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Jenny’s Out of Africa Experience in Kenya!

Jenny’s Out of Africa Experience in Kenya!

Waking up in time for a 04h00 pick up from home was the beginning of an adventure to a part of the African continent that I have been waiting to experience first hand for many years so it was with great excitement that I was ready on time on a cold and wet Cape Town winter’s morning!

A two hour flight to Johannesburg in time to connect with a four hour SAA flight to Nairobi was a breeze, as were the Passport Control procedures on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.  A blast of hot and humid air entered our lungs as we disembarked and made our way to the arrivals hall where we were greeted with big happy smiles and the recurring salutation of “Jambo! Jambo! Welcome to Kenya!”

Our driver led the way to a luxury air conditioned vehicle and within a few minutes we were surrounded by a traffic jam of note, exactly as one would expect it to be at 4pm on a Friday. Thousands of workers leaving the bustling city by whatever means possible– mini taxis, buses, trucks, bicycles, motor bikes some of which were clearly not roadworthy but then neither was the road roadworthy – pardon the pun! The jagged edges where the tar has worn away and the potholes make it impossible to stay within one’s lane to get ahead which possibly explains the lack of road markings …why waste the paint!

What should have taken us about 45 minutes to get to the House of Waine in the luxurious residential suburb of Karen took almost 1½ hours.  It was dusty, it was noisy and the petrol fumes were overwhelming at times but our driver knew exactly how to conquer the challenges facing him every which way.  We never felt at risk as we watched the locals from the safety of our vehicle going about their daily lives and selling their wares, juicy mangoes and vegetables to passersby.

En route we requested a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum to see the grand estate which became the home and interesting life story of a Danish Baroness who, against all odds, won the hearts and admiration of a nation that still honours her today.  It is well worth a visit and, of course, to see the costumes worn by Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in the book-to-movie classic – Out of Africa.   “I had a farm in Africa , at the foot of the Ngong Hills…”

Next morning we met the rest of our group who had travelled from New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand and (with the exception of one person) had never been to Kenya before and so we began our journey of this legendary East African country together. 

For the next 6 days we were in the safe and experienced hands of our pilot, Martin, courtesy of Yellow Wings Air Services based at Wilson Airport.  Most private charter and domestic flights begin and end at this airport which is about 30 minutes from Nairobi…..depending on the state of the traffic at any given time of the day!

Each day Martin the Wonderful winged us across the plains, the forests, the craters and the valleys in a 12-seater Cessna Caravan always doing his best to show us his country via the most scenic routings possible in the time allowed to us .  On some days we had more than one take off and landing on dusty airstrips as we visited a variety of lodges to be hosted for either just a lunch or an overnight stay.  On more than one occasion we could see the rangers below in their vehicles clearing the landing strips of all species of wildlife to ensure a safe landing for us.

TO BE CONTINUED ..........

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