymark Safaris
Tanzania: Jackson, of Warrior Trails
Zanzibar: Mussa, owner of Zanzibar Exclusive Tours

Type: Private – Jim and I with our (adult) son Jamie
Logistics: Mostly fly, some drive
Been Before? Third time for us, first for Jamie

ITINERARY:
London, England – GTG with Kavey
Nairobi – Norfolk Hotel – 3 nights
Samburu – Larsen’s Camp – 2 nights
Mt Kenya Safari Club – 2 nights
Maasai Mara – Bateleur Camp – 2 nights
Serengeti – Serena Lodge – 2 nights
Ngorongoro – Lemal Camp – 1 night
Lake Manyara – Serena Lodge – 1 night
Zanzibar – Matemwe Retreat – 2 nights
Zanzibar – Stonetown – Serena Inn – 2 nights

This was, by far, the most INCREDIBLE trip that we have had, OHMIGOSH! It took Jim and I two trips to Africa to find ‘all’ of the Big Five and only 4 of the Samburu Five, while this time our adult son, Jamie – saw it ALL and more on his first time! I swear Daniel is the best spotter in the world!

As I worked all day today, I have not had a chance to look at any of my pictures, but from what I have seen of Jim’s and Jamie’s, I can promise you a ‘move-over National Geographic’ photo essay! Jamie purchased a Nikon D60 just before leaving. With just a week’s practice under his belt, we were absolutely amazed at his pictures as he would upload them and show us a slide show each night, I tell you he has the ‘eye’ as well as being a quick learner under Jim’s technical guidance on how to use it. He really is a natural! I won’t be able to load some up onto pbase until my ‘day off’ (a new rule in our household) on Sunday, so I won’t start into the report until then, but I thought I would at least write this intro to let everyone know we are back, and it was fabulous!

I promise more later!
LyndaS is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2009, 03:46 AM
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Really looking forward to the report, given the title. Welcome back.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 04:06 AM
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OHMIGOSH! You're back already??? Can't wait to hear more!
Wild dogs too?!!

P.S. I see gorillas in your future!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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Oh this will be good!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 05:18 AM
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Lucky you!
Looking forward to your report and Jamie's pictures
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Jun 11th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Lynda, yes, welcome back. And, anxiously awaiting report and pics. Dick
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Jun 11th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Welcome home, glad it was such a wonderful trip. Can't wait for the pictures and the full report.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Welcome home, Lynda. Glad you had a great trip. Wild dogs in Kenya?! A rare sighting for sure! Lucky you! Looking forward to reading all about it!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 06:48 AM
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After that opening I'm really want to hear the rest! Good for you for branching out and doing a non-group safari. One question about that, do you think you saved some money by doing private? And what's your "new rule"? Are you limiting your computer time? (yes, that's a nosy question)

Cindy
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Jun 11th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Looking forward to your continuation.

Which is the tough one of the Samubur five (Grevy zebra, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Reticulated giraffe and Somalia ostrich)? I saw all in one day, but the ostrich (for me) was the most difficult to find. But, I didn't realize that any one in particular was exceptionally difficult (like a black rhino in the Masai Mara/Serengeti, where there are very few).

Michael
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Jun 11th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Have you modified your packing list as well? Welcome back! I'm looking forward to reading about THE trip.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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Thanks guys, I'm anxious to start!

Cyndy, the new rule in our household is that I MUST take all Sundays off, this vacation was my first non-working days since Christmas (we have our own business)and Jamie tells me this is not a good way to have a full & complete healthy life. So I will have all day on Sundays to upload pictures, write reports, read reports for the index, etc! I'm looking forward to it. Of course this can really only start after I catch up from my three weeks off...

Michael, the Somali ostrich was the elusive one in 2007. And, it almost eluded us this time too, but we found one on the last game drive in the park. The picture is blurry as it's so far away - but at least we saw it!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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I'm jealous of every moment of your trip without even having read your report yet. Welcome back, Lynda!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Welcome back! Guess, anyone can learn new tricks!
Yup, private is the way to go.

Some costly props where you stayed, but for June in Kenya prices are good, while in Tanzania it's peak season... boo-hoo-hoo! Matemwe Retreat on ZNZ... you go girl! Live it up in this life!

Waiting on the rest when you take Sunday for yourself!

Divewop/Sandy -

Painted/Wild dogs have been sighted regularly in Samburu area these past few years. Not large packs as in Botswana, but... "they're back." There were some sightings in northern Mara a few years back and believe they've had pups. But these dogs have such a wide territory and cover much land, they can be anywhere. Oh, and some have been spotted in Southern Tanzania parks also.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Hey Lynda,
Glad you had a good time. Noticed that DK subcontracts to Warrior Trails, and I'm THISCLOSE to booking them -- what were they like?
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Jun 11th, 2009, 10:39 AM
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Yay, Lynda! I'm so excited to read your report, and glad that you had an amazing family safari. (Trying not to be jealous of the wild dogs... ) Your son is lucky to have cool parents who want to go to Kenya. I've been trying to talk my parents and in-laws into visiting Africa, but no luck so far.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Lynda, Now I know why we didnt see any Leopards, they were obviously locked up until you arrived!
In future we'll follow you around.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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So glad you're back and had a great trip!! Wild dogs too - how exciting. Can't wait to read more!
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Jun 11th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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How wonderful, Lynda. I can't wait to read more and see some fab photos.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Omigosh! Welcome back, Lynda. This is a reason to visit Fodor’s. I saw dogs in Samburu in 2005, btw.


http://udadisi.blogspot.com/2009/05/...-national.html
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