Report - Porini Camps and Shompole

Oct 27th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 137
Report - Porini Camps and Shompole

First, thanks to all for answering my many and bizarre questions.

Wow, what an experience this trip was, and where to start? A quick overview -- we booked our safari through Gamewatchers, after having met their US representative at a travel expo in DC last year. We are still patting ourselves on the back for having made a great decision on this!

We decided to go for it and stayed at all 4 Porini camps in Kenya (2 nights each in Amboseli, Rhino, Mara, and 3 nights in Lion), ending with a bangup 2 nights in Shompole. We began the trip by staying 2 nights in Nairobi at the wonderful Palacina Suites Hotel to get over our jetlag and try to somewhat acclimate to the culture.

We flew first/business class (AmEx rewards points) on Continental from Newark to Heathrow, changing to Kenya Airways. Both were overnight flights and we spent our 13-hour layover in Heathrow by taking a public bus to Windsor for the day. Surprisingly, we liked the business class sleeper seats of Kenya Airways (there is no "first" on their Heathrow-Nairobi route) better than Continental's first class, and KA's food was a little better as well. Service was terrific on Continental, a little more reserved but still very good on KA.

Arrived in Nairobi at 6:30 am and were driven right away to Palacina, after first withdrawing all of the cash we would need at one of the airport ATMs and breaking some of the bills into smaller ones at the currency exchange window. Our room at Palacina wasn't yet ready (not surprisingly, given the early hour) but we were invited to help ourselves to the breakfast buffet currently being served, which we did. Great breakfasts each morning here, included in the package, with omelettes, French toast, and other hot foods prepared to order by the chef. Our room was ready by then, so we dropped our bags and organized ourselves. Lovely, huge room with a balcony, huge bathroom with both a large walk-in shower and jacuzzi. Fresh cookies and bottled water welcomed us with a nice letter from management.

Walked around the hotel and up the tower into their interior design store, then down to the Moonflower restaurant/outdoor grill for lunch -- the best grilled red snapper we've ever had! Then off for the afternoon to explore Karen with a driver the hotel concierge lined up for us, hitting the Blixen Museum and the Kazuri bead shop. We ended up at Talisman restaurant for dinner, which was just okay, although a lovely setting. Traffic that night was horrible, as an international exposition was just letting out and it was pouring rain. All of the traffic was headed the same way as us on 2-lane road. To our amazement, the locals ended up driving on the shoulder, then creating a lane on the land to the left of the shoulder, and finally crossing over into the shoulder of the oncoming traffic and using their lane. Amazing sight but somehow calm and with no honking! Kenyans are gentle people and calm drivers; what looks like chaos in a heavy traffic situation upon closer examination is a very non-aggressive yielding of the right of way as cars thread their way through circles and intersections. Just try that in DC!

The next day was our tour with a Gamewatchers driver. Since we had seen Karen, we concentrated on downtown and spent a couple of hours touring the National Museum with an intern who gave us fascinating talks at nearly every exhibit. Great lattes in their museum shop, for those Starbux addicts who need a fix. Also got a small glimpse of life of Kenyans by going into a wedding show being held in the park which is part of the memorial of the bombed former American Embassy. After late lunch at Carnivore to say we had been there (but didn't eat the huge meal, instead opting to sit in the bar area to order off the a la carte menu), we headed back to the hotel for our bargain 60 min. massages for about $26 each. Dinner that night was in Moonflower, which again duly impressed us.

Next morning was 9 am departure for the drive to Amboseli. Not far outside Nairobi, on the road to Mombasa (which is a great road in the parts that are paved), we saw our first wildlife -- a giraffe and a zebra -- and were awestruck. About 2 hours into the drive, with some pretty awful detours onto rocky paths in places where the paved road is being worked on, was the turnoff to Amboseli. Wow, 2 hours of dirt road. Arrived at Amboseli Porini Camp, given glasses of juice and cold, damp towels to clean up with. Was that ever welcome! We arrived in time for lunch, which was served in a delightful setting outdoors amidst impalas grazing, guineafowl strutting around, and black or whatever bellied Go Away Birds calling in the trees above us. Awesome. Very nice staff, too. From Tony, the manager, to our guide Eugene and our spotter Willie The Masai Tech, this group soon felt like family. Food, especially lunches, was great, with very fresh ingrediants, salads, etc. Never once had any problems with food; we ate everything and drank drinks with ice. Sanitation is taken seriously here, obviously, and we never saw any bugs in the tent or the dining tent. Did have a spider in our Mara Camp tent, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

After lunch and unpacking in the tent, we relaxed some before our afternoon walk to the Masai village. Oh, of course, beer, wine, G&T's are all included in the package. I seem to recall a beer or two that afternoon. Weather was pleasant but not too hot, though dry. Driving to the point where we met the Masai warriers for the walk to the village was bumpy but exciting - we saw giraffes, kudu, long-necked giselles and Thompsons giselles, and impalas as we drove. Nearly fell out of the Land Rover taking pix! Gamewatchers LR's are customized to stagger the seat rows with the highest row in the back; this allows everyone unobstructed views. Windows and tops zip and unzip to allow maximum exposure to the elements (wind, sand, it was all good!).

The walk was interesting, as we learned about the toothbrush tree the Masais use to keep their teeth so clean and white, saw a blue barked spearmint coniphera tree (or some such name), and learned about other flora and fauna we passed. The Masai village was interesting, with the group lined up for a welcome song, after which we shook each adult's hand and patted the head of each child. What beautiful people! We watched a demo of starting a fire with 2 sticks and cow dung, watched a game similar to backgammon, and entered one of the one-room huts where they live. The huts, built by the women out of tree limbs and cow dung, are quite dark, intentionally, to keep the flies out. The Masai raise cows, sheep, and goats; they don't farm and thus don't eat fruits, grains, or veggies; they also respect nature and don't mess with the wildlife (and the wildlife doesn't mess with them).

Quite an introduction into a culture so different from ours. We thought this was a somewhat of a put on for tourists until we realized throughout the trip that we were seeing these Masai villages everywhere, even from the air when we flew to different camps.

From there, we were driven to our first sundowner, where we met the rest of the camp's guests. As the sun went down in a glorious sunset, we enjoyed G&T's and the stories of our fellow campers. From there we drove back to the camp, showered in under 4 minutes each, and met with the group for more drinks around the campfire, a Masai warrier dance by the staff, and then in to dinner. The end of our first day of safari - what a great feeling!

Gotta run - more tomorrow! Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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Good start, am looking forward to more. Thanks.
twaffle is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Welcome back! And I agree with twaffle, a good start. I am especially curious about Porini Lion camp.
Leely2 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 06:55 AM
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Okay - will squeeze in as much as I can today. First full day at Porini Amboseli was full day game drive. One thing you learn quickly is to make full use of every Western bathroom break stop. The little airport at Amboseli is one such place, which was fortunately very convenient for multiple visits on the all-day drive!

After an interesting drive through Masai land (passing ostriches, more giraffes, etc.) to the Amboseli park, we arrived. The abundance of animals around the water source -- runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro ("Kili") -- is amazing. The drought has hit this place hard and all of the animals look thin and lethargic, with dead animals dotting the landscape. Most of these animals are grazers that eat grasses and tree leaves; the nutritional value of the little grass around is very poor. This situation will be alleviated when the rains come, but until then conditions are pretty awful for the animals. The Masai seem to take a fatalistic view of this; nature is taking its course. Our Masai guide told us that they won't remove the body of a zebra that had died by the side of the road, across from a school, because they let nature take care of it. Needless to say, the lions are fat and happy, with plenty of prey.

We did see interesting animals in this park - elephants, buffalo, zebras, hyenas, all kinds of eagles, vultures, and other birds, wildebeast, giselles of both varieties, and lions. With the exception of the latter, they all sort of hung around together around the water.

After a late lunch on a plateau at the edge of the park overlooking the plain below, under a tree of gorgeous birds (superb starlings and lilac breasted rollers), we headed back to camp slowly. Sundowners that night and night drive back became our short-term way of life. Weather here was warm and dry and extremely dusty. Swirls of dust devils dot the landscape. A thoughtful item this camp provides on drives is ponchos for each passenger in the jeep to cover up with as a protection against some of the dust. You still end up covered with red dust, but it helps some.

Lunches and dinners at the Porini camps are 3 courses. Usually a wonderful soup first, then main course or buffet of lots of dishes, ending with a dessert.

After our 2nd night in Amboseli, the next morning it was off to the airstrip to fly to the Porini Rhino camp, north of Nairobi (changing planes at Wilson Airport - SafariLink used for all of their flights), to head into Ol Pejeta Conservancy. As this camp is near the equator, we first stopped at the equator line to see a demonstration of water swirling clockwise and counterclockwise in the different hemispheres (and no swirl on the line).

Porini's camp is one of several here, located the farthest from the main entrance. There are 60 or 80 black rhinos and 10 white rinos here, as well as an abundance of wildlife, including species we hadn't seen in Amboseli, such as hardebeast, eland, different type of zebra, dikdik, jackals, coypu rats, waterbucks, bushbucks.

The tents in this camp, which is the newest at only 2 years old, are larger and more spread out. The view from the tent was amazing - animals walked in groups on the other side of the ravine from us to a water hole/salt lick across from the dining tent. It was amazing to watch elephants, buffalo, zebras, etc. treking in the afternoon and morning. Weather here is much colder at night and early morning. I was so glad to have brought a hat, scarf, and gloves. This camp gives you blankets to huddle under when driving in the open Land Rovers so you don't have to zip down the windows.

Food at this camp was even better than Amboseli. Water is more abundant here, and animals much healthier and stronger looking. During our 2 days here, we saw a few black and white rhinos, spent some time in the chimpanzee rescue center (adopting a rescue chimp for my daughter's upcoming birthday, which will thrill her no end!) and visited Baraka, the blind black rhino rescue that lives in a separate part of the park. Black rhinos don't hang out in open areas much, and as a result are harder to spot than white rhinos, despite their larger numbers at this conservancy. The conservancy is 90,000 acres, so all-day drives here don't leave the area.

Porini employs Masai here also, though some employees are from different tribes in Kenya. Guides here were excellent also. As at Amboseli, everyone here is friendly and helpful, with every request graciously and immediately handled. The chef even baked a cake for my birthday, brought out in a parade by the staff!

After 2 nights here, we flew back via Nairobi to Mara Porini Camp. Quick note here - the airport at Nanyuki, which serves Ol Pejeta, has marvelous lattes and a great gift shop with very reasonable prices - it takes credit cards with no hassle, too!

At the airstrip in the Mara, we were met by another Gamewatchers Land Rover and team of guide/driver and spotter in Masai warrier outfits. It started to rain as we approached the camp, a good sign that the rains are coming. This camp had smaller tents but great food. Sundowners here included snacks made by the chef, which we didn't find in the other camps. The other guests were all abuzz about the lion kill outside the manager's tent the previous night. About midnight a couple of lions had killed a buffalo, which went on most of the night. Because these tents are built up on stilts, water from the showers drains under the tents, resulting in grass growing underneath and buffalo munching the grass at night. I heard them the first night but not the second. Surprisingly, it's the wind that keeps you awake more than the animals.

Our tent at this camp also had a view across a small creek. It was amazing to sit on the porch and watch elephants, buffalo, giraffes walk by to a nearby water hole.

The drive from this camp to the Mara park is long and bumpy. Fortunately, those Land Rovers are amazingly comfortable, at least to a point. The Mara park is even windier than the other 2, so while not as dusty, after a full day's drive you are just as dirty as at Amboseli. As great as a shower is at the end of a day, you still never get completely clean. Not a big deal though - just adds to the adventure.

Anyway, it ended up just DH and me in our Land Rover with our driver and spotter. They graciously planned the day around access to a 5-star resort near the Mara so I could use their Western (and clean) bathrooms. That may have worked to our benefit, because we drove to try to catch a wildebeast crossing at around noon, passing many jeeps returning from the same place (maybe 20 or 30), which made me think we had picked the worst possible time to try for a crossing. But as we sat there with 4 other jeeps, zebras started baying to each other from both sides of the Mara river bank, and wildebeasts lined up on both sides. From the far side, a zebra crossed over to our side, baying excitedly (I swear) to the others on our side. After about 5 minutes of indecision, a zebra from our side, followed by another, crossed over. It was almost immediately followed by a wildebeast, and after a few seconds the rest fell into line and started to cross. Maybe 50 went across during the next 8 minutes or so, until they all spotted a croc lying in wait. That ended it.

From there, it was off to lunch down the river a short ways, on the bank, watching some hippos. That day's drive also yielded a group of cheetahs as well as more of the same wildlife plus topis and lots of amazing birds like the kori bustards. (Yes, I'm one of those obnoxious nerds who sits there in the jeep with my Kenya safari guide book and checks off species as we see them.) And more lions.

Interesting, at this camp also we could hear lions at night, and in addition to the night patrols of Masai warriers with spears, they have guards with assault rifles. We felt very safe.

After 2 nights here we drove to the Porini Lion Camp. I hadn't realized when we booked that the 2 camps were so close together. But in the end the experiences were different enough that we were glad to have spent a total of 5 nights in the Mara area. Lion Camp, unlike Mara, is right outside the Mara park, so the drive there, while still across some fairly awful roads, is short.

Lion Camp's tent was by far the nicest, with an even huger bathroom and more furniture (albeit canvas) than the others. They don't call it Lion Camp for nothing - all 3 nights we heard lions right outside our tents. One night they started their grunting calls before dark even. This camp has 2 Masai warriers with serious looking spears plus the armed guard escorting you everywhere after dark, with Masais hanging around during the day to keep an eye on things. Talk about exciting! By now we were pretty relaxed and convinced about the truth of what the Masais repeated in each camp. In the jeep as well as in the tent, the lions and other wildlife really only are aware of this box, an obstacle; they aren't concerned with what is inside it. Now, step outside the jeep or tent at night and it's a different story. But after a few days of sitting 10 feet from a lion in an open jeep, you start to understand what they are talking about.

Will close this out for today -more on Lion Camp and the rest tomorrow - Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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Great report!

The armed guards at camps is quite unusual - at least I have never observed that before.

I asked the same question in another thread - maybe here as well:

Was there talk/rumour in the Mara regarding the attacks on ENTIM in Sep and NAIBOR in Oct?

Looking forward to read more about your trip......

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Thanks for your report. Looking forward to more!

Mara Porini was robbed a few years back and as SV mentioned there have been recent incidents at other camps so that's probably why the armed guards.
Patty is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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Good job with Gamewatchers. Thanks for the info on Porini and Lion Camps.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 04:03 AM
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Great report so far. Looking forward to Shompole
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for the report, I always wondered about Gamewatchers. Sounds like they did a great job. Hope you will be posting pictures.
joeyi is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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SV, yes, one of our fellow travelers mentioned that he was going to Entim and he, too, had read about the recent robbery there. He wasn't too concerned though.

Patty - I hadn't heard that any of the Porinis were ever robbed; rather surprising since Mara Porini camp is so far outside the park and in Masai land.

Joeyi - Yes, we were really impressed by Gamewatchers; we met several of their Nairobi staff and all were quite impressive. Several of them have also followed up after our trip to ask for suggestions, get feedback, etc.

On to the trip. As for food at Lion Camp, the first day or so, we thought the quality was a little below the others; for example, the lettuce in the salad was a little old and wilted. However, by the 3rd day the food improved dramatically with a whole new lineup of dishes. We assume they had just received a new shipment of fresh food. Those last 2 days had the best meals of the Porini camps.

We were joined by another couple after our 1st day along again with the jeep and driver. Now, with 4 people in the jeep, and different driver/spotter, I couldn't convince the others to hit the 5-star lodge bathroom on the all-day Mara drive. Oh well... But it was another great day of game drive, including watching a leopard slowly making her way along a creek bank into a tree. We tried 2 places, at 10:30 and 12:30, for wildebeast crossings, but the wildebeasts just turned around both times after a few minutes of contemplation (and seeing the 20 or so crocs lying in wait no doubt). We did see LONG lines of wildebeasts stretching maybe a mile or two, walking to the Mara. And we saw lots of hippos, etc.

On that evening's game drive/sundowners, we were stalking a cheetah mother with 2 cubs when suddently she bolted up, stared ahead at a giselle grazing alone near some giraffes, stretched front and back legs, and began to slink towards the giselle. By now there were 4 jeeps sitting absolutely silently watching her slowly (and I mean slowly - must have taken 15 minutes) approach the giselle, circle around, and finally pounce. Varoom - all 4 jeeps cranked to life and flew across the plain to the cheetah, who now was suffocating the giselle. At least it wasn't a violent death - though slower than I had expected. Yuck. Anyway, the cheetah rose and called the cubs to come over, then opened up a part of the backside for the cubs to begin feeding. Then, up to the right, on the other side of our jeep, a hyena slowly approached. The cheetah, who completely ignored all of us jeeps, jumped up and watched as the hyena came closer, then in a flash was chasing the hyena away. The hyena backed off a ways, but our guide explained that the cheetah, who had lost a cub last month to hyenas, would not be able to defend her 2 cubs and the kill once a few more hyenas gathered, so she would soon have to abandon the kill and take the cubs off to safety. Amazing to see from playing to stalking to the kill and then chasing off the hyena.

Next day, since our fellow travelers hadn't seen a successful hyena crossing, we talked our guides into an early start to do an early morning game drive in the Mara park to try to watch a crossing. We left before 7 am and hauled a** to a different crossing place on the Mara. Amazingly, seconds after we pulled up at 7:30, a group began to cross. This turned out to be huge - about 25 minutes, with more than 500 crossing, by our guide's estimate. Fortunately, this crossing also ended before any crocs could grab a wildebeast.

By now, the weather in Mara had turned hot, so we were ready to head in to relax for lunch and the afternoon. We had gotten into a routine of washing out clothes every few days, so we did a final couple of shirts that afternoon so we arrive at the next place relatively clean (and the next place has complimentary laundry - hurray). Funny, in that saline water, your clothing just sort of stands up all by itself after it's dry.

Our last morning, before our flight out, we did a nature walk around the camp examining poop and skeletons. Who woulda thunk that would be so interesting? Learned a lot on that walk though.

At each camp, we gave our driver an Obama keychain (we're from DC and boy, are Kenyans crazy about Obama) and our spotter an Obama pen. Each camp manager we gave an Obama DC postcard on which we had written a thank you note. In addition to tips of course. Everyone was thrilled with the Obama stuff.

So, on to Shompole by private charter flight by Yellow Wings. I must note here, it strikes me that at no time did anyone ever weigh our bags on these small planes, so if we were a little over 33 kg, who knew?

The flight was 50 minutes in this 4 seater plane. Great pilot and beautiful Cessna. Wow - talk about kicking it up a notch. Shompole is beautiful, way cool, over the top. Once again, you are greeted by staff with cold damp towels to freshen up with, and a cold glass of juice. The managers were out of town, but the fill-in was just fine, a young woman from our neck of the woods who is involved with local conservancy group and helping out for a few days.

Lunch was to die for, as was all of the food here, except the steak one night. Steak, and most of the beef in this country, is pretty bad - tough and even a little gamey. Not like our tender fillet at home, but undoubtedly that is due to drought conditions as well as the lifestyle of the cows. Whatever. Anyway, food here was like gourmet upscale restaurants in DC - nothing like what I had expected from reading reviews of Shompole.

Our room was beyond fantastic, with a pool, another pond with a bridge over it to get to the sofa area and in front past a tree growing inside the room, to the table and chairs. The bed was fantastic (orthopedic foam) with terrific pillows (fluffy!). The whole room measured about 120 feet by 30 feet. Inside the room, like a room within a room, is your bedroom area with king size bed, 2 large end tables and lamps, plenty of space all around, a cold box (cooler), a long bench, all enclosed inside a zippered tent-like mossie netting. As a result, you can see out clearly (unlike the Porini camp tents, whose window openings are zipped closed at night) and from your bed can watch the sun rise. We got up at 5 am, watched the sun rise from the bed, snapped a few shots, and went back to sleep.

Here's the deal - Shompole uses both solar and generator for energy. The water comes from a spring on the mountain above the top building of the resort. (Each hut is built against the mountainside and below one another - VERY private.) The water is simply diverted throughout the grounds of the resort, starting from the top building, down through the lobby into shallow pools that overflow into each other, following the contour of the front of the open lobby, down to the large swimming pool, and then to each hut, again in a series of shallow pools. Water from the showers and bathroom sinks flows right out to the land below. Sewage is contained in one of 2 septic tanks. All very clever and eco-friendly. Indeed, they were used as a model in the 1990s for eco resorts. They also employ local Masais and support a beading project there. One of the lovely welcome touches is a necklace lying on each pillow when you first arrive, a string of beads with a piece of goat bone blessed by a medicine man.

After lunch we just hung around the room and enjoyed the pool, filling the laundry hamper with our dirty clothes, to be laundered and returned tomorrow afternoon. Nothing better than returning home with clean clothes!

We did an evening game drive and watched a lioness stalk a zebra, but the zebra saw her and took off. The next morning we did a drive to the water hole, supplied by water Shompole pumps in from the spring. On to watch more lions. Conditions are very dry here also. Unfortunately, that meant no drive to see flamingos because they are now in Tanzania or a long drive from Shompole, and reportedly aren't brilliantly pink now because of something we couldn't quite understand. Anyway, we were happy enough to just hang around this beautiful place.

Our game drive that evening took us to a lovely plateau where we watched a dust storm overtake the valley below. Pretty awesome to watch. It turned out when we got back to Shompole that it had also rained hard, though not a drop where we were!

Our last day we did a drive to the water hole again, then off to other areas we hadn't seen, ending with a breakast in a forest of fig trees. That was wonderful, except for a swarm of bees that didn't bother us, but were buzzing around the table.

The staff here couldn't have been nicer, with again, a great guide who knows his stuff. Unfortunately, there isn't as much game here - but we hadn't come to Shompole for the game, but for the relaxation and upscale pampering, which we had plenty of!

Flying home was uneventful, except that Virgin's lounge in Heathrow is amazing, with swings, a pool table, complimentary services from Cowshead and a Bumble&Bumble salon. Showers there are terrific, with a built-in steam function as well. They even have a hot tub with 2 lounge chairs in a private area, but who brings a swimsuit to a lounge? Virgin's first class sleeper seats are quite nice, also, in that the seat completely flips over to a bed.

So now for the hard part. Our 1,800 pix are now culled down to a manageable 350 or so, and put into an album using - so I have to figure out how to post that here.??? Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for a great report. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.
Marija is online now  
Oct 29th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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A mile or two of wildes is impressive. Great report.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Great report. Thanks.

Two years back, planned a client's wedding at Shompole, using the candle-lit fig-tree forest for the ceremony. Camp vehicle festooned with ribbons was her carriage; Masai warriors and mammas her bridal party. Ceremony conducted by the tribal elder with blessings, bones and face paintings. Luckily the bees stayed away.
sandi is offline  
Nov 1st, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Sandi - Wow - what a sight that must have been. The Shompole people are so flexible and easy to work with. That must have been a lot of fun.

Rereading this I realized I said a successful hyena crossing - meant wildebeest, which I also realize I've misspelled throughout this report (along with gazelle). Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2009, 01:45 PM
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onderful read!

It's wonderful to read how superb Shompole came out - after there were some really bad reports here. Obviously it's all very individually experienced and some maybe bias ;-)

You obviously had a terrific time! Excellent!

spassvogel is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 06:42 AM
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c_d -

I realized I said a successful hyena crossing - meant wildebeest

... easy to confuse. Not!

However, they're both (please don't take offense, but my own feeling) the ugliest animals! The hyena with that vicious face (though the pups are adorable) and worn wash mop-looking tail; the wildies made up of all left-over pieces!
sandi is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:01 AM
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SV - Other than the tons of typos I saw after re-reading it - I swear I wrote this BEFORE sundowners - our new tradition...

Ha, Sandi - I don't know, I'd say it's a 3-way tie for ugliest animal between hyena, wildebeest, and warthog. But those rhinos are an awfully close 2nd...

Here is the link for my photo album. You have to enter the following info into the blanks -- book ID: M1235997
and password: 1645122

If this doesn't work, would someone let me know and I'll try again. Claire
claire_david2 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:59 PM
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The ID and password work, but unless I'm completely dense, can't seem to get full-page (the zoom doesn't stay in place) to view the details of your multi-photo pages. Looks beautiful as an album though.
sandi is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 01:51 PM
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I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I have always thought that hyaenas have a beautiful, expressive face with lovely eyes and long eyelashes. And I also think black rhinos particularly fine looking animals. Funny isn't it!
twaffle is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Sandi - I know you can zoom in on these pix and drag them around to see more closely on each of them. But I hadn't heard the zoom doesn't stay in place. Wonder if it has to do with your popup blocker setting. Oh no, I feel a technology headache coming on...

Twaffle - now if you want to see beautiful long eyelashes, check out cows. They're really nifty!

I forgot to mention here also - when the Porini camp staff wakes you in the morning with your coffee or tea, all of the camps except Mara bring you individual coffee press machines and a thermos of hot water. How cool is that?! Mara brings you just a thermos of coffee.
claire_david2 is offline  

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