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Trip Report Haven in the earth

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You might have been little surprised on reading the title of my trip report. I tried here a small snap of my heading, Hope all of you will agree. Once a Mogul Emperor of our country said looking on the beauty of Kashmir ” If there is really any thing called heaven ,it is here only”.I beg to differ with the Emperor, that If there is really any thing called heaven ,it is here only , only with the world of wild(?) animals. What we imagine about the heaven is, it will be place where no Malice, jealousy, cruelty, bloodshed. People will love each others and life should be full of peace. Where one have trust on others. Practically, all these are absent very much in this world. Even we brag” we are most civilized in the earth” It is most ridiculous and laughable. On the other side you definitely observe all the dream qualities exists among the family of wild animals. Now if I differ with the Mogul Emperor and say that Heaven is only here. Weather I will be wrong? Judgment with Fodorites. If my feeling is wrong, please excuse me.

In my childhood, when I used to read about African wild animals, specially about Masaimara, from then I nourish my dream that if I get an opportunity I will definitely pay a visit to Africa. During my long working life it could not mature, After my retirement on February 2010 , I decided that now it is the best time to fulfill my dream. Accordingly I start searching from December 2010 in the net what is the best option to reach the safari travel . I have gone through so many trip reports in Fodors, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisors and much more. During this I find one reports posted by” Indiancouple” which I find most elaborate and suits the places of choice. They are also from India. I contacted them through mail as well as over phone. I am really very grateful to them. They have not only helped to finalized my tour programmed but also each and every point of time they extend their helping hands to success my dream safari. Again I covey my sincere thanks to “ Indiacouple”.

I just completed my twelve days safari on 22nd October’11. My itinerary were as follows.
Day 1---------------Oct 10th NAIROBI ------------------ SAROVA PAN AFRIC HOTEL
Day 2 & 3----------11th & 12th AMBOSELI----------------KIBO SAFARI CAMP
Day 4----------------13th & 14th LAKE MANIYARA -------LAKE MANYARA HOTEL
Day 5 & 6-----------15th & 16th NGORONGORO--------NGO WILDLIFE LODGE
Day 7 & 8-----------17 & 18th SERENGETI--------------SERENGETI SOPA LODGE
Day 9, 10 & 11-----19,20 &21st MASAIMARA------------MARA SOPA LODGE
Day 12--------------- 22nd To NAIROBI AIRPORT------DEPART

After lot of searching I have finalized my safari with D.K.Grand Safaris,a Nairobi based company. Before finalizing I have read much much appreciation about them in different trip reports., specially by Lynda and Indiancouple. All though I have ask for quotations from few tour operators of Nairobi. But after discussion again with “ Indiancouple” I fixed with them. My experience with them in single word I can say is SUPERB. I always find Daniel, the owner of DK, was prompt on responses of my mails, very polite and courteous. Few times we talked over telephone also. I placed before him the places I like to visit and tentative dates ,as it was a tailored made safari. Daniel immediately send me the details with the name of the lodges. Also immediately placed the alternatives, mainly on lodges, where we asked for. Considering the cost factor we decided to deviate from internal air travel and restricted to drive through road. After exchange of so many mails we finalized our safari. We are very very satisfied with DK from the beginning to end. Again we must say with a final call from “ Indiancouple”

As regards ourselves, I retired from a Nationalized Bank, as my wife was not in position to shoulder the long travel hazards, my son-in-law accompanied with me. All though I have travelled almost all parts of India, Including few game parks. But it was my first foreign trip. Naturally I was little bit nervous , but all my friends always encouraged me. Some of my friends asked me while first time going to abroad for a holiday trip ,why you choose a country from Africa? I replied every one like see our own face but I like something differently.

There was nothing but to wait for the desired date after finalizing tour price and remitting 30% in advance on first weak of April'11 and rest on reporting to Nairobi, which suits us well. Before one months to our journey Daniel send detailed Itinerary where all my question was answered. By this time we arranged for air ticket, Visa for Kenya and most important Yellow fever Vaccination , as we travelled to Tanzania, where it is must.

Here I like to mention from my experience a few things for the future travelers.
Dress - What you have ,you carry, Nothing to think about colour and others, which you feel comfortable along with one wind cheater with linen inside to protect from little cold in the morning and evening.
Medicine- Carry routine medicines, don’t afraid about malaria, only carry one mosquito repellent to take care.
Others- carry only those which are your routine use. No special item is needed.
Take it easy, as like other tours.

Its all come to end my journey preparations and will start posting my safari trip report as and when find time

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    Superb! Looking forward to rest of the report.

    I'am also from India and planning to go with DK Grand Safari from Nov 1. Can you give me your phone number, please. I need to speak to you.

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    10th October,2011,Sunday

    On 10th afternoon, myself and my son-in-law started our mission to Kenya from Kolkata(earlier Calcutta) towards Mumbai. In Mumbai we took rest in my friend’s residence and reached Chhatrapti Sivaji International Airport, Mumbai at About 11 PM. I have already told as it was our first trip to abroad, I was little bit nervous to follow the formalities was to be observed. But practically we have not faced any problem. Kenya Airways counter opened at about 12PM. We take our Boarding Card then proceed towards Immigration, following to the security check. It takes about 45 minutes. After that we noticed that the flight is delayed about 45 minutes. At about 4AM we started Nairobi. It was almost full board. In board, fruit juice was served. Then we slept about 4-5 hours. We landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi at about 7AM .Kenya time.
    We have taken Kenya Visa beforehand. We have not faced any problem at all in immigration and collection of luggage from conveyer. All took 15-20 minutes. About 7-30 we came out from the airport, we saw someone with placard of DK was standing just opposite to the gate. We greeted by Daniel, Kennedy , and Eliza .of D.K. Grand Safaris. We left out all our confusion as soon as we meet DK team. We drove towards Sarova Pan Africi which is about 30 minutes drive. But if some thing goes wrong when it is not your hand. In our case it was really like that. Due to construction of roads and heavy traffic we traveled 2hrs 30 mins to reach our destination. It is called morning shows the day, but it was not happened subsequently9Except one,describe later). During this long journey Daniel told so many things, what to do and what not to do. From the beginning he was very much cautious about our comfortable safari in all respect. It gave us much pleasure. He asked me about anything I like to know. I told him I have nothing exceptto know the road condition of Serengeti to Masaimara. He burst into laughter and told why I am worried? I told him the description of the road posted by Indiancouple is really horrible. Daniel assured us although the road is not much improved even then I need not to be worry. As Daniel was to move towards Shambhuru, we made our payment within. On reaching to the hotel at 10-15AM Daniel told madam Eliza and Kennedy will meet us 10-30AM sharp for our Nairobi trip and left for shambhuru ,as Elephant orphange open at 11AM only for an hour only.

    As we are already late, we had no time to take rest. We took our bath and have our breakfast in the buffet system. It was excellent. We were ready by 10-30 AM.
    Eliza and Kennedy came by 10-40AM.. We started our Kenya Visit towards The David Sheldrick Animal Orphange Who played a significant role in conservation of wildlife in Kenya Helping save the lives of orphaned Elephants and Rhinos who are ultimately released back into the wild area. We reached there by 11 o’clock and find they brought 7 elephant of different younger ages. There were several bottles of Soya milk. Elephants were feeded by the trust people and few by themselves. It was really a enjoyable moment. One lady of Netherland, associated with the trust, explaining how the elephants were compelled to become orphanage by so called civilized people, by poaching, even by using drugs. After 15-20 mins. All seven elephants were taken back after playing football ,mock fighting and another group of seven elephants of little bit higher age brought into the field. The same thing repeats again. Some of us petting the elephants. The lady was explaining there was 14 person for 14 elephants. Rotationally every one of them spent night with one elephant, thus all of them acquainted with the elephants. Every one has name. There was only one Rhino confined in the cage .They never bring to the open field like elephants considering their wildness. By this time one hour was over. After much enjoyment we proceed towards Karen Blixen Museum.

    Karen- Blixin a Denish couple undertook a remarkable development work in Kenya in the first part of Twentieth Century. In their memory the Museum was built. A free guide explained so many things about their life, different articles uses etc. No photography allowed inside.

    Our next destination was Giraffe Centre. The mission of this center almost same as like The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ,to save the Giraffe, mainly Rothschild Girraffe. Its a entertaining area. A small hut is built equal to the height of a giraffe. You can feed a giraffe from there where a special type of food is provided by the authority free. Its a amazing moment when giraffe lay their tongue to take foods from your hand, really great. It’s a dream, I am feeding a giraffe in my own hand, petting them freely. Snap so many photos. Spending an hour we left for Utamandani, a craft centre to get an idea about the products and its price. After that we were on the way to the famous Carnivore Restaurant for our launch.

    Carnivore is a different experience. It open air meat specialty restaurant. For Non-vegetarian it’s a great. Right from beef . pork, crocodile, lamb, chicken, ostrich and so many type of meat is openly grilling in a open space and serving to you cut from a main portion as per your requirement and test. Our launch was arranged by our tour operator. We took our seat. Immediately waiter came and ask for our menu. They put one Big round tray having different salads, pickles etc. with a flag on the top. With little surprised we asked the waiter, what for the flag here, He laughed and replied so long the flag is up we will go on serving meat as per your choice, when you will be fully satisfied ,down the flag. we were really perplexed. All though we are non vegetarian we confined within chicken and ostrich. Within half an hour we down the flag. One of the waiter rush to us and asked with a worried face, are there anything wrong? You have down the flag so quickly. We assured him, not at all as we are fully satisfied that’s why we down the flag. They told You are very little taker. Really it’s a nice and different experience. I request for the future visitor even you don’t like Non-veg item visit the place for gather a peculiar experience.

    Came back to Hotel at about 4 PM. Eliza told us we will start for Amboseli tomorrow at 8 AM. As we were very tired we take some rest. Went for dinner at 8PM, it was lovely preparation, Immediately after we go to bed for tomorrows preparation.

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    11th October,2011, Monday, AMBOSELI

    “AMBOSELI” –land of ‘salty dust”, some where mention “ a place of water”, our next mission . I don’t know which one is correct? If any one has correct idea, please apprise.
    Alarm was set at 6-30 AM. After long sleep we woke up. took our bath and rush to buffet breakfast table. Nice arrangement, right from different type of cereals, fruits, fruit juice bread ,what not? It’s a beautiful all liking selections. With a heavy breakfast waiting for the DK team. At 8-AM Eliza came and meet us. Handed over Two hats , DK symbol engraved. Eliza put on necklace stating that it will save you from all evil strength.

    Thanks Eliza , we have not faced any sorts of trouble during our safari. As requested by us they provided one international adopter for our use. We meet our guide Festus and a young always smiling face boy, Denis. Both of them covered our Kenya Part. We checked out from the hotel and see one almost new Toyota Mini Van with pop-up-roof is standing for us.

    Its Good-Bye to Nairobi and proceed towards Amboseli at about 10-40AM. Ice box was loaded, in the van, with bottled water and soft drinks through out our journey. We were passing through Mombasa road. Condition of the road was good throughout. Denis said the road is constructed by Chinese Co. We give a little break at Emalli town. Visit one craft centre .While coming to Emalli we pass through Lolongo village, as trucks are lining called lolongo, Machakos, a junction to East side of coastal region. We turned to road through Masai land. We saw few giraffe, zebra etc enroute Amboseli. We reached Kibo Safari Camp at about 12-30 PM. A well come drink was served. Room no 17 was allotted to us. Its really nice experience to spent night in a camp. You can say modern camp. Facility of hot water, shower, time bound electrycity all were there. Sitting arrangement in a small balcony with two chairs. The lodge is well fenced. So there is no fear of wild animals. But who will restrict baboons so many beautiful birds moving here and there. Daniel told us don’t keep any food in side, even not in the bag. They are very dangerous in this respect. Denis told us we shall go for game drive at 4PM

    One thing I missed to mention regarding weather conditions, It was cloudy in Nairobi Airport. We were thinking whether Nairobi is not welcoming us with smiling face .Will it injurious to our safari. But not at all. We always enjoy this. Our whole journey was most pleasant. We were lucky.

    Today’s weather was same as yesterday, partially cloudy .In Kibo Camp we moved here and there for few times. Go for shower. Then moved for our launch. Every time we noticed that we have fixed table during our stay. This time our table no was 18. Lunch was in buffet system. There was Varity of food. Soup, different vegetable curry, beef ,chicken, different fruits, tasty desert. Decent selection and taste. Our waiter was Mayks. Oftenly he came to our table and asking about the food. He also asked about anything special required for dinner. We request for chicken curry and few chapattis ( hand made bread). Nice launch with extremely friendly atmosphere.

    We were ready by 3-30 and see our van is ready with open pop-up roof. Our real safari will start now. We are really startling. The dream nourish from my childhood it will come into reality. As soon as we came out from Kibo Camp we saw three giraffes standing beside the road. We start by 3-35PM after having a cup of tea and with our camera ready position entered through KIMANA Gate after completion of formalities. We are entering the dreamland .Everything before our eyes. I pinch myself, really what we looking into, Is it real? Within a while I feel ,yes it is real. I was speechless. Just looking around with amazed look. Just entering the gate we saw a large numbers of zebras. As Dennis told plains zebras have shiny coats that dissipate over 70% of incoming heat, and some scientists believe the stripes help the animals withstand intense solar radiation. The black and white stripes also act as camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body .It was also told that as like thumb impression of us ,never match with anyone ,same the stripes of Zebra also, never match with other zebra. We saw wild beast, ,Thomson Gazelle, Impala, Grant Gazelle, beautiful Crown Crane, Black smith Flover Mara bitstocks, African spoon bill, Yellow necked birds, Kori bustard, All on sudden we saw some gathering of vans. Fetus drove towards that area. Wow, what we saw. One lion three lioness with four cabs. It was from some distance. But we cant close the eyelid (It happens so many times) “just amazing” enjoyed some time and drove out for others. We saw few big elephants, Hippos( from distance) By this time it was almost 5-45 evening . we returned to our camp by 6pm. As it was little bit cloudy with some rain in the night, we have not faced` any dust at all in the road but Mount Kili was covered with cloud blocked our eyes. How ever we will be one more day here Let us hope for the best .Denis told us we will go for morning game drive next day at 5-45 AM. So get ready accordingly. Coming back to camp we straight to pool. Spent some time. As Amboseli just at the foot hill of Mount Kili , Natural beauty is always touch you. Returned to the room, changed our dress and coming out. There was open fire place. So many tourist enjoying every moment sitting surrounding the fire place. At 8-30 we are in the “Acacia” dinning place.

    We sit our fixed table no 18. Our waiter Mayki came and told you will be served your special menu. As like lunch time, there was all type tasty food for everybody. Finish our dinner and roaming in the complex.There was arrangement of Masai dance. We were not impressed. It was full moon night. You can think what a moment it was. Mount Kili was flashing with moon light which definitely make an impression in the mind for forever. At about 10 o’clock we back to bed for our next days journey.

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    Thank you homestayholidays,

    I am egarly awaiting for your mail. I shall try to share my experience. Sorry to all, that I am out of my city, I shall start posting by last week of the month

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    I am impressed you took such detailed notes that you can state which table you had for each meal.

    Your anticipation of starting the safari in Amboseli really comes through. We had the same first animal on safari--the giraffe.

    I know what you mean too about not closing the eyelid when you see something special, such as lion cubs.

    Thanks for the tutorial on the flags at The Carnivore.

    The first photo link worked well and it appeared both of you and the giraffes were having a nice time. The second photo link did not work for me.

    Looking forward to the rest of your report.

    If your wife reads this, she'll want you to return and take her with you.

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    Thanks CaliNurse and atrvellynn for your interest. The photos will be posted shortly. atravellynn rightly said, my wife will defenitely accompany next time inspite of her physical problem.

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    12th October 2011,Tuesday, AMBOSELI

    It’s a new morning. As told by Festus, we get up at 5 o’clock in the morning .Have our tea and ready for our safari ,last day at Amboseli. We are enjoying the Amboseli morning. It was sunny but little bit cloudy also. Mount Kili is also not fully exposed her beautiful face till now, but we expect any time it can happen, However, we moved out from the hotel and observed our two friends are ready with open pop-up roof van. We were moving towards the dreamland.

    As usual, immediately after coming out from the lodge, we charmed a group of seven giraffes with a baby. Again entered through Kimana gate. We were moving in a different route. We saw a large group of elephants with 3/4 kids. Some of them inside the water, playing with each other. There were Cape Buffalos, Hyenas zebras, wild beast,thompson gazelles,impalas and also few beautiful birds. While passing beside Amboseli Lodge, Denis told The lodge is closed due to bad management. Huge infrastructure slowly worsen. Here we saw numbers of Baboons, Blue Monkey etc. While coming back we face one Lion and three lioness just beside the road. Yesterday we saw from some distance, but today it is within ten feet distance We spent almost half an hour but no activity observed. They were just in a sleeping mood. Only movement from one side to another. After moving some distance we saw few Hippos from little distance in the water except one standing on the land. We enjoyed the moment. Returned to the Lodge at about 10 AM.. We moved for our breakfast. It was decent variety of different items.. Coming back to our tent, took rest for some time. Then moved towards beautiful pool. We had our lunch. As we already mentioned, the selection of different items so nice, there will be no scope of dissatisfaction for any one. All staff are so well behaved and so much attentive you will feel that you are not at home, So nice. In the afternoon we enjoyed every moment sitting on the balcony.

    At 3 PM we moved to visit a Massai village. We were greeted by the masai people. The village is having about twenty small huts standing in a circle shape. The leader of this masai group took us towards a dancing group. After some time both of us joined in dancing, but shortly we getting tired . However ,we enjoyed the moment. Then we join in the prayer. All of them prayed for us. We saw the moment they light fire with friction of two pieces of wood and brunt elephant dung. We read in history how in ancient time people light fire with friction of two stone pieces. We witnessed the same. The young leader explaining everything. Then moved to the small hut very cautiously with head down. Inside, the hut is divided in two parts. We sat on a cow leather. The room was full of smoke and it was difficult to sit. The young leader told he has three wives and five children. For each marry you have to give ten cows to the brides house. I asked you have already spend thirty cows and how many cows still have with you? He replied I have another forty cows. I told that means you can marry another four times, He smiled and replied yes I can, but not now. I was discussing about their society, culture, food etc. Spending some time we came out from the hut. It was really sad to observe the poor living conditions of this families. We came back to the lodge. Took tea. Mount Kili is very much clear, still not full. We were ready for our last trip to Amboseli.

    We started our journey at about 4 PM. We were discussing with our guide about Cheetah and Rhino. They told if your lick favors’ you can see Cheetah but it is very difficult to see Rhino ( It proves later). With hope we stared our last round to Amboseli. As usual we came across so many Zebras, Cape buffalos. Giraffes, Wild beasts Hyenas, Elephants and many birds. All on a sudden Festus stopped the van and said look, we saw one lioness just sleeping beside the road, almost near to our van. we were enjoying and waiting for future action. Suddenly the big cat standup and start walking. Slowly reached the road, just in front our van, and moving. We are enjoying with perplexed eyes . We were alone there. Very slowly we followed the cat. It’s a wonderful moment .All on a sudden one van overtake us and tried to cross the lion. We can’t check ourselves. Shouted and throw something nasty words. Disturbed lion left the road and go down to the grass land. Damage the nice moment. We feel why this idiot people come here who don’t know how to enjoy and also disturbed others. Pity for them. We spend almost two hours. But nothing special. At about 6-30 we were returning to the lodge without cheetah and rhino. After crossing the Main gate Denis pointed out the fully clear Kili. I cannot explain . Only feel every moment with our heart. No cloud, sun rays reflecting with so many clours on Kili .Amazing. Slowly sun is setting and waiting for full moon. Take so many photos and returned to the lodge. Sitting on the chairs trying to memories the every moment of Amboseli. By this time fool moon in the sky. Clear Kili in front, Can you imagine the situation? We are very lucky. It was a decent staying at Kibo Safari Lodge. One thing forget to told you that Danis hand over small beautiful gift on both the days at Amboseli. It is something special from D.K.Grand Safari. Thanks to Daniel also.

    At 9 o’clock we finished our dinner with as usual in lovely atmosphere. And go to bed for tomorrows journey. Very quickly two days at Amboseli is over. We feel sad.

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    Knighriders, you are a knight--rather, a PRINCE-- for writing so well and sharing this story with us.
    Waking at 5 a.m.--good thing you have that tea!!!
    Looking forward to the next installment when you have time.
    Asante sana!

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    So nice to CaliNurse and atravelynn. Many thanks both of you for going through my report. But realy I am not a Prince or anything. I just trying to share the enjoyed moments with my heart. nothing more. If it touch you, I am realy greatful. Thanks again

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    13th October’11, Thurshday.

    After having our breakfast, we stated our journey at 7-30 AM in search of new destination, Lake Maniyara. We are passing through the Amboseli savanna , but not deprived to enjoy the all beautiful creation of God. By almost an hour we crossed the Amboseli and moving towards Namanga gate , Border of Kenya. The road is not good but its motorable. Reached Namanga at 10-15 AM. We proceed for immigration formalities, Danis accompanied, Its took half an hour to complete the process without any hazads. Danies Introduced with Camilus, our guide for Tanzania Part. Already transferred our luggage to the 4 WD Land Curser. We were very happy with both Denies and Festus, and request them to join with us for Masaimara part. We took leave from themwityh big hug and started our journey at 10-15 AM with our new friend Camilus ,also known as Maji, means water. The Tanzania Part will be covered by Warrior Trails, a coordinating part of D.K.Grand Safaris.

    We are moving through Namanga – Arusha road, passing beside Longido mountain, Garamtoni village( from name of a river), masai village. Road was very good and the scenic beauty is also enjoyable. But the van is moving slowly, we were discussing within ourselves. After some time I asked Camilus, why we are so slow, He replied , we going up. But we are not at all satisfied, even we had not argued .although the road not so up. We reached Arusha at about 12-30 afternoon ,covering 90 km, by more than two hours journey. We took our launch at hotel Impala , Shortly after reaching the hotel the CEO of Warrior Trails Mr Clania, a nice gentleman meet us, He assured that our journey will be enjoyable through out. He was asking the reason for choosing Lake Manyara. We told that this the only alkaline lake and also tree climbing lion. He explained that Lake Manyara is the only place with full of big trees and full of bushes, and it is difficult to see the animals. Over and above to see the tree climbing lion is one in million. He conveyed his good wishes and inform to contact him if we face any problem. So nice. We finished Indian type launch with full satisfaction, It’s a good hotel. We meet Mr Anand, an Indian, head-cook. From 1-15 PM we waited there another 45 minutes for Camilus, We were little annoyed . We started for Lake Manyara at 2-15 PM. The road was good even we reached in the hotel Hotel Lake Manyara in late afternoon. We straight go the nice pool to refresh ourselves. Its a beautiful hotel with all amenities. Location wise also beautiful. One can enjoy the valley from the hotel. Great entertainment(local music), nice food, friendly staff, wonderful. We passed a long time in the lobby and went for dinner at 9-30 PM .Already told there was good food cater every taste. There was a program for a game drive in the afternoon ,but we could not avail due to late arrival( now you can understand for slow driving). However we kept mum considering our coming safari.

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    14th October, Friday, Lake Manyara

    We will go for full day game drive with lunch pack and then left for Ngorongoro. It was decided yesterday. We get up at 6 in the morning. Ready by 7 o’clock with beautiful variety of breakfast. As I already told you that a charming atmosphere in every corner. At the time of check out in the morning the management was so graceful, it really touchy. One thing I forgot to mention that we met famous cricketer of England yesterday dinner Andrew Flintoff. Left the Hotel at 7-45 AM. Our Land Cruiser(LC) was ready with open pop-up roof for search of tree climbing lion. Whether we will be lucky one? With high hope we were moving for our journey. We stop the gate for formalities. All on a sudden we saw a scorpion ,don’t worry, it was dead, somebody save others from danger. Thanks to the unknown person . We entered in the game park. It is deep forest with big trees, as told by Clamian ( Sorry, earlier I mention him as Clania). We noticed few big trees having no leaf, Camilus told its known as Baobao tree. Today also it was little bit cloudy. We felt comfort.

    We entered in the park and noticed few baboons jumping from here to there. Some of them nursing their kids. Blue monkeys on our way. A group of elephants, smaller in size, compare to Amboseli . We saw two giraffe where colour of body is blackish, Camilus told it is Masai giraffe. We came in touch with so many beautiful birds. Slowly we entered into deep, came across Dicdic, one species of antelopes, very small one. We are enjoying, but our mind was for special attention i,e tree climbing lion. We are moving from one end to another . In between we saw a group of 26 giraffes. Large, medium, small , Hippo in the water, Thomson Gazelle, Impala, Grant Gazelle,zebras, wildbeests, Black smith Flover, African spoon bill, Yellow neck bird. vultures. All was O.K but the energy and attitude what we expected from a guide, that was very much absent in Camilus. As if he will drive, if you see anything, well, if not , it is not in my hand. We know to see wild animal in a jungle requires luck. But guide should take some extra efforts for that What we had notice in Danies and Festus of D.K.Grand Safari Even we could not go near to the lake, as Camilus told there is no road. The God knows the truth. How ever by this time it was 1o’clock. We stopped for picnic lunch. There was nice sitting arrangement with clean toilet facilitates provided by the Tanzania Govt. Thanks to them. We move for safari as soon as finished our launch. We are moving here and there but still we had not came across neither leapord/cheetah nor tree climbing lion. This way we spent some time. It was 2-30 PM. We almost giving up our hope. All on a sudden one van crossed us and told something to our guide. We were unable to understand, but observed our vehicle started moving fast. Short while we reached a point for which million of people strike their head. Yes, tree climbing lion appear before us.. We are get out of breath in joy. We are in front three lion kids, but not saw their mother. What a beautiful moment! We were speech less, spell bound. Just looking with trembling eyes. Really-really we are fortunate enough.. It was revolved in the mind that I should call around, come everybody and see we are a fortunate one in million. Off and on the kids were changing there position . Our camera was clicking ,clicking and clicking. We spent more than a hour in that spot. It’s a life time memory . We cannot express our happiness. It is not possible to allaying ourselves in such a short span of time . But we have to move. Left the place with a romance. Proceed towards Ngorangoro and reached there at 5-20 in the evening left behind Kacatu village (a masai village). On the way to Wild Life Lodge we stopped one view point to enjoy the lovely view of the crater.Slowly fog covered the crater. Reached the lodge. As usual greeted by a welcome drink. Little bit cold was there but it was foggy. Enjoyed the lobby beside fire place with local music. Finish our dinner. Food was not so much impressive. Tomorrow will be full day safari. Crash to bed.

    13thof the body.

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    Though more common than 1 in a million, your lions in the tree are still a rare and special sighting! The cricket player and dead scorpion must have been good omens. Thank you for included the lower points of your trip with the outstanding ones.

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    15th October, Saturday, Ngorongoro Crater

    The Ngorongoro Crater is often called “African Eden’ and the ‘8th natural Wonder of the World. We have read many stories about Ngo. Today we shall try to match that. We awake up at 5 0’clock in the morning with a hope to enjoy the crater from the lodge. That time it was not fully clear. Fog was there, but visible. But with a short span of time crater was covered by dense fog. What to enjoy! We were really dishearten. Every thing is not in our hand. Get ready by 7-30 o’clock and proceed for breakfast. There are variety of items and palatable. We have to start by 8 o;clock, but it was dense fog as well as drizzling also. We were demoralized. Temperature showed 13 * C. Asked Camilus, what to do? He assured that we shall move. We started with depressed mood. Fog was so dense that the visibility was almost zero that stage. One can easily understand the status. Slowly we were moving forward. By fifteen minutes we reached a point from where we have to go down to the crater. Camilus informed that there are separate roads for the up coming and down going vehicle .Perhaps considering safety reason. We were going down to the crater. It a was unimaginable that as we going down , slowly and slowly the density of the fog was also disappearing. We are coming down nearly 200/250 mts. It was really most surprising thing that in the crater there was no fog at all rather it was fully sunny. It’s really wonder before we entered into the wonderland.

    Our expectation was too much here. We heard that masai people with their cows are permitted to live in the crater, we could not notice them. Camilus told that they are living in the end of crater which was covered by fog. Immediately we saw a large group of zebras and wildebeest. wild buffalos As usual number of Thompson gazelles , Impalas were busy with eating grass. Ostriches both male and female. Moving forward there are one lion and one lioness laze in the sun. The lioness was sleeping with his four legs upward, looks like a dead one. We stopped for some time. There was no movement of the lioness only lion was changing his direction. After some time we saw beautiful pink colored flamingos, but from far way, in the watery land. We saw flamingoes in the Lake Manyara also, but number was very less, here it was hundreds. There were number of hippos we enjoyed, Two of them was walking in grass land , it was beautiful. Slowly we rush to a spot where 15/20 vehicle .. Wow ! What a nice looking picture ahead. There were group of eleven lions ( one lion three lioness and seven kids) was scattered around a just killed buffalo, Some of them was busy with eating. Eating was going on cyclically. We seen this in TV channels only, but today it is before us, It was a spectacular beauty. We spent almost an hour there. We again noticed a group of ostriches , wait for awhile, one ostrich came to the road without any fear. In between we came across several hyenas, crowned crane, ruwf, luck, black smith glover , elephants, wild hogs . By this time it was 1 -30 PM. We moved for our lunch spot, on the way we saw large group of hippo in the water. We reached in the hippo pool. A lake where hippos were in the water. Enjoying the hippos and finished our picnic lunch.Here also Tanzania Govt. arranged for nice sitting and clean toilet. Thanks to them. The packed lunch was good. We told Camilus we want go the same spot again where we have saw the group of lions. Reached there. We saw one lion and lioness just opposite side, of the road, very near to the road. We stopped, there were six / seven vehicles at that time. Camilus told that it is the meeting period, please wait. After some while the lion stoop up and engaged in meeting. Some tourist start ridiculing among themselves. Ridicules, Those who don’t know , how to enjoy the nature, are they defined as a real tourist? I don’t think. It was a rare opportunity. We don’t want to miss the moment. In the other side, they were not even finished the half portion of the buffalo, but lazing in the sun. There were one hynea and twi jackles were play hide and sick with the lions to take a portion of the hunted buffleo. Funny, Asked Camilus, till we have not seen any rhino or cheetah. He told cheetah is very less here and possibilities of viewing rhinos are remote. We do not know the actual, but by this time we lost confidence on him. At this point we had nothing to do. Slowly moving forward, Suddenly Camilus told there are group of rhinos. It takes long time for us to locate, even with the help of binocular it was not clearly visible. It was other side of a lake. We saw in the morning there is a road that side where vehicle were moving. We requested Camilus to go through that road. But he started arguing it will be too far etc. We were helpless. After some time, at about 3 0’clock he told that we will go back to lodge. We protested for that and told we can spend another two more hours here. He was not happy with this. Again we were moving towards the 11 lions point. Still eating of buffalo was on. All the lions scatteredly here and there. One lion just in touching position of a vehicle just in front of us. Charming. One thing we noticed that there was no giraffe in the crater. We understood that it is due absence of comparatively longer type bosh here, which giraffe can eat. Spent some time there and returning back to the lodge.

    In the late afternoon the weather was beautiful, no fog, nothing. Enjoyed the beauty of the crater and the nice sun set from the balcony with cup of tea. Enjoyed the nice local music in the evening, Finish lunch by 9-30 Pm, go to bed with a hope to swim in dream in the wonderland.

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    That crater fog can be so disappointing when it totally obscures the view, but then all of a sudden it disappears and spirits lift. It appears you had some nice long visits with the lions. Spending a lot of time with them like you did, you really get to understand their behavior.

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    Thank you Atravelynn, for your patience reading. All of your lovely encouraging discussions boost me up to share my experience. Yes , you have rightly pointed out that viewing tree climbing is defenitely a wonder, but it is also a wonder the strangeness of fog in Ngorongoro. For nothing lion is not being called" King of Jungle". Their majestic behavior proves it.

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    16th October, 2011, Sunday, Serengeti

    Today our journey was for Serengeti. We have read many novels in Bengali on Serengeti. Imaginary picture of Serengeti is already in our mind. We ready by 8 AM, having our breakfast. Weather today was little bit better. Somehow we enjoyed beauty of the crater in the morning. We started by 8-30 AM with our picnic launch towards Serengeti via Olduvai.. One night at Wild Life lodge was good other than quality and choice of food.. Within one and half hour we reached Olduvai Gorge, In masai it is known as Oldupaie. One guide explained in brief the history of the archeological importance .There was small museam containing fossil casts of early hominids, tools, artifacts and fossils of various animals that roamed this area millions of years ago. We spent 45 minutes but not so impressive. We reached Serengeti gate ( Nandi hill gate ) at about 1 PM. We finished our packed lunch. There was a viewing spot from where we enjoyed the beauty of the savanna, We seen beautiful bi-coloured lizard ( Agama Lizard) blue and pink. Beautiful, Latter we have seen the same lizard at masaimara , male one, this was a rare sighting both male and female. At 2-15 Pm we started for Serengeti Sopa Lodge, on the way we will go for game drive. Through out road is dusty. Slowly as we are proceeding through the road we saw large number of Thompson gazelle, Zebras, wildebeests, Impalas, few hyenas, wild hogs, elephants, giraffes. As we are not come across any cheetah and leopard, we were eagerly waiting for that moment. We knew that we have wait for that. One thing I missed to mentioned about a nice rabbit which we have seen at Ngorongoro, it was not white but brownish. Suddenly we noticed one hyenas with three kids. Camilus told that it’s a rare sighting. It was surprising that the colour of the kid was dark black where as body of a hyena is different. We enjoyed , how the hyena nursing the kids along with the naughtiness of them. Enjoyable , We entered the savanna of Serengeti. We saw number of hippos in a small lake. We enjoyed this just standing beside the lake. We were moving and noticed single lion. in a sitting position .But started moving towards a bush. Suddenly heavy rain was start dropping and saw the lion started running , perhaps to avoid the rain, towards a bush and disappear. One more hour we spent in that area , but no mentionable incident find except one Long Crested eagle.Short rain makes the comfotable as well as save from the dust also. We moved towards Sopa Lodge and reached there at 5-45 Pm. As usual greeted with welcome drinks and with warm napkin. The room was very good and one can enjoy the out side beauty sitting in the room. We spend some time in lobby with cups of tea and snacks. Sopa lodge is the only where you will get tea/ coffee with snacks throughout the evening. Beside pool side , just below, we have noticed wild buffalos, Haney’s, and some beautiful birds. We visited curio shop, but it was costly. At about 9 Pm we went for dinner. The selection food and the preparation was wonderful. The hospitality I have noticed here can be compared with Kibo Safari Lodge. Here also we had fixed table. Every off and on waiter was asking about our need and quality of food. They also asking about our comfort and any special item we required for tomorrow. As we have to move tomorrow with picnic launch, we requested them to provide chicken item in the lunch packet, not beef. They agreed and kept their commitment. Armed guard escorted to the room, as there was no fencing in the lodge, I asked the guard, whether they have seen any wild animals here? They replied some times wild buffalo , hyenas, wild hog etc seen here .Go to bed with a hope to see Cheetah /Leopard and Rhino tomorrow

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    17th October, Monday, Serengeti

    We have to start by 8 Pm, accordingly get up by 6-30 in the morning and ready 7-15 AM. It was a sunny bright morning. Two baboons were moving from here to there. Moved for breakfast. Buffet system, Beautiful selection of different items . One fried cake was there was really very tasty . leaving bread I took 4/.5 pieces of cake to finish my breakfast. In the breakfast table the attendance of the staff is appreciable. As if we were the valued guest their house. Thanks to them, also to the management. We started sharp at 8 AM, with open pop-up roof. of our Land Cruiser. We are moving towards Moriu area. Due to short rain yesterday evening weather was little bit cool and absolutely no dust. Comfortable, Within 20 minutes we noticed a few number of vehicle were standing, and we rushed to that point. We reached to the point for which we were waiting for a long time. Yes , we were in front of two leopards with two cubs. Two leopards were on the top of a tree, one cub was on dry branch on very lower side of the same tree and one was under the tree.. One of our dream came successful today. We were hungry for that. We were watching the movie picture with total silence. There were 4/5 vehicles only. All of us enjoying the amazing opera. The cub which was on the tree, came down and join other. Running here and there and engaged in amusement. Within a short while both the leopards came down together. Looking around and stretching of limb to throw off dullness. (must be got bored by laying down for a long time on the tree). A little after both of them start walking sluggishly parallel to the road within ten meter distance from the road. We were also following them silently. On the other hand cubs don’t took any notice for their parents but engaged in naughtiness. They moved about hundred meters. Reaching to the same type of tree both of them climbed and laid down as earlier. Still both the cubs were in the earlier spot. We spent more than an hour and moving forward with full satisfaction. On the way we saw huge giraffe was standing alone. Busy in taking food. Again we noticed few vehicles and rush to that direction. Today our luck was with us. We saw two cheetahs were sitting under a small tree. We were enjoying with fascinated eyes. Frequently they were changing their sitting position and rolling their body. In this way we quenched our thirst. By this time both the cheetahs were started walking. Slowly they were out of our sight. We noticed a large group of elephants. Some of them furbishing their body on soft clay. We saw one most beautiful bird Red Billed Horn Bell, several ostrich,both male and female, zebras, wildebeest, Impalas,etc . We also noticed Goose, koori bustard, White headed Buffalo weaver, Drongo and so many birds. Then we came across a group six lions, one lion, three lioness and two cubs. , scatteredly lazing under the sun. By this time it was 2 o’clock, we proceeded for picnic launch in the Tourist hub. The lunch box provided was the best of all time. As requested, they provided a preparation of chicken with nice selection of items. There was nice park in side the campus.

    After launch we were roaming in the park for few time. In between I asked one person there, whether rhino can be seen here? He informed today we have saw one rhino in the southern part. You can try for that. We pass on the information to Camilus, he just replied .”anyone can say anything”. One can easily understand his attitude. As today was our last safari with Camilus, we told him, we like to visit the place as mentioned by that person. He has no other alternative but to proceed. But we were sure he will not go to that direction, as we were blind in this respect. It was actually happened like that. However as we left the Tourist hub we again saw one cheetah laid down scattered his four legs lazily on a branch of a dead tree very near to the road. We moved to other side of the road to see the face. The tree was in the corner of the two roads. How lovely moment that I can’t explain. After spending half an hour we moved for Rhino hunt ( through eyes only) We were moving ,moving and moving, but no trace of rhino, only notice large number Mongoose, two dicdics, one gazelle was drinking water, and others as usual. Not a very eventful afternoon, except that cheetah. One thing we noticed during this three days safari, the wireless set in the vehicle never working, except once. I asked Camilus, Is it Working? He replied Yes. But We have not heard any message to receive or any response. During two days in Amboseli We notice that there was continuous message in the set, Festus almost continuously responding and talking in there language. Here it was some thing different. We don’t know the reason.

    We came back to lodge at about 5-45 in the evening. Taking tea ,go straight to room. Take rest in the room for sometime. In the evening we spent a long time sitting in the open space in the lodge with several cups of tea and snacks. In the lobby a register maintain for visitors remarks. There was a column “ What you have seen”. On that column .I wrote “ The title of the column would have been –What you have not seen, So that the space provided is sufficient. We computed our experience. We finish our dinner by 9-30 Pm. The head of the dinning area was Mr Kennedy, Lovely person, always laughing face. Tried to take care every guest. As like yesterday security guard escorted us up to the room for obvious reason, Slowly we have already spent eight day of our safari. We will be in our last part at Masaimara. Throwing body to the bed.

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    What a day full of spotted cats! You indicated the two adult leopards were "parents." Were you able to see if this was an adult male and a female with the cubs? Is it possible the female had a near adult cub and then two young ones?

    Four leopards in one sighting is way more rare than a tree climbing lion!

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    I've finished reading, wonderful so far thank you. Now I'm ready for the next part!
    I agree with atravelynn, those leopards were the prized sighting for sure. Not very impressed with your Tanzanian guide, doesn't sound up to scratch at all.

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    Dear atravelynn, You are absoutely right, that way I never think. But the two lepord were seems to the same age, and I mentioned as "parents". Yes, both give us same plasure, Only difference is that tree climbing lion can be seen in the Lake Manyara only where as leapord/ Cheetah are available in so many places. I was lucky to enjoy both in my first time visit.

    Dear twaffle, Its my pleasre that I can share my experience which make you happy. If my trip report helps anyway to the future traveller, then I will very happy. shortly I will post last part of my report. Thanks all of you for your look through of my trip report.

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    Looking forward to the final installment and what you thought of the journey between the Serengeti and the Mara. Please include details such as length of travel, what you saw, etc. if you can.

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    18th October,Tuesday,on the way to Masaimara

    Spending one of the best lodge , in all respect, two nights, today we have to move for our last part of the safari i,e Masaimara. We have read so many bad reports about the road in the trip report on “Indiancouple” before our journey. Even our first question to Daniel, CEO of D.. K .Grand Safari, about the road. One can easily understand how much scared we are. Yesterday Camillus told we shall start by 6A.M. But from trip reports, I was sure if we start by 7 AM ,it will be comfortable. I have not told any thing to any one. Accordingly get up at 5-30 AM. Took our bath and go to breakfast table at 6-30 morning. Camillus came to us and expressed his unhappiness, But we have finished our beautiful breakfast in our own time. Convey our sincere thanks to all the staff members for our comfortable staying and good quality food, over all nice hospitality and got ready by 7 AM. Camillus told we already late by one hour. We heard silently. We started our journey towards Masaimara, through Serengeti safari park. As we are moving through the park, we were expected to see anything ,what we have not seen so far. But it is always not so, what you think. As usual we saw so many zebras, giraffes, wild hogs. Wild buffalo, Thompson gazelle, impalas etc. But no big cat . We were passing beside Sukuma Lake.. We were nearby to the exit gate of Serengeti. All on a sudden we saw hundreds of wildebeests, Zebras and impalas over both side of a big field. Camillus told they are for migration from Serengeti to Masaimara. Although we have not enjoy the migration, at least notice the preparation of the animals for migration. Butter-milk in lieu of milk. Reached Serengeti exit gate at 10 AM. During this period we observed our van was running with a speed of 80 to 90 kmph. It means his earlier slow driving with a specific intention. As per rule you can not drive within park more than 50km, but now no rule is applicable to him, as he has to go back early. We already told Camilus while going to Masaimara. We will go via Lake Victoria. We discussed the matter with the CEO of Worrior Trails, The nice gentleman immediately agreed that and told us “you ask Camillus, he will take you. By this time all of you might have been notice the nature of Camillus. As usual he started giving excuses. We gave up the visit of Lake Victoria and started towards Masaimara.

    At 1-30 PM we reached at Serera , Tanzania- Kenya border. Completed the immigration formalities. Crossed the border and reached Isibenia, Kenyan part for further journey. We noticed that our old friends Denis and Festus were waiting for us with smiling face with the same van. Transferred the luggage. Took leave from Camillus. He was a good person but totally negative attitude. One person of this type alone is sufficient to damage the reputation of a very good organization like Warrior Trails. I requested some time for smoking, but Festus told we have to start immediately, if there is rain , it will be difficult to drive. Already there was fear in my mind so without wasting any time we started for Masaimara. Thanks to Festus . he allowed me to smoke within the vehicle, but for the first and the last time. Agreed my friend.

    We started with a fear in our mind. Slowly we were moving. The road was motorable but occasionally was in very bad shape. We were thinking about the report of’ Indiancouple’. By this way we already spent one and half hour. Suddenly we noticed that the road is muddy. Although there was no rain in between, but this may due to the earlier rain. Silently we were observing. We were passing through the forest. No habitants nearby. Our van was moving through the muddy road and sometimes through the bush to avoid the muddy road. We were speechless. But alas! If there is trouble in your fate who will save you? Our van stuck in the mud so badly that it was total dead-lock. Festus and Denis get down from the van and tried to push the van but failed. We told them that we should also get down and help you. But in spite of our several request we did not allow us to do so. In this way we have spent half an hour. But suddenly we noticed that a small truck reached that spot. Festus requested them to pull the van, so that it can get out of the present position. There was a strong rope in our van and with the help of this we came out from dead situation. Definitely God save us from the hazards. Otherwise how the mini truck came there. We believe in God and sometimes we face the miracle. I think so. Again we were moving in the same way very slowly and cautiously . After almost one hour journey we are passing through a Masai village. Just after crossing the village we saw the terrible condition of the road. It was totally in a very bad shape. No one can expect to drive on that condition. We stopped for a while and decided to drive through the bush. Even to cross the little portion was difficult. But there was no other alternative but to proceed, By this time we saw two more tourist van behind us. We got some strength. As usual we stuck in the muddy road. In spite of all effort, result was zero. One of the other vehicle came before us through another passage. But they faced the same result. Third vehicle came in between but not on the road, waiting over grass land. The third vehicle tried to pull both the van separately but no result. I do not know how much I able to describe the situation but it was a horrible condition. We forgot everything. By this time 10/15 Masai people gathered and tried to help us. They also failed. In this way we already spent more than two hours. All the people were discussing among themselves. Ultimately we saw the third vehicle came behind us and drag our van back to a better position. Similarly second van was also drag back. After that we found three Masai people sat in the three van. Denis informed us that that this man will show there foot road through the bush up to a certain distance. We are moving through the bush as per their direction .After about 30 minutes of journey we reached a motorable road. They get down. All the van paid some money to them and we convey our thanks. I am writing very easily, but the situation we faced is indescribable. Coming to the road(?) we heave a deep sigh. Once it was in our mind that we have to spent full night on the road. Thanks to the unknown people, who came forward of their own to help us. We feel still there are good people in this world. Shame to Kenyan Govt, when they are earning a huge amount from the tourist, they should have moral responsibility to think for them. It is my advise for the future tourist to avoid this road at any cost. As we entered the park we seen Zebras elephants Giraffe Hyenas and a Group of 6 lions just beside the road. We enjoy the beautiful sunset from the park .We reached Mara Sopa Lodge at about 7-30 PM. The road to the lodge took almost 15 to 20 minutes from the safari field and the condition of the road was horrible. We were extremely tired. In the reception we were informed that there was only a single room left for us. Denis shown the confirmation slip of advance booking .But nothing happened. They might have been allotted the room to others to earn more. Shame to them. They promised to change the room tomorrow morning. There was no other alternative but to accept. To reach the room we have to cross a long distance. It was a small room in a shabby atmosphere. We were totally fade up with the management. We took some rest and go for dinner. The choice of the food was very bad and the taste also. We were not in a position to think anything that time. Finish our dinner came back to the room and observed the mosquito net was not properly placed. Every where we observed during dinner period it is arrange. At that moment we were helpless. Go to bed immediately. We pass one of the most horrible day in our life. Perhaps I shall forget the wrong attitude of Camillus, bad approach of Mara Sopa Lodge, but day as silent as the dead will remain forever.

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    19th and 20th October 2011, Wednesday and Thursday , Masaimara

    Yesterday it was decided that we shall be in safari both morning and afternoon. Accordingly we got up and ready by 6 o’clock. As we to change our room, so we have not open our luggage’s. Coming to the reception desk I reminded them to provide us a good room nearby to the reception. They assured us that they will shift our luggage when we will be out for safari.. Coming out we met our guide And ask them about their condition. Yesterday they were extremely tired both physically and mentally but now comfortable. While going we were discussing about yesterdays journey, Festus and Denis both informed us that they never faced this type of situation before. Perhaps we shall forget the negative attitude of Camillus, also forget the bad management of Mara Sopa Lodge, But is it possible to forget the dread day of our life? I think no. Let it be, we are trying to forget and immerse in joy.

    We already told Festus that so far we have not came across rhino. He replied, let us hope for the best. I was confident that they will do their best for us. We started at 7,o clock. Its large area. We covering one part today, Morning session nothing special to mention. We saw as usual Thompson Gazelle, Zebras, Giraffes Elephant etc. etc.

    Coming back to the lodge at about 10 Am. We were expecting that our room has been changed by this time. But practically it was not so. They requested us to wait for half an hour. We came to our room After taking our break fast. We waited for more than an hour but no one there to shift our luggage. We were getting annoyed by this time. Again came to the desk and asking about the change of room. They are asking me why it is not changed so far? Then I shouted and told about the poor service they are rendering. One way they have deprived our originally booked room, other side they were not changing our room . This is most poorest service we got among all the lodged we stayed during this safari. However , ultimately they changed our room which was better than earlier.

    After launch we took little nap and started for evening game drive by 3 Pm. Second half also very monotonous. Nothing special here to mention. It was the most dullest day of our safari. We were very disappointed but with a high hope that one more day with us and we want leave this place with full satisfaction. It was decided tomorrow we shall go for full day game drive accordingly we shall start by 8 AM. In the evening we mostly confined in our room. There was a masai dance in the lobby but not at all impressive. Finish our dinner go to bed with a dream of better tomorrow.

    We were ready by 7-30 in the morning on taking very ordinary breakfast. We started by quartet to 8 with our packed launch box. We are at the fag end of our journey. Naturally we not in good mood. In the morning we recollecting all the incidents during past few days. However today is our last day and we like to enjoy as much as possible. Today should not be like yesterday.

    We are moving towards other part of the game field. Shortly we noticed two leopards under the tree. After some time they started moving here and there. Then crossed the road just in front of our vehicle and slowly disappear in the bush. .On the way we noticed a spectacular thing. That one just born impala. Most probably 10-15 minute before we reached there. Really wonderful. Next we came across lions was eating the residual of their hunted animal . Two/three jackal, Thompson Gazelle, Impala, giraffe , elephants, hyenas and of course so many beautiful birds. We noticed one antelope very big in size. Denies informed that it is called Elands Nice to see many of them. Back portion is black but other as usual.. It has so strength that tiger even afraid of them. Slowly the clock was ticking toward the afternoon and we were moving towards the Mara river. In the river bed we saw so many beautiful crocodiles of different ages. One thing we noticed that the colour of all the crocodile was yellow base not what we generally seen a blackish one. We spent some time and also saw huge numbers of hippo in the river Mara. It was beautiful afternoon with nice scenic beauty. We left the place for lunch. In Tanzania, Govt has provided beautiful sitting arrangement within the park so that people can comfortably sit there. But in Kenya no where we noticed the same. Govt is earning a substantial amount from tourist , but they do not bother about the comfort of them. Sated under a tree we finished most third class launch. I was thinking that we will missed the rhino as there was little time left. I have not discussed the matter with any one. As I was noticed that Festus was trying with his best for the same and I was confident he will try upto his last. Even after this if failed, it will be our nothing but bad luck.
    Slowly we our moving forward in the last session. Again we saw two cheetahs on the field. Little bit from a longer distance. Moving forward , saw lions, elephant and again came across three cheetah under a tree we did not spent much time as we were in definite target. At about 3PM all on a sudden fetus was in a excited mood and continuously talking in transmitter and our vehicle start moving very fast. From side my son-in-law told me, definitely there is a smell of some thing special. With in a short span we reached a point for which we were waiting from the beginning. Yes, It was a big black two horn rhino. What I say, I was very rare moment of life. Festus and Denis both were looks like very satisfied not because we saw Rhino but they were at last able to satisfied us. This was the difference between Camilus and Festus and Denis. The rhino just 10-15 ft from our vehicle. There were only one more vehicle, so we were enjoying to last point of our soul. More than an hour we were on the spot and the Rhino was busy with eating grass, bushes, not bothering about our presence. slowly the rhino crossed the road and joined with another rhino ( Not visible properly) within the bush. Festus asked me are you satisfied? I replied, What both you have done for us ,after this I have nothing to say. What to tell about our satisfaction! Then he told that in the morning also I got the massage and tried to reach the spot. But by the time we reached there the rhino disappear. We are moving toward the Mara Sopa Lodge. Daniel told today we have seen all the “Big Five’ of Africa in one day, it’s a rare opportunity. Really we are very very grateful both Festus and Denis, Over all to Daniel ie D.K. Grand Safari and all the staff. We witnessed of enough animals ,birds , scenic beauty over all the nice people.

    Getting down we hug both of them to show our gratitude. Yes, guide should like this, who will try up last to satisfy their guest. Daniel is fortunate that he has people like Festus and Denis with him. Only request to Daniel that he should think twice before booking to Mara Sopa Lodge. We packed up our bags with all our memories to proceed toward Nairobi tomorrow. (I am really sorry all of you that I could not posted the article in time as I was extremely busy with my personal work)

    21st October , Friday, To Nairobi and India

    We start at 8 AM with our lunch box., our flight to India was at 5.30 in the evening.
    The terrific traffic position was in our mind, so we liked to reach Nairobi at early as possible. In the breakfast table we were cherish the memories of last twelve days and it come to end so fast. We know time and tide wait for none. We have to accept the truth.
    In midway we collect some curios for family and friends. We were passing through the Rift Valley. Halt for some time to take a breath of the beauty of the Rift Valley.. Reached Nairobi at about 1-30 afternoon. We straight go to Kazuri Bead & Pottery factory to have a look. Due to shortage of time we could not see properly. During this short span of time we noticed the beautiful product of the Factory. Then we left for Utamaduni Craft Centre. From here also we purchased some wood carving and Garments. It was 3 o clock. No one interested to took the packed launch, even then we took some thing on the way to Airport. Denis contacted Daniel and he assured to meet in the Airport. We reached The airport By 4 Pm. But Daniel could not reach due to traffic jam. We were already late. So we were not in a position to wait for Daniel further. But again we like to mention here that the arrangement done made by D.K.Grand Safri was beautiful. If I get an oppotunity to come here again, I shall not hasitate to hand over my journey to them. Thanks to Daniel and his team. We proceed for finish our formalities and go straight to security check. One surprising thing we noticed that there was no provision of drinking water in the airport. You have to purchase the same. Even there was toilet after security enclosed. It is some thing ridicules. Our flight on Ethiopian Airlines which was Mumbai via Addis Ababa. Ultimately when we landed Mumbai Airport, rising sun was welcoming us in our motherland. Good Bye to all Fodorites, who spent time to read my articles. I take leave from all of you with hope meet again any where at any time . Thanks to all of you again.

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    Your son-in-law must have a very keen sense of smell to know you would be seeing something as special as the black rhino.

    Your last days in the Mara were highly productive. Always glad to note cheetahs were sighted.

    I too hope we meet again in another trip report, or maybe even in India! Might you be in the mood for spotting blackbuck in the next few months? If so, perhaps we'll cross paths.

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    You have done a great job of describing the heaven that is so enticing to many of us who love nature and wildlife. I think the Mogul Emperor would agree with you after reading this.

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    It always nice to make a communication with. You rightly said, Mogoul Emperor must agree with my views. there is proverb " others are better than own, and the jungle is of best all ". I feel this is absoloutely perfect.

    I welcome you in India. Not only you, any Fodarite's plan to visit India send me mail, I will definitely try to help as far as possible.

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    Thanks Knightriders, for the many hours spent writing this!!

    Wow, glad i am booked at Mara Sopa!!

    Don't you hate when one bad day happens like that! ? One has to stay positive so as not to be left with bad memories that taint what went before.

    I returned two weeks ago from your beautiufl country How i love India! Now have ten yr visa so i will return in one or two yrs.

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    Hi CaliNurse

    It is nice to hear that you pay a visit to our country.India is such a country here you will get all sorts of entertainment. I like to know which part covered by you. So I can give a tip for your next trip.

    You have rightly pointed out that we should not carry our bad memories as all us know that if there is no bad then we can not enjoy the good one.

    You have done good thing by not booking Mara Sopa. Our staying was horrible.

    Hi uhoh_busted

    Yes, I am true fan of Africa. I wrote, my first trip outside my country was Africa. From my childhood i was dreaming to visit Africa. It is in my mind to visit again. Take care all of you with good health.


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    Thank you, Knightriders.

    I will definitely ask for your tips before next trip to India (hoping for next year...if can budget for it).

    Have you visited the Fodors Asia forum? Use drop-down menu for country, for India. Your advice, as a native of the country, would be so valuable!!!!

    Hope to "see" you on the Fodors India Forum!!

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