Saturday, February 03, 2007
It's been a busy, crazy, hectic, lovely, fascinating, and fast-paced last 2 weeks here in Kenya. Africa is full of the extremes, and runs along the polar opposites: beautiful/disgusting, exciting/frightening, electrifying/disappointing, fun/aggravating.... too many to name. There are so many stereotypes that go along with this entire continent, and so many of them have proved to be wrong. I will say that it has been a trying experience so far, but overall worth the effort.
My time in Kenya started with a 10-day safari all over the country with my family, and 8 other folks from Southern California. We went from Nairobi up north to the base of Mt Kenya and Samburu National Park, down to Sweetwaters National Preserve, over to Lake Nakuru (full of flamingos... and tourists) and Lake Naivasha (boat ride among the frighteningly large hippos), and finished off with a few days in the Masai Mara. It was a very luxurious, very full, and very fantastic time. Hard to pick favorite moments since every day was so full of awesomeness, but some highlights were: the sunrise hot air balloon safari in the Mara, yummy vegetarian buffets every day, a family of cheetahs lounging in the shade of our 4WD vehicle, being woken up to
coffee on the front porch & a view of giraffes strolling by, amazing views of snow-capped Mt Kenya, watching chimpanzees roll around & do headstands at Jane Goodall's Chimp Sanctuary, and dancing with the Masai. And so so so much more. I have to admit I was skeptical of the whole group travel thing, but thanks to a fantastic guide, a really chilled out & fun group of people, a killer itinerary, and the abundance of enthusiasm all around, it was a great time.