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About Pamshelton3932

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  1. @amybattI want to go back too so maybe I can see such tiny cheetahs as @janzinsaw!
  2. The above was quite an unsuccessful post with all the pictures jumbled and posting without my realizing it. However, they do represent a small portion of the excellent wildlife we observed. Our last day was to be spent in the Mara so we would be leaving early because it's a lengthy game drive to get there. It would be a long day, but the icing on the cake. Ill just post pictures and make a few final observations at the end. We had an amazing last day of safari. The migration had started early so we got to see the beginning of that spectacle. We saw a couple of river crossings and since the rivers were low there were no difficulties encountered by the wildebeest or zebra. We saw TWO leopards, although the one in the tree was difficult to photograph. It was windy so by chance the leaves cleared for one decent picture of his eyes. The tall grasses blowing in the wind with thousands of wildebeest and zebra dotting the landscape is something I will never forget. On our way exiting the park we saw a black rhino. Wilson was quite excited by this as it was his first sighting this year. The drive back to camp was via a public road because we had stayed so late. That was interesting as well, but we were in a meloncholy mood since our safari was coming to a close.
  3. There was plenty to see in Ol Kenyei which is where we spent two of our three days. There were cheetah or lions to be seen on every drive, much to the delight of Lois, since we had only seen one lion to this point. When most wildlife seemed to be in hiding, Wilson showed us the impala harems. We watched for a long while as the male tried to keep the females from straying and other males from unseating him from his dominant position. We saw many losers that day and they went off to be on their own while restoring their pride and strength to try another day. There were always birds to be seen and giraffe were plentiful. Not so many elephant were here but we did see a huge herd of migrating elephant. They were quite intent on going somewhere and covered a lot of ground while we watched them go by. We'd rearrange ourselves and watch again until a couple of them seemed to be getting irritated at our presence, so we moved on. Our first two days were spent in the conservancy enjoying whatever nature had up her sleeve. There seems to be a lot of young giraffe in the area. This was a medium sized Harem. A little tussle here. Winner or loser? This lone bull is missing a large chunk of his ear and wasn't very friendly. Cheetah were plentiful. I think we saw 9 in Ol Kenyei.
  4. Sadly, our time in Meru was over. While heading to the airstrip Daniel suddenly began driving with a sense of urgency so there must be something exciting to see! It was a lone Grevy zebra just posing for us! My iinitial interest in Meru was to see reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, and Grevy zebra; all new for me. I had hoped to see Grevy zebra in Ol Pejeta and after failing that, I thought I'd see them in Meru. I had no concept of how rare they had become until Daniel told us he thought there were only 4 to 8 left in Meru. In hindsight, Samburu might have been a better choice for the. Grevy zebra, but no way I'd have traded my time in Meru for anywhere else. Here he is posing. Waiting for our flight to the Mara. Our flight to the Mara was to take three hours? How could that be? It turns out we were the first stop of five, so we saw practically every airstrip between Meru and the Mara, Not really, but it sure seemed that way. Arrival in our camp, Porini Mara: Our tent was in a great location where monkeys and birds and bushbuck were frequent visitors. While I love the Porini model, this was my least favorite camp. I will try to do a review later. Imperfections aside, the conservancy and Mara did not disappoint.
  5. We had arranged a hike up what I thought was Kiliwakero volcano, but since I can't find anything resembling that from my internet research, I'll just refer to it as our little hike. We left camp at 4:30 driving the outskirts of Meru National Park. We had our guide Daniel for this trip and also two others from camp. The drive was through rural farmland where we passed numerous families. It was surprising to me to see so many people living in what seemed to be total wilderness. The road in was absolutely horrendous so it was very slow going. We were a curiosity to the children, so I don't think this particular route was well traveled by tourists. Eventually we found ourselves at the bottom of the volcano where we began our trek up, and then around the rim for a very unique sundowner. Lois is a hiker, having hiked every trail in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I am most definitely not. Lois had to coerce me into this venture and when I saw the steepness of the trail, I was a bit nervous. When they handed us walking sticks I became even more nervous. They were forked at one end and somewhere along the way we learned that the forks were to deter any chance encounter with snakes! Yikes. We hiked up through loose gravel at first and I had to request periodic rest stops to catch my breath. Daniel was very patient and stayed with us while the two others took a short cut to set up our sundowners for us. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into when finally the steep grade diminished and we began our walk around the rim. The views were incredible and we stopped periodically to admire the breathtaking landscapes. We passed an area where someone had been sleeping and Daniel explained that these hills are spiritual locations for the Samburu and they will come up and spend the night on occasion. Eventually we reached our sight and everyone congratulated me on making it. It was embarrassing, actually. The sunset set that night wasn't very cooperative, but we made the most of our time up there. Are we ready? No no photos for the hike up. I was happy to survive. The walk down was much easier, although one had to be very careful of slipping on the loose rocks. The drive back to camp at dusk was interesting as we passed many farmers finishing their long work days walking the road on their way home. Our time at Meru was coming to an end much earlier than I'd have preferred. Dinner was nice but we were no longer the only ones in camp. Dining was not communal here, which was fine with us, but had I been solo this wouldn't have been ideal. Tomorrow we head to the airstrip for our flight to the Mara.
  6. Back to Meru. It was wonderfully and subtly different from anywhere I've been on safari. The late afternoon game drive with Daniel was mostly quiet but as I was contemplating what we might see, a honey badger ran right in front of our jeep! Daniel and I both exclaimed simultaneously while Lois was wondering why all the fuss about a "flat skunk". It all happened so fast and I poor lighting, so no photo, but bar far the closest I've ever come to a honey badger. The rest of the drive was not as exciting but still enjoyable. This pair of crowned cranes was always on hand to greet us as we headed through the rhino sanctuary to get into the park. The drive through the sanctuary was about 35 minutes each way, so this was perhaps the only negative to staying at Rhino River Camp. Aside from rhinos, (and a honey badger) the drive became a little repetitive after the first day. We still liked our choice though because it enable us to stay within our budget and offered a special little side trip on our second night. We really only had two full game drives, one the first afternoon and a long morning game drive the second day. We made the most of our limited time and left early with our requested bush breakfast. The breakfast stop was where we encountered so many monkeys scrambling around hoping for a morsel of food. Obviously they had seen tourists there before but we were a disappointment as we were careful not to leave a morsel behind. Some fun sightings - a spitting cobra right by the road, Best sighting to date of vulturine Guinea fowls. First ever Somali Ostrich! A tree full of vultures We stopped at a perfect hippo hangout. This guy was happily munching away while we watched. A couple more sightings before heading back to camp for a late lunch. After a cold Tusker, fine lunch, and a little relaxation, we were heading off on our late afternoon adventure...
  7. Thank you so much for this! I had been told about the 100 "rule" before, (by a photographer during safari) but this really helps sort everything out.
  8. This was in a National Park in Peru.
  9. @imonmm is right. The people are so friendly and wherever you decide to go you will enjoy it.
  10. I'm not sure how to describe Meru. I absolutely loved it, but when I think about WHY I loved it, I can't come up with a reasonable explanation. It wasn't the most prolific in terms of game, in fact no cats were seen. It was the most dense brush we encountered and thus the Wildlife was usually viewed in bits and pieces-a head here or a tail there. But for some reason, Meru stole my heart. Was it the vistas? Or or that I finally saw my favorite tree for the first time in Kenya? Or or maybe because I had a wonderful close up encounter with a monkeys during our bush breakfast. Maybe it was watching a hippo lumber down the river bank and plop,himself into the river. Or or maybe it was the landscape that at times seemed surreal. Whatever it was, Meru is one of my all time favorite places to be, We were only there for two nights but what a great experience.
  11. How did that last picture get in there and how do I get rid of it?????? This new site is much easier to navigate, but I've got a lot to learn....
  12. You could do a day trip to Cusco, but it would be a long day-about two hours drive if memory serves. I could have given Cusco a miss completely, but we flew in there, so spent one or two nights. It was the least memorable part of the trip for me. I loved Ollyantatambo but I generally prefer smaller over larger in terms of towns and cities. Once you iron out how you'll get to Ollyamtatambo, maybe a day trip will fall into place.
  13. We were to drive from Ol Pejeta to Mera, a drive I was told would take about 4 1/2 hours. We said our good byes at Rhino Camp and were picked up by a Gamewatchers enclosed vehicle for this drive. I didn't appreciate that it was closed at the time, but certainly did once we were under way. The drive was really quite interesting, but more like 6 hours to Meru. We stopped in Nanyuki to try to find cold medicine and batteries, but the mall chemist wasn't open yet. We drove around town while the driver looked for what he considered a reputable chemist. I didn't understand what he meant so just trusted his judgement. We found what we needed quickly and walked to the nearby grocery store. We seemed to be a curiosity for many and everyone was polite, if not cordial. One other stop was made along the way-it was more of a tourist stop where they were selling rather expensive souvenirs and snacks. Then on to Meru. The road kept getting worse and worse the farther we went. The potholes were enormous in places and the road was a mix of asphalt and dirt, sometimes varying a foot in height. Finally we made it to the gate and were met by Daniel, our driver and guide for Rhino River Camp. At first, Meru didn't seem like it was going to offer much, but as we drove, the park began to come alive and show itself. Driving through the rhino sanctuary we didn't see much, but when we pulled into Rhino River Camp I was immediately in love with the place. This is was our very own private deck where we watched birds come and go and enjoyed the tropical surroundings. At the end of the deck was the biggest palm I had ever seen.
  14. While I didn't specifically ask about driving off-road, we only ventured off nearer to Rhino Camp, never closer to the main area near the other camps.
  15. Not mentioned is Ollyantatambo which would be a great precursor to you Machu Picchu journey. It is at a higher elevation than Machu Picchu (9500 ft I think) and there are some very interesting ruins there where you could get your feet wet, so to speak. I loved this little town and you can walk to the train station from anywhere.

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