Saturday, March 17, 2018

Air Touring in Africa

Editor February 1, 2012
A WORLD AWAY…  Lauren and Ryan in the Masai Village at Amboseli with Mt Kilimanjaro in background.

A WORLD AWAY… Lauren and Ryan in the Masai Village at Amboseli with Mt Kilimanjaro in background.

IF you don’t want to spend hours travelling along bumpy dusty roads getting from one African experience to another then this could be the way to go.
Sitting back in a luxury eight seater plane spotting animals as you go and spending your nights in luxury tented camps.
That was the choice of Lauren Oliver of Mooroopna and partner Ryan Birthisel as they headed off to an incredible experience in Kenya, but we are getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Their first stop was Dubai for a three night stay, Lauren describes Dubai as a city that is growing by the second with building projects everywhere.
There’s a new marina, ‘high rise’ buildings everywhere and even Universal Studios is under construction, as the latest theme park.
Lauren says you have to do a dunes safari. Off you go in 4-wheel drive into the desert, up onto the sand dunes and then slide your way to the bottom.
Then it’s camel riding through the sand before returning to camp for a display of Falconry, the birds are so regal and so quick as they dive from the sky to pluck meat being swung on a string by their trainer.
Then you can relax at the Arabian Camp, the girls can have henna applied while watching the belly dancers before indulging in a two course meal.

EXPERIENCE  OF A LIFETIME…  Ryan with Amboseli orphaned baby Eland (World’s largest antelope).

EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME… Ryan with Amboseli orphaned baby Eland (World’s largest antelope).

From Dubai Lauren and Ryan flew to Nairobi and then onto the Masai Mara. It had been raining with quite high falls being recorded so instead of the usual dry countryside everything was bright green.
They had three nights and a chance to go on safari, and what a safari it was, they saw the big five in the first 24 hours.
Leopards and elephants, lions, buffalo, rhinos they were all there. They first spotted the lions and there were two cubs being guarded by their mother, she would stay with them until they were strong enough to catch up with the pride. They came across the leopard next, it was busy eating its kill so they sat back and watched a truly great experience.
The tented camps they stayed in were all well appointed big tents set up on a platform, double beds, luxury shower with solar hot water and a bathroom with flush toilet, what more could you ask for.
Sitting on the veranda you could relax and watch those spectacular African sunsets or if you were on a safari drive they would stop as the sun went down and serve champagne.
The company uses a Cessna Caravan to fly from camp to camp, the plane is well appointed with swivel seats so you can spot animals on the ground, you wear headsets so you can talk to your guide and also hear any commentary from the pilot, there are only eight seats on the plane so it is pretty exclusive.
Lauren and Ryan stayed at four different camps, at one they enjoyed breakfast as the sun came up on Mt Kilimanjaro and that night they looked out from their veranda, 50 to 60 elephants walked past their viewing platform, being led by the matriarch of the group.
At Tsarvo West their camp overlooked a huge watering hole and that night all the animals turned up to bathe and drink the water. As they watched they heard a lion, staff at the camp took them to a watch tower looking down on the water where they could use a spotlight to see the different animals.
It was a wonderful experience particularly the game drives but both Lauren and Ryan loved visiting the various villages where you could meet with the locals and see how they lived.
For their last three nights in Africa they went to the Pinewood Beach Resort on the coast of Mombasa for some R&R around the pool before flying home.
On the home journey they enjoyed another stop over for four days in Singapore for some shopping and a visit to Universal Studios.

TALL AND PROUD… Giraffe, Tsaro West.

TALL AND PROUD… Giraffe, Tsaro West.

It was December and all the shops along Orchard Road were decked out in their finest Christmas attire, lights everywhere, Christmas trees all lit up, it was a wonderful experience.
Lauren says the highlight of the holiday was Africa and she would recommend it to anyone who wants to see what Africa has to offer with no hassles from the luxury of a plane.
If you would like to find out more, Lauren is a travel consultant at Lyn McNaught Travel in Mooroopna, just give her a call.
Until next time,
Safe Travel’n,
Geoff Vallance