Kenya Safari by Destinations Africa


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Visit Kenya, the “cradle of humanity” and experience the magnificent wildlife parks, untouched beaches and magical coral reefs. Visit our website for everything you need to plan your trip.


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N Kenya Safari After our short sojourn in Tanzania, the last leg of what many think is our Africa holiday (not realizing that all the running around we do is actually hard work) is another very brief Kenya safari. It is a short drive on a good road (well good for East Africa!) to the border town of Namanga where we meet our old friend Julius - who tried so hard to make our Kenya safari complete by finding leopards for us in the Masai Mara ! With words tripping across each other, we tease him that no sooner had he headed back to Nairobi than we found leopards on two separate occasions!! We are heading to Amboseli which is where many start their East Africa holiday (though we are going in reverse). Amboseli is home to the best observed elephants in the world - indeed much of our current understanding of these intelligent and complex creatures emerged from these observations by Cynthia Moss and her research team! Since elephants are known for their huge impact on the environment, our introduction to Amboseli is to the dry and dusty plains their habitation has largely created. John is quite unimpressed with the landscape but I am enchanted with the dust devils that dance along the parched plains. It seems like we have entered another dimension as mirages merge land and sky and dangle the images of shimmering oases before us. The saving grace of Amboseli, and one of the reasons to include it on an East Africa holiday itinerary, is, being at the foot of the snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro, it has a constant supply of water. Filtered through the volcanic rock, it funnels into two elongated springs in the centre of the park. Confused by the mirages, it takes us a while to realize the swamp created by the springs are real! The ribbon of green is in marked contrast to the dry plains and offers a welcome respite to a whole array of animals and birds - a good introduction to a Kenya safari (albeit we see it in reverse!) We are expected for lunch at Tortilis Camp which takes its name from a type of acacia looking a bit like open parachutes that are common in the area. The camp, which is fenced and boasting its own resident baboon chaser - armed, would you believe, with a catapult, is located appropriately enough in tortilis acacia woodland in a concession just outside the Park. The relief manager, Barbara, offered us a very enthusiastic welcome. Her hospitality even extending to an impromptu invitation to stay, which we gladly accepted as we’d had done enough travelling for one day. Perched on the side of a hill, overlooking a popular water hole, Tortilis offers a comfortable start to an East Africa holiday with Nairobi only 140 kms or so away. Our first game drive was in the concession where there are less onerous rules than in the park. The gnus (wildebeest) struck us as a different colour, covered as they are with fine volcanic dust - must be extra careful to protect the camera! Looking around these semi - arid plains we figure the predators would need to be very strategic in this very open park or the game very unobservant. We watched a pride of lions for some time who seemed to

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be hungry though not, as far as we could determine, starving. Thus we dismissed the possibility that they would dine tonight especially given that all we could see in the vicinity was a single ostrich - imagine our surprise therefore to be informed at dinner that no sooner had we left than the lions managed to ambush a hapless gnu! As we keep on saying it pays to be patient in an Africa holiday! The location for the traditional Kenya safari sundowner on the first evening was quite spectacular - on the top of observatory hill with 360 degree view of the concession and the park. We were even treated to a peek at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro - when, despite the timing of our visit being on the cusp of the short rains, the clouds momentarily parted! Our guide responded to what he must see as an inevitable question given the location of Amboseli with “I have climbed Mount Kili numerous times with my eyes”. Clever man, as too many underestimate the challenge of scaling its 5,900 meters! Certainly not my idea of a dream Africa holiday! Our last adventure at Tortilis was a delightful bush breakfast - which no matter how many you have had are always a delight! This one appeared to be particularly well planned - even stretching to the luxury of a “ladies loo” - an imaginative construction consisting of a toilet seat suspended over a newly dug hole by camp chair legs and strategically placed behind a screening bush - every Kenya safari should have one!!

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