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  1. #1
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    Default TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    DAY 1&2
    So... the adventure begins!

    After 8,5h of flying in a half-empty plane, we set foot on African soil. Ready for 23 days full of wildlife, scenery, Maasai, friendly Kenyans, and much more..


    We start our journey at the airfield where 4x4-Kenya was waiting for us with their Landrover Defender 110 with rooftop tent. After the paperwork, we left the airport for our first stopover, Greenspoon, the online supermarket for meat, fruits, veggies, and beers/wines. I pre-ordered the meat online and scheduled a pick up from their warehouse. They also have a delivery service, so if you stay in Nairobi for a night, it can be delivered at your hotel/Airbnb/campsite.

    The warehouse is located in Kikuyu so our first off-road experience didn’t have to wait long, although the Southern bypass currently has some nice gravel parts as well.

    After our pickup, Narok was our next destination, Naivas Narok. When we arrived in Narok, we noticed one of the back doors wouldn’t lock. After contacting 4x4-Kenya, they told us they would send their mechanic right away. While we were at Naivas, we met up with 3 guys self-driving, also in a Defender. Of course, they were Dutch as well. We exchanged some tips and did some groceries shopping. After the shopping, we went to Malabi Mara Hotel. Nice located outside the city with no barking dogs/donkeys and other African town noise. The mechanic came and fixed the issues on the spot, so we could leave Narok at first light in the morning.


    We drove from Narok to Sekenani Gate in about 1,5-2h. During the drive, you could see more and more Maasai shukas so we were getting close to our destination.
    After arriving at Sekenani Gate, we also found the other Dutch Defender. They got soaked last night on the campsite of Oldarpoi (Sekenani), so we were happy we opted for the nice and cozy Malabi Mara Hotel.

    So here we go... finally...Thé Maasai Mara. We got a transfer ticket to Purungat Bridge so we used the map to navigate in that direction. We went off and on the main road and eventually found two lazy male lions right next to the road. After speaking with some guides there we heard about a leopard with a cub which was seen. So we followed the guy and eventually found a cheetah snoozing next to a tree. It was about 10-15m from the road with cars around it. We looped by and moved on, hoping for a better cheetah sighting that was not offroad. We drove like 500m and there were a lot of cars around a ditch/dry river bed. We found out it was a mother leopard with a cub, but it was being harrassed quite badly by the vehicles that we immediately took off towards Purungat. Hopefully more quiet sightings in the Triangle....

    After checking in at the Triangle around 14:00h it was time for our drive towards Eluai. We just used the main road, nothing fancy. We drove up the hill and found the campsite. There were also 2 guys busy digging a long drop, so improvements? are on its way. The campsite itself was surrounded by small bushes so you didn't really have a good sightseeing spot. The way I imagined it, was a clear view from the hill. Quickly after our arrival, the Dutch Defender also arrived and a small bit later another Dutch couple arrived. We did a small recon drive from the campsite and after enduring some heavy rains it was time for a campfire, with Dutch company and some Tuskers and Amarula.... Meanwhile, we were being watched by a cheeky hyena and the local buffalos were hanging out in the bushes. There is a couple of rocks around the campsite which creates some sort of extra barrier for the bigger animals. Although the buffalo didn't care about us, probably locals so used to people.

    Tomorrow the real game drives can finally start.
    Last edited by DutchieGoingAfrica; 2021/11/03 at 09:03 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Thank you Dutchie, for this trip report. Looking forward for the following instalments, as I miss Kenya badly.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Thank you Dutchie for this teaser! Looks like being on the queue it paid off!

    Really waiting for future installments.

    Thank you.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Asante sana, Dutchie!

    Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures in the lovely Kenya.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Thanks for paying attention to our constant nagging Dutchie, can't wait for our turn to get to Kenya. Look forward to future installments.
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Hi Dutchie so far so good, waiting for the next episode and some photos, please.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Sorry all, been very busy moving houses and stuff. Will update soon!

    meanwhile some photos:
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Some fantastic cat photos there. Hope you can remember all the details of your sightings by the time you get to write your Trip Report
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
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  12. #10
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    First of all, sorry for the delay. It were busy times and something bad happened to my external hard drive. I did'nt back it all up photos yet and now it refuses to connect to my computer. Waiting for some hardware/pcr plate and if that doensn't work, I have to send it to some expensive recovery lab to get my precious photos back. Hopefully.
    Well, where were we go....

    DAY 3&4

    Early morning alarm because we don't want to miss any of the action, only 21 days left so make the most of it ;-)
    We exchanged phone numbers last night and created a small 'Muzungu Safari' WhatsApp group. The idea was to share sightings since we didn't have the network the guides use.

    We were the first ones to take off and headed towards the escarpment. It was a beautiful morning, with a blue sky, and after the rains of last night, everything seemed extra fresh.
    We found some general game like zebras and of course wildebeest and saw a huge herd of buffalo towards the escarpment. After driving a while, my eyes fell on some jackals playing next to the road. When we got near them, something else presented itself behind some bushes. Two beautiful male lions! One of them was posing in the best possible way, right next to the road and the other one was eating some left over wildebeest. It seems they killed two wildebeests and both were nearly finished. After enjoying them for a while, we notified the others as well. It was a lovely sighting with two males getting towards their prime and two jackals playing tag on the other side of the road.
    After like 45min, we decided to move on and we crossed the grassfield on a small track, nice and wet but nothing too bad. We enjoyed the company of elephants next to us so the morning was already fruitful. When we got back on tracks we went towards the hippo pool, since there was a lot of noise (growling/moo'ing) from that side when we were at the lion sighting. Unfortunately nothing special so we moved back towards the Serena area. Meanwhile we received a text from the other Dutchies in their Defender, they spotted a serval on patrol and were standing next to a male lion close to the serval. Luckily we were heading that direction since we both really wanted to find our first serval ever.
    By the time we got there, the Dutch Hilux was also looking for it but it seemed to have dissapeared. Too bad but at least we now know about a serval's hunting territory, could be valuable intel.
    The male lion was right in the open savannah enjoying some sunshine, bit too far away for nice shots so we drove on towards the crossing point near observation hill to see if there was some river action. While we drove in that direction we saw a hyena running down the hill towards the river so we were curious to see what the fuss was all about. Well, it included a big bunch of vultures, 30% of a dead young zebra and a lioness. It looked like the lioness was finished with supper but she didn't want the vultures to get the leftovers. So when she walked towards the shade and the vultures came in, she rushed back full speed to chase them off. Meanwhile the hyena was also lurking for it's piece of the pie. After 2-3 turns, the lioness gave up. The morning sun was getting too warm and she called it quits. The vultures went in and the hyena took it's prize. Lucky us that the sighting was right next to the road towards Olarro Private campsite. When the action was done, we moved forward towards the crossing area at lookout hill. Unfortunately no action so time to grab some lunch and check our new campsite, Dirisha! We went to Serena Mara to check the lodge, the view and grab a fork. And the view didn't dissapoint. It's located on a hill overlooking the Mara giving you a great opportunity to see how massively big this park is. We had a nice buffet lunch and after that it was time to explore Dirisha.

    When we arrived at the turn off, we drove towards the river, we found a beautiful grassy area with hippo's chilling down in the river. We couldn't really find out where the previous campfires had bin lit but it looked incredible. Well after some snacks it was time to do some afternoon driving. We found a nice heard of elephant and with a dramatic dark blue backdrop of some rain far away it was a stunner to watch and photograph. We were driving in the direction of the border and wanted to make a nice loop back towards the escarpment but the rain created a very slippery road, the infamous black cotton soil.... a quick reverse and back towards the Dirisha direction. We offered the campsite to our new Dutch friends and the Hilux had time to book an extra night and joined us at Dirisha, the Defender boys went for greener pastures on the other side of the river. So when we came at the 'campsite' our friends were nowhere to be seen, so we whatsapped and they told us they were at the campsite. Confusion.... Well, we were only on a small sidetrack but after the turnoff to Dirisha you had to actually drive trough some forest area before reaching the campsite. So after 10 minutes we found the real Dirisha campsite including the Dutch hilux. It was a night of stargazing, Amarula and campfire stories. Nothing beats African campfire stories with Amarula especially when you see the fireflies around you. Pure Magic!
    The rangers arrived around 19:30 and set up camp a bit in the distance. The hippos came out and the bush came alive at night.

    BEEP BEEP, Let's go, new day and new adventures ahead. We hoped for some river action and went game driving towards the peninsula area. Close to hippo pools we found some hyenas on patrol and one particular curious one came all the way to our vehicle to tell us good morning, very kind! When we arrived at the peninsula crossing area there actually was some build up so we positioned ourselves next to a gamedrive vehicle of Wild-Eye, a South African photographic safari company. The best of the best. So their spot should be good, and boy it was.. After a while or so the tension started to build and the first wildebeest went down to take a close look at the river. They watched and watched and all of sudden....BOOM first one in and single file the first followed. This startled the other wildebeest and all of them wanted to get across. All that action even made wildebeest at 1-2km away on the hills sprint towards the peninsula. So yea.... first crossing..first ones to go in... GOOSEBUMPS everywhere..what a breath taking experience. I started photographing and after a while just watched in awe. After about 5 minutes they even came down the side jumping and the chaos was complete. All in all it took around 15 minutes. Our first crossing, late in the season and 15 minutes of action, simply incredible. The Wild Eye guides told us it was their longest crossing so far and they are there all season (in rotation of guides). So lucky us I guess!
    Simply watching the zebras and wildebeest go was amazing. Unfortunately no crocodile actions, they were probably full to the brim after the previous days/weeks/months of crossings.
    After the crossing we just took some deep breaths, relaxed and let it all sink in.

    Allright, nothing is going to beat this experience today, but we can at least try. So we went towards the Purungat bridge, had some chats with the rangers for some information on tracks and than moved off towards the border to hopefully find some cheetahs. Being able to drive in the Mara Triangle bordering the Serengeti is simply an amazing experience as well. We even found 2 lionesses far away in the Serengeti, snoozing in the shade of one of the hundreds of trees in the Serengeti. Seeing these plains dotted with trees is almost as cool as seeing the crossing earlier. What made it better, was the fact that the Serengeti side was filled with thousands of wildebeest which were already enroute towards the South Serengeti. We made the obligatory border signpost photo's and just enjoyed the beautiful views. When we got more towards the escarpment, the tracks were filled with wildebeest, they were everywhere. Thousands and thousands of these animals, what a sight. After countless photos it was time to move on to find a lunch spot. We drove along the escarpment and found a big fig tree surrounded by hundreds of zebra. Beautiful spot for some nice beef burgers (Greenspoon). So all in all, great morning. What else can you wish for? This was the reason we came to Kenya, to the Mara. After the burgers and some drinks we drove around for a while. Found a very relaxed breeding herd of elephants with the cutest youngsters, again lots of photographic opportunities. So yeah, end of the afternoon coming up, whats the plan? Hmm, since we were close to the airstrip and Serena Mara, we could try out the spot where the serval was spotted. It was a short drive that side and scouting both sides I heard Laura scream YES! We found it! What a beautiful cat this is, the Serval cat. Slowly scouting the area for snacks and dinner. It came towards the road so we had some good chances for nice photos. We positioned ourselves on a higher ridge and just watched it hunt and search. After a while it crossed the road, was hunting again and all of a sudden it jumped in some high grass and dissapeared for a while. After like 5 seconds it was back and it suddenly multiplied! It were two, it's partner was probably snoozing in that grass so he/she woke it up to get going. So we got spoiled watching two servals making their path trough the bush. A beautiful sighting after an incredible day of safari in the Mara Triangle.
    Time to retire the camera for the day and go 'home' for some snacks and Amarula to celebrate this unforgettable day.. Asante Sana Mara!

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  14. #11
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    DAY 5&6
    After another good night at Dirisha Private Campsite it was time to further explore the Mara Triangle. We took the road towards Serena lodge and from there moved past the airfield towards the escarpment. After a while we spotted a male and female lion walking on the savannah away from the road. So we drove on and tried the first exit, a small road to go after them. Followed by two safari vehicles with clients we went on a small track in the direction of the lions but unfortunately nothing to see. We drove back and went towards airstrip again. After a while we found another track leading into the savannah and followed it. After a few minutes Laura spotted the two lions and also some hyenas. We called the ranger who was camping at Dirisha to confirm to go off road for big cats, he double checked and gave us permission to proceed towards the lions. When we came at the lions, we found them feasting on a buffalo kill. It probably got killed earlier, might have been from natural causes, since I don't expect a few hyena's to take down a buffalo. Anyway, we had a beautiful sighting of this male and female eating from the carcass just a few meters away. Stunning shots were taken and just enjoyed the sighting. The safari vehicles tried another road so we were the only ones to enjoy. After a while they went for a break and walked towards a tree and went into chill mode. For us a sign to move on and check the river.
    When we arrived at the river there were some wildebeest around but no signs of moving just yet so we enjoyed our breakfast at the peninsula crossing point. After about an hour, the herd started moving and we enjoyed a really nice crossing. Again no crocodiles there for some extra drama, probably full bellies. Such an epic morning!
    After the crossing we went back to the buffalo kill to see if the lions were still at it, but we found the flying cleanup crew already at it. Always fun to see them at it, although the sounds & smells are next level haha.

    When we got back at the campsite, it was time to take life to the next level. I proposed to Laura at Dirisha Campsite. Luckily she said yes haha. So the rest of the trip on cloud nine Dirisha will always be a special place and a good excuse to go back in the future.
    The afternoon drive was also a special one, we went back towards the peninsula crossing area and check the Maji Chafu area for the leopardess with cub. After a while there was another vehicle which was able to spot it. A beautiful young cub chilling and hiding under a trea in the small river/creek bank. Major ending of a great day.

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  16. #12
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Congrats to you for making such a huge leap in your life inside Mara!
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Congratulations on your engagement! Dirisha (which means “window”) has obviously worked its magic: a view to your future together.

    Please keep on writing. I’m still intrigued to know whether the vehicle you hired was equipped for camping.

  18. #14
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Hey Dutchie, it took you long enough to pop the question! Congrats from us all.

    See you guys when you are again in this area.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Day 7
    Wakey wakey, another day, another adventure.
    Two options, back to Maji Chafu and Peninsula to try and find the leopard cub or explore other areas? Well we chose the 2nd option and after we heard what happened it was the best option.
    A male leopard came to the female with cub, grabbed the cub and tore it’s head off. Infanticide is a completely natural phenomenon which is more often seen with lions but it’s a very cruel sight as well. So we were happy explored other parts of the Triangle.
    We had spoken to the obligatory rangers at our campsite and they made us enthusiastic about the chances to see rhinos. We went towards the area where they are known to be (no info, never know what poacher idiot is reading this(hi idiot!)) and tried to find them. Unfortunately no luck for us. We did find a group of lionesses walking around the area but nothing special. After some regular game sightings we moved around a bit, had some lunch at camp and later decided to go towards the airfield area. We met up with a ranger vehicle which we’ve been in contact earlier as well and they told us there was a sighting of 2 cheetah brothers from the Serengeti. We tried to find cheetah near the border in past days and no luck so this was our chance. After getting some vague details and route advice we scurried towards the border. Our best chance was to find some vehicles since two cheetahs in that huge area is hard to find. While driving trough huge herdes of wildebeest we eventually spotted two cars near some tree, gotcha! Well.. we got it but it was a young leopard snoozing high up in a tree. Of course also really cool and we enjoyed that one for quite a bit. The drivers told us about two cheetah brothers which were near, just around the hill. So after enjoying this lazy leopard for half an hour it was time to move on. We went up the hill and there they were, our first cheetahs up close. And it was only 500m away from the leopard. The two boys were chilling on the hill and didn’t seem to care about our company. I took some photos and just enjoyed being with them. Great sighting, great afternoon drive..! But Triangle had more in store for us. When we left the cheetahs to head back, a few hundred meters down the road was a cosy lion family. Female with 3 cubs. Young male and a few sub(adults). Great light and watching the cubs suckle for milk was really special. But sun was lowering so time to drive. Butttt Triangle wasn’t done yet. Another 200m were the two big papas from
    the lions. Two huge dark maned badass lions with no care in the world. They were doing wat lions do best, sleep! While photographing he did honor me with standing up, walking for 5 meters and go back to sleep. So at least there was some movement. But you could notice all predators were relaxed due the abundance of wildebeest/prey.
    Another great day in the Mara Triangle with loads of special sightings in just 1 square km. Back to Dirisha to dream about the days to come…

    Note;
    Our vehicle was doing well. The Land Rover took us wherever we needed. The rooftop tent was fine and also the cooking equipment didn’t lack in anything. Obviously, we had some minor problems. Our backdoor wouldn’t lock properly, so a mechanic came in and fixed it. Sometimes it wouldn’t start in the regular way and the mechanic hot wired it as a quick fix in case of it happening more often. Good and quick solution. In Tsavo West our tensioner pulley broke down so our fan belt got tore up. This was quite shite since we were en-route to Amboseli. We were lucky to be greeted by a defender from chyulu hills lodge which took all the time in the world to help us out. Eventually we got towed out of the park by him towards Mtito Andei where the mechanic arrived late at night with a fresh tensioner pulley. The pulley did also damage the radiator tho so we took a replacement Hilux and they stayed with the defender for repairs. So a very quick action from 4x4 Kenya. The guy from Chyulu Hills just had the same problem a few weeks ago and told us it just happens now and than. Only ‘problem’ is that defender parts are not available at every town, that's one of the reasons people take Toyota I guess haha…

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  21. #16
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Hi Dutchie, a further 6 weeks have passed since you last reported and more than 7 months have passed since you arrived home. How about an update on the last 16 days of your trip?
    Last edited by Tedx2; 2022/06/02 at 09:10 AM.
    John 2021 Prado GXL 2.8 (Australia) & 2017 Land Cruiser 79 D/Cab + Alucab Ossewa "Hagrid" (Africa)
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  23. #17
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Hi Tedx and all the others!

    Indeed, I have let you and the other members of the forum down... I, unfortunately, lost all my photos from weeks 2-3 in Kenya. (Mara Reserve, Tsavo East/West, Amboseli). I always use photos to remember stuff and write stories about it....

    But a small recap;

    After the Mara Triangle, we stayed at Talek Bush Camp. Just outside the gate on a nice shady campsite. Not too many people around so plenty of space. They provide a night guard and have a restaurant where you can get full board. The town of Talek offers petrol but no fancy fuel stations, so be careful.
    During our time in the Mara, we used a guide for 3 days. Just WOW! With a guide, you get to see so much stuff that it's almost overwhelming. Also hopping from sighting to sighting (cheetah, lion, leopard repeat) made us choose to leave the Mara earlier than planned and head out to Tsavo East before continuing to Amboseli.

    During our stopover in Nairobi, we stayed at Wildebeest Eco Camp. A nice place to stop by with a pool and everything although we only had dinner and early breakfast before we headed out to Tsavo East.

    Well, the trip from Nairobi to Tsavo East was interesting to say the least. I'm not religious but made peace with every god I could think of. The trucks and busses make crazy moves on the road and it was up to us to survive all of it. One time we almost got pushed of the road by a cement truck, later we noticed this #$*#&@ was on his phone and didn't even notice us. Well, another adventure

    We went inside Tsavo East using the Manyani Gate. They didn't have many visitors in the last few weeks. We drove towards Ndololo Campsite and after not seeing any living creatures for a long time the first animal we saw was a lioness with a fresh kill. She dragged it under a nearby tree where her colleague was waiting to devour the poor topi. After enjoying the sighting for a while we continued and found our first 'red elephants'. What a beautiful sighting, these giants covered in red dust. Again some photography and off we went. Eventually, we drove up to Voi Gate to enquire about the campsite. From there we conducted a small game drive and just a few hundred meters from the gate we found a lioness on a buffalo carcass. When we stopped and watched her we saw very different behavior as the usual lion behavior. It immediately went into stalking mode and eventually hid in a few bushes nearby. Probably a descendant of the Maneaters of Tsavo

    Ultimately we decided to treat ourselves to a lodge and drove to Voi Safari Lodge, located on a hillside with the most amazing view over the savannah. It has a nice pool, great bar, and a really cool underground hide with a waterhole. The ellies love to get a drink and spray some extra red dust. A few amarula's later a good buffet and off to bed.

    The next morning we went on a game drive and found a lioness with a few cubs and some general game including the funny Gerenuk! We checked out the Ndololo campsite and it's pretty nice. There's a camp attendant which makes you a nice fire and a place to cook and some power outlets to charge your batteries. Next to the campsite is a waterhole so a lot of elephant activity. On the afternoon drive, we did a fairly long loop and found ourselves a mother cheetah with 2 youngsters. Very nice to have them all by ourselves!

    The next day we went looking for leopards since we heard about possibly finding them in the river area.. and yes we did! First vehicle there and a beauty of a leopard in the tree. When more vehicles came the leopard decided the show's over and off it went. Mission successful! In the afternoon we conducted a second drive and after a while heard about a big (20) lion pride near Aruba camp. Unfortunately, they were already on the move when we arrived so after watching a few of them walk we drove all the way back to the campsite and made it in time for total darkness fell.

    On our final day, we noticed our tire was half flat so decided to get to Voi to get it repaired. Luck was in our favor and we met a german doctor who was a resident in the Galanga area (work) he helped us inflate the tire again and check the valve. It definitely helped and so we went on a game drive together all the way to the other side of the park (Galani river). A beautiful game drive but very long. No specials today but the green water at the river was a rare sight. It looked like it was polluted in a bad way. On the way back to Voi Gate our tire was completely flat so we had to replace it in the burning heat with no shade, yay!
    After fixing it we went straight for Voi Town and got all our tires checked and fixed.

    Next morning, off to Tsavo West for a stopover towards Amboseli. It offers beautiful landscapes but animals are scarce. We hoped to find the local pack of wild dogs but had no luck. We heard some lions roaring and hyenas whooping but no sights. Had dinner at Serena lodge and drove back to the campsite. Had a quiet night and the next day did a game drive and from there moved on to Amboseli. Well, that was the plan. Around the area where the lava floods are our car started smelling. I quickly stopped and checked.... fan belt was broken... no more engine cooling. After a few calls with park management a vehicle on its way to Mtito Andei passed us and was willing to tow us out of the park. But... no towing ropes. Another vehicle of a nearby lodge came in and helped us make some. We got some steel wires from the rangers and sort of braided them into a towing cable. So thanks to these amazing fellas (Chyulu Hills Lodge) we got out of the park to Mtito Andei. We called our car rental and repairs where on their way. After washing the red dust of our bodies in the pool we chilled and waited for repairs. The guys had to drive all the way from Nairobi but go there in the evening. They found out they not only needed to replace the belt but also the radiator needed repairing. The belt probably damaged it when it snapped off. So instead of continuing with the Defender, we proceeded our adventure the next day in a Toyota Hilux. After a quick passing through Tsavo West we went on to Amboseli. We inquired with KWS if we could pass the park without paying fees since we broke down and didn't want to do a game drive. Luckily they gave permission, it saved us big $$ or a big detour.

    At Amboseli NP we stayed in the bordering Kibo Safari Camp. It has a self-catering wing and looks really nice and decent. We still used the buffet each day since it was impossible to skip it after enjoying it the first night. Amboseli itself was dry and dusty but very special with the loads of elephants that come out of the mountains and forest each day to bathe and drink.

    We managed to find a few lions on our first day and explored the dry lakebed. A really special place.
    The next day we again found lions and a serval near Ol Tukai Lodge. There was also a sighting of a leopard so we went there. It was hiding behind a bush and a lot of cars were waiting. Well, we saw loads of leopards already (Mara and Tsavo around 8?) so let's go. Later we found out it was BIG NEWS since it was the first leopard sighting in years.. If only I made that shot.........
    Well, we enjoyed a nice drink at Serena lodge and went back to the lodge. On the afternoon drive, we found a male and female lioness and it seemed the lioness was lactating. So after a small drive around we came back and there they were, 4 beautiful young cubs in the most fairytale light.. but like I said, the photos were all gone but one (see above).

    On our final day, we had the honor of having 2 guests with us. Two young ladies which did their internship at Kibo were hosting us at the self-catering wing and we found out they actually never went inside the park and saw wildlife. For us, that was really weird since they were so close but it came down to them being there 24/7. So after talking to the manager we got permission to take one of the girls on a morning drive and one on an afternoon drive. The first was one was lucky to see 2 cheetahs with a Kilimanjaro view and find the lions again. The other one saw a lioness and had a small driving lesson on the dry lake bed. A fun day and watching them enjoying the wilds made it a valuable memory.

    Well people, that was about it, our Kenyan adventure.

    I do have a video of our first week in the Mara Triangle which I will share below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMqJ9GgqOX8

    Last June I've been on a Ugandan Safari. I was hosting my first photographic safari, taking 4 guests into the country.
    This was all lodge-based so maybe less interesting.

    Even though it is a bit late, I still hope you enjoyed my report. With a bit of luck, I will be in Zambia & Malawi coming July. Currently researching the best itinerary for our honeymoon (after the Dirisha, Triangle engagement). So if any of you has some advice, I will see you in the Zambia/Malawi threads! End of August I will be in the Mara hosting another photographic safari for 2 weeks. Anyone around that time?
    Last edited by DutchieGoingAfrica; 2023/03/10 at 06:05 PM.

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  25. #18
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Thanks for the update! It seems you are quite good with the leopards! Thanks again.
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  27. #19
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Lovely video from Mara. Made my heart warmer. I see you were lucky with the rhino in Mara, after all?

    Looks like we will miss each other in Malawi just for a few weeks - we'll be there in August if all goes by the plan.
    Last edited by ortelius; 2023/03/10 at 08:39 PM.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

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  29. #20
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT - Kenya - 23 days - Maasai Mara/Triangle, Tsavo East/West & Amboseli

    Better late than never!

    Asante sana.

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