Collage of Life

Collage of Life
What you can see...

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!

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