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Trip Report Kenya-Tanzania Trip Report

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Before I start I’d like to apologize for any and all inaccuracies, in particular with some of the animals, maybe someone could let me know any corrections, I do intend researching all the animals but haven’t had the time. Photos will appear later I’ll advise of a link.
Very briefly 3 of us traveled with Sunworld Safaris in a Landcrusier 4WD on a Kenya-Tanzania Private Safari. We flew from the Mara – Nairobi – Kilimanjaro where we picked up our second driver.
Accommodation was triple share, which on the whole worked well.
Thanks to those that have helped me along the way, Bill H thank you for suggesting Ndutu, we loved it.

Day 1 (18th March): Maroochydore - Sydney
On arrival in Sydney found my bag had a hole in it, looked like it had been dragged for miles, and a broken wheel as well.

Day 2 (19th March): Sydney - J'burg - Mondior Concorde Hotel
Had to buy a new bag, found a Strand Bags at the International Terminal and thankfully they opened at 7am as we had to check in at 7.30, so raced straight there, bought a new bag and packed it in the shop.
We traveled Premium Economy, definitely the way to go, although it’s really a yes and no. Reason being there were 7 of us in a section that takes 34 so we all spread out, but because of more room you have a fixed section between each seat, unlike economy where you can stretch out on empty seats. But it was still more comfortable.

Day 3 (20th March 09): J’burg - Nairobi late arrival - New Stanley
Got up early, and waited down stairs for the shuttle bus and because we were chatting and trying to get Biddy’s phone to work, we missed two buses. We’d decided not to buy local sim cards as we really only had the phones for alarm clocks.
Arrived at airport super early in the hope of getting Biddy’s phone fixed, sort of righted it self by the time we were at Samburu. Miraculously unlocked itself!
Flight out was delayed 1 1/4 hrs due to bags without passengers. There was an amazing down pour and Lin's bag was one of many left out in the rain while they searched for the other 3 bags. We’d love to know what happens to these people that check in and then disappear!
Arrived in Nairobi very late, changed money and by the time we reached the queue at Passport Control we were the last in line. Luckily the “locals only” counter was empty and we followed a guy over and virtually went straight through. James from Sunworld picked us up and took us to the hotel and got us settled in.
Had to unpack Lin’s bag and try and get everything dry overnight, she certainly wasn’t impressed but luckily nothing was permanently damaged.
We're still having trouble sleeping, and not helped here because there was constant thumping from a nightclub close by.

Day 4 (21st March): Nairobi - New Stanley
James picked us up at 8.30 and we went to the Sunworld Office for a safari chat, they gave us a hat and t-shirt each.
Headed off for the Giraffe Centre, very busy & bumpy road. We met Daisy 2, who gave us all giraffe kisses; Biddy got a huge lick as well. We fed Daisy and another smaller Giraffe for some time, I was worried that Daisy would burst, but apparently she's pregnant. Daisy is also the one that head butts you if you don’t feed her.
From there we went to Sheldrick’s for the public viewing, the road was horrendous. The gates opened at 11, we met Lina on the way down to see the babies, and gave her an Australian “Animal Rescue” mug. The youngsters were the first out of the bush. They came in and played around in the mud for about half an hour & had some milk; the older babies followed and came in for a drink of milk and a game in the mud also. Lempaute was very naughty, she apparently has been there since very young and is a little too used to people. After they went back to the bush the baby rhino came out and had a wander around.
We only did a little shopping at Sheldrick’s, we didn’t realize they only took cash and didn’t have much on us. Lina mentioned that she loved the cup we gave her and apparently is still using it.
On the way to lunch we had a flat tyre, and in changing it the vehicle slid off the jack, James had to drive on a little to find a more secure piece of ground. We had lunch at Talisman Restaurant, Italian cuisine, and because we were running late we had lamb kebabs thinking they would be quickest, they weren’t, but they were very nice anyway.
From there we raced to the Nairobi National Park, where we sat in the car for 3/4 of an hour while James tried to get us in, even though we already had tickets, not happy Jan!
We used the most revolting toilets in the world! No paper no water.
We were shown around by Wallace who took my camera and backpack, he got in behind the fences and took some good photos, (unfortunately my hands shake quite badly), we saw albino zebra, lions, leopard, as well as up close and personal with a cheetah, which cost us a small fortune. Wallace got 3 of his co-workers to take us in with the geriatric cheetah. We weren’t at all happy with our cheetah encounter, they treated it roughly to the point where we told them to leave it alone. And then Wallace insisted we pay each of the guys, and yes we could have refused but didn’t. Wallace just didn’t get as much as he perhaps should have.
We went back to Sheldrick’s at 5pm to watch the babies come in from the park, had about an hour with them, Biddy’s Lempaute was being very naughty spraying water around, we left here with red mud all of us, including on our one and only pair of shoes, which became “Shoes by Sheldrick”
We had dinner on the way back into Nairobi at Mediterraneo, a pizza pasta place that was quite nice. One of the staff gave Dorothy his phone number and said he'd like to see her again.

Day 5 (22nd March): Nairobi - Samburu Game Reserve - Serena Lodge
Another night of thumping music, yummy!
Left Nairobi at 7.30am & had 2 stops along the way for the obligatory tourist stop & toilet break, bought things at the first stop but not the second.
We drove through a huge pineapple plantation as well as a large coffee growing area, saw Mt Kenya several times, which had a little snow on it.
An uneventful drive out to Samburu, very bumpy road in places and everywhere we stopped people would try and sell us something. Even though the road was pretty rough, we even left the bitumen because the dirt was a little easier in places, it was worthwhile going by vehicle. We loved seeing all the “villages” with all the different stores etc each one a little different from the last.
Arrived around 1.30 and had a very nice late lunch, the chef was very attentive to "Dorothy's" Chilli allergy, taking her (Lin) around to all the dishes explaining what was in everything; he actually did this every meal, which was outstanding. (Lin is highly allergic to Chilli)
It was here that we discovered Blackcurrant Fanta, and I think we drank all they had!
We are really animal people and were delighted when the house cat joined us for lunch.
Just had enough time to go tour the room, tidy up and yet again organize our bags, before meeting James at 4pm for afternoon game drive.
First up we saw Giraffe, Dik Dik, Impala, Baboon, Buffalo. Drove to the dry riverbank, came around a corner and 2 lions had just caught a large male Impala, the female was hanging onto the neck whilst the male, a handsome collared lion, was drinking blood. He finished and wandered off over the riverbed to have a drink of water and then continued on into the bush. The female hung onto the Impala until it died. We drove off after a little while, & came across the male again, he'd apparently called another female lion and 5 cubs. The cubs raced in to feed, the original female also started to eat. The cubs mother just lay on the ground rolling and relaxing, the older collared male kept watch from a distance, as we were leaving a younger male was heading over to feed, we didn’t go back to watch but didn’t hear any fighting.
Further along the river we saw a herd of elephants with a lot of babies, one elephant was digging in the dry riverbed looking for water.
We saw several more Giraffe on the way back to the lodge.
Had a shower and headed to the lounge for a lovely dinner, the cat has taken a shine to us, and we haven’t fed it a thing.
Internet, which we didn’t use, was US$24 for 15 minutes.

Day 6 (23rd March): Samburu - Serena Lodge
We had a good night sleep, although it was very hot & were ready for James by 6.30, but he'd had another flat tire.
As we came out of the room and glanced at the riverbed we saw 3 African Wild Dogs, James said he has only seen them here once in 7 years.
On this drive we didn’t go down to the river but headed inland, the view of the escarpment was brilliant, and there was a flat top mountain, can’t remember the name, that looked a little like Ayres Rock.
Didn’t see so many animals this time, we saw Reticulated Giraffe, Dik Dik, Gerenuk Gazelle, Grevy’s Zebra, Waterbuck, Oryx, Mongoose, Impala.
Headed back for a fabulous breakfast, more Blackcurrant Fanta and the cat joined us again, and then came sat down in the room with us!
After breakfast re organized our bags again and had a swim in the pool. Wrote postcards and generally relaxed. Whilst by the pool a bull elephant came very close eating the grass and rubbing up against a tree, several people were repeatedly asked to move away from the ele who wouldn’t have had any trouble stepping over the wall, eventually a couple of Masai guys chased him away, because a particular group wouldn’t move away. We went on another game drive at 3pm,
James spent a long time trying to find leopards, but to no avail. I’m convinced there aren’t any leopards in Africa.
We saw Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra including 2 doing the dirty deed. We then came across a large herd of elephants and their babies, some very new and they walked all around us. Also saw some Giraffe head butting and neck fighting, as well as lions sleeping on the other side of the riverbed.
Another excellent dinner and finished their supply of Blackcurrant Fanta!
Overall we loved Samburu, food was excellent, the staff were all very friendly and helpful, the scenery outstanding!
The room was very comfortable, although a little cramped with the 3 single beds; we stacked our bags on top of each other.
We certainly look forward to returning there in the next year or so.

Day 7 (24th March): Samburu - Sweetwater’s Game Reserve - Tented Camp
After breakfast we headed for Sweetwater’s, stopped at the Equator and got hassled at the shops, watched the water display, which didn’t work, no matter what he tried.
We we're in tent no 9 overlooking the waterhole. It was very comfortable and roomy.
Sweetwater’s was amazingly dry, or I should say desperately dry, and we could see fires on Mt Kenya. The meals were good, staff ok, the lady in the shop was too bored to be bothered serving us, her loss.
Not much in the way of animals on the afternoon game drive, in fact to be perfectly honest I don’t remember much about Sweetwater’s. Met some lovely American’s at dinner, thoroughly enjoyed talking to them, and hope our paths cross again. Whilst at dinner a White Rhino came to the waterhole to drink. They put hot water bottles in our beds, which definitely weren’t needed.
I think because it was soooo dry Sweetwater’s wasn’t a favourite, although the lodge area was quite pretty and the acacia trees were stunning.

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