My second safari…40 years later
June 2021 | Chris Haller
My first trip to Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) was in 1980. I remember it was a great experience, but I don't remember many details. This trip included my wife, our three daughters and my son-in-law. And it was a fabulous experience.
Selenkay and Amboseli
Upon landing at the Selenkay airstrip we headed out directly on an all-day game drive where we probably saw 90% of the animals that we would see throughout the entire trip. We commented that if we had to leave Kenya at the end of this day, we would leave happy. It was an incredible day. Nicholas and all the Maasai were very friendly and informative. Seeing dozens of elephants at the watering hole for our sundowner and the sociability and humor of the Maasai on our nature walk were highlights of our stay here.
Meru and Rhino River Camp
The change in scenery here was unexpected and the Rhino River camp was a truly unique experience, with tents and public areas overlooking the Kindani River. The dense foliage of Meru National Park and the Rhino Sanctuary made animal viewing a challenge, but the landscape was beautiful and we had several good Rhino sightings each day. The daily drives along the public road before entering the Rhino Sanctuary provided interesting and entertaining views of the local community, and the children never failed to smile, wave and call out to us.
Ol Kinyei and Porini Cheetah Camp
The half-hour drive from the airstrip to the Cheetah Camp offered (in my opinion) the most beautiful landscape and the greatest density of animals we'd seen on the trip. We wanted to go to Maasai Mara National Park, and the expansive grasslands were definitely worth seeing, but we were happy to return to the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. The highlight of this part of the trip was watching a pride of over a dozen lions and cubs at Ol Kinyei in late afternoon sunlight. And the staff, the food and the wine at the Cheetah camp were all exceptional. A perfect ending to our trip.
Overall, we should note that the spotters and drivers (usually Maasai, but not always) were excellent at reading animal behavior and able to get us close up views of animals while remaining safe. They also seemed to have fun trying to teach us Swahili.
Thanks to everyone at Gamewatchers for helping create memories that will last a lifetime!