Trip Diary - Africa

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We entered Kenya at Moyale in the middle of March. We drove through the dry volcanic landscape on the rough gravel road. As a precaution against armed Somali bandits we carried 2 soldiers in the car for the first few hours. We then arrived in Marsabit safe and sound and stayed in a home-grown campsite owned by Henry the Swiss. We rejoiced as it was the first time we had enjoyed a hot shower and clean loos for sometime.

A day later we made the ceremonial crossing of the Equator. Graham photographed the GPS as it read ‘S 00’ 00’ 00’. An enterprising Kenyan also demonstrated the ‘water down the plughole’ experiment, which is really true. That afternoon, we arrived in Nairobi. We camped at Karen Camp. There was loads of space for the children to run around and it had a bar/restaurant which we frequented at sunset each day. Whilst in Nairobi we visited the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. It is a wonderful project. Offspring of poached elephants are brought into the centre where they are reared for many years until they are old enough to be released back into the wild in Tsavo National Park. We also paid a visit to the Giraffe Centre, where the giraffe ate pellets from the palms of our hands; it was lovely to be so close to these graceful animals.

Once we had stocked up on food we headed for Malindi, on the Kenyan coast. We camped at Malindi Marine National Park. It was swelteringly hot, and only the sea breeze and the shade on the tree-lined beaches offered any protection from the tropical sun. Our highlight was snorkelling out on the Coral Reef amongst the abundance of colourful fish and corals. The children loved it and Ashleigh described it as ‘more beautiful than the most colourful fish tank’. We also had a chance to watch the bottle-nosed dolphins feeding in the deep water. Unfortunately, Graham had contracted tick-bite fever earlier and had to live with high fevers and headaches during this time.

Back in Nairobi we collected my sister, Coral, who had flown in from Zambia to join us for a few weeks. Together we made our way down to Amboselli National Park. It is most picturesque with Mt Kilimanjaro as its backdrop. The intensity of game was astounding. Almost all the wildebeest and zebra had offspring. We were also fortunate enough to see a big Tusker, a rare sight in these parts as so many have been poached over the years. We saw a list of other African animals, but the children were most taken with feeding the Superb Starlings that occupied our camp.
Although the parks are expensive, Kenya is really geared up for tourists and is well worth a visit.

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