Mt Kenya Safari Club

Trip Start Jan 18, 2012
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Trip End Feb 04, 2012


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012 – Day 8

     

Breakfast at 6:30 AM. By 7:30 AM we are en route to the Amboseli airstrip. The Air Kenya Dash 8 arrives on time. All 19 of us fly together to Wilson Airport, Nairobi's airport for domestic flights. The flight is uneventful – the kind I like.

Our next Air Kenya flight to Nanyuki is to be in two 14 passenger Twin Otters. Three of us are asked to fly in the first aircraft. Our Tauck Director and the rest of the group follow a few minutes later in the second Otter.

On the flight we talk to two ladies in the seats behind us who are just arriving in Africa. One is 99 years old and the second is her granddaughter. It takes more than a little guts to undertake a safari at such an advanced age. As we deplaned, our new friend took my hand and said she wished we could come with them. We did too! A brave lady!

We arrive safely at Nanyuki and are picked up by vehicles from the Mt Kenya Safari Club. Our Tauck drivers are making the all day drive from Amboseli. We drive to the Safari Club where we are briefed on this amazing facility in the shadow of Mt Kenya. The Club was founded by the late actor William Holden.

The Equator runs down the center of the hotel. We participate in a ceremony to commemorate our crossing of the Equator. Our names are called. We leave our seats in the Southern Hemisphere and walk to the Equator where we are met by several traditionally attired Kikuyu ladies. These ladies dance us into the Northern Hemisphere to meet the local Kikuyu chief. He shakes our hands and presents us with an Equatorial crossing certificate. We dance back to the Southern Hemisphere. It was good fun.

Since our rooms are still being prepared, we eagerly agree to a tour of the William Holden Animal Orphanage adjacent to the Safari Club property. I was unsure what to expect but it is fantastic. These animals are the lucky ones. They are alive because of the orphanage and the caring people who nurse them back to health. Some will be released back into the wild.

Our guide lets us feed fresh spinach to a mother Bongo and her baby. Bongos are members of the antelope family that live deep in the forest. They are rarely seen. The female Bongo’s name is Elizabeth which my Elizabeth thought was very cool. We meet Wilson, a young impala, who wanders freely within the Orphanage. Wilson and Dorothy, the ostrich, eat corn kernels from our hands.

We get some great pictures of the Center’s cheetahs, pygmy hippos and Colobus monkeys. However, the star of the show is a monkey who sits on our shoulders, arms or heads while gently taking pieces of banana from us. What a thrill.

We visit Speedy Gonzales, a 400 lbs / 150 year old tortoise from the Seychelles Islands. Speedy once belonged to William Holden. He could live to be 300 years old. Our visit is a total success.

We walk back to the Safari Club for lunch where we continue to be amazed by the quality of the fruits and vegetables in East Africa. We have not had a single grainy, hot house tomato since we arrived. After lunch we have free time to wander the grounds.

Dinner tonight is in the Tusker Restaurant. OK…this is hardly safari roughing it. Debbie orders an ostrich entrée and shares it with us. Very good. It tastes like beef.
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