Part Two: Safari Diary

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18/09/11
Woke up early to start our morning drive to Tsavo East which took about 3 hours. Once we arrived at national park in Tsavo we started our first game drive after about 10 minutes the first animal that we saw were some beautiful Zebras, closely followed by some Elephants and Giraffes, which was mind blowing. Got to say I love them even more now after seeing them in real life, in the wild and the country that they are intended to be in. We spotted a family of Lions which our driver informed us had eaten the day before and wouldn't eat for another 7 days, so they pretty much just laze about. After our morning drive we checked in at the Ashnil Aruba Lodge, we chilled by the pool as it was very hot by this time and the view wasn't bad... y'know just some elephants, zebras, giraffes, warthog and antelope chilling in the distant, it was so crazy a totally different world, we just didn't want to look away for a minute. After a couple of hours rest  we went on our afternoon game drive, we saw Giraffe even closer up this time and a family of Elephants. Our driver 'Cobra' took us up close to the family of Lions and we sustained some safari injuries and got the major giggles, it was totally worth it though! They all just lifted their heads (as you can see in the photos) in response and looked right at us, opened their eyes and yawned. With all my excitement I took a photo of me taking a photo, so many different photo taking devices! We felt so giddy and excited as we drove around and dusk set in, We saw a Hyenna on the scavenge and watched as the sun set behind him.

19/09/11
We woke up at 6.30 as instructed by 'Cobra' had some early morning breakfast followed by coffee and then back out for our morning drive in the East. Before we left for the West, we stopped off at a toilet, which was basically a bit of a more industrial strength tent. It did have a proper toilet in it, just had a tent exterior and a zip. As I walked out from the toilet and washed my hands, I turned around to be greeted by an elephant right in my face. I distinctly remember the sound he made as he ripped up the tree roots and went about munching on them.
'Linda theres an Elephant right here!'
'Don't leave me, I don't want to be trampled as I'm sitting on the loo!!'
He was so amazing and stunning with his long eyelashes and huge eyes. Quiet a lot of people asked if I was scared and if these Elephants were tame, I really really wasn't scared at all and they weren't tame they are all wild and left to do as they please, this was a kind of camp with a few lodges and where anyone who wanted to could pitch up a tent. Elephants aren't really meant to be intentionally dangerous, only if they feel threatened and there eyesight is pretty bad, so they're happy just to have you watching them. Which I could literally for hours! We unfortunately didn't take our cameras, as we thought we were just going for a wee, but its something that I will always remember. After a drive in the West, we checked in at the even more stunning Kilanguni Serena Lodge which when clear, Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen (which it was, the next day) the view from our room and the restaurant was of a watering hole. We had lunch and some down time. During our afternoon game drive we saw the elusive leopard, which we had been trying to track down for sometime. It crossed right in front of our vehicle and our driver was so excited for us that we got to see it because of how difficult they are to spot. After dinner we watched a family of elephants come to drink and wash for almost an hour in the waterhole. It was so serene, surreal and calming watching them all, everything was just so quiet apart from the noise the Elephants were making. We really didn't want to sleep this evening, just incase we missed anything!

20/09/11
On our final day we explored the volcanos that dominate the West. We tried to track down the Black Rhino which was the only animal out of the big 5 that we didn't see. They are highly endangered and we just weren't in the right place at the right time. After a call out from some other safari drivers over the radio, about a Male lion which had been spotted sitting on a bank, we quickly made our way to him. As you can see from the photos these big cats are very lazy but astounding all the same. He was really close to us and kept lifting his head, looking at us, then to the side, then back down as a kind of teasing effort. It was such an awesome way to end our whole safari experience.

I hope from these photos and the day summaries, you get a picture of just how amazing the safari and the time we spent in Tsavo was. The whole experience was just insane. If you've  always wanted to do a Safari and you can do so, I would definitely recommend the tour company that we went through (JT Safaris) we did a lot of research, emailing and asking around before we got to Kenya (Make sure you go through the links I've provided to check them out and that you are emailing the right person if you do so as theres another tour operator which is using a similar name and trying to ride on JT Safaris success) We were so glad we went with someone outside of the standard ones like 'pollmans' which First Choice go through. I mean they probably still had a great time, but for the same amount of money they were in a car of maybe 5 or 6 and not all of them knew one another, whereas my Sister and I had the whole vehicle to ourselves. We could move about as we pleased and didn't have to scramble to see the animals. The tour operator manager who is named Julius (coincidence!) would ring us in the evening to check everything was okay with us. Our driver Cobra was a sweetheart as well and has the eyes of a hawk and spotted animals so quickly with a lot of knowledge on them all. When we went to pay the following day, Julius gave us lots of wooden carvings as presents which we thought was such a sweet gesture, and you could see that it really mattered to him whether we were happy with everything. If you want to know anything more just ask away :) 

Jaymie
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7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Those pictures are incredible, it looks amazing!
xx

wooden heartbeat said...

thanks for the comment! gorgeous photos - I'm so incredibly jealous, always wanted to go on a safari x

This Charming Style said...

Oh my gosh, these photos are amazing, such a wonderful opportunity! By the way, for a long time i've been trying to get onto your blog and it wont let me - i'm finally back on! xx

t said...

Great pics!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

Love Sushi and Fashion said...

I was there this summer! But I didn´t get to see as many lions! It´s a beautiful country and people are very friendly! I am following you! <3<3

Love Sushi and Fashion said...

I went to Tsavo East as well!! But I was on a Tented Camp for few days, the rest of the time we stayed near the coast.Yeah you right about the ones that try to flog you stuff! <3<3

Fashion Tales.... said...

I think Giraffes are by far one of my favourite creatures. Breathtaking photos. Seeing things in real life is like nothing else isn't it.. I bet especially there. Thanks for sharing about your time in Tsavo with us.

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