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Published: February 21st 2021
We are back at home after few weeks on the road. I know, this sentence may look very special in 2021! What a world we are living today! Hopefully by the end of this year all this will be a far gone nightmare for the world. I just had a look at few other travel bloggers posting...I'm impressed by the resources, able to blog about times long gone, just to celebrate the fact that one day not too far from now, the world will be once again a small place.
There is today an ethical point about traveling or not. If you are sitting in Europe, it's pretty simple....either you moved away months ago...or you sit nicely at home. Everything else doesn't make much sense. Europe today is a no go....Asia is closed to outsiders....if you are in Vietnam, China, HK, Thailand or any other place...you do enjoy a pretty normal life...to the simple rule of nobody else in...and if you go out, it's a one way...and let's not start with Australia or NZ!
For the nomad that I have been the many past years...well, the 90 days rule still did kick in...and I'm not
the one thinking that stay put will easy life later on. So it was time to move away for 2 weeks....well, those turn into 6 weeks....or shall I say we came back home four weeks late, for various reasons! Africa is so far part of the free moving world....for more than few countries....as well more these days as the Americas are...basic rule...if you do apply social distancing at home...as long as you apply the same rules anywhere else...what is really the difference!
So I had to leave SA...and not a simple border run. The initial plan was 6 nights in Dubai and 6 nights in Kenya...and a milestone birthday for my love Tanya. Everything went the other way around....but flexible we are...and with patience, everything went pretty well...at the end of the day! So here is the first blog...of a serie of four blogs, Dubai being the last one!
I still remember the 2009 crisis....it was a financial one...but the end game was the same...we had to change what we plan for....to stay afloat! So this time...here is the free world from our perspective....you can leave South Africa...you don't know if you can come
back...once we left, Dubai was still open to people arriving from SA...not anymore...Africa is pretty much open with a negative test, I mean by those Namibia, Tanzania, Egypt or Kenya.
Amboseli has been on my list to do forever...200km South of Nairobi and just North of the border with Tanzania. Amboseli is super well known for the elephants pictures with the Kilimanjaro in the background. The highest point of Africa is in Tanzania...so those pictures are actually a trans-border experience! Some 10 years ago, I did Serengeti as well as NgoroNgoro....but today, we had the chance to explore this superb place...without the crowds!
We first landed in Nairobi from Dubai. More about this on the last episode of this trip. Nairobi is a huge city...lots of traffic jams, some more than decent hotels, wouldn't mind to live her one day for few years...but not the topic today! We stay in the capital one night to recover from the short, middle of the night, way too much "Champagne" flight! From Nairobi, you can fly to Amboseli or drive...well, no self-drive for foreigners here....cheaper to rent a "Land" from Nairobi with driver than to fly in....and
at least you can see some of the land...and even wildlife before reaching Amboseli.
We are staying for two nights at the Serena Amboseli. Stay with them in Tanzania and was pretty impressed. This time too, perfect experience! This is not the five star experience of AndBeyond, but a solid four stars experience with no-nonsense add-ons. The Serena Amboseli has 93 rooms, one of the two only lodges into the National Park. Simple, 6 rooms were occupied, we were the only internationals...and yes, the discount was solid!
Our driver, Mohamed is simply top-class. He met us at our hotel in Nairobi at 7am. We are on for the four hours drive to Amboseli. On the program, 2 nights in the park...a total of 48 hours in it...and a grand total of 17 hours game drives. Yes...we are not here for the swimming pool! The advantage of nobody around, is that the guides that are available are the best rated ones...he was top! Mohamed speaks as much as I do...or more if it is even possible...you can imagine how much we have learnt in 3 days...tons!
So we have our own car,
own driver, should I say own lodge too. The Serena is simply beautiful...nothing super fancy...food is good not great....but from past experience...I've never had a top wine list in a top safari...and they have been tried! This will do...so let's go on game drive.
At home we do easily 10 hours self-drive in a single day. I don't believe in a week of safari...I would rather do 2-3 days...but do them intensively....actually it's the same with skiing...try to find the link! Now we get drive away...so this is the opportunity to learn even more....great experience!
Tanya has never seen Cheetahs, so this was the aim. Yes, I know we are spoiled...and job done for Mohamed, you cannot get much better than those! The point about safari is to understand what you are in for...this park has elephants, another one hyppos or rhinos, a third one leopards...Amboseli was about the elephants...everywhere, the lions, the cheetahs, the hyppos rooming freely, the hyenas and other serval cats, jackals and bat-ear foxed...we've been spoiled! And if you want a picture of a leopard, just have a look at my Kruger park blog, few weeks ago!
So enjoy the pics...next entry is a super special one too....
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