The girls and I left Utah, with my parents, excited for our Kenyan vacation… and though, we travelled for SO, SO long to get to Kenya, we were excited! When we arrived to Kenya we had all our bags, except one… the one that had all the girls safari clothes. Bummer. The biggest issue was that we were leaving the next morning from Nairobi to the camp, and I wasn’t sure how to get the bag all the way out to where we were staying. It caused a lot of stress and made a me anxious every so often… but eventually the awesome staff at Kichwa Tembo got me our bag. Done with that tangent… on to the exciting parts of the trip.
We arrived in Nairobi late at night, and the next day we got ourselves together, stored some bags, and headed out to the tiny airstrip that would take us to our camp in the Massai Mara.
The plane we took between Kenyan destinations was just so itty-bitty. You can see how close I was to the pilots, and also that Violet, who was across the aisle from my Dad, is close enough to be in the picture with him, with very little effort!
When we landed at Massai Mara we were met by our tour guide and car, as well as treats and dancing Massai warriors.
As we headed to our camp for the first time we were able to see tons of animals, giraffes, hippos, antelopes, zebras and, most notably, a lioness napping under a tree. One of the giraffes wandered too close to the lioness, at which point she got up, and just a couple of giraffe steps later she decided to chase off the nosy giraffe. We were excited and happy… go safari! That was only the first hour!
We headed into camp and got ready to officially start our safari! Here are some camp shots from throughout the week. You can see the camp in the distance in that first picture. Also, the gate to go in and out of camps and the guard station. Inside the gates were hippos, and several other animals, I think it was just a general deterrent. I don’t think it would have kept out much. There were warthogs all around camp, and monkeys in the surrounding trees. The warthogs would drink from the pool and hang out under the patio, so you had to make sure you didn’t jump down in front of one, they ran quickly and would have hurt a lot if they hit you! We had the only double tents in the camp… 2 connected by a walkway. The first surprise was when you went to the bathroom there was just a big screen wall… you had to remember to close the drapes! Also, there was no door on the shower so you had to yell out so everyone in both tents knew you were showering, so no one crazy walked in on you! Other fun things to note, every morning our wake up call included hot chocolate (that was delicious) and these cookie things to dip… oh my I am drooling thinking about it! Also, once we had chosen a table that was our table for every meal that we ate at camp… the high chair stayed there, and we had the same waiter every meal, Francis. We also had the same guide/driver every day, Robert. Both men were outstanding, going above and beyond to make things fabulous and answering questions over and over from the silly girls in the group. It rained a couple days of our trip, so we hung out in the clubhouse, played Scrabble and had hot chocolate brought to us on several occasions.
You can also see in that picture of the girls in front of the truck with Robert that Hattie was loved by everyone (and loved them back)! If she was fussy at lunch (when it wasn’t as busy) the staff would carry her around and play with her. Also, there were Massai warriors wandering around camp all the time, and they would do programs at night, dancing and jumping, it was very cool.
I will get down to more animals next time, but I think this is getting long already, more to come!