In May 2014 we embarked on a true adventure, a safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania, followed by a few days in Ghana.
The trip had what I think is a very unique origin. My husband is a partner in a law firm comprising five male attorneys. Five years ago, on the 15th anniversary of the formation of their firm, they planned a trip to Peru to celebrate, and they brought their wives along. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again to celebrate their 20th anniversary, but what trip could top Machu Picchu? Why, an African safari, of course!
|Here we are in the firm parking lot, minus one couple we still had to pick up on our way to LAX.|
We booked our African safari through Fun for Less Tours, a company Bob and I had previously traveled with to Russia and Scandinavia. (The posts on that trip begin here.) We had been so impressed with the quality of that tour that we felt confident about booking another one with them. (Note: We have already booked a third trip through Fun for Less for next year.) Our safari had a total of 35 travelers plus a married couple serving as the tour coordinators.
We met up with our traveling companions in the firm parking lot at 8:00 AM and were transported to LAX by airport shuttles. We arrived in plenty of time to check in and have breakfast.
From Amsterdam we had a direct flight to Nairobi.(Cue music)
**WE INTERRUPT THIS POST FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE!**Before I continue, you need to get in the right mood, so here is some background music to listen to while you continue to read this post. It's the song I couldn't get out of my head for our entire trip: "Africa" by Toto (1982).
Are you feeling it? Okay, let's move on.
We touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi at about 8:00 PM, a mere 26 hours after first gathering in the firm parking lot. With our stop in Amsterdam, we had traveled 9,702 miles. I think 26 hours is not bad for a journey almost halfway around the world. After all, Jules Verne gave Phineas Fogg 80 days to go all the way around the world, so 40 days to get from California to East Africa would have been about right. But I digress.
Unfortunately, on August 7, 2013, less than a year earlier, a fire had ripped through the international terminal, the one we were scheduled to use:
|Photo and an excellent article on the BBC news site|
|Photo from here|
|Photo from here|
|Our group--minus me (taking the picture) and plus one of the tour coordinators (on the right end).|
Incidentally, the day after we left Nairobi, two explosions in the city killed ten people, and as a result Britain and the United States issued travel alerts to their citizens in Kenya, of which we were blissfully unaware.
After a surprisingly good night's sleep, we enjoyed an extensive breakfast buffet in a very nice dining room:
We were ready to start our first official day of the safari. Our entire Fun for Less group had been divided up to fill six Land Rovers. There were three couples and a driver per nine-passenger vehicle, so there was plenty of room.
|The three ladies of my vehicle.|
During the next two-and-a-half weeks, we traveled through Kenya and Tanzania with our friends, and then Bob and I flew to West Africa to spend four days with Bob's cousin and his wife, who are serving an LDS mission in Ghana.
Let the adventure begin.