Collage of Life

Collage of Life
What you can see...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Diving in the Indian Ocean"

It seems there are a lot of people out there who like to travel the world and dive in different locations.  I now can suggest "Diving in the Indian Ocean."  Travel Connections has developed a package for interested divers that includes an African Safari experience with a few days of wonderful diving in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mombasa in Kenya.  The experience of diving in new locations throughout the world has become a passion for many divers in America.  In how many oceans can a person actually dive? 
If you are a diver and want to conquer all the oceans in the world, this is one of the best places to experience the Indian Ocean and get the utmost African experience by including a week long safari adventure in Kenya!
"Diving in the Indian Ocean" will give you the chance to see majestic Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Giant Groupers, Green/Hawksbill Turtles, Spiny Lobsters, Trigger Fish among others.  East Africa boasts the second logest barrier reef in the world stretching from the coast of Somalia along Kenya to sourthern Tanzania. The Marine Diving facilities in Mombasa are professionally run and PADI certified. 
In Kenya on safari, you can see land animals like elephants, giraffe, water buffalo, lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, jackals, hyenas, gnus, zebra and over 300 species of birds.
Check out Travel Connections for more information on this unique combination for conservation lovers.
"Diving in the Indian Ocean" and taking an African Safari to see the Big Five!  Go to for more information, or email me at:


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Missing Africa Already

It sure doesn't take long to miss Africa.  We have been back home since late April, and here it is June, and we are wondering when we can get back to our favorite places on safari.  We have posted some of our pictures here and some on facefook, under Ellen Lynch....please feel free to go there to see more pics. 
I have also been working with Travel Connections to develop a new safari package for singles and couples who want to have this experience and get the low costs from a group safari.  When you have more than two people on safari, the price is reduced and is more affordable.  We wanted to be able to offer this new package for a November safari, so now it is available!  Please check out the "The Best for Less" safari package on line by going to
The new group safari is for 11 days in Kenya and you will be able to explore a lot of different habitats in Kenya and end up with three days in the Masai Mara which is the crowing jewel of Kenyan Parks. 
November is a great time to visit there, less travelers and good weather. 
We are hoping to get our plans for our next African Safari made for 2012.  Maybe we can offer another group safari by then and we can meet some of you that are following my Blog.  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Home Again

Whew!  We finally made it home to our little Simbas (kitty cats) on Sunday around noon.  We arrived late Saturday night in Orlando and decided to spend the night there before driving another 2 hours in the dark.  We were tired aqnd ready for some rest.  Now I can review the last three weeks and look at some of the video and pictures we took.
I loved our adventure this year.  We did spend the last day in Africa on a morning game drive in Amboseli.  We saw more elephant families and the famous Hoopoe bird finally.  These birds are so unusual with wild colors of orange and black.  I hope we got a good picture, and I will share it with you. 
Our dinner in Nairobi with Felix and his wife, Janet, was at a restaurant called Carnivore and we really enjoyed their company and cuisine.  Here they keep bringing various BBQ meat to your table until you show them you are done by placing a flag on its side.  They bring skewed meats like lamb, pork ribs, chicken wings, croc tail, osterich meatballs, beef, and chicken livers.  I tried almost all except the chicken livers.
We talked about our itinerary and what we saw on our journey.  We promised to go back soon and maybe try to discover the southern region of Tanzania. 
I hope to post some pictures and video later this week, so check back to see the new pics.  I have enjoyed doing this blog and hope you have enjoyed reading it.  I have to say this has been great and who knows what the next adventure might be....maybe taking a boat ride down the Amazon River?
Bye for now.  Ellen

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amboseli Elephants

Our night at the Lake Manyara Serena was another good experience.  The staff there surprised us again with a singing parade through the dining room and a cake.  They were saying "Welcome Back" and they gave a speech at the end.  Everyone in the dining room thought we were celebrating a birthday or something like that.  We made a few friends in the lounge after diner talking about that show.  Two ladies traveling together were nice and we talked with them for quite a while.  Maryann and Joanne are singles who live in RVs and travel to various places in America and abroad.  What a nice lifestyle if you can do it!
We left Lake Manyara early to travel back to Kenya and the Amboseli Game Preserve.  We had to cross the border and go through the customs from Tanzania to Kenya.  We had to say goodbye to Yusef and he seemed to be as sad as we were.  He was a great guide and has become a good friend.  He has 4 children to raise, and he pays for them to go to school.  He has no electric or running water in his home.  He pays $600 every three months for his two oldest children to go to school and his two youngest are getting to the age they begin school.  We gave him the regular tip, but I also gave him some extra towards the children's education since it is so important for them to be able to get out of the poverty they seem to experience.
 We crossed the border and met with Stanley again who will be with us until we get on a plane to go back home on Friday night.  The roads in Kenya are poor and you cannot go fast, so we had a long journey still to go.  We stopped at a Curio Shop and bought gifts for all our friends and cat sitters.  And on the way to the lodge we saw a huge family of elephants right on the road.  There were many babies and adolescents as well as grown male and females.  They were enjoying the water hole and they were so close we could see them in detail.  Lots of great pictures and video of them and we enjoyed watching them interact with each other.   We arrived at the Serena around 6 pm and finally got to our room (#32) to get cleaned up.  Again we got a room that was the farthest one in line.  The very last one!  This has been a trend this trip...either the farthest or the highest up a staircase each time. 
On Thursday, we have two game drives, one in the morning right after breakfast until lunch and the other around 4 pm. This is our last full day here and we want to enjoy every minute.  We did see some male ostriches who seemed to be dancing.  They do this to attract the female. Quite a show!  We saw a lot more elephants.  The elephants here are very famous to the naturalist world.  They have been studied for over 30years.  They are very numerous and they have family groups of over 25 to less than 10.  We saw them all walking toward watering holes during the morning.  There are no giraffes here due to the lack of trees and the lions and leopards are very hard to find. We found some gazelle and baboons, black faced monkeys are all over the lodge grounds, and a black backed Jackal.  There were some wildebeests and zebra and warthogs.  The habitat is dry plains with a small area of swamp where the elephants go during the day.  It is hot in the mid-day but cool at night. 
We are going back to Nairobi tomorrow and will have dinner with Felix Koskei at Travel Connections to let him know what a wonderful time we have had.  Then we are off around midnight and will be flying on Swiss Air through Zurich to JFK.  Then American Airlines to Orlando.  This will be my last post until we get home on Easter Sunday.  Hope you have enjoyed some of the sights we have seen and will come back later to see the pictures and maybe the X Rated video of the Lions later on.  "Wahari" that's goodbye in Swahili!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Big Five

Up at 5:30 am and breakfast at 6....Hard to eat at that hour, but we were anxious to go down the crater and see what was there.  We made the drive downward on dirt roads and they were a bit steep.  The crater floor has various habitats including a Forest area, a salt lake, high grassy plains and swampy areas with Papyrus growing.  The first things we saw were small herds of Gnu or Wildebeests.  They make the most honking sound I have ever heard.  We saw a large bird called a Kori Bustard with his feathery neck blowing in the wind. The crater is 266 Square Meters, don't know what that is in miles, but pretty big.  The surprise we found was a flock of pink flamingos and white pelicans near the salt lake.  We saw a black rhino who was wounded and knew he had been in a fight last night.  He was bleeding from a head wound and one on his shoulder.  Yusef says his skin is 2 inches deep and he would be alright.  His large horn was also damaged.  I cannot imagine what a rhino fight would be like....pretty scary!  We saw more lions today, 11 adults and 3 of the cutest cubs.  Yusef said they were about 10-11 months old.  They were hiding in tall grasses while three adult females were hunting.  We saw them stalking some warthogs but they did not catch them.  We also saw the male elephants who grow the largest tusks in the world right here.  So we had a good start seeing the Big Five....Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo, and Leopard.  We did see a Buffalo and now we missed the Leopards.  Unfortunately we never did see a leopard, but as we were leaving the crater, we found two cheetahs, a male and female walking around looking for any possible prey.  This place is wonderful and the Serena Lodge gorgeous.  We had to move on to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge for tonight, so we left for our drive there.  This will be our last night in Tanzania.  Feeling a little sad, but we still have one more lodge in Kenya to visit for two days.  So tomorrow we cross the border back into Kenya and another adventure in Amboseli Game Park.  More tomorrow!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Born Free

Our last night at the Serengeti Serena was very enjoyable.  There was a dance troupe of local tribal people who performed for the guests.  They can really put on a show!  The ladies can move better than any belly dancer or hula dancer!  The men can jump and do all kinds of acrobatic movements.  They were awesome!We sadly left our lodge in the Serengeti this morning.  We drove through the eastern end of the Serengeti and were very lucky again to see more lions.  We saw our first large pride of 12 lions lounging on large boulders on the plain.  There was no dominant adult male, but there were a few male lions beginning their mane growth.  The others were all moms and sisters and they were very beautiful in the wind, their tales and fur flying.  It reminded me of the song Born Free and the movie about Elsa the Lion. 
So our record for the number of lions seen in one day has been 13.  We have seen this number twice now.  Guess What?  We have exceeded our record in just one morning.  We came upon more lions after the pride of 12.  We found another pride of 8 with a full grown male and two more, a female and male on their honeymoon.  The pride of 8 was actually hunting.  They were scattered in the tall grass downwind of a small herd of gnus (wildebeests).  The lions were crouched just like house cats do and slowly moving toward the herd.  All of a sudden the herd began running and we knew the lions had begun their chase.  They ran away from our location, but you could see the herd running like crazy and 6 lions in hot pursuit!  Since we were getting farther away, we could not say if the lions had made a kill or not..and we were not that interested in seeing any actual killing, so the action itself was good enough for us.  So now our new record of the number of lions seen in one day is 22!  And they are all Born Free!
We arrived here at the NgoroNgoro Serena Lodge in time for lunch.  We are at a high elevation here...around 8000 feet.  We are on the rim of the collapsed volcano called a caldera.  The view from our room ( Number 36) is breathtaking.  We will spend the entire day tomorrow down in this caldera where there is the greatest number of animals per square mile than anywhere else in the world.  The elephants here have the longest tusks in the world, too.  There should be some black and white rhinos here also.  This lodge has to have the grandest vista and this place has to be one of the wonders of the natural world.  It is God's country and I love it here!  More tomorrow.....