Kenya Journals

An American on Safari

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An August 2011 trip to Kenya by MilwVon

Breakfast! Photo, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya More Photos
Quote: I spent 12 days/11 nights on safari, starting and ending in Kenya with 4 days in Tanzania in the middle. This trip journal is more a story format with individual reviews to come in additional journals.

Reflections on my Journey

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Me in the Maasai Mara Photo, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Quote:
Safari: "1890 (attested from 1860 as a foreign word), from Swahili, lit. 'journey, expedition,' from Arabic, lit. 'referring to a journey,' from safar 'journey' (which is attested in Eng. as a foreign word from 1858)." from Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper. My safari was a journey; a journey of not only witnessing the greatness of the cycle of life as experienced by animals in the national parks and conservation areas visited, but also of mankind in an area of the world that is still underdeveloped and struggling. The day-to-day challenges faced by the wildlife is not unlike what the people of Africa also contend with. The search for sustenance as well as providing for ...Read More
Lions Protecting Their Kill Photo, Tanzania, Africa
Quote:
We were fortunate to witness two wonderful life experiences while at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. These are the things that wildlife shows on National Geographic are made of.The first was that of a pair of lions, presumably a male and his mate sharing a mid morning kill. By the time we arrived on the site, there were some 20 safari vehicles lining the roadside observing out in the distance as the two fed. What was more interesting was the flurry of activity surrounding them, as a pack of some 20-25 hyenas were attempting to take away some morsel to eat. Also, there were a handful of jackals what we were told are allowed to co-dine with lions as they pose no threat to them...Read More

Our Time in the Maasai Mara

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Lion in the Maasai Mara Photo, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
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Yes it was indeed a whirlwind of an adventure! During our 12 days on safari we visited seven parks . . . four in Kenya and three in Tanzania. When folks head out to Africa, there is an expectation of seeing "the big five" (Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Cape/African Buffalo and Leopard) and we were no different. Amazingly, we got to see four of the five during our first park, a three day visit to the Maasai Mara, home of "the greatest show on earth" - the migration of herds from Tanzania to Kenya in search of greener pastures and food.Because of the vastness of this park, I was glad that we had three days to observe the animals in what would set the standard for game viewing for the rest of the tr...Read More
Sunset Over the Ngorongoro Crater Rim Photo, Tanzania, Africa
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We utilized eight lodges or camps in the seven parks visited during our safari. The tented camps (Mara Sarova and Voyager Ziwani) were very authentic to the experience of going on safari back at the turn of the 20th century, with the exception of the bathrooms and outstanding dining facilities.With no locks on the front . . . mmmm . . . tent flaps, and mosquito nets around the beds, it really felt like we were staying out in the wild. While staying at the Voyager in Tsavo West, we were also cautioned to not leave the confines of our quarters after midnight as the power generators would be turned off at that time and the local hippos would make their way onto the property to graze the lush ...Read More

The Maasai People

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Maasai Warriors & Me Photo, Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Quote:
Kenya has 42 tribes, with the Maasai in their traditional red shuka probably being the most recognized to those from outside of East Africa. Maasai are also found in Tanzania especially in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and surrounding land. We saw a lot of Maasai herdsmen as they moved their cows and goats throughout the countryside in search of pastures for their livestock to graze. I do not believe that throughout our 12 day safari while moving between parks, there was not a single day that we didn't witness the migration of the Maasai with their herd.Their existence is a poor one by most standards, measured in their culture by the number of cows, goats and children they have. Practic...Read More