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Adventurous riding in East Africa (SPT1302)

Monday, October 7, 2013 | Thomas Ritt | Africa

"To reach Rusinga Island from Maasai Mara we recommend a charter flight (35 minutes)". This statement on the website of Rusinga Island Lodge was something like a warning, but of course we had no choice. Our bikes would never fit in a Cessna, and of course we wanted to RIDE them. So we rode, and it took us 9 hours to get to Rusinga Island, where we were rewarded with paradise-like accomodation right on the lakefront. And with ice-cold Tusker, of course!

This is the "road" we took. Very exciting!

The world's largest potholes, proudly brought to you by the Kenyan government. Enjoy!

Edelweiss picnic, the African way...

The chief of the local police forces payed us a visit as we lunched on the side of his road. He offered help, advice and protection. Thank you, friend!

This is not the ocean, this is Lake Victoria, the world's second largest fresh water lake.

The lodge, seen from the end of the jetty.

A great place for a Tusker!

 

No tea but a storm is brewing over the tea fields of Kericho.

Recommended by the Velvet Butt Association: seat pad "Baboon Special" for tall people on low seats. Now available through Edelweiss for only $99,90! (tape not included).

Our next destination was this amazing place: Sunbird Lodge, overlooking Lake Elementeita. Like paradise, especially after a rough day like the one we had today.

Could this be the Garden of Eden?

Sunbird Lodge is famous for its bird life. Countless species are at home here, and if you just sit quietly they come and pose right in front of your lens. Here are three examples:

 After a game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park we headed north, to the equator. Obviously we had to take lots of pictures, but then it was all about getting out of there. Another huge black cloud headed our way. But we made it, didn't get wet and arrived safely at Mount Kenya Safari Club, one of the best and most famous hotels in all of Kenya.

Here's proof: we were there.

Mount Kenya Safari Club, founded by Hollywood star William Holden in 1959.

The last day started out easy but as we reached Nairobi it became quite intense. We had to cross the entire city and the traffic situation was, well, African. After finally arriving at the Giraffe Manor we celebrated the tour and our survival by putting our new tour-t-shirts on. Here's to Kenya, one of the world's most interesting destinations!

Joseph, Tomas, tour guide Tom, Radek, Petr and Vladimir, proudly sporting their new shirts. Well done, boys!

A balloon safari is probably the best way to experience the wonders and the wildlife of the Maasai Mara. Gliding 30 - 200 metres above the ground you can admire sunrise and scenery and spot a plethora of wildlife down below: zebra and wildebeest of course, but also elephants, lions, hyenas, jackals, buffalo, giraffe and different kinds of antelope. Thanks to the guys from Maraballooning, it was just amazing!

Pilote Othmar and his guests, high above the Mara plains.

Othmar from Austria has more than 2,500 balloon hours under his belt. He also knows how to take the best pictures!

Ballooning over the Mara is very popular. There is a reason for that...

Before sunrise

Tens of thousands of wildebeest roam the Mara at this time of the year. This is what they look like from above

After landing we were treated to breakfast - in the middle of the African bush. Note the glass of Nutella!

This is the right kind of vehicle for Kenya: Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer 6x6! Vladimir thinks about buying one...

Mother and baby elephant (about 3 weeks old), walking past the breakfast spot.

Giraffe from all over the Mara come here to lick the salt from the ground of this dry river bed.

The Giraffe Manor is one of the most unusual lodges in all of Africa and the world. You can (well, you have to!) share your meal with these beautiful, gentle and graceful creatures, and if you have enough food in your hand they may even let you pet their necks. Have a look at these pictures:

From Nairobi the 5 riders from the Czech Republic followed their guide to the Maasai Mara, to an exclusive, small tented camp next to the Mara River. On the way they met Maasai in colorful outfits, mastered 60 km of rough "road" and 20 km of a challenging jeep trail, river crossing included.

Petr visibly enjoyes his shopping experience.

The view from one of the private tents.

As far as the eye can see,everywhere there's scenery!

Radek, Petr and Joseph with three Maasai guards. That small spear is enough to kill an attacking hippo, they say. Thankfully, the hippos didn't attack...

Sunset over the Mara River

A rustic lounge

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Add a comment Rate this post
anne johnson
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 08:55

Great photo, I really hope it was not your breakfast the giraffe was eating! Hope the trip went well.
Thomas
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 12:03

Hello Anne, yes the trip went well, thank you. And no, it wasn't my breakfast, Giraffes don't eat omelettes and pancakes, but if they did I would have been happy to share of course...
Ursula Peter
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 22:08

Hi Tom, das sind ja super Bilder. Man könnte richtig neidisch werden. Bleib wo Du bist! Hier schneit es - ohne Witz. Machs gut bis bald
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