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  1. #21
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Nairobi National Park

    We decided to spend our last day, to be sure not to miss our return flight home. What to do in Nairobi, if you have a full day? We have visited most of its tourist attractions on our previous trips to Kenya, but on the other hand, we can never get enough of observing wildlife in its pristine environment. So, a visit to Nairobi NP was the most obvious choice. We liked it very much on our previous visit, but as strange as it may sound, we haven't seen any rhinos at that time. Seeing rhinos is supposed to be as much as granted in this park, so let's see if we will have better luck this time.

    On our drive back from Mara to Nairobi, we had a leisure drive through the reserve, and we could spend more time also on the Talek side of the reserve. The traffic on the road to Nairobi was ok, except in the town of Narok, where it was complete madness, and on the ascent out of the Rift Valley after Mai Mahiu, where an endless number of heavily loaded trucks were climbing excruciatingly slow, bumper to bumper.

    In Nairobi, we spent the night camping at Jungle Junction, a legendary meeting point of African overlanders in Kenya. This was our third visit to Jungle Junction, and it felt like being at home.

    Early the next morning we were at the main entrance gate to the park. It was Saturday, and there were substantially more visitors than on our first visit, which was on a weekday. So much, so that particularly at some lions sightings, the congestion evolved to complete gridlocks. But as soon as we drove away from such sightings, it felt like we are alone in the park. And yes, apart from the usual suspects, we also saw rhinos on a few occasions. It is amazingly strange and exciting to see some of the most iconic African animals in their pristine environment, yet with a backdrop of skyscrapers of a modern metropolis.

    We had a leisure breakfast at a picnic site in the park and drove many of its rough game-viewing tracks, enjoying our last day in Kenya, doing what we like to do most in Africa - observing wild animals. We exited the park around noon and treated ourselves to our last lunch in a very famous restaurant in Nairobi - The Carnivore. It's an all-you-can-eat type of restaurant, with all kinds of roasted meat, probably a very touristic version of the famous Kenyan "Nyama Chome". Anyhow, we enjoyed it very much.

    Early next morning (in the night, actually), we had our flight from Nairobi to Istanbul. From there, we were supposed to have a flight back to Ljubljana in the evening. However, just before our flight from Nairobi, we were informed that our flight from Istanbul was canceled. So we had to spend another night in Istanbul and fly back home the next morning. And that was the night that south Turkey and north Syria were struck by a devastating earthquake. Luckily for us, Istanbul was not affected.
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    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Thank you Ortelius for the excellent report.

    I could not agree more with the views expressed both by yourself and Caldriver regarding how one copes with stressful moments, and what keep us going back.

    "Post-mortem" reports (as you correctly put in this case) are also always sent by myself to rental companies, but in this case with RTA, I think they continuously fall on deaf ears. If such reports were somehow meaningful for them they would not have delivered to you the first Hilux. Cars come and go on a continuous rental without being serviced at all in-between.

    Maintenance services are done on the go, unfortunately at our expense, absorbing precious time of our always limited holiday. It is indeed their modus operandi and a bad business strategy.They will not change their attitude, I believe. It happened twice on our limited three week rental with them. I do agree with you though re their 24/7 assistance. Always available for help.

    At the end, and due the very limited choice we have/had in Kenya, I also decided that probably we would probably rent from them again. For this coming October this will not be the case. We have already committed ourselves with Intu, and they seem far reliable and professional. At the end if you sum up all the costs/day (car, working fridge , camping equipment) the price difference might be a less than 40%. I do not mind paying more if brings me some piece of mind re security and safety, and not blowing the all holiday.


    Glad you have just come out with warning on that final approach to Nairobi.


    Asante sana.

    AP
    Last edited by apfac; 2023/02/19 at 01:42 PM.

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Thank you for taking us on this tour. Great report with great info and pictures. These trip reports will be my way of travel in future. My last report late Dec on our Namibia trip was unfortunately my last, so I will travel via reports like yours. I took a decision this week to go on early retirement that eliminate funds for all the dreams I still had planned.

    "In nature, nothing is on order - appreciate what you do get to experience" - Myself
    Ford Everest 2.0 BiT - BL Boskriek 737
    Trip Reports: Namibia 2, Namibia, Kaa Wilderness, Wildcoast, Botswana, Kgalagadi, Lesotho, Western Cape

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  7. #24
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Juri, thanks for this honest and interesting trip report with beautiful photos - my favourites are the ones that you took on the hot-air balloon ride. I have never taken such a ride into serious consideration due to me being afraid of such heights but it must be a great pleasure to fly over such outstanding scenery!

    Regarding vehicle rental I really admire your patience. While I appreciate that minor problems with cars can add spice to an adventure and in hindsight we tend to only remember the funny side, it is car safety and car availability for travel where I draw the line. After all it is our precious holidays with limited time and we pay big money for such vehicles.

    Lets see if there is a viable alternative for car rental in the future. All the best, Anne

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  9. #25
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Asante sana, Ortelius, for the final installments of your excellent trip report. Perhaps one day we can meet again?

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  11. #26
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    A short video clip from the balloon flight over Masai Mara (I recommend switching it to HD resolution).

    Last edited by ortelius; 2023/02/20 at 02:16 PM.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

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  13. #27
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Incredibly beautiful!

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  15. #28
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    For reference, I've started to write a bit more detailed report (and with a lot more photos) to my blog. So far, the general description of the trip, plus the Samburu and Ol Pejeta parts have been published. Other installments will follow in the next few days.

    Kenya 2023
    Samburu
    Ol Pejeta
    Last edited by ortelius; 2023/02/21 at 11:13 PM.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
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  17. #29
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    For reference, I've started to write a bit more detailed report (and with a lot more photos) to my blog. So far, the general description of the trip, plus the Samburu and Ol Pejeta parts have been published. Other installments will follow in the next few days.

    Kenya 2023
    Samburu
    Ol Pejeta

    Hi Ortelius,

    Why do not update this thread of yours about your blog (Our African Ramblings - a blog about our African safaris)

    By the way, thank you for the detailed description on your blog.

    AP
    Last edited by apfac; 2023/02/22 at 12:32 AM.

  18. #30
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Thanks, apfac. I'll add the links to that thread once all the installments are published.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

  19. #31
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Many thanks Ortelius for a great series of trip reports, deeply appreciated.
    And the best stories about overland travel are always the ones where things went badly or hilariously wrong - stuck in the mud hole, a wheel falling off, a dhow sinking, monsoon storms, a hell run through shifta territory in the NFD...
    Tony Weaver
    2010 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 3.2l diesel
    Previously
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    1983 Toyota HiLux 2l 4x4

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  21. #32
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    There are actually two very good rental options now, Intu 4x4 and the new services set up by Foleyís, Black Leopard hire. Both provide fully equipped cars that are very well maintained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Ortelius does write very well and is to be congratulated on not dwelling on the stressful moments. I find the most stressful moments are driving on main roads! The biggest danger in Africa is other road users.

    I had always assumed that driving a rental car would be less stressful as it was up to the hire company to get you out of a sticky position. And there is mostly always good phone signal in Kenya. And someone will always come along at some stage - or there will be a fundi nearby.

    I do think that Road Trip Africa (RTA) should be boycotted despite being one of the few rental companies with camping equipment. As I have said before, it is a tiny market in East Africa for fully-equipped self-drive 4x4s with camping equipment, but RTA seem to be unethical and unprofessional. I wonder if they even have the required licences for tourist rental vehicles? Did this vehicle have a sticker saying TSV on it? Standing for Tourist Service Vehicle. Like buses and matatus have PSV (Passenger Service Vehicle). There is a lot of red tape in Kenya. We have towed RTA vehicles out of the mud in the Mara in the past as they either didnít have the equipment or the drivers didnít have the experience or knowledge of what not to go into - or how to extract themselves once mired in the mud. No wonder their vehicles are in such poor state, but that doesnít excuse them hiring such a sub-standard vehicle to Ortelius.

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  23. #33
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Thank you ortelius for taking us along your Kenyan adventure. The colors!!! There is no sky like the East African. I share your fondness of Samburu, mostly those towering gallery forests dominate great memories. Lake Turkana remains elusive to us as it is to you. Hopefully on another occasion and under better climatic and social circumstances.
    Regarding the vehicle rental situation I would like to throw in the name of a company. A friend of ours regularly rents from them, but I know that they also had a few issues.
    https://www.sunworld-safari.com/en/v...oof-top-camper
    Best regards Leona
    After a trip is before a trip

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  25. #34
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    The last four parts of this trip have been added to the blog.

    Lake Baringo
    Kericho and Lake Naivasha
    Masai Mara
    Nairobi National Park
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    My blog: Our African Ramblings (https://safaribug.wordpress.com/)

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  27. #35
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Terrific photos and descriptions
    Asante sana!
    After a trip is before a trip

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  29. #36
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    Default Re: TR Kenya, January 2023 - Lake Turkana was not meant to be

    Thanks for taking the time to update your blog with even more beautiful photos and information. Really much appreciated!

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