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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Tuesday, 01 November 2005

Well what words can I use to describe this trip; fantastic, sensational, mind-blowing, fascinating? In fact all of the above and more!!!! 

Having visited the far-east for many years, I decided to venture into somewhere new, and thought of an African Safari; Kenya being the favourite.

 

It was a very interesting experience to take part in something that I wanted to do for many years, and I wasn't disappointed.  Kenya is quite a weird Country, being one of the more 'developed' and established African countries, and like some others being a former British Colony, it certainly lives up to its expectations.  But there is still grave povety, and we were even told that the common monthly wage was 7000-8000 Kenyan Shillings (that's equivalent to 60-70GBP - yes a month!!).

 

The Animals 

The animals and the incredibly changing but marvellous landscape were sights that couldn't be missed.  Actually, we were slightly disappointed that we 'missed' the migration herds - we were about 2-4 weeks too late to see the main herd travelling through Kenya to Tanzania, but there was still hundreds of animals around to see (instead of the thousands that we would normally expect to see).

 

The 'Big 5' 

And we saw all of the “big 5” – in fact several times - but across different days!  We were even fortunate to see 4 out of 5 in one day - which wasn't bad at all!  They sure were magnificent animals.  Shame we weren't able to 'witness' a kill, but we were told other groups had done so on the same trip.  Bummer, you can't have it all I guess!  Still, there were carcasses to show it was nature at work. 

 

The Safari Trip 

We flew to Nairobi, stopping overnight at Outspan Lodge in Aberdares; Outspan was a old Colonial building with its charming features.  We then travelled north across the Equator to Samburu where the game drives began.  Samburu was located next to a river where crocodiles as well as Elephants frequented, which was a sight when you were having your afternoon tea.  I would rate the game lodge very highly compared with the other lodges we stayed at.  After two days, we travelled back to Outspan for lunch, moving to the infamous Treetops, where Princess Elizabeth became a Queen overnight, following death of her father.  The original Treetops was destroyed by fire, but it has been largely re-built albeit extended and modernised.  We managed to see herds of Elephants, the odd Rhino and Water Buffaloes drinking from the waterhole.

 

The next day we left for Lake Nakuru, which was one of the biggest lakes in Kenya where millions of flamingos were located.  It literally covered the shoreline creating a pink (and noisy!) landscape – Marvellous!

 

We had an extra stop to see another Lake (Lake Naivasha) which was the home for several hippo families.  We saw Eagles, Vultures and lots of other birds (too many names to remember!).  This was an added bonus and treat as it was not a planned stop in our itinerary.

 

Leaving Lake Naivasha we travelled South-West to the largest game reserve in Kenya, the famous 'Masai Mara', where we stayed at Keekorok lodge with further game drives, seeing the amazing Lions, Lioness and their Cubs, Cheetaes and Cubs, Leopards (up in the trees with it's kill!), Hyenas, and many more.  A lot more variety and numbers were seen in the Masai Mara than Samburu.  Another treat was during our stay at the Keekorok lodge, we viewed the Masai Mara Tribe dances, and listened to the talk from the Tribe representative, who attends conferences and other events worldwide, promoting the values of the tribe across the world.  In fact, it was during this conversation we learnt that the representative was involved with setting up the BBC1 'idents' - the movie/sound sequences between programmes.  This ident was first aired in January 2004 to the present date.

 

The Beach Break

After leaving the Mara, we travelled upon what became known as the 'bumpy roads' of Kenya to Nairobi where we caught a flight to our Beach resort in Mombasa.  We stayed at the Southern Palms Beach Resort which was a good way of unwinding after a long hard week’s safari!  It was very relaxing, and I must say a place where a lot of German tourists were staying.  Very interesting!  In fact, one of the families had two very nice looking early 20’s daughters; I just wished I had the courage to chat to them before they left.  The morning I was about to relax and talk to them, unfortunately was the morning after they had left!  Oh boy, just my luck!  If only....ho-hum.  They certainly were a sight for sore eyes - they were both beautiful with the older girl having such as a fantastic figure, it was outstanding - and on a hot, sunny and sandy beach - in a bikini - well, hubba hubba! :o)

My Birthday and Masters of Science Results
Not only was it my 26th Birthday on 26th October, it was also the week when my Masters results were out.  They were formally out on 27th, but as I had missed getting them that week, I had to wait for the Monday - and boy what a wait that was.  The very good news is that I Passed with a Distinction (similar to a Upper First in the Bachelor world!).  So this was the cherry on top of the very big cake!  This also brought be back to earth in thinking that I it was towards the end of the holiday, and work was beckoning on Wed (2nd Nov!).

This then brings me back to the 12-14hr journey home – including two flights in total, from Mombasa to Nairobi and Nairobi to London Heathrow, and the journey back to Haywards Heath.  But as they say a holiday has to end at some point.

 

Holiday Photos / Gallery (with new Camera!)

As I had purchased a brand new camera before I went away, the Sony CyberShot DSC T5, you will find the pictures from the Safari (as I ran out of room of the Memory Stick for the Beach Resort), at my On-line Gallery.  Bring on my next holiday!

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