Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Tour Guide Experiment: Day One

I’ve always appreciated how well Erika plans out activities for the friends and family she has that visit town.

So, in an attempt to allow her and Rhett  to experience the fun of an itinerary planned just for them, I have written up a 5 day list of activities and meals in the hopes of enabling them to have the FULL Kenyan experience.

Megan, our volunteer coordinator here at Karibu has developed a great circle of young, mostly unmarried American friends here in Kenyan….that by extension we have gotten to know through her and church.  She helped arrange for them to have Eli and Lucy this last night for a sleep-over, which was PERFECT for allowing us to go together to airport to pick up Rhett and Erika and then spend some nice quality time with them yesterday late evening and all morning today.

On the agenda:  Nairobi National Park.  The web advertises that you can see all of the big 5 except for the elephant:   leopard, lion, buffalo and rhino.  We didn’t know what to expect for our self-serve driving safari within the city limits, but we were excited!

What we did know to expect:  lots of mud.  Constant rain all day and night since Friday evening.

Here is what we found:

Not even on zoom...that close, but Erika takes the prize for closest in the wild

Not wildlife, but yummy chocolate muffins as snacks for our safari

He finally agreed to cover up with his leg so I could post an appropriate g-rated picture


 On our self-driving safari, we also saw in the distance where  pictures would not do them justice:  African buffalo, elands, waterbuck, vultures, grey crowned cranes, egrets, and a coucal.

And then our mud bogging adventure began, which I hope that Erika takes the time to describe in much better detail on her blog.  While the men were off helping someone much MORE stuck than we ever were, Erika and I decided to make ourselves useful by scraping the mud off our vehicles’ tires:

She's such a giver.......


And then the boys returned from their unsuccessful attempt to free the vehicle ahead of us from the mud.   On the bright side, Rhett and Ian both obtained free mud wraps for their feet:

Rhett's foot....despite having shoes on during his rescue attempt


All in all, we decided that we more than got our money’s worth out of this self-service safari.

Wait  until they see what I have planned for tomorrow……Diamond Plaza!


And the ‘fari continues….

So we did this all more than a week ago, but it is Africa, and we were t.v. and computer free for essentially 2 weeks.  It was a nice break…..learning to just be still and smelling the dampened earth, exhaust free air, plumeria on the warm evening air.  I could go on and on.  Have I ever mentioned that plumeria is one of my favorite scents…could it be because I am always in Hawaii when I smell it?  I loved it here too.

Our safari was fantastic.  I don’t think that I would have changed a moment of it.  It allowed us to have wonderful quality time with Ian’s parents, and also much needed time together as our own little family.  Ian loved the spontaneous loves he got to give and receive from the kids while out on the game drives and walking around our tented camp.  So did I.

On our last evening, we enjoyed hanging out outside of the tented camp open air dining hall chatting with the hotel manager.  He is a medical doctor who later went into tourism after many years of frustrated work at Kenyan district hospitals.  What a wonderful, intellectual discussion we had with him ranging from spinal tuberculosis to how the American economy trickles down to reduced Kenyan tourism dollars.  Here Kapur is identifying animals with Eli and Lucy and chatting with our family:

A few fun other photos from the safari:

And we got a rare photo of us all together!

Our evening game drive in photos

Hyena resting












Cat (Lion) napping









Overseeing the female hunting at sunset









Sunset in the Mara









Water buffalo









Playing zebras









Bonita insisted I post the fresh kill....cover your innocent child's eyes.









sleepy boy...we were so close I expected to hear him snore









Lake Naivasha

So, if you’re savy, you’ll have found Megan Steele’s blog that she is writing while here in Kenya and you can have twice the reading pleasure!  On days that I seem just too worn out to get anything onto the blog…it is nice…because she has often written one!

Anyhow, this is about a week late, but I thought I’d share some pictures from our Lake Naivasha adventure last weekend starting of course with a stop for coffee at Java House:


We then drove up from Nairobi through Limuru, a beautiful lush farming town:july 09 158

july 09 160









From Limuru, we drove up until we reached the end of the Great Rift Valley  Truly, pictures do not do it justice, but here’s a go of it:

july 09 167









From there we approached the town of Navaisha where we made a brief stop so I could go to the bathroom….ahh, my first experience with a squat toilet.  Lovely.  I don’t have a picture of that, but imagine it on the side of a service station, with a raggedly old wooden door, padlocked from the outside (latched from the inside thankfully), with a hole in the floor, a pull handle and NOTHING else.  Pretty darn gross, but when you’ve held it for 3 hours, sometimes you take what you can get.


Ian and the kids then hid from the 7 cats at the YellowGreen Restaurant that ended up jumping up and stealing chicken off of Megan’s plate:










Then after lunch, off to the lake that we accessed from the Naivasha Country Club:


















Ok, so I’ve been working on this darn post for like 4 days now, and it really looks like this is all of the pictures that I am going to successfully load on here.  It was a beautiful trip and we had a great time.  Megan has a great picture of one of the hippos we saw on the lake on her blog.

Lucy Boo-cy

On her "mountain" of stones..beyond a canyon/river but it is hard to tell.

On her "mountain" of stones..beyond a canyon/river but it is hard to tell.

That is Eli’s name for Lucy when he is teasing her. It drives her crazy. He knows it does, so of course she gets called that even more. Until I step in to referee. Then he just tries to whisper it. Anyhow, Lucy is quite the character. Surprising people here with her boldness and toughness. People are always grabbing for her when she falls, but then she just gets up, brushes herself off and is fine. She wanted me to take this picture of her outside when she was playing “king of the mountain”, which involves her yelling to anyone who will listen, “GET OFF MY MOUNTAIN!”  I don’t know where they get these things.

As we were walking outside, it was early evening and Lucy pointed and said, “It so shiney!”  I must have looked confused because she repeated herself and pointed to the sky.  The evening sky at dusk looked shiney or rather silver if you ask me, but hey, shiney works.  Then she pointed to the cow and said, “Did they melt the cow?”  Took me a minute to figure out that one too.  Melt, milk.   You can see how the two words  might get confused.   Then she looked at the scab on her knee and said, “Come on with me owie.”

Sometimes you just got to love this girl.  Stubborness and all.  Ok, I love her all the time.