Strathspey Wildlife
Africa 2005
"Gorillas and Masai Mara" Safari 2005 (Exodus Travel)
Kenya, Rwanda amd Uganda.

Sat 8th Jan 2005 Sun 9th Jan 2005 Mon 10th Jan 2005 Tue 11th Jan 2005 Wed 12th Jan 2005
Thu 13th Jan 2005 Fri 14th Jan 2005 Sat 15th Jan 2005 Sun 16th Jan 2005 Mon 17th Jan 2005
Tue 18th Jan 2005 Wed 19th Jan 2005 Thu 20th Jan 2005 Fri 21st Jan 2005 Sat 22nd Jan 2005

Saturday 8th January 2005

After a long flight from Heathrow, where our Kenya Airways 767 Flight KQ101 had left one and a quarter hours late, and after a night of cat-naps,  we touched down at Nairobi Kenyatta airport at 7.30 am local time, a flight of around 9 hours. We queued for our entry visas  - at $50 a time - before making our way to meet our group leader Marcell, and our 18 fellow-travellers. We stowed our luggage onto our expedition truck, our virtual home for the next two weeks, and after light refreshment at a nearby hotel, and a brief introduction, we started the journey to our first destination.



Our  journey took us through The Rift Valley, taking in a brief stop at the Chogoria Viewpoint, at 8,000 feet. One of our group, Susie, had her luggage delayed during transfer, and with the prospect of having no sleeping bag for the first couple of nights, invested in a Masai blanket, bought following a period of  customary bartering for $10. Others too bought blankets - all hoping to undercut Susie, but $10 seemed to be the going price. After our short break, it was onwards to our camp at Lake Naivasha - quite a long journey after the flight , arriving at 1.30 pm. We had a very pleasant afternoon tea on the lawn, before visitingthe house, very much as it was when her books were written. Her old typewriter was  still present, along with other memorabilia  including her husband George's old Land Rover, where Elsa was frequently photographed lying on the bonnet. We watched a video on the life of Joy Adamson. By this time however, the effects of the long journey began to tell, and some of us began to nod off in the warmth of the afternoon. Then it was back to camp, where the crew had kindly erected our tents at the end of a very long day.


After our evening meal, we had a chance to stroll around the camp.There was some mild alarm, when it was discovered that a hippo had come to graze on the short grass around the lakeside of the camp site. There were electric fences to deter animals from entering the camp, but at around 2-3 feet tall, one had to wonder at their likely effectiveness against such a beast. He remained at the lake edge, and by 10 o'clock, most of us were ready for an early night  - particularly given notice that reveille was at
4.30 am, in preparation for our trip to meet the 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers the following day, for our first visit to the famous Masai Mara Reserve.