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Everything posted by AmyT

  1. My brain doesn't want to think sequentially yet. I just want to hit the high notes (and there are so many high notes!) Hoping to have the next installment done soon.
  2. A: Me, now. I'm not as clever with my words as @michael-ibkand @pault, but I have some surprises up my sleeve for my trip report. Most days held new treats; some of which I'm still trying to track down the answers. A little background information for new readers: I agonized for months about my first trip to Africa until finally surrendering to the fact that I would have to leave hubby Harry home in June 2017. A colleague and I, along with our teenage daughters, went to Kenya for two weeks. When I had to cancel my second, previously arranged safari to Zimbabwe scheduled for early November due to Harry's unforeseen foot surgery in late October, I hoped that we might get to travel to Africa while his foot healed before returning to work. All of the stars aligned, and we knocked out a trip in less than a week, and took off three or four weeks later. So... Will I finally see the migration after missing it in the Maasai Mara by two days? Any new species on the list? Which cats played a prominent role? Have I improved my photography skills? Any new friends made? My first question of this post: How old is the cub below and where is mama? Did she end up as a meal? Still no answers. Tarangire National Park. (Lion was tenderly grooming the cub; looked like he was tasting her.)
  3. I see that KLM lists flights with their codeshare partner, Kenya Airways, leaving: Tue 20:45 Amsterdam - Schiphol (AMS), arriving Wed 06:05 Nairobi - Jomo Kenyatta Intl. (NBO)
  4. @Amylovescritters... great plan. At our last camp, most everyone flew KLM from California and all who did were faced with an unexpected layover in Amsterdam. I think we were the only ones whose trip was extended on the back end. I wasn't about to give up one whole day of safari!!
  5. @Amylovescritters... Excellent choice! Fadhil is an exceptional guide, and as a biologist, speaks my language. By day two, I had an enormous guide-crush on him and am planning a return trip with teacher friends. I'm thinking about having our Next Generation Science Standards integrated into a daily debrief. Our conversations were wide and deep, discussing everything from the life cycle of termites to the 128 tribes in Tanzania (to cars and engines with Hubby) with everything in between. At the Naabi Hill Gate (entrance to the Serengeti from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area), he introduced us to his father, Deo, whom he bumped into while filing entry paperwork. Truly a pleasure to meet them both.
  6. We saw the same grouping of cubs all together!! 10 cubs, two lionesses, and a male hiding around the back of the kopje. All accounted for. Photos when I get to that point of the trip report. Thanks, @Julian.
  7. We're of the same mind, @Amylovescritters. We rejoiced in the little rain that we experienced. It's all good!
  8. Thanks, @michael-ibk @lmonmm @serendipityntravel and @Julian!! Our itinerary was: 1 night Arusha: African Tulip Hotel 1 night Tarangire: Camp Kichuguu (5 months old) 2 nights Ngorongoro Crater: Lemala Ngorongoro 4 nights Namiri Plains 3 nights Sayari Camp We booked this trip through the Wild Source. While I had two excellent travel agents put together great itineraries, Bill Given had a slight edge over the runner up. We had four days with private guide Fadhil Magoye (son of Deo Magoye who is Bill’s partner in The Wild Source) and then 7 days at Asilia properties using their guides. Our trip was scheduled to begin on Nov 23, the day before Thanksgiving. The KLM flight from LAX to Amsterdam was scheduled to depart around 1 p.m. so we didn’t have the usual mad rush of getting up early to head to the airport. Nevertheless, we woke at 4 a.m. and promptly discovered that our flight was delayed due to air traffic control issues in Amsterdam. We already knew that we wouldn’t be making our connecting flight to JRO that day. A quick email to Bill to let him know of the latest development, we took the shuttle at the originally appointed time to make schedule changes if needed. Alas, code share issues (booked through Delta while flying on KLM) meant that we had to request later changes in Amsterdam. We checked into the KLM airport lounge, very happy to pay an arm and a leg (each!) to fly business class on this trip due to Harry’s back issues and foot surgery. I placed a call to our travel insurance company while sipping a glass of champagne and hoped for the best… we had to spend the night in Amsterdam already; would Delta/KLM modify our return flight so we could have the full number of nights on safari? Answer: YES! Another email to Bill to notify him of our new schedule (entire safari shifted by one day), we leisurely boarded at the front of the queue (due to Harry’s foot surgery) and settled in to our roomy seats. Champagne was freely flowing… I could get used to this! Once in Amsterdam, we were put up in the Park Plaza hotel, a nice place about 10/15 minutes from the airport. We could have used the 22 hour layover to go into the city but opted instead to start adjusting to the time change. It certainly eased our 11 hour time change. Next morning we were up and out, checked into the KLM lounge again, back to the front of the line at the gate, and then winging our way to Kilimanjaro airport. Moral of the story: Keep your cool (not my strong suit), have a backup plan, and roll with the punches. Cheers! P.S. Oh! Fun fact! People boarding the KLM flight in Amsterdam all seemed to know each other. Lots of waves, hugs, kisses, etc. Turns out that some were early investors in Asilia, on their way to a board meeting. Sign me up! I'm willing to invest if I get to go on safari at a board of directors meeting!!
  9. Our guide was as surprised as we were. The cub seems to be too young to be left alone with a grown male; we saw much older cubs in Kenya still sequestered with mom before being introduced to the pride. Video link shows size
  10. What a sweet baby elephant! Glad they showed up for you.
  11. Hello!!! We have a quorum of Amys on this post!! Welcome, @Amylovescritters! I am (literally; not even 12 hours ago) just back from Tanzania and loved my time there. I've only been to Namiri Plains and Sayari Camp Asilia properties, so can't speak to Dunia (although the prospect of a woman-guided safari is quite alluring!) However, I can enthusiastically recommend Namiri Plains. Asilia is the only company (so far) with a concession in that cat-rich country (although a new camp has been approved for a company called Maasai Wanderings.) Since your husband and friend will be at more visitor-dense areas, it makes sense to me to balance it out with exclusivity at sightings. I recommend it without hesitation. I'm assuming that the discussion about long rains in Tanzania has already happened (April-May). We went at the beginning of the short rain season and didn't have significant issues due to rain. I haven't been to Ndutu yet, but if anyone is a fan of elephants and baobab trees, I recommend Tarangire NP. Next time, more nights.
  12. @offshorebirder Here's the link! @Steven NY You should include the leaping vervet monkeys... charming! Very sad to see Leo surrounded by vehicles.
  13. OK so now I am seriously jealous, @bettel. Gorgeous photos of Figlet!
  14. When we were there in June, Fig wasn't letting anyone spot her cubs. So sweet to see that one has survived. What a beauty, just like her mama!
  15. I laughed out loud as I scrolled through that photo. Fig never fails to impress!
  16. @janzin Great point! For the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the maximum per occurrence is $20,000 also.
  17. @janzin and everyone We talked theoretically before. I had to cancel my trip with Doug Macdonald at Mana Pools. I got back my deposit from Chase Sapphire Reserve card today (didn't file until Nov 6 because there was a slight chance my spot might get filled.) That being said, I did insure our upcoming trip through TravelGuard because of my husband's recent surgery... he has a "pre-existing condition" that would negate the Chase insurance. Every little bit helps.
  18. Thank you @lmonmm !! I am so excited to share the experience with my hubby. I feel a little greedy going to the same (similar) ecosystem six months later but he deserves to see it too! I'm noodling over a trip to Uganda next, so that will be an entirely different trip. (Isn't it a shame that we have to wait for our trips of a lifetime?)
  19. @BeatNavy Darn! Then bears in Alaska will have to wait until his retirement. We'll go looking for spirit bears in British Columbia instead.
  20. Husband Harry and I leave the day after tomorrow for Tanzania: Kichuguu Camp in Tarangire NP (1N), Lemala Ngorongoro (2N), Namiri Plains (4N) and Sayari Camp (3N); plus a night/day at either end in Arusha. Private vehicle and guide for all but the Asilia camps, which will be a new experience. Harry enjoyed sharing the photos I took of the June Kenya trip that when we discovered he had to have surgery on his foot, I scrambled to book this trip during his recovery time.
  21. Wow, that wildebeest sequence was amazing! Collared one "supervising" = not doing his job!! What a lot of work goes into staying alive, on both sides. Thanks for sharing!
  22. I love love love lion cubs!! So cute!
  23. Payable to whom? I wasn't given the opportunity to buy an off road permit in June.
  24. I was just looking at them on Facebook... looks very nice! I'm glad that they are able to expand after closing Offbeat Meru.
  25. @Kathgee, I'm no expert, but I know that Gamewatchers has adventure camps in Ol Kinyei and Selenkay that are more price-conscious than the Porini camps.

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