Two weeks Kenya and Tanzania trip report

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Nov 7th, 2018, 10:31 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 35
Two weeks Kenya and Tanzania trip report

My husband and I decided to take our 3 children ages 32, 31, and 27 and their significant others to Africa for Safari. My DH and I had been to S. Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia but this was our first time to Kenya and Tanzania.
for the sake of this report I will call them S1 son #1, S2, DD. Dear daughter, DL#1. Daughter in law #1 etc.
We were on 3 different flights from Vancouver to Nairobi, 6 of us through Paris and 2 through Amsterdam. We left YVR on August 19 and arrived on August 20 at 21:05 in Nairobi.
we flew Air Kenya from Paris to Nairobi which if you have a choice I wouldn’t recommend.
on arrival about 25 people from our flight did not get their bags, me being one of them. Everyone else’s bags arrived from our family. I stood in line for over an hour to report the missing bag. I was assured that someone from Air Kenya would contact me as soon as my bag arrived.
while standing in line I spoke with an American woman who was a safari guide. She thought her flight was with KLM and was very unhappy to find it was with Air Kenya as they had lost her bags 4 times in the last 2 years.
i had booked our Safari through Gamewatchers after comparing reviews and Companies. They allowed us to plan the trip and customize it.
1. Eka Hotel. We arrived around 00:30 to the hotel after the baggage delay. The Gamewatchers drivers picked us up at the airport and transferred us to the hotel. The hotel was great. We were able to get something to eat in the restaurant before heading to bed as we were leaving on Safari in the morning. Gamewatchers took all my baggage info and sent a representative each night to see if my luggage showed up from Paris.
2. 07:45 Met with the Gamewatchers drivers and transferred to Wilson airport for our 09:15 air Kenya flight to Nanyuki for the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. A 45 min. Flight. Our first 2 nights would be spent at the Porini Rhino camp. The conservancy is 90,000 acres of protected land. The camp is eco friendly including 100% solar powered.
the drive from the airport to the camp took about 2 hours but as soon as you enter the conservancy there were animals everywhere. We saw Thompson Gazelles, impalas, elephants,Cape buffalo, warthogs on the way to camp.
the camp was tented with a watering hole in front of the dining tent. We spent the afternoon enjoying the zebras and giraffes at the watering hole while relaxing. That evening at 4 pm we went for our first game drive. We saw our first leopard! As well as elephants, monkeys, baboons. Back at camp by 8 pm for dinner and then off to bed.
Day3. Woken up at 6 am with hot tea, coffee and cookies brought to our tent. We left for Safari at 6:45 am. Today we saw an elephant herd with several tiny babies, saw many Rhinos included the last 2 southern white Rhinos and some black Rhinos. Ol Pajeta conservancy has a rhino breeding program. Went to see Barack, a blind black rhino and went to the Chimpanzee rehabilitation Center started by Dianne Fossy in Ruwanda and moved to Kenya during the Fighting in Ruwanda.
back to camp for lunch and free time. At 4 pm we met up again and went for a walk with our Masai guides, Peter and Paul. They did a traditional Masai dance and then taught my kids how to throw a Masai spear. The boys found it a lot harder than it looked. On our game drive this night we watched a Cheetah stalking some gazelles
Day4. Today we said goodbuy to our camp host David and headed to Nanyuki for our flight to the Masai Mara and Porini Cheetah Camp. A few of us left a little early so that we could go into town so I could hopefully buy some clothes. It was now 4 days with no luggage. Thankfully I could borrow a few things from my daughter but it was getting old washing my clothes every afternoon and hoping they would be dry by the 4 pm Safari. I also didn’t have a jacket so in the early morning and late afternoon I was very thankful for the ponchos supplied in the vehicles. On the way out of the park we stopped to take pictures of a black rhino grazing very near the road. When we went to continue the vehicle wouldn’t start. Black rhinos are know to be very aggressive so Paul our driver wasnt too keen on getting out of the car to push it to get it jump started. Luckily the rhino was too busy eating and Paul jumped back in unscathed and we were back on our way. Unfortunately the stores in town were not open yet but I was able to get a pair of flip flops and some socks.Thankfully I had worn my hiking boots on the plane. Any flight we take from now on my DH and I will be splitting our clothes between 2 suitcases so if we lose 1 we will have at least 1/2 our things. There is a 15 kg weight limit for the interior flights so we had all packed very lightly considering the weight of camera equipment, binoculars, bug repellent,sun screen etc
The flight from Nanyuki to Ol Seki took about one hour. We were met by our Gamewatchers guides and driven to Porini Cheetah camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservacy. It is the newest Porini camp and the camp hosts Jui and Hamalia were wonderful.
the weather was a little warmer here than at Ol Pejeta. We settled into our tents and enjoyed a late lunch. Cheetah camp had internet!!!! I could finally email air Kenya and inquire about my lost luggage. I was concerned that I may never see it. We only had 3 more days before going to Tanzania. I didn’t go on the afternoon Safari so that I could email the airlines. When Jui heard that I still didn’t have my luggage she personally phoned air Kenya and reamed them out.
The kids came back fro Safari all excited about the Cheetah mom with 3 cubs they had seen. We could hear the lions roaring throughout the night. Very eerie.
Day 5. Our first day drive at Cheetah camp. We saw 3 lionesses with 6 cubs. A herd of elephants with several babies. We stopped for breakfast and continued our search. We saw Ostrich, giraffes, baboons and hippos. We saw 3 more lions on the way back to camp.
that evening we had torrential rain... they hadn’t had rain in 3 months so they said it was welcome. We offered to leave our DD as we call her storm cloud. We have been to area I a drought and it will rain when she gets there. It has happened in Australia, Europe, Arizona and California. Now Kenya.
Our Masai guides explained that the animals would be hunting tonight because the predators had an advantage in the rain.
we left for the afternoon game drive, slip sliding in the mud. We came across 2 Cheetah brothers stalking some Wildebeest. We hunkered down to watch. They slowly crept closer and then launched at incredible speed after the herd. The herd went over a hill with the Cheetahs chasing them. Then the Cheetahs returned empty handed. Then all of a sudden 3 huge male lions came out of the bush chasing the Cheetahs. The largest lion walked towards our vehicle and stopped about 5 feet away. My DD was saying. OK you can stop now..but he sat there panting. He sat and stared at us for about 10 minutes while we all held our breath, then he walked over to his pals di a head rub with each of them and then rolled around scratching his back. Amazing. Excitement was running high.
we followed the Cheetah brothers for a while. Came across a tower of giraffes that were standing like statues in the rain. The rain added a whole new dimension to Safari.
Day6. Today we headed out early for Masai Mara NP. We were hoping to see the great migration and hopefully some wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara river.
it was a 3.5 hour drive to the park. A total of 13 hours for the day. A long day but amazing again.
we saw a leopard inside the park. There were about 30 vehicles jostling for a view.. the kids now appreciated the conservancy’s for the peace and quiet and not seeing anyone else while on Safari we continued on toward the Mara river. We saw a cheetah stalk and kill a gazelle right near the road. We saw thousands of wildebeests and Zebras that had already made the crossing.
near the river we came across some lines sleeping under some bushes. There we many animals on the other side of the river but none attempted to cross. We ate lunch by the river waiting hopefully to see a crossing but no such luck.
we started the long journey back to camp taking in the amazing scenery and once again thankful to not be staying in the park with the crowds of tourists. When passing through the Naboisho conservancy we came across a pride of lions that had killed a young giraffe. At least 50 vultures in the trees. The circle of life...
tomorrow we are off to Tanzania. To be continue

Last edited by barbloves2travel; Nov 7th, 2018 at 11:06 AM. Reason: want to add smein
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Nov 7th, 2018, 11:13 AM
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oops just wanted to add.when we returned from the Masai Mara my luggage had been delivered by Gamewatchers from Nairobi. 6 day with in the same clothes I couldn’t wait to shower change!
thanks to the camp host Jui for persistence not Gamewatchers to transferring my luggage out to camp
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