Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kenya and Tanzania June 2008

Arrive Nairobi June 15, 2008
6/15-6/18 Nairobi Serena
6/18-6/20 Ngorongoro Crater - Serena
6/20-6/22 Serengeti - Kirawira Tented Camp
6/22-6/24 Maasai Mara - Kitchwa Tembo
6/24-6/26 Samburu - Samburu Intrepids

We had a minor snag on the way as Kenya Airways overbooked both coach and business class and gave away Emily's seat from AMS to NBO. They also had given away Joe and Sam's seats in coach, but after realizing they were children and their mother had a seat they did give the children's seats back. They also gave Emily a seat in coach. Susan and I swapped off with Mom and let her sit up front.

After we landed, we were met by Patrick Masila and Jefferson our driver both of African Spaice Safaris. It was so nice to meet Patrick after a year of email!
We checked into the Serena and just relaxed and visited for the remainder of the day. Later in the afternoon we saw Rakita in the lobby. He is the Maasai that works for Micato. So we spoke to him and reminded him of our trip with them in June of 2006. He claimed to remember us, but I am sure he just said that! We asked about our previous guides and friends to make sure everyone was well and enjoyed catching up.

Later that evening most of the rest of our crew arrived with a couple of exceptions. Star, Rosemary and Grey had missed their connection in Amsterdam due to sitting on the runway in Atlanta for 2 hours. They had to fly to London from Amsterdam and came on the flight the next morning with Teddy.

Those of us there had a glass of wine to toast to the trip! We were here at last!

We had an action packed schedule in Nairobi. I had adopted elephants for everyone and we had a private visit with them. I think it was definitely a highlight of our time there. We did the giraffe center, animal orphanage "cheetah hugs," the Kazuri bead factory, Karen Blixen's house and the National Museum. We also had brought a bunch of things for the Nyumbani Children's Orphanage. This visit was fantastic. We were given a tour of the home and met the younger children that were too young to be in school. We had a fantastic visit with the children and I know everyone was moved by the visit. I think we will all do much to help this home in the future.

After that we visited Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Samburu and the Maasai Mara. All of the parks were wonderful as always. We had great sightings at all. We loved all of our camps and lodge and it was a great trip all the way around.

For me there is just something about Kitchwa Tembo. I love the staff, location, tents... just everything about the camp and the overall ambiance there. We had some delays getting out of Tanzania and were struggling to make it to the Mara air strip before dark! When we landed the camp staff was waiting for us with a bar set up for sundowners by the runway! One of the highlights for all was our bush dinner in the Mara. The staff could not have been better or more attentive. I had emailed ahead and said how much I loved the Macadamia Nut Flan we had two years ago and would love to have it again. They fixed it for us at our bush dinner and everyone else agreed it was outstanding!!