Paula Gilhooley….1997 Return to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

In 1997 I returned to Kenya for a second camping safari that included Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  There are again 5 of us in the party.  We arrive in Nairobi and transfer to our hotel where we rest until dinner.  We are going to the suburb of Karen to see Rob dodson, the driver/ guide from my first safari in

IMG_1107Kenya in 1995.  Rob now manages a combination establishment called Kaleidoscope which is a child’s day care center in the daytime and a restaurant and disco at night.

We finally depart on our safari about 10:30 the following morning.  Our driver/guide is Peter Quinn and our cook is Joshua who was our cook on the last safari.  Our late start is caused by the vehicle we were scheduled to take had not been

IMG_1108serviced after a late return the day before.  Once on our way, we make it to Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary and Kimana Leopard Camp which is a tented camp with views of Mount Kilimanjaro.  We are able to walk in the bush at this camp with armed escort and it gives one a new view of the animals at ground level as apposed to viewing from a truck.

In the morning we took a classic early morning, game drive seeing a Kori Bustard, the largest bird in Africa that is able to fly, Zebra, Thompson Gazelle, Grants Gazelle, Impala, Wildebeest, Vervet Monkeys. Giraffe and Hippo’s.  We are back in camp for lunch at 1:30 then a rest until our afternoon drive at about 4:45. Tomorrow we depart for Tanzania via Amboseli.  After dinner we sit around the camp fire telling stories and having an after dinner beer.  We had been listening to the Zebra in the bush near camp and they were very nervous all evening.  We finally headed to our tents, mine is the last tent in the complex quite a bit aways from the other tents.  Just as I got into my tent, I hear the clomping feet of a Zebra run past my tent in the front and shortly afterwards a horrific cry as the zebra is killed by lions about 20 meters off the back of my tent.  All night long I could hear the lions feasting on the zebra.  In the morning I mention it to the staff but they assure me no, the kill was in the other direction away from the camp.  We go for a morning drive and when we return for breakfast the staff informs me that indeed there was a zebra killed just off my tent.

IMG_1104

.  As we get ready to leave the vehicle won’t start and has to be pushed up a hill from the camp so that it can be started by popping the clutch which gets us on our way.  Peter plans to get a new battery in Arusha, Tanzania.  Amboseli is very dry and we see very few animals except for a herd of Elephants in the distance.   Leaving Amboseli on our way to Managa boarder crossing we break a shock absorber.   In Managa the authorities will not let us through the boarder claiming that Peter does not have the right papers for the vehicle.  The road leading to

IMG_1103the boarder crossing is lined with stalls some of which have hand made signs saying Hotel so when Peter says we will have to stay at a Hotel I immediately became worried.  Thankfully there were some clean hotels just off the main road on a side street which we were able to get rooms in.

Peter gets the “proper” papers via the 10 am bus the next morning and we are off the the boarder again.  Again we are rejected at theboarder and Peter began to argue with the boarder guard and was nearly arrested and the vehicle was impounded.  (As far as anyone knows to this day the vehicle is still at the boarder in the impound yard.)

Peter nowarranges for two taxi’s to take us to Arusha with Joshua and he will follow with a truck with our supplies.  He gives me the name of the Hotel and a roll of money and we walk through customs into Tanzania.

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