Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Amboseli Safari

Amboseli National Park Safari: 6/25-27/2007

After climbing three mountains in East Africa, Rod and I were ready for a few days relaxation. We decided to go stay at the Amboseli Serena Lodge in the Amboseli National Park… maybe we will see some animals too!

Little did we know, Josiah hooked us up with the full safari deal. A driver picked us up at the Tanzania/Kenya border to drive us to the lodge. Turns out, he will be staying at the lodge for the whole time we are there; ready to take us out to look for animals any time we want! Yahh Hooo!!

Just on the drive to the lodge we saw some real treats! Warthogs, Wildebeests, Herons, Gazelles, and so much more!

It is kind of weird the way the parks are set up. You must be in a vehicle at all times, you cannot get out and walk. They all have pop top roofs so that you can feel like you are outside (and get the unobstructed views). The lodge is fenced in with electric fence… no animals in, and only white trucks out. And all the vehicles must stay on the designated roads. In this way, it seems that the wildlife is undisturbed by the big white metal creatures that walk along their paths and sometimes stop. It was like we were just another species grazing on the plain, and could therefore be ignored by everyone else. It made for amazing wildlife viewing and some great photos!

We took two drives, one in the evening (when we saw Elephants, Hyena, Ostrich, and Zebras, just to name a few) and one in the morning. The morning drive was spectacular… the most amazing sunrise! We also got to see a cheetah, with two cubs, who has just made a kill. The rest of the time, we relaxed, got massages, ate too much, and enjoyed watching the little monkeys run all over the trees and buildings. The lodge was very nice. We had a great room with a bath tub and clean white linen… such luxury after weeks of camping.

The morning we left the lodge, the skies cleared and reveled Mt Kilimanjaro overlooking the abundant plains. It was the first time we saw the mountain in whole. What a great way to end our East African journey; driving along marsh lands busy with elephants, hippopotamus, and eagles, with a glacier capped Kilimanjaro back drop!

Kenya and Tanzania… we have enjoyed our time here very much, met friendly good-natured people, and fallen in love with this amazing place.

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