Last update: 05th of January 2004
In the morning at about four it knocks on the door of our accommodation. In Europe it is just two o'clock and the journey still beats us. Sweatened, the fan makes noise like a helicopter and therefore it was switched off, I open the door. Outside there stands a Guard and I have to sign for the wakening. I never heard something like thus!
Fast Tanja waked and under the shower. Since we are quite close to to main building, the warm water already is at the tap after two to three minutes. Other travelers, who have theit huts in direction entrance are of the opinion, they would not have warm water, I assume, they only do not have patience.
Fast, traveling bag was packed the previous evening, the camera and the video bag taken and off to the breakfast. Unreasonable, however, still better than nothing. The coffee tastes, I do not know how washing-up water tastes, but it must be this taste. Thus to tea changed.
Punctually at about five we start with a minibus. With us still another recent pair from Hungary and a pair from Italy drives. Unfortunately the Italians did not speak any word of English, so the communication with them was not so simple.
After only one hour of travel we already arrived at Mombasa. Peculiar way at the airfield. We were quite surprised, because according to plan the way to the Tsavo national park should take place with the Safaribus and the return journey with the airplane. But since the driver had said, he has the order to bring us here and with some Safaris in the prospect was written that they are accomplished also in reverse order, we have to arisen into our fate and waited.
Still more surprised us that except this small chap nobody was there, in order to take care of us furthermore.
Two airplanes stood still around, which did not look in such a way however yet, as if they are ready to takeoff.
After only one hour the first airport employees showed up and began carefully to work around.
After further 30 minutes a bus with some more travelers appeared. That made us then nevertheless again hope to be correct.
At eight o'clock then a bus driver appeared and asked for the guests for the Tsavo Royal Safari. That we were! He meant only that our driver waits for us since 2 hours at the hotel Flamingo Beach. That we for 2 hours waited here he was not interest in.
Thus into the bus and those few kilometer to the Flamingo Beach driven. There already waited our Guide with his Toyota HiAce, which had made obviously already a few years on the roads. Into the car and on the roads.
Approximately 200 kilometers to the Tsavo East we made in about 4 hours. That was because of last 50 km, which were freshly asphalted, the remainder was probable in the bad condition, which can be used only with jeeps.
Briefly before the park there was still another small intermediate stop for toilet course and the possibility of drinking something and naturally of acquiring memories. Here it concerns in the main wood carvings, which are here locally manufactured.
Our Guide asked the group whether we would have interest to visit also still another Masai village. We actually did not want, but since the group wanted, we held ourselves back. Thus on to the Masai village.
At the entrance a young Masai, which explains us the fact that the chieftain against paying a small money at a value of 200 Kenya Schilling per person, depending upon rate of exchange 2 to 2.50 Euro, will wellcome us gladly in the village. Photographing and filming is no problem. Thus the Schilling payed and inside of the village.
AThe pictures show a few impressions. When clicking on them a new window with an enlargement opens.
In the village everything was well explained to us. Particularly the building of houses, which takes place by means of branches and cow dung. In the middle in the village a fence for the cattle was put on from thorny brush, so that they are safe before lions.
Something accompanied us then through the whole vacation, men were called dad and women mummy. Dad had then to prove naturally also, that he can make fire with the Masai lighter, an oval piece hardwood and a soft wood staff. Naturally I carried myself forward such a "lighter" for 100 Schilling as memory. But completely honestly, for smokers that is rather unpractical, because who has always dry grass in the bag?
At the end there was then the opportunity to cover itself up with "Masaischmuck". We omitted however, which may look still nice in Africa, in Europe it works even with small children ridiculously.
Then finally it continued to the park. On the way we saw then also our first elephant, unfortunately a dead one. It had probably been hitten by the railway.
The Tsavo national park is with a surface of 20,800 square kilometers, in something the surface of Hessen or Slovakia, the fifth-largest national park in Africa. It is divided into Tsavo East at 11.700 km 2 and Tsavo West at 9.100 km 2 . Altogether there are approximately 2,000 km passable ways (Dirttracks). However in East there is only approximately a third of the area for visitors approved, i.e. the part south the Galana Rivers in Tsavo. The entrance costs 27 Euro per person and day, the three-days-tickets are at 69 Euro. Since we already paid our fees with the reservation, it goes briskly into the park.
After a few hundred meters the first animals are to be seen. Everything to describe would be impossible. Look at the pictures, they give a small impression of the animal world in the park.
We saw elephants, famous for their red colouring here in the Tsavo East, which is due to the red sand, without end. In Tsavo east is to give it to still approximately 6,500 of it. On our first day we saw at least 1,000 of them. In the folder was sayed: "perhaps if you have luck, you may see our famous red elephants". We had really luck with the elephants, our guide confirmed later and also on the two next days we saw still many elephants, but certainly not more than 100 - 200.
Antilopes and Gazelles without number. Numerous wart pigs and of course baboons. Especial the Dik Dik Antilopes I liked. This smallest kind of Antilopes, as large as a small dog, was to be seen everywhere, where a few bushes stand together.
Lunch we had in Karibu Red Elephant Lodge. Nothing special however substantially better than in the Sea Horse. After Lunch it went again on Pirsch into the park. Since the rain time is straight past, the landscape dipped also into a full green.
And it continues to drive over the tracks, which cut through the landscape by their red colouring. The red dust is meanwhile everywhere. Particularly importantly here is a set for camera cleaning. Who comes from the classical photography, he has dustbrush and lens cleaners with him. Who comes however with the DigiCam and did not think about such little things, he has clearly a problem. Too easily the lens is scratched with a handkerchief.
Interesting was also that we could see a white head eagle here in Kenya. Our Guide meant, this is also the reason for the fact that the USA would boycott Kenya, because the Kenians would have evenly also still white head eagles.
Somehow I can understand that, because when the founding fathers of the today's USA looked around for a coat of arms animal for their country, they looked for one that it gave only in America. They found the white head eagle. Forget it!
But the pictures from the afternoon are here.
At the end, briefly before we reached the Crocodile Lodge, the following pictures I took:
In the late afternoon we reached then directly the Crocodile Camp located direct at the Galana River. Here we were accomodated not, as told in the folder, in air-conditioned tents but in firm bungalows. We did not complain. The bungalows were clean and appropriately furnished. The fan ran quietly and therefore we were completely well without the air conditioning.
The whole Lodge gave an probably-organized, clean impression. The meal was outstanding! The waiters were friendly and the manager of the Camp, an Austrian, explained the characteristics of the camp and Tsavo to us.
After dinner then to the attraction of the Camps, the crocodile feeding. The Camp is directly at the Galana River and the border to the river is formed by a wall. Here each evening crocodiles are fed. They are living in the wild in the river, which are fed for years each evening here and at 9 p.m. for feeding they appear also punctual. Feeding is announced by one of the waiters through to rattle with a plate on the wall. To come the crocodiles even with names requested. Gaddafi come!, the manager of the Camps explained us later that they can differentiate between all of the the crocodiles, due to special body characteristics e.g. a missing front foot or a scar over the eye.
While we were in the Camp, only 3 to 4 crocodiles came to feeding. Reason is the end of the rain time, by the high water level of the river many dead annimals are washed ashore and the crocodiles have sufficient fodder, explained the manager to us. Also then the crocodiles, which came to feeding, were accordingly slow-acting.
Subsequently, still another beer and then into the bed, the day was arduous and tomorrow we'll start again at seven o'clock.
© Ulrich Hoffmann 2004