Wednesday, October 14, 2009

IN THEIR OWN WORDS - Back from Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar



Kenya and Tanzania are amazing!

The varied ecosystems, abundance of animals, fresh air, delicious food, warm sunny days, and cultural differences all contributed to a wonderful vacation. Having skilled drivers to see to everything meant my only concerns were to change batteries, film, and memory cards in my cameras and enjoy the experience.

The seven parks and reserves I visited were all different and remarkable in their own way. My favorite was Kenya’s Amboseli National Park because it was always changing. It was very dry upon my arrival and seemed like a ghost town. Everything was covered in volcanic ash from Mt. Kilimanjaro with dust funnels whirling into the sky. But after it rained the park was green and fresh, and it looked like a completely different place. The sky was incredible and constantly changing. It could be clear and blue and just down the road, it would be multicolored and ominous.

Beside the variety of wild life, seeing the “Big Five” and witnessing the migration, there are many things I will never forget about East Africa. One is being awaken in the morning by a staff member calling out “Jambo!” when bringing a breakfast tray to the tent before the sunrise game drive. The melodious sound of the Maasai welcome chant, when I visited a village to learn of their culture, was hauntingly beautiful. Witnessing a brawl between two troops of baboons in the Serengeti was an unexpected treat. A hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara Game Reserve fulfilled a long time dream of mine. I enjoyed hand feeding cabbage to tortoises and seeing baby peacocks on Prison Island. And wish I could experience the succulent sweet juiciness of fresh picked fruit and the exotic aromas of spices in Zanzibar again. Seeing the majestic peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in all its snow covered glory, from above the clouds was breathtaking. And now every time it rains while the sun is shining here, at home, I smile knowing it’s because the hyenas are having a wedding.

The most striking thing about my trip though was the people. I will never forget the way the Kenyans’ eyes sparkle when they smile. In fact, their entire faces light up the moment they smile which causes a chain reaction and before you know it everyone is smiling.

Thank you Kenneth, 2AFRIKA really did make my safari dreams come true!

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