East Africa

 People    Aberdere    Sweetwater    Lake Nakuru


Samburu

The Samburu are an ethnic group in north central Kenya that are related to but distinct from the Masai. The Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd cattle, sheep, goats and camels.

Most dress in very traditional clothing of bright red material used like a skirt and multi-beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings Their houses are of plastered mud or hides and grass mats stretched over a frame of poles.

Masai Mara

Masai Marai a large park reserve in south western Kenya Named for the Masai people and the Mara River, which divides it, it is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual great migration of zebra and the wildebeest from the Serengeti every year.
The Swahili word safari wouldn't mean much to most people if it wasn't for this East African adventure land.

Our sojourn to East Africa included places spread across all of Kenya and Tanzania. When we arrived at Nairobi, we were greeted with the usual vivacious “Jambo” reserved for the tourists. If you want to ingratiate yourself with the locals though respond with a “vipi mambo” instead or try “poa”.

We drove to the Aberdere national park first located on Mt.Kenya. We visited the Samburu and Sweetwater national parks and were lucky to witness a lion kill on our very first day. We also got caught up in some local unrest in Samburu, so be advised that this is not a place to visit if you are looking only for peace and quiet! Our trip to Kenya also included visiting the flamingo filled lake Nukuru, the hippo infested lake Naivasha, the imposing Thompson falls and of course the incomparable Masai Mara.

We then followed the migration path from the Mara to Serengeti, located in Tanzania. After having a few more close encounters with the “big five” at the Serengeti, we drove on to the Olduvai Gorge, which is considered as the cradle of all humanity. We saw evidence of fossils of the hominid species found here dating back to over 3 million years. The grand finale was the Ngorongoro crater followed by Arusha nestled at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Serengeti

The principal feature of the Serengeti is its stunning wildlife and the annual spectacle of the migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest in pursuit of water and food in response to the changing seasons. It is thought that over 3 million large mammals roam the plains. Not to forget reptiles like the gaudy agama lizards, rock hyraxes and the  500-plus bird species that can be found in this endless plain.

Ngorongoro

The famous Ngorongoro Crater is at the eastern edge of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. The crater is the largest unbroken ancient caldera in the world. Ngorongoro is now considered “Africa’s Garden of Eden” – a haven for thousands of wild game, including lions, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles and buffaloes.

The Serena Lodge at Ngorongoro provides among the best views of the crater.


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Copyright ©2008 Rajani Ramanathan