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Travel experiences

This is our journal for travel news, strories, and general information on where we go, what we see and what we get up to.

The Tides of Kirawira

Drama on the Grumeti River

The Tides of Kirawira

A remarkable film focussing on a stretch of a seasonal river in Serengeti's Western Corridor.

Deeble and Stone take you on a journey into the wilderness where the drama of this fascinating ecosystems unfolds.

The Queen of Trees

A fascinating story of the African bush and an amazingly detailed insight into an intriguing natural wonder

The Queen of Trees

Celebrated and award winning film-makers, Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone, have created wildlife documentary masterpiece.

A must watch programme for any wildlife enthusiast.

Safari on the Galana River

Tsavo East

Safari on the Galana River

A selection of photos from a recent safari to the banks of the Galana River in Tsavo East.

Tsavo has dried out considerably after a good rainy season earlier in the year, the Galana River is low, and the harsh arid savannah was back to it's characteristic dry browns and greys contrasting with the red soils.

Ewaso lions kill Oryx calf

Ewaso lions kill Oryx calf

A long morning game drive into Samburu National Reserve on a recent safari proved to be packed with great wildlife viewing.

A leopard with a kill up a tree, elephants wading across the Ewaso Nyiro River, a bush breakfast with a view, and some magnificent lions.

Making our way towards West Gate on our way back to Sasaab Lodge for lunch, our spotter, Eric saw a lioness in the distance on the side of the inselberg above Samburu Lodge. We moved in closer and one by one a new lion appeared until we saw there were 2 mature lionesses, with 3 of their immature offspring.

Lake Baringo water levels

A selection of photos showing the rise in Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo water levels

Following our recent visit to lake Baringo, we looked through some photo archives from visits over the years to compare the lake levels at Samatian Island

In 2013, Lake Baringo has exceeded all higher water levels since records began. The amount of water is quite astounding to anyone who knows this lake, and what is normally a breathtaking natural wonder has become even more amazing; a naturalists paradise.

Spectacular Samatian

Lake Baringo rises above historic levels

Spectacular Samatian

After four years of higher than average rainfall, Lake Baringo has risen higher than any levels recorded in living memory.

Samatian Island is lush and green, vibrant with life, with the lake level at a phenomenally high level.

The infinity pool is just that, with the lake expected to rise into the mess within days. The kitchen and two rooms are now underwater, but three rooms, and the family cottage remain well above the water level. A new kitchen has been built, and a new mess is under construction, once completed, Samatian will remain open for visitors on a self hosted basis.

Frontier District Sapphires

Geology and gemstones in Kenya's arid northern wilderness

Frontier District Sapphires

One of the most breathtaking safari destinations in East Africa is Kenya’s Northern Frontier District(NFD), an area of spectacular landscapes, rich in striking topographical features, and steeped in complicated, yet fascinating geological history.
This arid wilderness area is home to the Nilotic Samburu and the Cushitic Boran and Oromo tribes who have learned to survive in this harsh region as nomadic pastoralists for over 200 years, moving their cattle, camels, goats, and sheep through the seasons in search of grazing and water.
The region is also a fascinating ecosystem of remarkable flora and fauna, and is well known for its elephant population, and distinctive dry country species such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Oryx and Gerenuk.

Leopard

Panthera pardus

Leopard

One of Africa's most beautiful creatures, this nocturnal, secretive and elusive predator is the master of camouflage blending in perfectly to the savannah grasslands and mottled treetops. An exciting treat to view on safari, and never guaranteed to be seen out in the wilderness. Leopard sightings are most likely on our visits to the Northern Frontier District and the Masai Mara. Sasaab Lodge is in prime leopard habitat, situated along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River among large granite outcrops, as is Sala's Camp on the the Sand River in the southern Masai Mara.

One of Africa's 'Big Cats', the leopard is classified in the Felidae subfamily Pantherinae (which also includes the tiger, lion and jaguar). The swahili word for leopard is 'Chui'.

Males weigh 60 kg on average (up to 90kg) and are heavier than females (50kg).

Growing Up in Kenya's Wilderness

Reminiscences of a Childhood Mining in Kenya's Wilderness

Growing Up in Kenya's Wilderness

This is a guest blog about Safari life as a boy at a mine in Kenya's wilderness in the 1970's

Part 1

Article by A.M. Zagoritis GG
22nd August 2012

In a 2 part series I have been encouraged to write down some random memories of what is
was like to spend so much of my early years chasing gemstones far from civilization in the African bush.

Growing up in 1970’s Kenya was a dream come true for a boy. Especially one lucky enough to have a father who was a gemstone prospector and miner. Life was certainly never dull for myself and my little sister Sabrina. During the school holidays we would make the long trek to the mine, a 7 hour drive down roads that more resembled a dry river bed than a vehicle carriageway. Miles and miles of wilderness constituted our playground.

Baringo, Bogoria, and Masai Mara

Recent safari taking in the Rift Valley and the Wildebeest Migration in the Mara

Baringo, Bogoria, and Masai Mara

A selection of photos from a recent safari that took in a lush Rift Valley, where lake levels are higher than any time in living memory, and well above the previous records from 1963.

The safari also included 4 nights in the Masai Mara where the great wildebesst migration was beginning to make it's way south towards the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Rhino chic

A visit to Solio Lodge and Game Sanctuary

Rhino chic

Solio Game Sanctaury lies between the Aberdare Mountain Range and Mount Kenya in the highlands of the Laikipia plateau.
Most famous for being Kenya’s most successful Rhino Sanctuary, protecting both Black and White Rhino from poaching, and running a successful breeding program allowing for rhino to be translocated to other regions of Kenya, most recently, 10 rhino were moved to a new conservation area near Kisumu in Western Kenya.

Kenya Up-country Safari

Kenya Highlands and The Great Rift Valley

Kenya Up-country Safari

This safari in Kenya took in the Masai Mara, Mount Kenya forest, Laikipia plateau and The Great Rift Valley.
A great itinerary put together by long term Kenyan residents Marion and Gordon Weston included some of Kenya’s most impressive destinations.
Our overseas visitors hailed from New York and Miami, and after a night in Nairobi, a quick 45 minute flight took them to the heart of the Masai Mara for a 3 night big game viewing extravaganza. Lion devouring hippo, and stunning sightings of leopard were just two of the highlights.

'Rainy Season' in Zanzibar

Serenity on the Spice Island

'Rainy Season' in Zanzibar

April and May is the 'low' season on Zanzibar. The name given to this rain period by the Swahili people is 'Masika'.

The southeast monsoon - the Kusi - is blowing steadily and firmly in May, this combined with the rains gives a great natural cooling effect to the island. Far fewer tourists visit the island during this period, and many businesses close their doors for rennovations.

The Emakoko - Nairobi National Park

Wilderness lodge 20 minutes from the heart of the city

The Emakoko - Nairobi National Park

The Emakoko is a new lodge situated in an acacia forest in a gorge alongside the Nairobi National Park.

Only 30 minutes from Nairobi city centre, and the easiest and most scenic of transfers from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, this new lodge is a wonderful base for those passing through Nairobi.