BC: Summer 2009
FC: Africa Kahini Mutsuddi | Jambo | Mama, Ruhaan and I with our guide Rafael
1: Nairobi | 'Mama I want to watch T.V now.' Stuck in a tiny chair, I was squashed between the window and my brother, who, just like me, could not go to sleep with a miracle sitting right in front of our faces. Tossing and turning, I could not tear my gaze away from the tiny television screen staring right at me, luring me into its kingdom of fantasy. What I couldn't understand was why was I expected to sleep when I could be having so much more of a better time. At last, in a position I thought to be impossible, I gave way to the orders of my mother and went to bed. I was woken with a shock as our plane landed with a thud. Stretching, I got up and rushed of the plane. An hour later, I was wandering out of the airport, trying to get my first glimpse of Africa. As we were looking around, a lady came up to my father and introduced herself. It was Mau, our travel agent. She led us to our open top safari vehicle, where we met our guide for the whole of Kenya, Rafael.
2: Journey of Surprises | As we sped through country, my mother shooting away questions. Rafael suddenly slowed down and pointed towards the horizon. There we saw three Rothschild giraffes, gracefully walking around. I was surprised. We were 1 km away from the airport, and we had already seen one of the most well known creatures. Tearing along the country side, I realized that Africa was much more modern than my mental image of the place. After having our head filled to the brim with facts to digest, we pulled into our hotel, where we would stay for the night
3: Elephant Orphanage | After freshening up at the hotel, we set off for the long awaited elephant orphanage. The calves at the orphanage were alone due to natural causes ,poaching or destruction of habitat, and Ruhaan and I were dying to see them. As soon as we came to the end of the dusty road, we jumped off the car and raced towards where the elephants were kept. Only then did we realize there was a big crew of animal fanatics just like us. After paying, we rushed in to the ring. We all turned to the right, as we heard the stamping of the tiny calves all ready to have their daily milk. They rushed over to their assigned trainer, and gulped down the milk like there was no tomorrow.
4: Continued... | The little calves came within hands reach, and we stretched out to pat them. Their rough skin combined with their wiry hairs give their skin an odd but adorable feel. After the little ones, the slightly older ones came. THese ones acted just as playfully as the younger ones, and allowed us to touch them. A few of the little ones came running, not planning on missing out on the fun. They splashed themselves and played around just like us humans.
6: Giraffe Feeding | After a couple of minutes drive from the orphanage, we arrived at our last tourist attraction for the day. I had looked forward to this, and rushed towards the ticket booth. After paying, I sprinted up the stairs where I was given some sort of food pellet that resembled dog food, I took a couple of more steps, and then gazed into a large brown eye. I stretched out my hand, and felt a rough tongue lick my hand. The giraffe looked up and stared at me, begging for more. Once again I put my hand out. and
7: felt her rough tongue wrap around my hand. I reached out my hand and tried to pat her back, and surprisingly, she let me. Suddenly I realized I was alone, and tried to look around for my family. I saw Ruhaan with a male giraffe, doing the same as me. I then relaxed, and went back to feeding the giraffe. After a while, I went inside to read facts, and learned the there are three types of giraffe found in Kenya: Rothschild, Reticulated and Maasai. Outside, we took pictures with some children from a schoolFeeding the giraffes was an awesome experience that I will always remember
8: Can I please have some more?
10: Treetops | Carefully steeping of the coach, I looked up to see a massive tree house made entirely of wood. I looked around and saw not one but two watering holes right next to the tree house. I whipped my video camera and started filming the two buffaloes who were brave enough to come to drink during the day. We then got a big lecture about how we weren't allowed to step out of the tree house, unless we were going on the safari, which we were.
11: After the parent drinking their tea and Ruhaan and I going to explore the entire place, we cautiously went down the narrow staircase out to our safari vehicle. It was our first safari, and we were really excited. The first thing we saw were warthogs, running away with their tail up in the air ( Later on, Rafael would call it the The Kenya Express.) A few meters ahead, we saw a water buck with her child. We sped on after a few photographs of both theses animals. After encountering a few more warthogs, we came upon a herd of buffalo.
12: Continued.... | We also came across a herd of water buck and group of baboons. We progressed a couple of hundred meters, when my father let out a yell. He had spotted an elephant. We sped down to the place where the elephant was, me sitting on the cars roof, on the look-out. We stopped right in front of it, and we were absolutely quiet. We spent a long time taking photos, but then it was time to go back. Just as we were entering the gates, we say a pack of hyenas tear apart a waterbuck fawn with the father standing right next to the kill.
14: During dinner, we were called out to see four elephants, several buffalo and a rhino. We were so excited. Everyone whipped out their cameras and started taking photos or videos. A particular elephant wasn't very comfortable with the rhino and kept charging at it. They were attracted to the watering hole because treetops had sprinkled some sort of pink salts that were apparently good for them. We got some fantastic shots of both the animals and the landscape.While we were at Treetops, Ghana won against the US 2-1.
18: Lake Nakuru | As we came through the wide gates of Nakuru, we were loaded with information about the park and its animals by our awesome guide,, Rafael. The park is 108 square kilometers. As we were approaching the lodge, we came across a herd of zebra crossing the road. We were so amazed, as this was our first sighting. After proceeding a few meters, we saw a lioness standing on a log. We watched in awe as she walked along the log, posing for us. We quickly began taking
19: pictures, careful not to make much noise A few meters before the hotel gate, we saw a few Thompson gazelles, the Cheetah's main prey. We got into the lodge, and went to our rooms. While I was in the shower, I heard Mama scream 'Baboon'. I rushed out, wrapped in a towel. There was a baboon stealing our sugar. I screamed, and jumped onto the bed. The baboon rushed outside, with our sugar. Suddenly, I heard blood-curdling yell. I saw Ruhaan running at top speed, his hair bouncing wildly. I returned to the shower, and finished peacefully.
20: 7.14.09 | Lake Nakuru Safari | It was time for our safari (the first one with Rafael). We climbed into the car, kicked off our shoes and stood on our seats, ready for the journey. The first animal we saw were the baboons, with raw bottoms. These baboons were really obstinate and refused to get off the road. We finally got past them, when Mama spotted something. We looked at it closely to discover it was a white rhino. We were all frantically taking pictures of the amazing creature. Finally, we moved on. A little while later, we saw a pair of buffalo but didn't stop for pictures. After a while, we were getting slightly annoyed, as we weren't seeing any animals We were all sitting down, when
21: Ruhaan and I saw something moving in the distance. We told Rafael about this, and he looked through his binoculars. He confirmed our good fortune. It was a giraffe. We sped towards it, Ruhaan and I on our usual perch. There they were, three of them. The first crossed over pretty quickly. The second, we just couldn't see. The third one was marvelous. It was as if she was posing for us. After taking a few photos, we headed off to see more animals. We headed down to the lake where we saw vast herds of rhino and zebra. One family of rhinos came so close that we could nearly reach out and pat it. When we turned out to look at the lake, we could see a vivid pink boundary. There was an entire flock of flamingo
22: !!!!!!!! | When Rafael told us it was time to be heading off, we were all really sad, but. with Rafael being as awesome as we thought, he said we could stand the entire way back. When we got back, we watched a traditional dance and were also asked to perform in it | i | i
23: Masai Mara | As we entered Masai Mara, we frantically looked around. We had been told that they were animals around every corner, and were eager to see them. The first animal we saw was an ostrich. It was our first ostrich, so we went onto a dirt route to get a better view. After taking some shots, we went off to our hotel. On the way to our hotel we saw vast herds of wildebeest and zebras grazing together, partnering up to tackle the grass.
26: A few minutes later, we arrived at our hotel. After having a refreshing mango drink, we were led to the restaurant for lunch. Following two hours of relaxation, we went out for our first safari in Masai. After the millions of zebra and wildebeest and buffalo. We spotted an entire family of elephants. They were the first African elephants we had actually seen so close, and the first calf. Suddenly the radio piped up. There were two female lions lying right next to each other. When we arrived at the scene, the lionesses were beginning to stalk but then some stupid vehicle came in
27: the way and destroyed the connection between the two animals, and so the stalking stopped. We had left the lions when another message piped up on the radio. Someone had spotted a cheetah. We rushed to the spot, where jeeps were breaking the law and going into prohibited space. We pulled ourselves together, and decided to go in. We went in their and, after a few photos, rushed back out. Out of a sudden, the cheetah ran up to the jeeps, crossed the jeeps and went to her two cubs. She was curled up around them, as if to protect them.
28: After a few minutes, a crackling sound interrupted our searching for animals. Someone had spotted a pride tearing apart a wildebeest We raced up to the scene, and there we saw it, a lion pride eating. It was our first sighting of this amazing animal eating, and we were spellbound. We stayed there for about half an hour, taking pictures and videoing. The lionesses were completely undisturbed, as if we didn't exist. A little while later, we went further up the track, and we saw the prides male lion, with another female from the pride. we went in a little closer to view the beautiful animals, when suddenly Rafael told us that rangers were coming. We were trying to get out fast, but they had seen us. We were fined 300 Kenyan shillings ( 30 pounds) | i
29: Soaking up the sun! | i | We were told there were several other jeeps caught at the cheetah spotting. After this eventful day, we headed back to the hotel. We had to pretend that a herd of elephant had been crossing the road and stopped us getting past, because we were late. Ruhaan and I pretended to be sleep because we were terrible liars. After already being caught by the rangers, we didn't want to give away our act again, since rangers would question us. Finally, we got into our beds for a well deserved rest | ZZZZ...
30: We stayed in Masai Mara for three more days, seeing many more different animals and birds. After Masai Mara, we headed off to Hell's Gate. On the way, we stopped at a Masai village, where we got treated to a welcome dance and we got to look around their tiny, dark homes. Their beds were covered with cows skin and they had wooden pillows. Since there diet consisted of only blood, meat and milk, they had a small fire inside the hut to cook food and keep the hut warm. There was only one window, resulting in the hut being very dark.
32: Hells Gate | After our tour of the Masai village, we set off on our journey to Hell's Gate. After two hours, we arrived. After a quick buffet lunch, we head off to our room. After settling in and get washed, we head off for our first trek. After reaching there, we were taken down to the gorges by a Masai man called Joseph. Although Joseph told us wonderful information about Masai plants and herbs, he was tremendous liar when it came to real-life experiences. He told us that a leopard attacked him, and that they slept in caves. Mama fell for his stories and started taking pictures of his cuts. He also said that he killed the leopard with a wooden club. He also told us that after our tour, he would go home to his children,
33: who are 24 and 25, dance with them, and tell them stories. The routes were pretty steep and natural, but as they were worn down it was really easy. Mama got a bit scared. Afterwards, Joseph had to carry us across a stream. Baba refused to be carried and decided to do what Joseph did and follow him across the stream. We saw the hot springs, which are actually really boiling hot, and we saw the cold springs which are really freezing. It was amazing. We then got home some samples of rock. We got pumice rock, which the Masai used to get hair off, and a black rock that was really sharp and used to make weapons. Among the plants, there was a sandpaper plant, used as toilet paper and really good smelling plant used as a deodorant.
34: After a little bit of a uphill hike, we finally came to the end of our hike. Rafael was there, waiting for us. We got into the van, and went back to the hotel, where we had a barbecue dinner and, after a bit of a struggle finding my nightclothes, went to bed. Ruhaan and I, however stayed up a bit to carve the soft stone we found.
36: Tanzania | After an entire week, we sadly had to say goodbye to Rafael to continue with our journey to Tanzania. We were to travel by a small plane that seated 15. Mama was TERRIFIED. She was screaming randomly throughout the journey while Ruhaan and I sat back to enjoy the ride. Baba was doing something on his phone. The views were amazing. When you looked down, the land looked like a postcard. It was amazing. At last we reached Kenya. We looked around for our new guide, Comfort. At long last, we found him. From the airport, we went to our camp. There we met the camp director, James, who explained everything to us. The tents were extremely large and comfy.
37: After an extremely good night, we head off for the Ngorongoro Crater. We entered the gates, and almost immediately it started to fog up. We followed a long line of cars up to a museum about the evolution of human kind. They had a big hill where it showed the different layer soil, one for each evolution. It was really cool and we also got to look at how different animals evolved. After spending a while at the museum, we got back on the road to Serengeti. At last we reached our hotel, where after we unpacked, we dove straight into the pool. All through out the hotel, there were these furry little creatures called Rock Hyrax. They were super cute, and they all had little babies who always ran out and lay in the sun. The next day, we went for our first safari in Serengeti.We saw many animals, but best of all, we saw the elusive leopard. It was in a sausage tree ( a tree who's fruit looks like sausages). We could basically only see the tail, but with my video camera, I could see most of it. Suddenly, it dashed down the tree.
38: Unfortunately, I didm't get t