KIBO – or a dream trip to Amboseli National Reserve

No, the snow has not melted on Kilimanjaro’s peak. There is still a lot of white to look up there , and even some glaciers . Sitting outside the ” tent ” in a comfortable chair and just stare at Kilimanjaro was one of the pleasures we did on this trip. We had a wonderful view from the porch in front of our tent at Kibo Safari Camp. Moreover chose Kilimanjaro to undress for us with its impressive power. We at paltry 1000 mask, Uhuru Peak on 5895above sea level . Little clouds that usually hides the main summit, Uhuru , was gone almost all the time while we were here. The worst thing was that some of us sneaked up at 0600am to watch the sunrise. And it was worth it . For it is not only the sunrise itself , but it all sounds are occurring and that only belongs to Africa . The birds are well ones that produces most sounds , but there are other sound processing beings. Some thought they heard the lion roar an afternoon , but no lion was observed . Originally we planned to og Kilimanjaro around, but in a short time it was turned into a two days staying overnight in Amboseli National Reserve. Nobody regretted that decision.

Personally, I think that Amboseli is a great park to go to. It is not farther away than it can be reached within a 3 to 4 hours ride, and traffic is usually small and most roads are good. Now nevertheless chose Buda running Mombasaveien the 60-70 first kilometers southward . It is heavy trafficed , but the traffic went smoothly, so only one truck had run off the road . Moreover , the weather was great, and after a while we actually did watch Kilimanjaro at a distance . By Emali we left the lorries on the way to and from Mombasa , and followed the newly built road to Oloitokitok on the border with Tanzania. The road is what I would say surprisingly good. Nobody in Norway would complain about such a nice road with no frost dammages . Moreover, the djabelete flowers bloomed along the road and far into the bush , as we approached the Promised mountain and land . Must admit that there were some photo breaks eventually . I do not know how many pictures there were of the mountain, but it is not few . ( Have not dared to count ) . Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania , but making the best images from Kenya. Just before Oloitokitok , there is a town called Kimani and here we chose to run into the park. The idea was to stay at KWS own cabins, but it was too hard , so after a brief reconnaissance, we ended up at Kibo Safari Camp , not quite free, but it turned out to be a wise choice.

The tents we were allocated was large and spacious with comfortable beds. Over the tent was built, roof , toilet , bath and sink were in a separate room adjacent to the tent. So there was no Norwegian camping trip we were looking for. The electricity was quoted , so it was only the power at evening and in the morning (but why the light came on at  0520am , I do not know ) . The rest was like in a hotel even though the dining room was perhaps well open . Here it is in fact chilly mornings . How cool I do not know , but here in Kitengela it goes sometimes down to 13 degrees in the morning . Pool overlooking the Kilimanjaro was of course too. And was used.

It was perhaps the finest of the whole establishment was the friendly staff . Rarely nice people who were only prepared to help.

When we arrived, we saw that the establishment was behind an electric fence . The next thing we saw was a large herd of baboons who brushed past . The receptionist assured that the baboons had no access to the camp. Some breathed a sigh of relief . When I took a little stroll behind the current fence , I discovered another animal that might fit better in this place – especially when I found myself just behind this fence. The elephant slides slowly through the forest and eventually came only approx. 70 feet from me . When I returned to the tent , I told what I had seen. Yes, they had to go and see, and they did see the elephant those too, maybe even closer. Better opening the visit would not get .

Amboseli National Reserve is thus at the foot of Kilimanjaro. The mountain is an imposing backdrop . In the park you will find most animals you would expect to be in a safari park, but there are certain exceptions. The park is namely in Maasailand , and the maasai still get use at least part of the park to their cows and activities . Maasai try to exploit tourists and invite them home to their Bomas for payment, and then sell their products to tourists afterwards. Not totally free. Thus, maasai dependent on tourism, and when tourism is at a little letdown , it may be difficult for them. Moreover, the Maasai activities are on a collision course with the animal welfare interests . In particular, it has gone beyond the lion and elephant populations . Lions are still getting off (have actually seen one of them) , while a separate elephant project has meant that the number of elephants in Amboseli is large and growing.

Also, it does cost to get into the park for us tourists , U.S. $ 90 , compared to people from Kenya who pay about NOK90 – . Then you are allowed to stay in the park 24 hours. Beyond that is the extra payment. There are some hotels inside the park as well. We got to spend all day and then go through the park the next morning as we were driving the Namangaroad home . That was clever .

Going on safari is the one form of discovery : Discovering the animals in their own world on their own terms . Ohhh , there is an antelope , there a buffalo ,  a giraffe and a lion  … The park is quite diverse nature, although very much is an almost empty threeless plain. There you see mostly birds such as ostrich , kori bustard and secretary bird. It’s animals , but not in such large quantities in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro . Have been here twice before, but I guess I’ve never experienced so many different animals as this time . Fascinating and exciting. This time I was a little hunting (with camera) for animals with Kilimanjaro in the background . Actually I got some results . Elephants are guaranteed to experience. There are large herds of them. Males must go nicely for themselves until they become needed. Such a loner we met close to the next ” Observation Hill ” where we usually eat lunch. Exactly the same place it was a year ago a big female elephant who tried to hit the car with her trunk. The loner certainly did not like we were not waiting for him, because he did not pass the road to mud bath before us ; it fluttered with his ears and ran after us. We left off with horror . When we were going back , the guy was actually headed toward the road again. Now we stopped and let him nicely over . He was apparently sex focused and looked like he had five legs as he walked with his penis almost shuffling down . Fatma had a little trouble explaining 7 year old what it was. Elephant with 5 legs? A little later we met a herd of 80 animals present and enjoy themselves in the water . It explains that the animals here are so ” clean ” in contradiction to the ” dusty ” (and therefore red ) animals in Tsavo National Park. Two of the youngest ended up taking a fight in honor of spectators .

It is important to have respect for animals. Elephants are not to be trifled with . The maasai discovered this truth many years ago when they tried to stop them. It cost many elephants their lives , but then the elephants attacked the holiest of maasai culture, the cows.
    elephant with 5 legs

This time we did come into contact with some Maasais . We were a little unsure of a route selection, and asked for directions. They asked if they could hitch hike so they could show us the way . It turned out that the two were half drunk and going to a party , and that the thought of tricking us to drive them to the party. Fatma suspicious (she speaks ma self ), so just that was prevented . However, there was no smooth ride because ” roads ” were nothing more than ” step ” and that the two guys started to harass Fatma orally , without me I understood what was going on. They should have been thrown off , I said, but it’s not so easy when it comes to the Maasai , they are the world’s most stubborn . Probably we were a visit to Tanzania without being aware of it. For maasai does not border mean anything. Some other Maasais showed us the way back, and they were much nicer . It turned out that the lookout point we were looking for now entered into a privatized area with its own airport . Our map was too old ! The twin helicopter was neatly parked.

After our first day in the park I mentioned to the waiter that we have not seen any giraffes on our visit to the park . He explained with a twinkle in his eye that Monday was GIRAFFE Blue Monday after a busy weekend … Well , Tuesday was going to run down without it appeared some giraffes in its vicinity . So many brochures have picture of giraffe with Kilimanjaro in the background ; I would also have. Giraffes ( many) did not show up until we were heading out of the park at the north end of Lake Amboseli (which just now was very dry) . When I finally got the picture I wanted, but Kilimanjaro was very much in the background . Giraffes are very great animals , very different from the other animals …… All the animals have their own character . Shortly thereafter, we witnessed a rarity : A flock of gerenuks grazing in the bushes . Gerenuks are also called ” giraffantelope ” because of the long neck . They are actually so frugal that they do not drink water or liquid at all , but utilizes liquid in the leaves they eat.

Safari is fascinating anyway. Had long planned to end my stay here with a safari, Amboseli is a friendly park with plenty of adventures , although not all of the big 5 were represented. Wild animals in the wild is best, anyway. The zoo can say what they wants, it is in Africa that lions, giraffes, cheetahs and other animals belong. I have still Maasai Mara to go ……



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