Sheila and Christine’s African Safari Extravaganza

Waaaaaay again in Might 2014, I sat in Sheila’s lounge room with Sheila and Christine to speak about an African journey. That they had travelled to South America a number of years earlier than and needed to take advantage of their Yellow Fever vaccination, so Africa was the logical subsequent step for them.

In fact they needed to come to Kenya, each to go to me and since it is the place for the perfect safaris on the earth (I am not biased!). Additionally they needed to go to Botswana, being followers of the The No. 1 Women’ Detective Company, and Victoria Falls. That they had three weeks to expertise the perfect of the African continent and so we set to work planning an itinerary.

There have been a few challenges. To begin with, Kenya has a lot and we needed to point out all of them of it, however we needed to slender the safari right down to only a week. Secondly was discovering an reasonably priced approach to journey in Botswana. Botswana caters to the high-end luxurious traveller, and lodges are sometimes US$400+ per individual per night time. In your common retired instructor, this isn’t reasonably priced. The choice is a cellular tenting safari and our intrepid women agreed.

Eighteen months later Sheila and Christine landed at Nairobi’s airport, wanting fairly recent after the 22-hour flight. We headed straight to the lodging for a fast bathe after which went to the mall to care for some necessities – altering cash, shopping for issues that had been left behind and having a chilly Kenyan beer as we mentioned the week forward.

Safari Begins

Our first vacation spot was the Maasai Mara. The wildebeest migration was on the town, and Sheila and Christine could possibly be forgiven for by no means eager to see one other wildebeest ever once more! However do you assume we might discover an elephant? The night time earlier than, a herd of about 15 elephants had crashed by way of our camp, however there was not a hint of them or their pals till 5pm once I glimpsed an enormous gray face within the bushes. Elephants don’t like all of the noise of tens of millions of wildebeest and have a tendency to vanish till the rowdy vacationers have gone again to Serengeti (type of like Philip Island residents on Grand Prix weekend!). On our ellie hunt although, we have been fortunate to seek out 5 lions – two males and three females – supervising a herd of buffalo. Nobody else had discovered this group, and so we obtained to benefit from the sighting on their lonesome. Magical!

Lake Naivasha

From the Maasai Mara we went to Lake Naivasha for 2 nights. The subsequent day began with a strolling safari in Wileli Conservancy the place we received excited recognizing many various birds (see the listing under) and getting near some giraffes who have been necking. Necking is not as romantic because it sounds; it is truly the time period for a way giraffes struggle. From a distance they appear fairly sleek and virtually mild as they swing their necks towards each other. However as soon as we acquired shut, we might hear the thumps as they crashed collectively. They will trigger critical damage and even demise as they battle for supremacy of the herd.

We had a really pretty lunch at Sanctuary Farm after which went for a ship journey round a part of the shore of Lake Naivasha. We requested our captain hold us a protected distance from the hippos, and regardless of his respect of the request, I used to be nonetheless very nervous – I do not assume I ought to do any extra boat journeys in hippo-infested waters as I think my nerves make everybody else a bit edgier. However they’re actually huge!

Samburu Safari

Our last vacation spot in Kenya was Samburu. That is the place Sheila and Christine received a little bit of a style of what was to return on their tenting safari in Botswana, as we stayed in tents contained in the park. Tenting within the park is such an amazing expertise, even should you assume you are not the tenting sort, it is value making an attempt simply as soon as. Samburu will get actually scorching in the midst of the day and all of the animals retire to the shade, making recreation driving at the moment a bit boring. Luckily there is a lodge close to the campsite with a pool that one can use for a small payment. Whereas Sheila and Christine cooled off, Francis and I ducked out to Umoja Main Faculty. Final yr, Bev had spent a day educating on the faculty and later despatched some cash that her college students in Australia had raised. We used that cash to purchase hoops and footballs for the varsity and finally we had the chance to ship them. The scholars remembered Bev and I heard murmurs about rockets (one of many actions Bev had finished with them) as they gathered to obtain the presents.

As we headed again to Nairobi, there was one final cease to make: Kiota Youngsters’s Residence. At our fundraising occasion in Melbourne earlier this yr, Sheila had signed as much as sponsor a Kenyan scholar. Being in Kenya now, it solely made sense for her and the scholar to satisfy. Ndunda is a really shy younger boy, however he graciously acquired the stationery that Sheila and Christine had introduced for all the youngsters on the residence. He then confirmed us across the house, mentioning the place the place he stored his faculty bag and footwear, his homework, his mattress, and customary areas the place they hang around. We additionally met Samuel and Simon who’re additionally sponsored by individuals who got here to our Melbourne occasion.

I can not write an excessive amount of extra about Sheila and Christine’s journey, as they flew out of Nairobi the subsequent day and left us behind. They went to the mighty Victoria Falls for a number of nights earlier than heading to Botswana. That they had an evening within the Chobe Safari Lodge the place they did a ship cruise on the Chobe River. That is a tremendous cruise because the animals come right down to the water to drink within the night. Chobe has the very best inhabitants of elephants in Africa – it definitely should have made up for the ellies’ absence in Maasai Mara!

Then they joined their tenting safari, travelling to Savute, Moremi Recreation Reserve and the Okavango Delta. It was certainly an journey, and I hope that they’ve written about it someplace so we will hear all about it!

What we noticed


  • Widespread Ostrich
  • Nice White Pelican
  • Nice Cormorant
  • Lengthy-tailed Cormorant
  • Cattle Egret
  • Widespread Squacco Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Gray Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Hamerkop
  • Marabou Stork
  • Yellow-billed Stork
  • Sacred Ibis
  • Hadada Ibis
  • African Spoonbill
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Yellow-billed Duck
  • Secretary Chook
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture
  • African White-backed Vulture
  • African Goshawk
  • Augur Buzzard
  • Lengthy-crested Eagle
  • Tawny Eagle
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Francolin
  • Yellow-necked Spurfowl
  • Vulturine Guineafowl
  • Helmeted Guineafowl
  • Black Crake
  • Purple-knobbed Coot
  • African Jacana
  • Blacksmith Plover
  • Topped Plover
  • Sandpiper
  • Gull
  • Yellow-throated Sandgrouse
  • Ring-necked Dove
  • Go-away-bird
  • Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl
  • Swift
  • Gray-headed Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Lilac-breasted Curler
  • Inexperienced Wooden-hoopoe
  • Floor Hornbill
  • Pink-billed Hornbill
  • Gray Woodpecker
  • Plain-backed Pipit
  • Widespread Bulbul
  • Cinnamon Bracken Warbler
  • Rattling Cisticola
  • Lengthy-tailed Fiscal
  • Brown-crowned Tchagra
  • Cuckoo-shrike
  • Widespread Drongo
  • Black-headed Oriole
  • Pied Crow
  • Rüppell’s Lengthy-tailed Starling
  • Excellent Starling
  • Wattled Starling
  • Pink-billed Oxpecker
  • Rufous Sparrow
  • White-headed Buffalo-Weaver
  • Sparrow Weaver
  • African Golden Weaver
  • Baglafecht (Reichenow’s) Weaver
  • Pink-headed Weaver


  • Cape buffalo
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Black-backed jackal
  • Noticed hyena
  • Burchell’s Zebra
  • Grevy’s Zebra
  • Maasai giraffe
  • Reticulated Giraffe
  • Eland
  • Impala
  • Thomson’s gazelle
  • Grant’s gazelle
  • Wildebeest
  • Hartebeest
  • Topi
  • Waterbuck
  • Bushbuck
  • Beisa’s Oryx
  • Gerenuk
  • Dikdik
  • Rock hyrax
  • Warthog
  • Olive baboon
  • Vervet monkey
  • Hippopotamous
  • Crocodile
  • Skink

Source by Tracey A Bell