hannahcat

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hannahcat last won the day on September 26 2016

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About hannahcat

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  1. I don't know whether it's because I've traveled with my mom before (in about the same age range), and am planning on doing so again, but this trip was just a tour de force for me -- I can't stop thinking about it! Was Bibi in a room wearing her underwear with a genet or a leopard? (There's something rather elegant about it either way, I think, in a bizarre sense.) How would I have reacted to the ups and downs of the first part of the trip -- not to mention the roads? And how can those rutting wildebeest be so serious-looking and so silly all at once? i think the thing about this trip report is how secure I felt reading it -- your narrative was masterful and led me through the trip feeling that I was learning and experiencing and exploring each moment with you. And you let us see so much of the trip -- the small things you noticed, and the people, and feeling sad about seeing your mom go even though she wasn't always the easiest -- and your pictures as well feel very open and like an invitation into your viewpoint. (And of course are also excellent pictures. I wish I knew more about your panning trick.) Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks, and to say how much this is sticking with me. I might send this on to my mom, come to think of it -- maybe she'll enjoy seeing another spunky lady out on safari, watching a hyena knaw into his kill and enjoying the sighting and not being squeamish about it at all, thank you very much.
  2. @pomkiwi As if I wasn't jealous enough already of my friends in the UK! Good strong tea, great accents, and the ability to go on safari for a long weekend ... sounds like paradise to me.
  3. Several people have mentioned this in passing, but I wanted to highlight this: just because you have Delta points doesn't mean you have to fly Delta or use their rewards scheme (though you can, of course). You can also use their points on all their partners' airlines, which means also using their partners' scale for rewards. Delta Airlines is part of the SkyTeam Partnership; this website can tell you more about which airlines partner with them: https://www.skyteam.com/en/frequent-flyers/. Using frequent flyer miles from airline X to fly on airline Y can get a little complicated, but there are a few websites out there that can help you to navigate booking SkyTeam partnership miles. Two resources that I know of are The Points Guy (https://thepointsguy.com/) and Million Mile Secrets (https://millionmilesecrets.com/). Good luck, and feel free to DM me if you have any questions.
  4. I must say that I'm slightly awed by the idea of going on safari for, essentially, a long weekend. I suppose it's slightly easier to do from the U.K. than from the US, but not by all that much. I also think it's very kind of you to arrange this trip for your friend, and with so many of her needs and interests in mind. The incidents with the rhino and the brown hyena would have driven me quite mad -- you sound much more patient that I would have felt. No doubt because of this, you were rewarded with some really lovely cheetah pictures and a very exciting lion sighting. I am so glad you and your friend ended up with some very good sightings, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
  5. I'm just catching up with this trip report now, but what an amazing adventure you & your daughter & friends had! I can't get over the number of cubs you saw -- it looks like a veritable cornucopia of cubs in every cute pose imaginable! I'm still thinking of the "you can't see me/but I can see you" pictures, which were superb. And what better omen is there than seeing a baby giraffe on the way to the airport? Thank you for taking us with you on this journey -- and for being frank about the things you didn't like as well as the things you did. Your character, enthusiasm, and love of animals really shone through each post, and made it so much fun to read.
  6. I know I'm very late to this, but I just wanted to add a note to say how very influential SafariTalk has been in my life. There's the practical: as so many people have mentioned, I absolutely rely on the opinions of SafariTalk members and their Trip Reports for my own planning, and often end up being more well-informed than my travel agent (which worries me sometimes, but that's another topic). Then there's the effect SafariTalk has of bringing wildlife, and caring about wildlife, into one's every day life. To be able to read about the people "out in the field" even when you can't be there changes your perspective on the world a little, I think. I also get the feeling that SafariTalk is important to conservation in ways I'm too ignorant to imagine. To take a stab in the dark, though: it feels important to me that there is a community that is recording sightings of particular animals and particular places through the years, that people here can say, "oh yes, I saw the mother of that lion x number of years ago when this was happening," and also that people here are so intrepid and come back and report on some very far-flung wilderness areas. I'm not quite sure what the effect of it all is, but it seems to me to be an incredibly rich resource of animal sightings over the years. And, of course, there's also the community, which is wonderful. Much more than any online forum I have ever experienced, I feel like I "know" people here, and have genuine communications with them. Thanks to everyone for all of it, and especially to you, @Game Warden!
  7. Thanks so much to everyone for this thread! It's incredibly helpful. I regret not participating more in SafariTalk over the past few months -- things have just been really crazy -- but I'm definitely counting down to Kenya in June 2018. I had just realized that we'll probably land the night before we can get out to the Mara when I discovered this discussion. SafariTalk: providing answers before I even knew I had the question.
  8. I should have chimed in well before this to say how much I'm enjoying this trip report -- so let me go ahead and do so now, while you are on hiatus! I suspect that I would not be a big fan of migration watching, so I am loving hearing your pro & con thoughts on the matter. Your excellent photographs really help to tell the story as well, and the shot of all the plains game together really is magnificent. I also really appreciate that you included a map of the area -- I'm very fond of maps myself. And I'm very exited about the idea of more spotted animals to come ...
  9. I turn 40 in 2018, and a few months ago, Michael turned to me and said "you want to go on safari for your 40th, don't you?" And of course I said I did, and that seemed to be it. And then, a couple of days later, he said, "wouldn't it be nice if friends and family were there too?" And so I sent out an email message asking if anyone else wanted to join us (each paying their own way) and lo and behold, they did. Probably about nine of them, but maybe up to eighteen of them. So that sent me off into a frenzy of research, but I think we now have a plan. With a group this size, simplicity is best, I feel. So, Kenya, Serian Mara North, seven nights, June 2018. (And then Michael and I will likely go on to Sarara for another four nights on our own.) I'll be putting down the deposit in the next week for the main camp (late comers will have to go to Ngare if there's room). I am so glad there are Kenya trip reports, I don't know how I could possibly bide my time otherwise.
  10. Great job on making a plan! I remember growing to love that phrase -- let's make a plan -- on my first safari in South Africa, and also growing to understand that the making of the plan is itself part of the Safari process. So, in a sense, maybe your plan-making meant your Safari had already started? At any rate, I am so glad it all worked out. I can't wait to hear more, for selfish reasons among others -- I'm starting to look into the Serian camps myself and will be very curious to hear what you thought on your second round.
  11. I know this trip report was finished a while ago, but I just wanted to say how entertaining, inspiring, and non-pretentious I found it. And the photography! Wow! The tsunami wave-cloud! The wildebeest in a perfect parabola! The two wildebeest jumping in symmetry! The lions on kopji! Just amazing! This remains a very helpful and, again, inspirational resource.
  12. I am so glad you finally got to make this trip, @@optig, and that you're looking hale and healthy. I'm particularly glad for a selfish reason: I'm beginning to think about Kenya for 2018, and your trip to the Namunyak Conservancy in particular is very inspiring. I feel like it would be amazing paired with a visit to the Mara for a first time visitor, as the two ecosystems look so completely different. Also, I love the pictures of you with the orphaned gerenuk, and would like to learn more about the elephant orphanage. That's a great tip about the new lodge being built! Thanks again for sharing.
  13. Holy moly @@madaboutcheetah, these are spectacular! Can't wait to see what delights Mara Plains brought you as well.
  14. @@elefromoz I do feel incredibly lucky about the jungle cat spotting. He was so well camouflaged, it was 99 to one that we would just drive right past him. Spending hours and days watching Eurasian griffons in Spain sounds wonderful. They may not be the most gorgeous birds feather-wise, but they are absolutely majestic in flight. Also, I meant to emphasize this more in my post -- there seemed to be lots of interesting things going on at the Gamla reserve that we weren't able to spend time with. I think I saw several species of sun birds, for instance, though as you can tell I'm not a very trustworthy ID-er of birds. Anyway, my point is that this stop was added on at the last minute when Eitan saw how much I loved the animals at Hula Valley, and so we didn't have much time, but if I were to do it again, I could easily see wanting to spend a day there. If one were to spend a day there, the locals might think you're nuts -- it's not a tourist spot at all, it seems mainly used by folks hiking to the nearby waterfalls -- but it might be worth it anyway, particularly if you hit it in nice flying weather for the birds.
  15. Thank you so much, @@inyathi! I was sitting down with the Book of Middle Eastern birds this morning and definitely feeling a little lost. How is it that the birds never look quite like even the most detailed drawings? I think it must take a certain level of expertise to be able to really get bird books. At any rate, I really appreciate your help. I would love to see the Nubian ibex! I'll have to put the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve on my list for next time. I'm also a sucker for rock hyrax -- they're just irresistible to me. One thing I liked was that the nature reserves seemed relatively undiscovered, at least as tourist destinations, which is kind of nice. Thanks again!

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