Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reporting from Kenya December 2008

I'm just back from an educational trip to Kenya sponsored by the Kenya Tourist Board. I visited Joy's Camp in Saba National Park, then Saruni Camp in Samburu National Park. Saruni Samburu is actually spectacularly located on a mountain ridge in the Kalama Conservancy. This is the infinity pool looking north towards the Matthews Mountains.

I returned to Nairobi, where I visited the National Museum. It's newly re-opened after renovations and is definitely worth a visit. Soon the adjacent Snake Park will also re-open.

I can't resist a visit to the Animal Orphanage in the Nairobi National Park. Baby animals from all over Kenya are rescued and nursed back to health here, then released back if appropriate. This is little Mark, one of three 3-month old cheetah cubs that just arrived at the orphanage. He's purring wildly while licking my finger.

I did some shopping at the Kazuri Bead Factory and at Marula Studios in Karen district. I spent the night at the Nairobi Serena. The next morning I flew to Lake Naivasha, where I stayed at the Loldia House. From here it's a 2 hour drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. I saw lots of pelicans and White Rhino here, but very few flamingos. At Loldia House, I saw my first aardvark! This isn't the greatest picture and he quickly disappeared into his hole in the ground.

I spent 6 nights in the Masai Mara: 2 at Little Governors Camp, 2 at the Mara Explorer and 2 at the Royal Mara Safari Lodge.
It's been a lack of tourists in Kenya this year and the recession isn't helping. It's been great for the cats, however. I saw Honey's boys again. This time they killed a wildebeest and devoured it in about an hour. I also saw Shakira, named by the BBC Big Cat Diary last October, with her 3 five months old cubs.
Then I also saw another cheetah mom with 3 five weeks old cubs. I also saw 4 lions, 3 females and their king kill a zebra right in front of me.

It was a great learning experience for me again. I hope you can join me on one of my escorted safaris or call me to arrange a safari for you. If you have a few friends who like to travel with you, I'll be happy to escort your group.