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pault posted a topic in KenyaLet’s get straight to the main point here. Bibi vs the Invaders was of course a “no contest”. “Right then. We’ll have no more of this invading. Naughty, naughty boys.” Note for Kenyans: Yes, we know ‘bibi’ means “wife” in Swahili but it is also “grandmother” in some areas of Tanzania and it is difficult to drop its use, even though using it in Kenya would have created all kinds of misunderstandings – like was my wife our adopted daughter or was I a bigamist with two wives (something that would not have raised an eyebrow in much of Samburu County)? One funny thing our guide Zarek told me was that he had assumed in past reports that Bibi was my wife, making Bibi’s comments and adventures hers, and creating a very confusing narrative! So I will probably more frequently use Mum or Mama this time around, with Bibi saved for “Bibi-like events”. We discussed the option of using the proper Swahili word “Nyanya”, but it also means “tomato” so that seemed likely to create even more misunderstandings, given that she was not grandmother to anyone on this trip. We stuck with “Mama” when discussing her with staff and guides and being a junior was just fine with my wife, who had a shocking “first” experience when she revealed her age to one of our young Samburu moran hosts at Sabache Camp. “How old are you?” “47” (Surprised) “Oh… Mama!” Actually the young moran nearly had a nasty experience too, but my wife was too shocked to get the slapping reflex going for days afterwards. Itinerary June 17 Boulevard Hotel, Nairobi (unscheduled) June18-19 Fishing Lodge, Aberdares National Park June 20-22 Sabache Camp, Namunyak Conservancy, Samburu County June 23-26 Saruni Samburu, Kalama Conservancy, Samburu County June 27- July 1 Kicheche Bush Camp, Olare Motorogi Conservancy July 2 Day room at Ololo Safari Lodge, Nairobi National Park So, a real Kenyan conservancy safari, without forgetting to pay our respects to the Daddy of them all, the Kenya Wildlife Service. Spending another small fortune may as well be virtuous. Of course the amount of love given to the NRT conservancies and the Samburu in particular was based on decisions made prior to the escalation of the Laikipia land invasions by the Samburu, and I probably wouldn’t have had quite the same itinerary if I had booked in May 2017. However, I checked out the security situation as thoroughly as I could and decided there was no reason to change things up, especially as Mum hadn’t read about the armed robbery in Samburu National Reserve and carelessly assumed that her son and daughter-in-law would never go anywhere that wasn’t completely safe anyway. And it did seem completely safe. While you can never say more than “seem” both Sabache and Saruni have good security and intelligence networks (although Saruni may need to review their protocols as the genet breached them a number of times) and our experience was very positive. The first 6 nights was a road safari with Zarek Cockar and team. The last 9 nights were genteel fly-in safari, coordinated by Chameleon Tours. The parts were knitted together with care by Chalo Africa. Main characters pault - Your narrator and most careful planner. What could go wrong? Mrs pault aka Mrs K aka wife - The only person I know who cried when arriving at a camp Bibi aka Mama aka Mrs. Tomato - The one and only Bibi, Queen of Adventure Zarek Cockar - A fine guide and a very good man to have an adventure with, but would he be able to answer all of Bibi’s questions? Job the moran - Driver and assistant guide for Zarek and occasional Samburu warrior Vincent - Our excellent cook brought by Zarek to Fishing Lodge Lepayon Lekotip & James Leitore - Our guide and spotter at Saruni Samburu - a great team but could they find the proverbial needle in a bone-dry haystack? Nelson Kasoe - Our guide at Kicheche Bush Camp – a recurring character in our adventures, and no bit player either. Could he do it again? I don’t think you’ll find this one as dull as the last one, although of course I would never expect to please everyone. Some highlights - with some surprises saved to make sure you don’t skip the full report Servals (yes, there is an s or two) Singing wells Bibi vs the camels Sleeping on top of Mt. Ololokwe (and getting up there!) I’m a wild dog magnet The fearsome genet that grew to the size of a leopard The Grevy’s megaherd Six hunts - arguably many more but half-hearted ones don’t count Four kills as a result of the hunts (but not always quite what you’d expect - including my most shocking safari moment ever) Zorilla (sorry @Tom Kellie – yes, again) Aardwolf and Striped Hyena? Oe were they one and the same? The beginning of the great rut Of course, as part of the ceasefire deal Bibi struck, my wife does now have to adapt to life as #3 wife of a Samburu elder....... apparently she's doing as well as could be expected.
1) Name of property: (Please also include name of property as topic title and include as a tag.) Saruni Samburu 2) Website address if known: http://www.sarunisamburu.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known) July 2014. High Season. Kenyan Resident Rates 4) Length of stay: 4 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? Always wanted to try one of the smaller Samburu properties. The website made the property look stunning, and the reviews were all positive. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Directly through Cheli and Peacock. The booking was handled very efficently. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? More then 50 8) To which countries? Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, India 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Shompole, Little Shompole, Mara Explorer, Il Ngwesi, Naibor, Naibosho 10) Was the property fenced? No 11) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Villa 3. The most amazing views ever. 100% private - you can walk around naked. 12) How comfortable was the bed - were suitable amounts of blankets/duvets/pillows provided? Extremly comfortable. There was adequate bedding, and the most awesome view. 13) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Overall it was very good. Very fresh, tasty and not too heavy. 14) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) There was some variety, but if there were allergies, dislikes etc., they would try and cater for. They did ask for advance notice of allergens. 15) Can you choose where you eat, ie privately or with other guests, guides? Single tables or communal dining? While dinning is communal, we found dinner was served too early because of other peoples children, so we would turn up late with no issues. Also we could dine in our room if we wanted. 16) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? They were very good. All of them were not boxed, but communal, so we had to get out of the car and set up for the meal. 17) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open sided landrovers. 18) How many guests per row? With us, just one, but at peak times 2. 19) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? As the camp was far from Samburu, morning game drives were long and always took different routes. Afternoon ones for us were more like a sundowner with a game drive. 20) Are game drive times flexible: ie, if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, ie not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Most certainly 21) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Elephant, Leopard and the Samburu 5. Had good sightings of all. 22) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent. 23) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 24) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: They were passionate, caring and genuine. Very knowledgable. 25) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes 26) Trip report link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298254-d1393017-r216347125-Saruni_Samburu-Samburu_National_Reserve_Samburu_District_Rift_Valley_Province.html 27) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: One of the most stunning locations I have ever stayed in. 28) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
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