Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Special Samburu

Half a day's scenic drive or a short flight north of Nairobi lies Samburu National Reserve.  The drive takes you along some reasonably good, smooth roads and some pretty horrible dusty ones, but it's all worth it.  On the way you squeeze between the green Aberdare mountains and the towering twin peaks of Mount Kenya.  This is Africa at it's spectacular best.  You'll stop at the equator on the way, where you'll have the chance to hop from one hemisphere to the other.

Samburu itself is a place of hippo and crocodile filled, broad rivers and vistas of tall, rounded, rocky hills which glow like hot coals as the sun sets.  It is also a place of unique species of flora and fauna.  There are stand of doum palms, the only palm with a divided trunk.  There are also some birds and animals that are found in very few other places.  There is the beautiful/ugly vulturine guinea fowl - a chicken sized bird with the plumage of a bird of paradise and the head of a vulture.  There's the Grevy's zebra - a handsome creature, much bigger than other species of zebra.  It has beautiful fine stripes and large, round Mickey Mouse ears.  But most amazing of all is the gerenuk - an extraordinary antelope that looks like the love child of ET and an impala.  They stand on their hind legs and extend their amazing necks to incredible lengths to reach the most succulent leaves of the thorny trees that thrive here.

Nearby are Meru National Park and Kora National Reserve - the old haunts of George Adamson of Born Free fame.  Elsa - his most famous lion is buried at Meru National Park.  YouTube star lion Christian was also rehabilitated by George at Kora National Reserve.  This really is great big cat country.  George was appropriately known as "Baba ya Simba" (Father of Lions) by the local Swahili speakers. 

No visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit to Samburu and Ucango Travel's Rosemary McTeigue is leading a small group tour of Kenya which spends two nights there.  The group will also visit Amboseli National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy where you can pet a black rhino and visit a very special chimp and bonobo rehabiltiation centre.  Lake Nakuru and the wonderful Masai Mara National Reserve are also on the agenda.  Then after this twelve day safari you can relax with three nights at Zanzibar where you can enjoy the beautiful Indian Ocean beaches and the fascinating history of Stone Town.

You'll be very well looked after by Rosemary and (Don't tell anyone I told you this.) you can help her celebrate her fiftieth birthday during the trip.

For further details double click on the adjacent lion photo or contact Rosemary at Ucango Travel on
07 5451 8600 or 1300 822 646.

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