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Monday, April 10, 2017

Should You Go On A Safari??

As much as I loved, loved, loved my experience in Africa, I must say, safaris aren't for everybody.  Not to scare you, but here's the breakdown why...

1. It's not cheap.  If you price around, most of them are $8000 and above for a 15 day tour.  

2. Depending on where you live, it takes FOREVER to get there.  The older I'm getting the less I'm tolerating these long flights.

3.  I was on Meclizine (motion sickness drugs) the whole time I was there.  I usually take this for seasickness but it works well for carsickness too.  The trails (if you can even call them trails) that you drive on are very rocky and bumpy.  You are in a 4WD vehicle bouncing around the place for hours at a time.  Meclizine tends to make you tired but I'll take sleepiness over motion sickness anyday.  Also you have to hold on for dear life at some points...if they start to drive fast or if you stand up while they are driving.  I got a good core workout!

4.  The places I went to had no air-conditioning.  I don't know if other places use AC but The Safari Collection is very much into conservation so AC was out of the question.  It can get very warm in some areas, especially if you go during their summer.

5. The Yellow Fever vaccination HURT LIKE A MUTHA!!  This has had to be the most painful vaccination I've ever gotten.  I'm not joking, 2 weeks later both Randy and I felt like our arm was still bruised.

6.  You have to do your business in the bushes if you're on a game drive.  You're in the middle of a reserve.  There's no bathrooms or porta-potties around.

7. If you have a problem with jet lag (fortunately I don't), they are 13 hrs ahead of Hawaii time.  That could really throw off your sleeping schedule.  You may need to bring some Ambien or something with you to help you sleep.

I think that's about it.  If you think you can handle it then I would definitely recommend you going.  It's an experience that will never be forgotten and pictures do it no justice.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Why The Safari Collection?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

One of my anonymous readers had asked about the specifics of my trip...what I brought, why i chose this tour, etc.  So here it goes...for my gear list, everything I brought was in my "I'm Going To Africa!"post.  You can click on the link to see what little I had to bring.  Actually I was quite happy, although I would've brought more if I was allowed.  I used all three lenses, a lot.  My camera didn't break, which was a plus!  And the ND filter did wonders!  I'm so glad Robin recommended it to me.  The only thing I was bummed about was my flash broke on my first game drive.  Which wasn't too detrimental, I didn't really need to take many night shots.

Why the Safari Collection?  Well you see...I saw an advertisement on Facebook a couple of years ago for the Giraffe Manor, so I clicked on it.  Here's what I saw:

I was sold.  I then went to their website  and whattya know?!  They offered a photography tour!! It was meant to be.  But the only problem is, when I saw the ad - I think in the Fall of 2015ish the only date they offered was in Mid-February of 2016.  There's no way I could've pulled that off.  So, I patiently waited and in mid-2016 I emailed The Safari Collection to let them know I was interested.

The price breakdown?  Here it is...don't mind the dates, they accidentally typed 2016 because I booked so early.  Yes, I admit it was kinda pricey for a one week tour, but lemme tell ya.  IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Cultural Photographic Safari Leslie Kuba x 2 Invoice
Oh, and I forgot, we bought $500 worth of Kenyan Shillings from American Savings, we needed money for tips - $25/day for lodge staff, $20/day for drivers, $15/day for spotters.  I think we gave them a little more because they were really good.  We should've bought more Shillings, we were scraping at the end.  We also brought cans of mac nuts to give to the really nice people.  Randy's luggage was much lighter than mine so he could afford to haul the extra weight.  I woulda brought more omiyage otherwise.

Anyone else have any questions about my trip?  Feel free to message me, I could talk about this trip forever!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cell Phone Pics!

Can't forget about the trusty ol iPhone!  Got some pretty cool pics with it! None of these are post processed, I was too lazy

On our flight to Seattle we got to ride in one of the Moana planes!  It wasn't painted on the outside of the plane but the inside was really cute
I love the Emirates' flight attendant's uniforms
This was a sample meal.  I think it was lamb stew.  It was very tasty!
Look how lucky we were...14 hour flight too!
When it's nighttime...
We were flying over Iran or Iraq...I can't remember which one
I was surprised to see this when we were coming in for a landing into Dubai
Back to the Manor...
Robin with his breakfast buddy
This is my new walllpaper on my phone
Typical lunch at Sasaab
I wish I took more video with my phone.  But it's hard to decide whether to catch the shot on your DSLR or on video...but here's one that I forgot to post that I thought was really cool...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lunch and High Tea at Giraffe Manor

This is so cute.  Look at their iPad cover! 
I could soooo get used to this...
Everything was delicious
I want a pair of salad servers like this!
After lunch we rested a bit and was also presented with a little gift
Before we knew it it was time for high tea...I wasn't even hungry!
I did steal a chocolate chip cookie though.  I couldn't resist!
Yup, a full bar was also available
I just love her tongue!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Kenya and The Giraffe Manor

So you remember the crazy place that we stayed the first night in Kenya?  Well here it is..Safi Budget Apartments.  Sorry, these are the only two pics I got.  I wasn't too excited to take pictures of the place.


Oh, and do you remember my hot water incident?  Well go figure...the next morning while I was washing my hands in the sink look what I found:

They just happened to forget to mention this when we checked in.  By the time I saw it I didn't have time to take another shower.  Randy got to take one though.

Our ride was promptly there at 7am to take us to Giraffe Manor.  This is Sammy, our driver.  Everyone here is so nice.

This is the entrance.  So cute yah!
The Giraffe Manor has been around since the 1930s but opened in 1984 as a quaint hotel where the guests could interact with the endagered Rothschild giraffes.  They greet you in the morning at breakfast and also during high tea.  The hotel is situated on 12 private acres within 140 acres of forest land in Nairobi.  There's a history with the film "Out of Africa" but I forget the story.  I gotta watch the movie one day...


The reason for this post is to show you all the special touches that this place has.  They thought of everything!





Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the food this morning








Tomorrow:  Lunch and High Tea!