Is there a better companion for an African safari than IgoUgo original actonsteve? Judging by the strong presence of his recent Kenya and Tanzania journals on the Best of IgoUgo page, we’d say no. And no wonder: who else would deliver every last detail with such candor, right down to the fact that Karen Blixen was one “saucy minx?” Check out his adventure for yourself, but here are some of the more humorous highlights.
On the Nairobi National Museum: “There was a wonderful set of scales which told you which animal you resembled in weight. I was a warthog—I’m not sure if that is a compliment. Much heavier than a cheetah or impala but lighter than a zebra or eland—I suppose that is some consolation.”
On warthogs: “Life seems better when you are a warthog. I wanted one to take home.”
On the Karen Blixen Museum: “I got to see Karen Blixen’s tin opener. Some people get to see the Elgin Marbles, some people get to see the Rosetta Stone and I get to see kitchen implements from the 1950s. I’m being facetious. The Karen Blixen house is very interesting. One of the better things to do in Nairobi. It was time travel back to the Colonial days—of pink gins and pith helmets, of big-game hunters and coffee plantations...I read Sara Wheeler’s book about Denys Finch-Hatton, Too Close to the Sun, so I knew a little bit about the subject, but the guide was invaluable. The real Denys Finch-Hatton didn’t look like Robert Redford—he was long, stringy and bald as a coot.”
On crossing the border from Kenya to Tanzania: “It takes about two hours to drive down to the Tanzanian border on exceptionally bumpy roads (truly bum crunching), with the ubiquitous toilet break at a curio shop where overpriced African knick-knacks are on offer.”
On Lake Manyara National Park: “You like monkeys? Manyara is bursting with them. It has the biggest population of baboons in the world. These began to emerge from the forest and looked like they were traveling in armies. Dozens at a time would cross the track. Babies clung to their mothers’ undersides, teenagers would stop and watch you and older baboons—the big males—would take their time to show who was boss. Then the park turned elysian.”
On the Arusha Crown Hotel: “To their credit, they didn’t bat an eyelid at me who resembled the "Wild Man of Wongo" when I walked up to their front desk. Probably an everyday occurrence at the Arusha Crown.”