Looking for Kilimanjaro

Trip Start Jul 26, 2012
Trip End Aug 22, 2012

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crossing the border back into Kenya was a slow and tedious process.  There was one entrance into a tiny room with three staff processing immigrations and a LOT of locals wanting to cross from Kenya into Tanzania.  And the stench of body odour was foul.  If only I had some spare deodorant sprays to hand around - they definitely needed a boxful of the stuff.

There didn't really seem to be much order in lining up for immigration and the locals didn't hesitate to get in front of any white foreigners who took their time stepping forward!  It was a matter of getting your shoulder in front of the next person and just jumping in.  Fortunately by the time I was at the front, a local standing at the door pointed me to the next available immigration officer before anyone else had the chance to get in front of me.  Once there, it only took about two minutes!!  Just had to wait for the rest of our group to get through now.

Arriving at Amboseli, it looked like a desolate, dried out wasteland of nothingness.  We wondered what on earth we were doing here.  The fact that we were all tired from the long day of travel and bad roads (and another packed lunch box) didn't really help either.  But despite our first impression of the appearance of the place, there was still lots to see and experience.

Amboseli is the best place in Africa to view Mt Kilimanjaro ... if there are no clouds around it.  It is usually covered by clouds at the top so  getting the chance to actually see the peak of it is not very common.  (They don't tell you that in the brochures!).  But we lived in hope that we would be some of the lucky ones that would actually manage to see the top of Mt Kilimanjaro without clouds blocking it.

We went on another early morniing game drive hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt Kilimanjaro, and that's all we got - just a glimpse!  A brief moment when we could just see the peak of the mountain and make out the snow on top.  Not a great view but at least we can still say we saw it!  

The sunrise was INCREDIBLE!  Gorgeous bright pinks covering the horizon with a lone acacia tree and a single elephant in front of it.  It was such a stunning sight.  We sat there for quite some time just absorbing the beauty and serenity of this African sunrise.  I've never seen anything so beautiful as that scene.  
Over the course of the whole trip, we saw many young animals and babies of all animal types – wildebeest, zebra, lions, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, water buffalo, elephants, giraffe, impala, gazelles, pretty much everything.   And Amboseli was no exception.  Some of the baby elephants we saw here were tiny - only weeks old.  They easily ran underneath their mother's belly, cavorting with each other.  

We saw a feisty young zebra, running and jumping and kicking his back legs in the air creating a dust storm around him. He was full of life and fun to watch as he behaved just like a young kid, kicking up a storm, while his mum watched on!  We watched another herd of zebras one by one fall like dominoes, to roll in the dirt with their legs up in the air, only to stand up and shake all the dirt off themselves.  The dust went everywhere.  Certainly amusing to watch!

A lioness coming out of the bushes and walked across in front of us, followed by four cubs and then not just one, but two males!!!  One walked in front of our vehicle following the lioness and cubs, the other walked behind our vehicle.  Such handsome animals, we were just in awe of them. 

On our last day here, we were near the exit gate to the park, when we saw a mother giraffe with her baby which was only days old.  So small next to his mother, but very lanky on his long legs!  It was beautiful to see.


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