Thursday, August 2, 2007

Out Of Africa

My parents arrived home from safari last night and my dad was kind enough to share this shot of a leopard dragging her kill into the tree (it's a young Impala).

They had a fantastic time, but consistently commented how much things had changed since 2001:
1) many, many more tourist buses--way too many most days
2) accommodations have not been refreshed. My parents said often towels were gray and over-used, rooms looked worn from 12-15 years of use and the exquisite customer service that we enjoyed in 2001 no longer exists
3) twice, they were without rooms in the middle of the bush. My parents slept in the kitchen at Ol Tukai as the lodge was oversold (but they did say it's still the best place to see the elephants). Another night, they had a night in a bush tent half-way up the slope of Kilimanjaro. They loved it, but some of their friends were less than pleased with the unexpected "adventure"
4) to protect the environment, vehicles are now not allowed off-road in the game preserves . Most of the really good stuff we saw in 2001 (lion hunts, lion kills, cheetah) were all off-road. And because the rovers can't leave the roads, mini traffic jams occur

My mom's 70th birthday party was memorable--candle light dinner in a tent in the bush, complete with elephant droppings, lions roaring in the dark and a delicious menu of barbecue.

They don't regret the return to Kenya and Tanzania, but agreed that they'd not go again. My dad feels that within the next five years or so, all that is good about safari in these countries will be gone from over-use.

We decided that the next trip should be to Botswana and Zambia. We agreed that I'd be going the next time, as well. Missing this one was hard enough.


Bucknutz said...

Killer photo!

mainelife said...

Very Punny.

Ana said...

How cool that they got to see that! We only caught a few glimpses of leopards and with one exception it was always at night. However one of the night sightings was right in the middle of camp after dinner (it was just walking on by) and that added a bit of spice to the whole going to sleep business...