Kenya, August 2005

For a list of the birds seen on this trip click here

For a list of the mammals seen on this trip click here

This was a family holiday to Kenya, on the Leopard Safari plan with Kuoni.

Saturday 13th August 2005

Depart from Heathrow on Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi. Left Heathrow at 8:00pm local time. Myself, Christine, Sian and Iain.

Sunday 14th August to 2005

Arrive at a cloudy Nairobi at 7am local time.

Depart Nairobi 9:30am local time on a flight to Mombasa where we arrived at approximately 1015 local time, then transferred to Voyager Beach Hotel, Mombasa for one week. Spent a lot of the day time sleeping off the jet lag!

Monday 15th August 2005

Mostly dry. Some cloud and light rain in the afternoon.

Day at Voyager Hotel Mombasa.

Tuesday 16th August 2005

Day at Voyager Beach Hotel .

Wednesday 17th August 2005

On my own on and all day trip to the Cement Works Nature Reserve. I had a private guide, called Kelvin. We returned to the hotel for lunch, the taxi ride was 3000 Kenyan shillings, for two return trips to the hotel. The guide was 3000 Kenyan shillings also. Total approximately 48 UK pound sterling. An excellent day. Walking in the bush - quite exciting. Two trips were from 7am until 12:15pm and then at 3pm to 6:30pm.

Thursday 18th August 2005

Day at Voyager Beach Hotel. Dry mostly, light shower.

Friday 19th August 2005

A visit to Kisite Marine Park. Left the hotel at 6:20am. Went on a "dolphin Safari" on an Arab dhow. With Sian and Christine, Iain decided to stay at the hotel.

Sian got to swim with dolphins. An excellent day. Two species of dolphin were seen, and in addition snorkelling/glass-bottomed buckets were used later. Return to the Hotel at 7:20pm. We had a lovely lunch on the boat. A very recommended trip and we were fully looked after.

Saturday 20th August 2005

A private safari (me only) to Shimba Hills game reserve. Left the hotel 7:45am, returned at 5:10pm.

Sunday 21st August 2005

Day at the voyage of Beach Hotel. We had a Morning trip in a glass-bottomed boat to the Nyali Marine Park. Then we left Mombasa at 7pm for a flight to Nairobi to join our two week Safari "Leopard Safari" with Kuoni.

In addition to the birds: -

Fish (several species seen including when snorkelling - 1 brown fish pick my finger on my left hand in mistake for food), Starfish (four species), Ray (one), Squid (1 small individual producing ink), Sea Urchin (lots of black individuals, and one pale individual), Eel (1), Coral(several forms, including Staghorn and Brain), Sea Fan

Monday 22nd August 2005

Departed Nairobi Serena Hotel after an overnight stop. During the "leopard Safari". Left at 7:30am. Arrived at Kilanguni Lodge (Tsave West and East), at 1:30pm local time.

Excellent view of sunset over Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tuesday 23rd August 2005

From Kilanguni Lodge to Ol Tukai Lodge, Amboselli.

Arrived at 1:00pm local time. Had a game drive from 4pm until 7pm.

Very bumpy roads with a lot of dust. Glorious sunny hot day all day, with clear blue sky.

Wednesday 24th August 2005

Ol Tukai Lodge. Two game drives, the first from 6:30am until 8:15am, the second from 4pm until 6:30pm.

Thursday 25th August 2005

Departed 0730 travelled via Nairobi, Windsor Country Club, to Outspan.

Friday 26th August 2005

From Outspan to Samburu Lodge via Nanyuki.

In addition to the birds: -

Nile Crocodile (5), African Bee (one nest)

Elephant - including one in the camp! Quite exciting, as we encountered one in the dark on our way back from the restaurant to our accommodation with an escort, who proceeded to throw a brick at it which irritated it no end.

Saturday 27th August 2005

A full day in Samburu Game Reserve. Early morning the again drive from 6:30am until 9am. Then a bird walk with the Hotel Guide from 10 and 11:15am. Men and drive on my own with Sammy the Kuoni driver from two-to-three p m (cost 3000 Kenyan shillings) then an afternoon game drive with the rest of the party from four till 6:30pm.

Leopard! After a 23 year wait. One was seen on the ground (before breakfast on our first game drive) before it climbed up into a thick acacia in which it became invisible. Another leopard (query the same individual) was seen later in the afternoon game drive. This time it was in a different Tree line on a branch approximately 12 to 14 feet up. It appeared well sated and disinclined to move!

Sunday 28th August 2005

From Smaburu Game Lodge to Treetops (Outspan). Depart 8:00am, arrived 1pm, then lunch, then transferred to Treetops arriving at 3pm. We then had a game drive which was extra, (£20 each) from four till 6:30pm. Then, dinner/night at Treetops. We had rooms number 12 and 12 A.

De Night at Treetops included a buzzer in the room for animals seen at night. One buzz=Spotted Hyena; two buzzes=Leopard; 3 buzzes=Rhinoceros; for buzzes=Elephant. Overnight we had one "two buzzes" at 5:30am, but it was a false alarm!

A good experience to stay at Treetops, but little to see from there and the wildlife was much better elsewhere. The game drive did rescue things somewhat. The rooms were small but cosy.

Monday 29th August 2005

Transfer from Treetops at 6:30am to Outspan hotel 4th ate breakfast at 7:30am. Later arrived at Lake Baringo at approximately 1:30pm, via Nanyuki, Thompson's Falls and Nakuru (we crossed and recrossed the equator three or four times in the process!). We then went on a bird walk with Simon between 5 and 6 p m.

In addition to the birds: -

Centipede (one large insect), Safari Ants, Gecko (several), Fire Fly (amazing)

Tuesday 30th August 2005

Morning trip from Lake Baringo Club to Lake Bogoria, visiting the thermal springs. Back to Lake Baringo for lunch then one-hour boat trip on Lake Baringo.

In addition to the birds: -

Leopard Tortoise (one Lake Baringo)

Wednesday 31st August 2005

From Lake Baringo Club to Lake Naivasha Club, via Lake Nakuru. Lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge (130 until 2:30pm). On the way, we passed Lake Elementaita. Arrived at Lake Naivasha Club by 4:30pm.

Thursday 1st September 2005

From Lake Naivasha to Keekorok Lodge in Masai Mara. Early bird walk at Lake Naivasha Club from seven until 7:45am. Then via A104 then B3 via Narok.. The roads were at times awful.

Friday 2nd September 2005

Masai Mara. 6:30am depart on game drive from Keekorok at Lesser Lodge. Return at 9:30am. Then a quick breakfast and depart for a second game drive at 10am. Return at 12:50pm. Then, depart at 4:15pm for our final game drive on the "Leopard Safari", returning at 6:40pm.

Today we had our first rain of the trip on the final game drive - we had the roof of the minibus down for the first 30 to 40 minutes. Christine and Sian had gone on a balloon safari this morning whilst Iain and I went on a 6:30am game drive.

Lion: -

We found one lioness dragging a whole Wildebeest which clearly she had recently killed herself across the plain and into shade. She was exhausted and kept stopping for breaks. One lioness was later lying in the shade from the same game drive. Two other Lions were seen on the second drive and two adult males, two females and three cubs were at a fresh Wildebeest carcass on the third game drive near the end. We got very close and the males started roaring at which point the rest of the pride joined in.

Cheetah: -

We found two together at the end of the first drive, and revisited (for the balloonists) Addis Start of the second drive. They were very affectionate to each other, with lots of mutual grooming. We could hear their purring easily. One animal had a deep looking wound on left shoulder.

We drove to a crossing plants used by Wildebeest on the Mara river. There were plenty of Wildebeest waiting to cross to our side, but none were brave enough while we were there. There were plenty of Marabou Storks and Vultures cleaning up the carcasses at the slow flowing parts of the river.

Soon we returned to Nairobi for our flight back to the UK.