Into Africa….10 years later….my safari 2005

Safari is a Swahili word meaning “journey” and it has nothing to do with animals. Someone “on safari” is just away and unobtainable and out of touch. Out of touch in Africa is just what I was for sixteen days in the beginning of September of 2005.  We left on this trip September 2, 2005. We were totally unaware of the tragedy Hurricane Katrina would become. While others clung to their TV’s and radios for the latest news of Hurricane Katrina I was totally and completely out of touch. 

Although safari only means journey we of course were there to see the animals. We followed the Great Migration as it traveled from Tanzania into Kenya.

All of these photos were taken with an Olympus Stylus Zoom 115  35 mm. point and shoot auto-focus camera and the zoom was limited  so most of the time I’m really as close as it looks. It was several years later that I got my first digital camera. This is only a small selection of the 35 rolls of film I shot and yes, it took me six months to be able to pay to have it all processed. Is it any wonder I adore my digital camera?

Nothing like a good wallow to chase away the fleas.

Nothing like a good wallow to chase away the fleas and flies.

But let me not get ahead of myself….these charming monkeys dashed into a room when the maid wasn’t looking and we followed them:

Monkies in the room! Thankfully not ours

Monkeys in the room! Thankfully not ours

A few more of our animal friends:

Friends in the Ngorongoro Crater

Friends in the Ngorongoro Crater

This is why a giraffe is so tall

This is why a giraffe is so tall

The photo below taken at Olduvai Gorge cost me more than I was expecting. He demanded three dollars and I gave him five but he wanted two more…so I gave him three but he wouldn’t give the five back. He could count but was unable to read. It was worth the $8.00.

A Masai family

A Masai family

The Olduvai Gorge...where the Leakey's found Lucy

The Olduvai Gorge…where the Leakey’s found Lucy

We stayed each night at luxury safari lodges and enjoyed gourmet meals.

Another experience in “roughing” it

Another experience in “roughing” it

Naimon was our guide for the Tanzania portion of the trip.

Naimon was our guide for the Tanzania portion of the trip.

We made a detour to the edge of Lake Victoria on our way to the Tanzania/Kenya border

Toto carrying toto

Toto carrying toto

Bringing in the catch on Lake Victoria

Bringing in the catch on Lake Victoria

A village on the way to the Tanzania/Kenya border

A village on the way to the Tanzania/Kenya border

Our gang on the edge of Lake Victoria

Our gang on the edge of Lake Victoria…there were 20 of us total and we were divided into five vans….only meeting at places like this and for the night and meals.

After we went through customs and immigration at the boarder and paid our fees we were on our way to the Masai Mara in Kenya and hit a pretty heavy traffic jam.

Traffic jam

Traffic jam

Sometimes the predator and sometimes the prey...gazelle chasing jackal

Sometimes the predator and sometimes the prey…gazelle chasing jackal

Finally the Mara and …..cats….very big cats.

Lioness posing for her closeup

Lioness posing for her closeup

Look closely in those bushes

Look closely in those bushes

I looked into the golden eyes of a tawny maned lion

I looked into the golden eyes of a tawny maned lion

With the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra in full force we didn’t have to worry about them being hungry. They don’t like the taste of humans anyway.

A very full lion...they were eating well

A very full lion…they were eating well

Another luxury lodge awaited us and a surprise for the evening meal.

Our room in the Masai Mara

Our room in the Masai Mara

Walk out and visit the hippos

Walk out and visit the hippos

The hippos sang us to sleep each night we were there.

Our surprise was dinner in the bush complete with flaming torches and armed guards.

Our surprise was dinner in the bush complete with flaming torches and armed guards.

Our evenings entertainment

We could only hope “the lion sleeps tonight”

Extremely early the next morning we headed out to the launch site for our balloon flight over the Mara.

The flame heats the air

The flame heats the air

Up, up and away over the Masai Mara

Up, up and away over the Masai Mara

They filled the trucks as we landed to take us to the spot for our champagne brunch but I was taking photos and lagged behind. It started to rain and our pilot pulled me inside the balloon while we waited for the other truck. I think this was the best shot on the overcast morning.

Inside the balloon after landing

Inside the balloon after landing

Okay, I'm ready for brunch now.

Okay, I’m ready for brunch now.

Then it was off to a Masai village

Masai warriors (Moran) welcome us to their village

Masai warriors (Moran) welcome us to their village

The women sing a welcome also

The women sing a welcome also

Children play in the bubbles brought by a member of our group

Children play in the bubbles brought by a member of our group

Early that evening we had another game drive to see more animals and I got some of  my favorite pictures.

A cheetah feeds her cubs

A cheetah feeds her cubs

The baby wants to play...this is my favorite of all my pictures

The baby wants to play…this is my favorite of all my pictures

Storks silloueted in the evening sky

Storks silhouetted in the evening sky

The lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha

The lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha

I told M. if she turned on the TV I would probably break her arm. And I'm not a violent woman.

I told M. if she turned on the TV I would probably break her arm. And I’m not a violent woman.

The view from our room

The view from our room

On to Lake Nakuru

Entering the park

Entering the park

The sign says it all

The sign says it all

It never hurts to ask..

It never hurts to ask..

Michelle with Lake Nakuru and flamingoes in the background

Michelle with Lake Nakuru and flamingos in the background

Ignoring us

Ignoring us

Dad keeps a watchful eye

Dad keeps a watchful eye

The view from our room at Mt. Kenya Safari Lodge

The view from our room at Mt. Kenya Safari Lodge..no telephoto used…we were that close.

Back to Nairobi and a stop at the Blixen farm

Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) home on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya

Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) home on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya

Michelle and Maribeth at the entrance to Karen Blixen House (Out of Africa), Nairobi Kenya

Michelle and Maribeth at the entrance to Karen Blixen House (Out of Africa), Nairobi Kenya

And another adventure before we headed to the airport and our flight to Zanzibar. The Giraffe Center where we met Daisy and her friends.

The Giraffe Center

The Giraffe Center

Yes, that's me, handfeeding Daisy.

Yes, that’s me, handfeeding Daisy.

A beautiful setting for lunch

A beautiful setting for lunch

And we were whisked to the airport for out short flight to Zanzibar. This is where we settled into the lap of luxury….at the lodge in Stone Town.

Our room at the Zanzibar Serena Inn, Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Our room at the Zanzibar Serena Inn, Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

A view of my toes overlooking the balcony of our room in Zanzibar

A view of my toes on the balcony railing  of our room in Zanzibar

Looking west to mainland Africa

Looking west to mainland Africa

The breakfast room where we met Suleiman who took very good care of us.

The breakfast room where we met Suleiman who took very good care of us.

Another dhow plies the waters...this is a breakfast view

Another dhow plies the waters…this is a breakfast view

I want one of these:

Those wooden contraptions are swings!

Those wooden contraptions are swings!

We had a morning tour of Old Stone Town and the Doors of Zanzibar

A variety of gorgeous doors

A variety of gorgeous doors

Again, another door...they are famous

Again, another door…they are famous

I found what I want. Now how do I get it home.

I wanted to bring this swing home

It took them a while to get me to vacate.

And I'm still petting the little ones

And I’m still petting the little ones

That afternoon we had a trip to a spice farm. We learned a lot.

Cloves grow on trees

Cloves grow on trees

And so does chocolate!

Zanzibar is where chocolate grows on trees. This is what it looks like before Godiva does their magic.

Zanzibar is where chocolate grows on trees. This is what it looks like before Godiva does their magic.

Later that evening a group of us went to dinner at a restaurant named for one of Zanzibar’s native sons.

Yes, really, Freddie Mercury was born on Zanzibar

Yes, really, Freddie Mercury was born on Zanzibar

Dinner at Mercury's, Maribeth and I were feeding the cats on the other side of the seawall

Dinner at Mercury’s, Maribeth and I were feeding the cats on the other side of the seawall

The next day was a free day to do what we wanted so I took advantage of the shuttle to the private beach. If they had warned me it was an hour’s drive each way in a very bumpy truck I would probably have stayed by the pool but it was an interesting experience.

I felt like it was my own private refuge

I felt like it was my own private refuge

Later that evening those of us who were interested had a private sunset cruise on a dhow. Wow!

Boarding the Dhow for our cruise

Boarding the Dhow for our cruise

These carved chests are everywhere and used for everything. Wish I could have brought one home

These carved chests are everywhere and used for everything. Wish I could have brought one home

Michelle enjoying the cruise with Stone Town in the background

Michelle enjoying the cruise with Stone Town in the background

Sunset Dhow

Sunset Dhow

M. and I had made a reservation and had a sumptuous dinner by moonlight on the roof of the inn where once again Suleiman took excellent care of us and taught me how to drink Arabic coffee (spiced coffee with a lump of rock sugar held behind my teeth….sipping the coffee through it).

The full moon above the Inn

The full moon above the Inn

The next morning after my one hour aromatherapy massage (come on, it was only $25, honest) we hung out by the pool waiting for our transport to the airport and back to Nairobi for our farewell dinner and flight home.

The pool at the Inn

The pool at the Inn

At the Carnivore just outside Nairobi you can sample all kinds of wild game, that evening along with chicken, steak, kabobs and a vegetarian selection they served camel, crocodile, ostrich and a couple of other things I can’t remember. I just remember that there was a little white flag by each place and if you didn’t want them to keep refilling your plate you had to surrender by raising the flag.

Farewell dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi, Kenya

Farewell dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi, Kenya

After dinner it was back into the van and on to the airport for our flight back to London where we all went our separate ways home. We bid farewell to all of our new friends.

 

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About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Africa, African Wildlife, Cats, Chocolate, friends, Memories, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Into Africa….10 years later….my safari 2005

  1. greg1948 says:

    Dear Michelle,
    When you go on vacation, you don’t mess around! Before I scrolled down to the luxury accommodations, I imagined you in a canvass tent with a big rifle on your lap! Looks like a trip of a lifetime. Of course you would be slamming those 36 count rolls of film into your camera like ammo with all the photographic opportunities you had. I was waiting to see a photo of a big snake! You didn’t bring any souvenir bones home from Olduvai I hope. Did you digitize all your photos or just these for this post? Everything I ever did is digitized and stored up in the “cloud” somewhere, in case the house burns down, God forbid! They are not open to the public; however. (At least, I hope they are not!) I have read here that you have been to Africa before, so I assume that this was the “latest” trip. Maybe you would go again, but I think you are focusing on Italy–I am certain of that.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Hi Greg,
      Yes, you commented on the post I did about my 1985 trip. I always wanted to go back again and spend more time out viewing the animals as in the earlier trip I spent more time in Nairobi. This was totally a photo safari. Yup, slamming those rolls into the camera. One of the things we didn’t realize before the trip was that most of the lodges turn off the power at night…usually around 10pm. They left it on for our group because one of the members had sleep apneia and had his machine with him. Otherwise people would not have been able to charge their batteries. I luckily on that trip didn’t worry about it. I used to say I didn’t travel with electronics but now I do…digital camera, cell phone, net book….all of which need charging. We did have one night under canvas but got there so late in the evening that it wasn’t possible to get decent pictures there. No snakes of any kind but then I wasn’t looking for them. I do have a lovely copper bracelet I bought at Olduvai Gorge that I still wear. And I have some shells from Lake Victoria….bones are a no-no.
      Not all of the pictures have been digitized…yet. I need to pull out the albums and get those scanned in. These were actually move over to my computer from Snapfish (where I had them processed for $2.99 a roll….cheaper than anywhere else). I have a lot of other photos to do that with also.
      This trip in 2005 was paid for with money I inherited when my mother passed away in 2001. I knew she enjoyed my 1985 adventure vicariously once she and my dad got used to the fact that I traipsed off to Africa alone leaving my husband at home. I met a couple on that trip from Orange County, California and gave them my mother’s phone number and asked them to call her and tell her they met me. They did and she was really happy with that.
      And you are correct, Italy is my focus now. Actually it was while I was on this trip that I made the decision to go to Venice for my 60th birthday in 2008 (had to save the money).
      For years all of my vacations were to Maui….somewhere my mother was almost comfortable with my going alone (after my husband’s passing in 1990)….but then I discovered that for the same amount of money as a week at the beachfront condo in Maui I could to to Italy for two weeks and that was the proverbial “all she wrote”.

  2. greg1948 says:

    You have a new Venetian background or you have a flood! My wife liked Venice, but that was before we met. I still have her souvenirs from there. That’s what reminds me.

  3. mvaden1948 says:

    Venice when she was there would have been the same architecturally but with a lot fewer cruise ships and tourists.
    I don’t mind the “floods” since they are tidal and are gone in a few hours. Yes, according to Ancestry.com I do have Venetian ancestors. Even a Doge or two. A friend said that I couldn’t claim relationship to a pope and I told him he didn’t know the Borgias! He was trying to say a pope could not have children. Ha! He needs to read history. A lot of my ancestors became monks and nuns because when you spouse died and you didn’t want to give all of your inheritance to some other feudal lord you gave your money to an abbey and bought your way into heaven.
    Me, I’ll just be hopefully buying my way into Venice. That’s heaven on earth for me.

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