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Trip Report: Rwanda,Uganda,Kenya,Tanzania,Dec 05-Mar 06

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Mar 7th, 2006, 10:02 AM
  #41
 
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Lillipets,

Don't count on even twice! Glad you were inspired to return by this fascinating report. We'll be looking for yours.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 01:46 PM
  #42
dlo
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Nyamera

Your report on Lamu convinced me to go there and my only regret is i did not get to stay longer.So hopefully i can convince you to see the gorillas and return the favor.It is unlike any other wildlife experience and one i don't think you could get bored with.

Added some Donkey Trek pictures and will get to the report soon.I can't believe i have to go back to work tomorrow.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 03:43 PM
  #43
dlo
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We spent christmas night at the Fairview Hotel in Nairobi.After roughing it up to this point this was a little luxury for me and the Fairview is a very beautiful hotel.

This little luxury ended rather abruptly as we began the very long very,very,very dusty drive up north.After 8 hours we arrived in Samburuland covered in dust and very hot.We met the Faull family and would be led by there son Lionel and daughter Sissa,who are 21 and 19 respectivly.There knowledge of every plant,tree,and animal in the forest was amazing and they were great people to hang out with as well.We were the only people on the trek and the fact that we got on so well made the trip very fun for us.We also had a team of 8 Samburu warriors and about 23 donkeys as well.

We had bucket showers and the best part,a stool to sit on for the long drop! The food was very good especially since we were so far from any civilization.The drought would certainly be the only negative point of our trip.It was extremly dry and many people were grazing there cattle in the forests which is supposed to be illegal.The overgrazing is having a huge effect and most of the wildlife has moved deeper into the forest.

More to follow...
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Mar 7th, 2006, 04:59 PM
  #44
dlo
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The biggest surprise for me was the extreme cold the first 2 trekking nights.I had left all my cold weather clothing behind so the hot water bottle was a real lifesaver.The most interesting day was probably on new years eve.We had to trek 2100ft up from the valley floor and it was a long hard day.Dinner every night was alot of laughs and today was no different,but the hard day had worn us all out and we struggled to make it to midnight or not be the first to give in.Somehow we all made it but we were all in our tents at 12:01!

As far as wildlife is concerned we were on the trail of elephant the entire first day and 1 was right outside the loo tent during a late night stop.I got an email from Lionel saying they had seen a fair bit on there next trip so it is luck of the draw.

If the area can get some rain and they can get the cows out of the forest this is a very beautiful area.The walking is not overly difficult and 1 day while we were going up i decided to see if i could keep up with our Samburu guide who lead the way, hahaha.
I lasted about 10 minutes and the embarrasing thing was he was not even trying,they are absolutly amazing.

The highlite for both of us though were the people.My wife is not a keen trekker despite all the walking we did on this trip but she loved this part.I do all our trip planning and i am under strict orders that there be no more trekking for a very long time except she would consider doing this again.

After a near teary goodbye we drove back to Nairobi where we would spend the next 4 nights at the Boulevard Hotel.

Safari and wedding at Governors next.

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Mar 8th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #45
 
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Dlo,

I’m already convinced I have to go visit the gorillas. I just have to earn some money and improve my fitness. The latter is something I could start doing right now – in theory. Samburu donkey trekking sounds amazing as well. Now I’m looking forward to reading about the Mara, the wedding and Lamu.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:02 AM
  #46
 
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dlo mentioned cold.

The Gorilla's Nest Hotel was an ICEBOX in October and they ahd no heat whatsoever. I slept fully clother with THREE blankets
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:11 AM
  #47
 
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oh my goodness, a DREAM trip! dlo, I am eating up every word of your report!

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Mar 8th, 2006, 02:28 PM
  #48
dlo
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Ok first things first.We arrived on sunday evening and since monday was a holiday and we did not hear from Kenya Wildlife Trails untill Tuesday morning it was no big deal.They let us know that someone from Governors would be arriving shortly to do the paperwork for the wedding.

So off to city hall or whatever government building it was called to fill out the mounds of paperwork i was fearing.Well fear not as it only took a couple of hours and the paperwork was actually rather minimal.Now its only 3 days to our wedding so i guess we better go get some rings.Luckily for us the Faull family referred us to a local jeweler in Nairobi they liked so off we go,after 7 years the partys over! I must say we have some unique rings though.Gold bands with different animals carved in.We drove back to our hotel and told we would fly in on thursday morning.

Thursday morning arrives and KWT finally calls us to tell us they are picking us up in a half hour.We check our email and we have an email from our travel agent telling us that there will be a change in our itinerary and KWT wanted to have our agent wire the money! What the? Our driver arrives and we ask about it but he knows nothing and says there are no changes.There is something going on but we have no clue and apparantly neither does KWT as we would continue to find out.

Its funny that i did this entire trip myself over the internet except this section and this was the only part to cause me any grief.Well anyway we got on the plane and we are off to Governors Camp.This is turning into some pretty exciting stuff!

Will post more later.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 03:46 PM
  #49
dlo
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We arrive at Governors and as this is my first tented camp i am pretty impressed and excited,i could get used to this!We get tent 37 which is def the best tent as we are seperated from everyone else and have a great view of the surrounding plains.The only hitch in all of this is of course KWT as when we are asked about the park fees of course we have nothing as we received nothing and foolishly thought that everything would have been taken care of.Governors took care of this but it should not have been there responsibility to do so.More later on the bumbling of KWT but trust me they did not affect our enjoyment in the least.

The Mara was very dry and there were still plenty of Zebra and wildebeest in evidence.There was also plenty of carnage as we seemed to arrive late to at least a half dozen kills as the lions were feasting on fresh wildebeest.Our first game drive was good but our goal was Cheetah and Leopard as we have never spotted either.
Friday is the big day and we are still not in the least bit nervous.I wake up shortly after midnight and i'm just not feeling well.An hour later i am as sick as i have ever been and guess what,i had fish last night.What am i gonna do for 2 weeks on the coast!

I do the early morning game drive as i hate the thought of missing something.We see alot of lions and ele's but nothing spectacular and i decide to skip the second drive as i still don't feel great and we are getting married at 4.My very soon to be wife decides she must do every game drive and surprise,surprise she sees a Cheetah.Even better it decides to hunt,though unsuccessfully.I am starting to think i will never see any cat other than a lion.

Although annoyed at this point i feel 100% and we might as well do the wedding thing.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 06:54 PM
  #50
dlo
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So continuing with the traditional wedding theme i prepare for our wedding by sitting in front of our tent and contemplating why the 20 or so wildebeest continue to stand under the shadeless tree 100 yards from our tent.They gathered each and every afternoon for 3 days and did not move for hours.

With my small mind amused by this it was time to head to our awaiting chariot.We had not mentioned our wedding to anyone at this point but our anonimity was now dashed as Governors spray painted Just Married all over the vehicle and tied a huge bouquet to the vehicle.With some applause we headed off red faced to our wedding spot which was down by the river where the BBC is based during filming of Big Cat Diary.

With governors providing our witnesses we had our camp manager Dave take pictures and video was shot by the manager of Little Governors.We had elephants across the river during the ceremony and i would have to say it was a perfect wedding for us.Governors was first class the whole way and i can see us returning for an anniversary someday.

After the ceremony we went on the traditional post wedding game drive.It was a short drive but it would mark the start of a great strech of safari sightings for us.We saw quite a few Ele's when a family decided to cross in front of us.A fairly large(aren't they all!)female stopped right in front of us and took a long look at us.She then trumpeted at us and we made a hasty retreat as she was apparantly quite fond of the flowers tied to our vehicle! After this exciting episode we headed back for a private dinner and the end of our big day.

More exciting safari to come.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 07:47 AM
  #51
 
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This gets more and more interesting. What a trip! The best thing is there is still so much more to come. I can see "dlo" becoming a word on this board, like "Rocco" should be.

"I'm really thinking about taking leave without pay and doing a dlo next year, but my wife wants to do a Rocco."

See...anyone have trouble understanding that?

FANTASTIC TRIP!!!!
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Mar 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM
  #52
 
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dlo,
I agree completely with kimburu. What a trip!

It's lucky that your wife was able to squeeze in her wedding between game drives.

Sorry to hear you fell ill for a bit. I hope everything else went smoothly.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 08:02 AM
  #53
 
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I'm really enjoying your great trip report and writing style. It sounds quite wonderful minus the bad food symptoms.
Congrats. on your marriage.
Sherry
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Mar 9th, 2006, 10:49 AM
  #54
 
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Congratulations on the perfect wedding!

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Mar 9th, 2006, 10:52 AM
  #55
 
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I swear that on the “smiley page” the smiley looked like a pair of wedding rings!
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Mar 9th, 2006, 11:17 AM
  #56
 
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If they're not a pair of rings, what are they?

What a wedding trip!! The just married vehicles are a hoot. You probably did not go racing off honking your horn, though.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #57
 
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At first glance, I thought they were platinum rings too.

I think they're handcuffs! But for dlo and his wife perhaps the gorilla (or is it a chimp?) smiley would be most appropriate.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 11:29 AM
  #58
 
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Handcuffs they are! Here are some chimps instead.

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Mar 9th, 2006, 05:01 PM
  #59
dlo
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Thanks for the congrats.We did 4 more game drives with the vehicle decorated so i can imagine we were quite the sight! I wonder if anyone ticked us off of their list.

I don't think any of us can be compared to Rocco but it would sure be nice to go to Africa 3 times a year.I really did have a dream trip though but i think it would be hard to go to Africa and NOT have a great time.I am pretty sure all of you would agree.

Cybor.Thanks for the compliment.Writing does not come naturally to me and i wanted to try to make a very long report somewhat interesting so your positive feedback makes me want to continue.

As far as handcuffs i think it would be unwise of me to comment!

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Mar 9th, 2006, 05:29 PM
  #60
 
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dlo
Your writing is good actually; it is very interesting to read. If you weree a poor writer before perhaps it was because you were lacking a muse or inspiration. Wife and this trip have obviously provided both!
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