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Janine & Dusty Britton, Smyrna, Delaware


Kenyan Safari - Trip Notes

This was truly an experience of a lifetime, with adventures and tales galore !!!  To best describe this journey, a chronological approach will be used, so you can truly appreciate the experience!

DAY 1, Thursday, March 29.


Flight 2142 British Air From BWI 4:40pm, arrives London/Gatwick 3/30 6:00am

- Flight left on time, dinner was good, ironically had smoked salmon, figured Dad had something to do with that :-)

Janine's almost enjoying herself and Dad is on a high. Smooth flight so far with a couple incidents of noticable turbulence.


DAY 2, Friday, March 30.


Tour members with air tickets issued by Globus arrive in: Europe. Day rooms are provided near the airport for you to rest if your connecting flight does not depart until evening, If your connecting flight departs to Nairobi in the late morning or early afternoon, your Nairobi hotel room will be available this evening.

- A crazy day, but enlightening. Arrived in Gatwick an hour early, due to 140 mph tail winds! Slept for 4 or so hours at the room in Gatwick Hilton, then to a quick lunch on the 2nd level of South Terminal at Starbuck! For £12, roundtrip on the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station in London, a pleasant 30-min rail into London. What a station, great place to have lunch and watch the people, but no time for that, off to a 'Big Bus' tour. Need to retuen tn London!!

Picture Index for the day - Roll #1

1-2: Wellington Arch

3: Wellington Arch and trees, in motion

4: Marble Arch

5: US Embassy

6: Coach and Horses - a pub

7: Picadilly Circus

8-10: Trafalgar Square

11: Lion

12: St. Paul's Cathedral

13-14: Tower Bridge

15-19: Oldest Castle in London, 1069

20: Coast near HMS President

21: London Dragon found at every entrance

22-23: Millenium Wheel

24: Clock Tower with the bell, Old Ben

Stayed at the HILTON INTERNATIONAL (MAMA NGINA ST & MOI AVE, P. 0. BOX 30624, NAIROBI KENYA) [Tel: 254 2 50000 Fax: 254 2 50099]

DAY 3, Saturday, March 31


Enter times as instructed by the tour director each day.

Breakfast Depart Dinner

Welcome to Africa! Look forward to a journey through majestic, unspoiled landscapes to fabulous game reserves where the dark continent's incomparable wildlife is protected in its natural habitat. Settle into your hotel, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, then maybe shop for a stylish safari outfit. An afternoon orientation drive takes you through Kenya's modern, mile-high capital to the area of Karen Blixen's farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Visit the fascinating MUSEUM dedicated to the author of Out of Africa;

Picture Index for the day - Roll #2

1-13: Karen Blixen's farm, and a Hyrax, a guinea pig-like creature.

14: A private castle

15-: GIRAFFES-this was incredible, 5 were begging for pellets. Grabbing a handful, we fed them one pellet at a time, they would stick out their tongues and take the pellet. Very docile and gracious.


Picture Index for the day - Roll #3

1-2: Giraffes - 3 varieties: Rothschild, Reticulated and Masai Mara. We'll see all varities on this trip.

feed the gentle Rothschild's Giraffes at GIRAFFE CENTER; finally admire authentic African art and crafts at UTAMADUNI (means traditional) .

- a compound with 19 shops

Tonight a short briefing about the safari routine, then a welcome dinner at your hotel - 7 pm. (FB, D)

DAY 4, Sunday, April 01


Luggage Out- 7am

Breakfast- 7am

Depart- 8am

Head north, into the well watered, fertile area where members of the Kikuyu tribe grow corn, bananas, pineapples, coffee, and tea. On the way a break at the thundering Thika Falls. After lunch at the Aberdare Country Club (beautiful grounds and the lunch was a mix of wonderful flavors) near Nyeri, pack an overnight bag. Your game-watching career starts in the ABERDARES NATIONAL PARK (600 sq km) at a tree hotel overlooking a flood-lit water hole and salt lick high up on the densely wooded slopes of the mountain. While away the after-dinner hours identifying creatures of the wild as they gingerly step out of the forest. (FB, L, D) Stayed at THE ARK - ABERDARES [Tel: 254 171 55620 Fax: 254 17 155224]

Picture Index for the day - Roll #3

4-8: Thika Falls- both falls are tinged with red soil from errosion

9-12: Chania Falls, african tulip tree Or flame tree of thika

13-15: mango trees, change of scenery, Now villages over kms in siZe

16-17: Tana River, narrow here near its source, but becomes One of the largest in Kenya

18-: Aberdale Country Club, parrots, scarlet sunbird and peacocks. Then spotted giraffes in the distance, major excitement.

Picture Index for the day - Roll #4

1: Giraffes, a pod of 6-9

2-4: Irradicent birds, also speckled mouse bird

- 14: baboons, red duiker deer, at the country club. Then driving into the park, baboons, colobus monkeys, african cape buffalo (most dangerous animal to humans in the jungle)

-16: The Ark, where we are staying

The Ark is a wonderful building, our room has a perfect view of the waterhole.

- 18: out of our window, the water hole upon arrival. This truly a life experience, seeing wildlife at such vantage point. Egypt geese

Picture Index for the day - Roll #5 (800 speed)

-8: Waterbuck, Crowned hornbill, dekdek, auger buzzard, hamerkop, coypa, hyenas. Evening with mild excitement, wIth Cape buffalo and hyenas!

-21: so much excitement, thru the night. At 12:30 am, the 2-bell buzzer went off, annoying the black rhino's arrival (they are called the fire engines of the plains, since they will seek and destroy a fire if they smell the smoke). She was very curious, constantly roaming about. The cape buffalo was tolerating the rhino until they butt heads; the rhino went her own way. Then at 3:30 am, a 1-belw buzzer sounded, announcing the arrival of the largest land mammal. the elephant!!

Picture Index for the day - Roll #6

-21: Anvmals of tthe Ark

22: Frankallies

DAY 5, Monday, April 02


Luggage Out-7 am Breakfast-7am Depart- 7:50am


Cross the equator on the way to the northern foothills of Mount Kenya, a l7,058-foot dormant volcano with a glistening cap of ice and snow. Lunch is reserved at the renowned Mount Kenya Safari Club, co-founded by the late actor William Holden. In the afternoon proceed to the grassland area which forms the bridge between Kenya's lush south and parched north. Watch out for herds of impalas, Grant's gazelles, and African buffalo as you enter SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE. (FB,L,D) Stayed at the SAMBURU SERENA SAFARI LODGE [Tel: 254 165 30800 Fax: 254 165 30759]

-27: Mt. Kenya, peeking above the clouds.

-30: at the Equator

Picture Index for the day - Roll #7

-3: horseback riding at the Mount Kenya Safari Club, just incredible: saw wild

-5: Social weavers in an acacia tree

-8: Mt Kenya, and one flat tire on each safari van. Enroute to Samburu Nat'l Reserve, roads, though paved, were treacherous, potholes worse than NY, and places where we drove perpendicular to the road.

On the drive into Samburu Nat'l Reserve, we saw african cape buffalo, long-necked gerenuk antelope, beisa oryx, red hornbill, elegant Grevy's zebra- 2 settling a territorial dispute WOW!

Mature impala,liver-red reticulated giraffe

Upon arrival to the lodge, saw them feed the crocodiles, and hung meat for the leopard, which immediately arrived- perched on the tree stand and consumed it!!!

Picture Index for the day - Roll #9

-13: Oryx, gazelle, vervet monkeys

Dinner- 7:30


DAY 6, Tuesday, April 03


wake 5:45 am, leave 6:15 am for game drive

Breakfast-8:30 am Depart-9:45 am for next game drive


A full day of game driving includes outings at dawn, when animals are most active, and in the late morning and afternoon, when the light is best for photography. Return to the lodge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Today you stay close to the Ewaso Nyiro River, where vast herds of plains game come to water, braving lions in the grass, leopards in the trees, and giant crocodiles. Stars of Samburu not easily seen elsewhere are the liver-red reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk antelopes, and the elegant Grevy's zebra. (FB,L,D)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #9

-15: sunrise

-17: kirk's dik-dik

-18: red hornbill near termite mound

: a school of reticulated giraffes, vulturerinE guinea fowl, a termite cathe ral saaped by elephants, lions, waterbuc.

Picture Index for the day - Roll #10

: Lions, impalas being challenged by a bachelor group, croc, dik-dik, dwarf mongoose, go-away bird, hippos, spare-winged clover, eagle, zebra, Grant's gazelle, superb starling, oryx in the road, a troop of olive baboons (baby taking a ride)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #12

-24: monitor lizard, sunning, lylac-breasted roller, impala, croc sunning, baboon eating fruit from sausage tree, common waterbuk, wort hogs, Samburu choir.

We visited a Samburu village, nomads that stay near river basins for 2 years at a time. Bought a 'club' from the son of the chief(Joshau) for 500 KSh, which is used for herding and protection. Janine bought a bead bracelet from a little boy who then got in trouble by Joshau. He then gave the boy the 100 KSH, with a look.

-24: cheetas, with over 30 safari vehicles converging in moments, monitor lizard, herd of oryx(30 or so)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #13

-24: zebras, grant's gazelle, oryx head, bat-eared fox family, a cheetah with her 3 cubs (all 4 looking content, one cub was licking and playing with mom), ELEPHANTS (12)!!!!! This was fate, since we had spent the second morning game ride looking for elephants, but they had left 2 weeks ago- plenty of signs they had been here: dung, rubbings, stripped trees and downed trees.

So, on our final game ride of the day, Jackson had us return to the same area as the first drive, the highlands. Spent most of the drive looking for elephants to no avail, but seeing other beautiful animals. As we were wondering, came upon a british guide in a safari range rover who said the magic words, there were elephants just over the river! Since we all heard and understood, major anticipation! Off we tour, and soon after crossing the river bed, they were spotted 100 yards!! We all wanted Kombo to stop but he knew better, heading off for a road to get us closer, WOW, VERY CLOSE! A family of elephants, 11, marched before us, not 20 ft away! It was so inspiring, they had such majesty, letting us enjoy their company! Then they moved on, And Janine spotted a 12th elephant bringing up the rear, with a strange gate. Walking on 3 legs, this elephant had experienced a major injury in the past. Kombo related that poachers throw nails on game trails, which then get embedded in the feet and eventually they die. Then the poachers come along and take the ivory. This elephant had the damage to his right-rear foot, the entire hind quarter had atrophied, but he looked healthy and the herd waited for him. Just incredible!!


Picture Index for the day - Roll #14

-12: more of the herd of elephants, a pair of cheetahs observing the gazelles

-18: a possible dung beetle flew into the dining room, and Jackson demonstrated its behavior using a ball of doun fiber

DAY 7, Wednesday, April 04


Wake up: 5:45 am

Luggage Out Breakfast: 6:25 am

Depart: 7:00 am

Visit the spectacular Nyahururu Falls, and then make your way down the eastern escarpment of the magnificent Rift Valley .After lunch take a leisurely drive through LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK, famous for its pink flamingos. Drive to the edge of the lake to view thousands of birds feeding in the alkaline water; see the sweeping view from the top of Baboon Rocks; then look for warthogs and waterbucks as you leave the park. (FB,L,D) Stayed at the SAROVA LION HILL LODGE [Tel: 254 37 850235 Fax: 254 37 210839]

Picture Index for the day - Roll #14

19-:Male Lion!!! (Leaving the incredible lodge early morning, Linda spotted the lion not 20 ft off the road, laying down, letting all us visitors know this is his home! Great spotting by Linda!)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #15

-4:Male Lion!!!

-6: Mt. Kenya

-7: black rhino on a private ranch

-20: our shortcut (fun roads), Thompson Falls, Rift Valley (over 9000 km in length, 100-140 km wide: where most of the Kenyan runners come from)

-21: The pink flamingos at LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK, Rothchild's giraffe

Picture Index for the day - Roll #16

-25: white rhinos, common zebra, cape buffalo, thompson gazelle, common jackel, flamingoes at the

Lake Nakuru (only 3 ft deep, dried up entirely in 1983, the flamingoes eat the algae which can reproduce at a rate of 1 tonne/hr), closer to white rhinos, pride of lions

Picture Index for the day - Roll #17

-4: what a picture (thompson gazelle, flamingoes, kenyan raiobow), another wow picture (add rhino and egrets, minus gazelle), these may ntt have worked. Now testing: traditional African dances

Dances at 7 pm, dinner after (7:45)

DAY 8, Thursday, April 05.



Luggage Out: 7:15

Breakfast: 7:15

Depart: 8:00


Lake Naivasha is the highest and purest of the Rift Valley lakes. Your boat cruise (10:30) here takes you to the breeding grounds of pelicans, fish eagles, and cormorants. Spot the primeval hippos lurking in the shallow water and the zebras and antelopes grazing on Crescent Island. In the afternoon traverse the Rift Valley and ascend its western rim. You're now in Masai country, where sedentary crop farming gives way to nomadic cattle herding. Red-clad, spear-wielding Masai warriors tend their multi-colored herds among the wild animals of the Loita Plains, admirably unimpressed by the presence of large predators. (FB,L,D) Stayed at the MARA SOPA LODGE [Tel: 254 3052195 Fax: 254 2223843]

Picture Index for the day - Roll #17a

9: Domesticated Kenyan Dog, Lake Naivasha (The place of green pastures), fish eagles, and white throated cormorants, grey Heron, hippns, (Rafiki is actually A drill babon which is oll i west afriCe, an cimnn was from south africa, everythnnG else was Kenyan), we sawl18 spEcies of birds, with over 300 rssident species. Whistling thorn achatia tree.

Picture Index for the day - Roll #18

: on the way to Masi Mara (3rd flat tire), masi ostrich (male and female), the Lodge for 2 nights (6400 ft elev), views from our room at the Sopa Lodge,

DAY 9, Friday, April 06


wake: 615 am

Breakfast 630 am

Depart 7:30

Lunch 1:00

game drive 4:00


Dawn, morning and afternoon game drives in the MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, Kenya's best and most scenic game park. At the northern extremity of the unique Serengeti ecosystem, blessed with a permanent water supply, the Masai Mara has a thriving, permanent population of plains game, augmented in the dry season by the migration of 2 million gnus and zebras from the vast, parched Serengeti plains. Of the hunter's "big five," elephant, buffalo, lion, and leopard are quite common. While even the much rarer rhino might come out of the thicket for you. Hyenas are plentiful and the cheetah, a 60-miles-per-hour daytime hunter, is often seen. During your stay you may opt for an early-morning balloon flight followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush (approx. US$400). (FE,L,D)

Balloon Ride

Wake up: 4:45

Meet at bar- 5:00, Depart 5:15

In the air by 6:30

Breakfast in the bush- 8:00

Meet game drive at the other lodge- 9:30

Picture Index for the day - Roll #BAL1

18-: the launching of the hot air balloon, Isabelle, piloted by Michael (from IL, been in Kenya since 88, ballooning for 27 years), tipo, hyenas (rear one had redio collar), the views



Picture Index for the day - Roll #BAL2

: the lions, a pride with lionesses feeding on a kill, cubs seen, and the males demonstrating theIr dominance, more Grazers and Views, giraffes, landing and breakfast in the bush.

Picture Index for the day - Roll #19

3: Gnu Wilderbeast

-5: Topi (related to Hartbeast)

-12: cheetah hunt

-20: mating lions

-22: Hartbeast

-25: Elephants

Picture Index for the day - Roll #20

-2: Widow bird

-5: Sausage Tree

-10: Elephant

-11: Hammercop

-14: mongoose mound

-15: tawny

-16: tortiouse

-18: dung beetle in action

-29: from the pool, the scenary, blue-ball monkey, secretary bird (with the storm approaching), ELEPHENTS

Picture Index for the day - Roll #21

-15: ELEPHANTS, we were in the middle of a herd of 32 elephancs, a family!!! Then rushed off to see 2 brother lions, not 10 feet away! Heading back to the lodge, a cheeta after a kill, then a hyena.

-25: getting stuck on the road on the Lodge, 10:00 pm feeding of the hyenas

Picture Index for the day - Roll #22

-2: 10:00 pm feeding of the hyenas


DAY 10, Saturday, April 07


wake: 545

coffee 615

game drive 630

Luggage Out


Depart Dinner

Another early morning game drive to complete your list of sightings. Gain an overview of Africa on your plane ride back to Nairobi. Fly over the great Rift Valley , part of the rift system that stretches from the Dead Sea in the Middle East to Mozambique. Afternoon at leisure. You may want to check out the capital's excellent shops or simply relax by the pool. Tonight compare notes with your safari companions as you enjoy a farewell dinner at the most fatuous of African restaurants, the Carnivore. (FB,D)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #22

-25: elephants, a small family up close, gnu, masi with their cattle, the airstrip, our plane to Niarobi, while in flight

Picture Index for the day - Roll #23

-2: the Carnivore, the dinner started with a drink, Dawa (medicine) - glass of ice then 2 halves of lemon (squeeze halves into glass), 2 teaspoons of sugar, a swirl of honey, and 2 shots of vodka. After soup, the melee began, with the following Meats: chicken, leg af lamb, lamb chops, beef, zebra, pork sausage, crocodile, spare ribs. The cats weRe also great Entertainment.

DAY 11, Sunday, April 08


Luggage Out: 6pm

Breakfast: til 11am

Depart: 7pm

Depending on your flight schedule you may have time to visit the renowned National Museum or take a dip in the hotel's swimming pool. If your flight leaves late, your room will be available until 6 p.m. (FE)

Picture Index for the day - Roll #23

-6: view of Nairobi frum our room

DAY 12, Monday, April 09.




Some points that came to life thru this trip:

- Kenya became independent from Great Britian in Dec 12, 1963, so being a very young country is why there's so much chaos.

- over 30% unemployment

- in Niarobi, there were so MANY people milling about and loitering.

- properties are compounds, all have walls, 6-8 ft: the poor use wood and plants, the rich have stone (many had shards of glass embedded at the top, pointing up to cut anyone going over), and others looked liked prisons with guards.

- the villages in the country were much more hospitable looking, and they had dogs. Very few dogs in Nairobi since conditions are so competitive

- one of 56 independent states in Africa, but not likE usa

- size of Texas or France

- 4.1 percent per yAar pop growth

- 33 million over 43 tribes- kikuyu, largest tribe

- history of tribes goes back 5,000 years

1884- became british east africa

- swahili: marriage of arabic and african

- the british stoppad slave trade done by the arabs, but forced religion

- the single 1000-km railwine is the backbone of economy, the big 5 cities are on it.

- economy drives on export of coffee, tea, produce. tourism is second. Manufactur ng

6.5 percent economic growth

$340 per person per year capita, average of 7 children, 9 total

- employment is based on politics,

- 40 percent income tax, then various value-added taxes

- work force of 5 million, 1.5 million formally (The ones taxed), 2 million informally, remaining unEmployed

Packing & Baggage Information

For general advice please refer to "What to Wear" in your Tips for Touring booklet. Average minimum and maximum temperatures: Jan. 56- 79°F, Feb. 56-81°F, March 58-81°F, April 59- 79°F, May 59- 76°F, June 56- 74°F, July 54- 74°F, Aug. 54-74°F, Sept. 56-79°F, Oct. 58-79°F, Nov. 58-77°F, Dec. 58- 77°F.

A Few Words Of Swahili (lingua franca)

Hello! Jambo!, How are you? Habari gani?, Fine, very well: Mzuri sana, Bad: Baya, Thank you: Asante sana, Please: Tafadhali, Goodbye: Kwaheri, Welcome: Karibu, Friend: Rafiki, Sorry: PoJay or samahani, Excuse me please: Nisalnahay or salnahani, Numbers: Moja (one), Bili (two), Tatu (three), Innay (four), Thano (five), Sita (six), Sabah (seven), Nanay (eight), Tisa (nine), Kumi (ten)

On to the Photo Safari, Days 1 & 2...

I've tried to link to any businesses or organizations mentioned, including their website addresses, so you can visit them to learn more.  If you want to learn more about these safaris, I invite you to visit Jacko Africa Safaris!

All double quoted comments ("") come directly from our Tour Itinerary.  Please contact me if you have any questions or corrections, at dusty@bwci.com