Gilgamesh

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Everything posted by Gilgamesh

  1. Day 3 - Fly/Drive from Amboseli to Ol Pejeta and Evening Game drive. We flew from Amboseli to Nairobi There was a collection of bones on the side of the airport We drove from Nairobi to Ol pejeta conservancy Nairobi Traffic Open stalls like these were a common site Street corner Boutique Billboard sign Butcher/Grill...how convenient. The Forgotten? The road to Ol pejeta were all in great shape. It was eye opening to take a little peak into a small slice of rural Kenyan life through the windows of a fast moving vehicle. Our vehicle parked at Ol Pejeta conservancy entrance We saw the usual antelopes and zebras etc. during our evening game drive. Can you spot all four birds around the Cape Bull? As we were driving we saw a group of 6 vehicles. Must be a good sighting...this is what we saw with my 500mm lens We waited for a few minutes and five of the six vehicles left...the lioness wasn't moving. Our Driver/Guide Joseph suggested we should wait as she may decide to move once the crowd disappeared (He works for Amali Safari but was hired by All seasons to take us around....we had requested a Land rover for just the two of us and we loved the privacy)...we waited...I'm sure all three of us were muttering, please get up! pleaaase get up!!!...after about 5 minutes she did this... AWESOME!!!...Now if only she turned towards the camera Hole smokes!!! she actually looked at us!!!...now, could she possibly get up??? Wow!...what a sight it was....please!, Please!!, Pleaaaase!!! walk towards us...she again obliged and walked just feets away from our vehicle...needless to say we were ecstatic and our hearts were ponding out of our chest...it was unbelievable! After that long majestic walk, She disappeared behind some trees...as we waited for her to come out of the bushes, we saw another lioness and soon she was moving towards the pathway as well and Jospeh drove ahead of her and parked the vehicle. For the first time in our lives, a lion in the wild, just a few feet away from us looked right into our eyes...what a feeling!!! She stepped aside and surveyed her Kingdom Then she walked by us and walked back into the bushes... We had finally seen a big cat in the wild for the first time ever...and it was incredible!!! By the end of the trip, we will see so many more. One of them would do something very unique on Day 9, which they rarely ever do. Don't worry she did not kill a Leopard or Cheetah. We spent the rest of the evening in a quite area with no one else but just a group of Zebras and Impalas...it was serene. I picked Ol Pejeta for the Rhino. Hopefully we will see one tomorrow. We did not want to see any caged animals, so we skipped those options.
  2. Introduction: This was our first safari ever, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Easily the best vacation we've ever had. I will try to keep this trip report as short as possible and mostly let the photographs speak for themselves. We are in our late 40's. We chose All Seasons Safari to organize our trip. Our trip involved both flying and driving between camps. It also involved lodges and tents, Mara reserve and the conservancy. This allowed us to experience different options and I will give my opinion on how they compared. Itinerary: 1N Nairobi 2N Amboseli 2N Ol Pejeta 1N Naivasha 4N Masai Mara Warning: This is not necessarily a safari report, but rather a report of our entire trip. Although it was purely a safari trip, we witnessed a lot more than animals and I will be posting a variety of photographs. I prefer landscapes, still life, people more than close up of animals. However, there is plenty of the latter too. The report is primarily catered to the beginners, but I will try to keep it entertaining for the regulars as well. But, I can guarantee even the hardened safari goers, an image I will post will be very interesting to even them. In fact I'd like to know whether anyone has ever witnessed it before...it was an image taken at ISO 16,000 at f4 and a shutter speed of just 1/30 at 250mm...so, its beauty is not in its image quality but rather what it depicts...but, alas it happened on day 9 and everyone will have to wait to see it. It is worth the wait Camera gear: I wanted it to be a compact package, all fitting inside my Lowpro Fastpack 200. We only took two backpacks for our other things. Pentax K5, K7 Pentax 60-250/4, Sigma 50-500/4.5-6.3 Pentax 12-24/4, Pentax 21/3.2, Pentax 43/1.9, Volna 9 50/2.8 1:2 macro
  3. Day 2 - Final part Masai Giraffe Baboon Black-Faced Vervet Monkey There wasn't much crowd in Amboseli, this was probably the most Cape Buffalo I have to include more elephants...after all, that's why I came to Amboseli. Masai cattle grazing amongst wildlife Many elephants in the water eating the wet vegetation...chose this cutie to post We headed back to Amboseli Serena before sunset. We loved it here...can't beat seeing these lovely animals as we sat and enjoyed some cold beer. My wife took these pictures as I was clicking away. Elephants and us enjoying the sunset After sunset...1.2 sec exposure with camera held by hand on top of on an uneven rock wall. Amboseli Conclusion: We absolutely loved it here. We came for the elephants and wasn't disappointed. We saw tons of them and they even posed well for the camera. Kili's peak was barely visible that first evening, but with the dense haze I could not take any good pictures. We were surprised to see not that many vehicles out there, which was a pleasant surprise. Amboseli serena was superb, food was fine too. Highly recommended.
  4. Thank you so much...yeah! The light was great for the wildebeest reflection. We sped by that area when we were looking for the lions and I made sure the driver came back to that spot.
  5. I'm so glad you liked the pictures. It is a serious hobby of mine, so it's good to hear these kind words. The encounters just kept getting better, reaching a high crescendo on the final day...I can't wait to share it all with fellow enthusiast here.
  6. Thank you so much....your comments motivated me to finish a few more. We felt very fortunate to see just the zebras and the various antelopes strewn all over the landscapes....seeing this huge variety of animals was simply unbelievable. Words and pictures cannot convey how it feels to see a herd of elephants just slide by just feets away from your vehicles, or convey how fascinating their behaviour is. That's why I think, even after seeing thousands of images and reading hundreds of trip reports, we were still blown away by the experience....none of it even remotely came close to the true beauty of Africa....one can only truly appreciate it by being there. I did not see palm trees anywhere else either. Amboseli is amazing for landscape photos. I, of course, have only scratched the surface.
  7. Day 2 - Part 3 Some more from Amboseli Hippo These hyenas were playing with a piece of bone One more from the previous part Egyptian Goose Amboseli Landscape Black-winged Stilt ? Egret Egret and African Spoonbill Ostrich These are truly ugly...The Marabou Stork.
  8. Day 2 - Part 2 I will break each day into parts for now... As we were enjoying the various animals in Amboseli a call came into our driver, and a mad dash ensued...we sped by a bunch of interesting animal activities and good landscape compositions. None of the drivers really tell you what they are going after. When we finally reached the target, this is all we got... Our first Lions...but so far away and within seconds disappeared into the trees. Ha! Ha!...Disappointing...but, I turn around there's still a lot of activity going on behind us... It looked like they had killed a wildebeest overnight and was feasting on it...we were too late to see it, but the carcass had attracted others. It was so far away, even 500mm on a cropped body was too short. These are significant crops. No off-roading allowed, so we had to view and shoot from a distance. First the Hyenas, with zebras looking on Then the jackals came in for scraps... Then the vultures and a few Marabou Storks started gathering as well Then they started to swarm the carcass These kind of various animal interactions were thoroughly fascinating.
  9. Thank you! Once I stopped enjoying telephoto photography, the pack became lighter too. The consumer lens bigma is quite compact. But, I was surprised in how well it handled the trip.
  10. Ha! Ha!...well! The pictures and experiences kept getting better and better with day 9 filled with amazing experiences...I kind of planned it that way by keeping porini lion camp to the end. But, the surprise image cannot be planned... Thank you for the encouragement.
  11. Day 2 - Part 1 My computer has come to a stand still....so, I'll post some of the elephants for now as part 1 and continue later.
  12. Great trip report and pictures so far...we just returned from our trip to Kenya as well....it is indeed an amazing land...can't wait for the rest of your report.
  13. Day1: We stayed at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi for our first night's stay. It was a great facility and the breakfast was superb Outskirts of Nairobi Unpaved road into Amboseli Park This guy was sitting outside my room at Amboseli Serena Our evening drive We saw tons of Wildebeest, Zebras, various antelopes and of course elephants. Sunset images of ... Elephants Wildebeest Zebras I promise, Day 2 will have the more conventional animal pictures Kenya (1 of 1)-2.tif
  14. @Treepol The sisters didn't know much about the tourism in that country. I think they recommended close to the Indonesian border thinking there will be more amenities there. I think they don't have high opinions on PNG being a good "tourist" destination and thought being closer to Indonesia might provide the minimal luxuries a tourist may demand....I don't think the advice was factual based but rather emotional/opinion/educated guess based, and catered more towards the average tourist who visits Paris and Rome
  15. Ha! Ha! Timely one. I was discussing PNG safaris among two sisters who've lived there briefly as kids. Both of them independantly asked, "why would anyone want to go there?". I told them "If I want to go for a safari where not many people go", then they said "I guess it's ok then"...one still recommended staying closer to the Indonesian border. Then there were some jokes about canibalism, of course. Then I did a search for PNG here and got no results. Its too far for me for now, but in retirement when a I can stay for months in that part of the world. In the mean time, looking forward to the remainder of your trip. P.S: Why prohibit 6 pocket shorts but not all shorts? Is that for the parliament building?
  16. Identified as Swiss couple, who frequents their property in Mombasa. Killed by the caretaker when they travelled there for this season. One of several articles available now. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-murder-idUSKCN1B00I4
  17. https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001251992/two-foreigners-of-caucasian-origin-found-dead-bodies-dumped-by-the-road-in-mombasa
  18. Lovely trip report, thanks for sharing.... I don't have many days at the conservancy, but sounds like it should not be too much trouble to locate the Cubs...will do my best!
  19. I have gained a lot of knowledge reading up on various topics including numerous trip reports. Safari's in particular are costly vacations. So, the cost involved IMO is pertinent and useful information. I am curious why no one mentions it - particularly for those fixed priced all-inclusive types where the whole trip was organized by a single company. I know it's impossible to list costs if it was paid piece meal, but most safari's seems to be organized by one company. When I post my trip report, I intend to mention the cost involved, is that against any forum rules or bad etiquette? I would think that information will be very useful to the readers.
  20. I am not fond of snakes. Is it possible to find snakes inside lodge rooms or in tents? If yes, is it rare? Is it a routine part of safaris to check the bed sheets etc to make sure there aren't any critters....it sounds like a very silly question, but just want to be sure. I only hate snakes, but my wife however is not a fan of any critters...should I do a sweep of bathrooms etc prior to her going there every morning? She is not petrified of them or anything like that, it's just that she will rather not share the shower with a tarantula. We are mostly staying in lodges, except the last two nights at Porini Lion camp...lodges are Serena properties in Amboseli, Mara and Ol Pejeta sweet water tented camp. One night in Enashipai lodge, Naivasha to break journey. I am embarrassed to ask this question, but I feel like I want to know this...
  21. Thank you, makes sense
  22. It happened a few months ago. I searched and didn't find this being posted....please delete the thread, if it's already posted. http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/12/british-tourists-attacked-robbed-at-samburu-national-reserve_c1578904
  23. Pault, wonderful report and gorgeous pictures...thanks for the wonderful entertainment, thoroughly enjoyed it.
  24. Yeah! if he shushed in front of the manager, and even after you complaining the manager said nothing, it's a sign of an endemic issue....I've never been to any porini camps, so I don't know for sure, but I'm troubled by your experience....sounds like it's a wink! Wink! Between management and driver and symbolic apologies to calm you down....not good! P.S : I would think the balance between me and driver/guide getting photo/viewing ops, should be 100 to zero, anything less is unacceptable....wonder what the regulars have to stay. Of course the driver/guide will get their chance but never, ever at the expense of the paying customer....I'm so glad you mentioned this.

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