Monday, July 22, 2019

Kenya! My First Trip to Africa!

My friend Anne invited me to join her on a photo-safari to Kenya.  And since my motto is to never pass up a unique travel opportunity, I agreed to join her!

In addition to Kenya we opted to spend time on Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain.  So this trip took me to places I hadn't been before.

I flew to Paris where I met Anne, and we flew directly from there to Nairobi. We arrived a day earlier than the tour was going to commence, giving us time to make sure we arrived without any delays and also a chance to rest.

Here we are enroute to Nairobi

With our extra day we opted to take a tour of a tea plantation just outside the city of Nairobi.  The woman pictured above is a third generation tea farmer.  It was fascinating to learn more about this and she showed us what the ideal picking of the pekoe tea leaves looks like (below).  We finished with a lovely tea and luncheon on her estate.

Her home was populated nearby with many tamarind monkeys.

Above are a couple of the bird species I saw while we were at the tea plantation....

The following morning we met up with other members of our small (18 total) group for breakfast at our beautiful hotel before departing for the first game park.  Our tour was organized by ESA-Safaris with organizational assistance by Amy Leader of Follow The Leader LLC.

This is a view I saw a great deal of during our 10 days in Kenya:  
the inside of a safari vehicle.  I opted almost every time 
to be in the third row, left side, in order to stretch out my 
still-healing right knee!
Note the roof.  When we were out driving on game drives either pre-dawn or early evening, this
roof was popped up in order for us to stand and see the animals safely.

While transitioning from one area to another we certainly witnessed a different way of life.

After a long drive from Nairobi we arrived at Amboseli Park.

Some of the local Masai tribe were there to greet us and offer their beautiful
beaded objects for sale.  Naturally, I bought some!
These guys were everywhere around us at the lodge. 
We were warned not to feed them, and how to deflect an aggressive one.

It was awe-inspiring to be this close to these magical creatures. 
SO many elephants!

This is Chris, one of our guides and also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
Each of our three drivers were just great:  really nice and so knowledgable about the wildlife.
We enjoyed each of them and they all became friends.

Soon after arriving at Amboseli we got back into our safari vehicles and went on our first 
game drive.  Magical!  Look at this place!  It was very close to spring solstice so the sun was 
brilliant as it lowered in the sky.

There was something about the dust being kicked up by this large herd of zebras
that captivated me.

And our first views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  
forgive me for all these photos.  I just couldn't believe 
how beautiful it was!

Below is a map showing Kili, in Tanzania, and Amboseli (our location) just north of it in Kenya.

First Morning Game Drive, March 21st 2019:

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