The Safari Day 2- Saturday at Saravo Shabu Lodge

Though dust was our constant companion spirits were high as we drove down the rocky road for our afternoon game drive.

Mainia doubled his duty and became tour guide as well as driver pointing out wildlife during the trek in Samburu.

Anxiously we waited, standing in the van, the raised roof allowing us a great view and then our first sighting, an oryx. This stately hooved beast paid no attention to the excited women snapping photos and soon trotted off to join his friends. That was beginning of a wonderful afternoon of antelopes and gazelles filling the savannah almost posing for our cameras.

Oryx

Gazelles

 

And then the highlight, a dream fulfilled for Sally, the long neck and brown patches were unmistakable. A giraffe, just yards away from the van nibbled on the leaves of a tree, took a moment to nuzzle with a friend and then returned to his afternoon snack.

Afternoon snack for the giraffes

 

As dusk crept in we headed back with a reward, an ostrich family, also heading home, crossed our path, the large black and white dad leading more than 20 chicks with mom bringing up the rear.

Ostrich family heading home for the night

The drive ended on the same high note on which it began.

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Sailing Date: Jun 03, 2012
Through: Jun 10, 2012
Book By: May 15 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Century
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Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Vancouver, British Columbia 4:30 PM
2 Inside Passage (Cruising)
3 Icy Strait Point, Alaska 3:00 PM 10:00 PM
4 Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) 10:30 AM 2:30 PM
5 Juneau, Alaska 7:30 AM 8:00 PM
6 Ketchikan, Alaska 2:00 PM 8:30 PM
7 Inside Passage (Cruising)
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

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Immerse yourself in Celebrity Century’s warm, open spaces and soaring atriums. Indulge yourself in soothing spa services. Enjoy dining in world-class restaurants. And sipping a favorite after-dinner drink as you mingle with new friends. A cruise aboard Celebrity Century® is exactly what you’ve been looking for. You’ll experience the South Pacific the moment you step onboard. Food, drink, activities and entertainment all borrow from Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. New accommodations include 314 private verandas, fourteen additional Sky Suites and 174 new-and utterly modern Concierge Class staterooms complete with fresh-cut flowers, a luxurious pillow menu, and upgraded bathroom amenities, even personalized stationery. Welcome aboard.

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May 20, 2012 – May 27, 2012 $749.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
May 27, 2012 – Jun 03, 2012 $1,699.00 Veranda – Cat. 2B View Details
Jun 03, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Jun 03, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012 $929.00 Category Balcony sta… View Details
Jun 10, 2012 – Jun 17, 2012 $649.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
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Jul 22, 2012 – Jul 29, 2012 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 10 View Details
Aug 19, 2012 – Aug 26, 2012 $1,149.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Aug 26, 2012 – Sep 02, 2012 $999.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Sep 02, 2012 – Sep 09, 2012 $739.00 Interior – Cat. 10 View Details
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Mt. Kenya, here we come

After a delightful breakfast of crepes, eggs, sausage and more we climb into ‘our’ van with ‘our’ driver, Mainia. We are now a band of 6 women, Sally, Mimi, Marge, Lauren, Nicole and me. (Interesting note: Lauren and Nicole, two delightful young women who are connected to the tour company are the youngest people in the van by at least 20 years and they have been out of college for almost a decade.  Just a reminder that safari’s are for all ages).

In the 5 or so hour drive we begin to create the bonds that will add to this memorable journey. We arrive at the lush Serena mountain lodge, also known as a ‘tree lodge’ as it is built on tree timbers. Despite being planned as a day to rest Marge, Nicole, Lauren and I along with about 6 other members of our group decide to take the nature walk and are joined by two other hotel guests.

Our experienced and hum0rous guide Benson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is rainy season so boots and raincoats are provided if you are not prepared. Our guide Benson takes us through the narrow but worn path just beyond the lodge. It might seem like an easy stroll through the woods but the site of thetwo guards armed with rifles remind us that we are entering the territory of animals that may not be pleased we are visiting.

The rain does fall but we get an education about wildlife, get a view of an elusive buffalo and shy oryx and then enjoy some ‘tea in the bush’. We are truly surprised to come upon an opening lined with tree stumps topped with tea cups and table laden with coffee tea and treats. We take a break amidst the drizzle and then head out again. Despite the rain we experience the base of Mt. Kenya from the perspective of someone who knows and respects the land. There are some vibrant colors that splash out from the green and brown barks, brightening up the mud, these are the fireball lilies. We learn a bit more about trees that are communities and seem to grow downward and then head back to the lodge.

We barely have time to get dry before we see the elephants. They spend hours enjoying the water hole behind the lodge, playing, drinking, just being a part of this incredible world. The evening is topped off with a lovely dinner and view of the Genet cats hanging around outside our window.

Though we tend to think of Kenya as always hot and steamy, the nights can be very cool. How to keep warm? The answer; a water bottle provided for every bed, wrapped in flannel, a real treat.

Tomorrow more adventure.

Fireball lily

Elephants at the watering hole

Genet cats munching on a treat

 

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Nairobi- The adventure begins

Despite the long trip from New York, most of us arrived in Nairobi in good spirits, anxious for what was to come. The Sarova Stanley Hotel was charming, elegant with a staff that was warm and welcoming.

After an hour of relaxing everyone gathered for a lovely dinner sponsored by OSSN. We had the opportunity to get to know each other and members of the Kenyan Tourist Board and reps from the hotel. We were even entertained by a four piece band.

A good nights sleep and we are off to the mountain lodge and our adventure continues.

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