Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
11Trip End Nov 13, 2012
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Samburu National Reserve
Travel to Samburu National Reserve (224 mile), check into our lodge for lunch. A late afternoon game drive with possible sighting of species which are seldom seen elsewhere, including Grevy's zebras, reticulated giraffes and blue-legged Somali ostriches.
Well, finally got laid down and ready for sleep at 12:30 am this morning. Now it is 6:10 am and showered, shaved, and ready to head down to breakfast. Didn't get anywhere near enough sleep, but hopefully will be able to get a little shut eye in the van on our 5 hour trip to our next destination…..hopefully
I remember reading about hard beds when I was doing some research about the places we would be staying. Here at the Nairobi Serena Hotel they are definitely pretty hard. Do you remember when you might have had an older bed where the box spring didn’t quite have what it used to and you added a piece of plywood between the mattress and the box spring?? Well that is kind of what the mattress felt like, but after the nearly 24 hours of travel I think I could have slept on the floor! Ha.
Oh, I forgot to mention yesterday about the food on the Delta direct flight to Amsterdam. It wasn’t too bad, and we got two meals along with snacks and drinks, no extra charge. On the KLM flight I though the food wasn’t nearly as good. One meal I ended up eating only the desert. I tried the special chicken which had some kind of ginger sause…couldn’t eat it. Tried the salad. Had something on the bottom and lettuce over the top….couldn’t eat it. Finally ate the desert which was some kind of white stuff on the bottom and 4 bonbons on top. Okay I could eat that. Ha. Also ate the cheese and crackers. The breakfast meal was some kind of scrambled egg inside of a wrap. Not so good. Dinner was a pizza wrap, not the best but eatable. Did get a nice Bailey Irish Cream and it was very good
Three vans were waiting for us at the Nairobi Serena hotel lobby this morning (Saturday). We departed about 7:45 am. Got to Ashnil Samburu hotel after a 5 hour drive. Only the very last part of the drive was on gravel road with the rest of the way paved. We made two stops along the way, one at a small village store where they sold many "African" items and had a nice display of antique items. Lots of batik and items made out of ebony etc. I bought a nice ebony elephant for $20. The price started out at $60. I think I was close to "best price" because he wouldn’t take $15. Kathy bought a bowl made from malachite and brass. Kathy’s bowl started out at $60 each and was purchased for $20.
We saw lots of poverty and places that reminded Kathy and I of Egypt and China. K: The countryside went from nasty urban to tropical to dry savannah. The tropical areas were hilly and reminded me of interior Bali. J: I took lots of random pictures out the van windows along the way. We also saw lots of schools, I have never seen so many schools in a country before, from primary to middle, to high school with separate ones for boys and girls. Colleges as well
He mentioned there are 42 major tribes within Kenya. The two major tribes are Samburu and Masai. The “resort” we are staying in tonight is in Samburu country. They are a pastoral, nomadic people and they are famous for their bead work. Eat mostly vegetarian, but occasionally goat.
At 4 pm we headed out in our vans for a safari. I should mention that each van holds 6 people with 3 seats on one side and 3 on the other. Each person gets a window seat. The top of the van also opens up when we are out looking for wildlife. The same driver and van will be with each of us for the entire trip, which means they will be with us for about 7 days. (K here) Our first game drive was a success! I’m not sure what was more exciting…the troop of baboons with babies, or the gigantic giraffes munching on the top of acacia trees
So far Kenyan food has been just okay. Most everything has an unusual flavor that I can’t quite determine and I haven’t much cared for it. Maybe it will grow on us as we eat more of it.
Tomorrow we leave for an early morning safari at 6:30 am. Getting up at 5:45. After the photo safari we come back and have breakfast
November 4, 2012 Sunday
Samburu National Reserve
Morning and late afternoon game drives.
Following is a combo of J and K comments.
We awoke at 5:45 am to prepare for our 6:30 am photo safari. Neither Kathy or I slept very well last night, both being awake somewhere around 2 am because the fan in our room suddenly was off. They turn off the generators here sometime about midnight and restart them around 5 am. I (JB) got a little sick during the night with a mild form or Montezuma’s revenge. I took a couple of Immodium AD hoping that would help
We returned to the camp and had just sat down to each breakfast and who walks up to the electric fence around the camp??? But a large elephant again. We could see a few others off in the distance, but just one that came close
After breakfast we did an extra trip into a nomadic Samburu village. This cost us $30 each extra. Only 8 of us went. We tried to leave the park by the normal route, but had to turn around because with the rain we have been getting the water had risen too high for us to ford the river like we would normally have done. Along the way we saw our first zebra. It was quite large, larger than a good sized horse. We arrived at the village and were greeted by the village ladies and they sang us two songs. Then the men did a dance which included jumping high into the air. Just like we have all seen on TV. Pretty impressive jumpers I have to say! Apparently, the higher they jump, the more desirable they are to the ladies. The women asked for volunteers from the group to go and dance with them. No one volunteered so the guide pointed to Kathy and said how about you? It was fun to see her doing the two step and thrusting her chin up and out following the lead of the other women. After the dancing etc we were led into the compound and shown how their daily life evolves. We were taken into one of the small huts where a single family would live and cook their meals
On the return trip to our camp we came across a half of a Grand Grazelle up in a tree. Adohyo, our driver, said it was likely a kill made by the leopards and placed there so it could come back later and finish eating it. Again, absolutely incredible!
We still have another safari to do this evening. Oh, by the way I am feeling much better and nothing more has developed!
On this evenings safari we saw lots of little Dik-Dik’s, Gerenuk, Grant’s Gazelles, Impalas, Giraffe, and 2 zebras
We have now seen 2 of the Big Five.