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I received this email this morning from Offbeat Safaris, thought it would be of interest here. Such a bummer for a well-regarded camp. I hope there's a quick(er) recovery! Not sure if this is the best forum location for this, but mods can move it as they see fit. As you are well aware, parts of West Laikipia have been unsettled since the beginning of the year and Sosian re-located all their bookings during this time to err on the side of caution. Today, the seven owners/shareholders of Sosian have taken the decision to down scale the lodge to their private house until such a time that they are confident that our guests will the receive the top class safari experience that Sosian has become so well known for. Whilst we shall miss our guests hugely over this time, we will also be able to focus 100% on re-habilitating the land and working with the government to path a positive long-term future. Sean Outram, the general manager, has done an extraordinary job during these difficult times and he will continue to work tirelessly on rejuvenating Sosian back to the point of welcoming guests again. The lodge managers, Simon Kenyon & Rosie Constant have some exciting plans in the interim, as Simon becomes head riding guide for Offbeat Safaris and Rosie begins some free lance safari work sharing her secrets in the kitchen and office as well as her faultless hosting! We’d like to thank so many of you for your incredible support of Sosian. We couldn’t do it without you, and we’ll be looking forward to letting you know when we shall be welcoming guests once again. Offbeat Safaris continues as normal with an exciting riding season ahead of them with Simon and the team, plus Piers’ Offbeat Mara Camp with a stunning new mess tent and a busy migration season ahead! Best wishes from all of us at Sosian & Offbeat Safaris
My wife, Mama Ndege and I have traveled to Africa on safari five previous times. All of these trips were organized by a young man who operates Cowabunga Safaris. He grew up in the lightly populated county in Kansas where we are from. Our first safari with his group was in 2001 to Kenya. We have not been back to Kenya since then. Most of the African safaris we recently have taken have been mobile camping safaris. Cowabunga Safaris was originally started by the Topeka Zoo Director Gary Clark, who is a legend in Africa. Mzungu Mrefu is our friends Swahili name that he earned while going to school in Dar Es Salaam. He is now a college professor in international studies and only takes groups to Africa in the summer during school vacation. So Mama Ndege and I decided to try a winter trip and used the services of Expert Africa to help us plan our trip. Ellie Dunkels was the TO that we used and she did a great job. She was always very prompt with her replies and all our connections and camps were trouble free and top notch. Most of the photos in this trip report will be from Mama Ndege's camera. We are a bit humbled by the fantastic photographers on safari talk. We actually met two really good photographers on our recent trip in Kenya at different camps. That would be @@tony Q and his wife @Thursdays Child at Offbeat Meru and @@offshorebirder at Offbeat Mara. It was fun to visit about our safari talk acquaintance. We flew from Kansas City airport on a cold 4 degree Fahrenheit (minus 16 Celsius) day to Chicago. From there we flew to London Heathrow and then on to Nairobi. We landed about 9:30 PM a day after we left home, around 28 hours in transit. We were taken to the Nairobi Tented Camp in Nairobi National Park. While driving into the park we saw a leopard and hyena cross the road on the way to camp. What a way to start our Kenya safari!! After a hot bucket shower we were in bed by midnight anticipating our early morning safari at 6 AM. We met our guide, Andrew, and three fellows from California who were spending their last day in Africa after climbing Kilimanjaro and taking a short safari in Tanzania. The light was still not very good when we took off from camp but soon we were seeing game with the skyline of Nairobi in the background. It wasn't long before we came on a black rhino family consisting of a large male, female and baby. Andrew mentioned it was unusual to see a male with a female and young one but we didn't complain. A little further on we approached 4 white rhino sleeping in the road. They were quite content to look like big couch potatoes. White rhino sleeping in the road We stopped and talked to one of the few safari vehicles that we saw during our time in Nairobi National Park and he must have given Andrew the info that there was a pride of lions up ahead. We found them lying on a rocky outcropping set to sleep the day away. There were three females and five 9 month old cubs. We continued on with our drive and were astounded at the variety and quantity of game in this park. Here we were not more than a mile or two from the bustling city with the skyline in plain view, and we had fantastic game viewing of healthy, contented wildlife. After this first morning safari of less than three hours, we were overwhelmed with the wonderful sightings and had to pinch ourselves to think that less than two days ago we had been in freezing Kansas. Here we were in Kenya living a dream. What a privilege to be able to experience this!!! It was now back to camp for breakfast. The guys from California who had accompanied us were soon off to fly back home. We had been having so much fun that we hadn't even thought about jet lag. Here is the lounge tent and mess tent at Nairobi Tented Camp.
Safaridude posted a topic in KenyaChapter 1 - "Dr. Wilkinson, I Presume" (Safaridude) As the Cessna circles the runway of the Kinna airstrip at Meru National Park, I am awestruck by a figure looking up at me, standing dangerously close to the side of the runway, both arms stretched toward the sky and the pale, rounded headgear shimmering in the scorching Meru sun. OMG… he really is wearing that thing on his head! And good lord! Look at that beard! Ugh, I hope he doesn't insist on sitting next to me in the vehicle the whole time. The helmet and the beard could get in the way of my photos. He could scare away shy animals even. Boy, this could be one looong safari... I concoct a happy face for the official meeting: “Dr. Wilkinson, I presume.” “Safaridude, what a pleasure to finally meet in person, mate!” An uncomfortably long hug is accompanied by the ndevu engulfing the entire side of my face as well as my backpack. All this is slightly disturbing. The ndevu
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