"Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Nairobi. If you look out of the left side of the aircraft you will see that the terminal is on fire. We will just wait here until the fire service has put out the blaze, then air traffic control will tell us which gate we can use."
Four hours later we were finally allowed to leave the plane. The fire service were unable to control the blaze and the terminal was severely damaged. However, the Kenyan authorities did an amazing job under very difficult circumstances. They set up a temporary customs and immigration desk in the nearby cargo terminal and processed passengers there and within a couple of hours we were all at our Nairobi hotel sipping cold beers and having lunch. Imagine what would have happened at an airport in the USA, Britain or Australia. We'd still be there waiting for security clearance. As it happens we were rather lucky, being the last plane to land before the airport had to close. Subsequent inbound flights were diverted to various points around East Africa depending on the size of the aircraft. Some went to Mombasa, some to Entebbe, some to Kilimanjaro. What a nightmare that must have been for the passengers.
Anyway, things have settled down now and Nairobi Airport is functioning again. There is a new terminal being built in any case and they are trying to fast-track that. Meanwhile travelers flying in and out of Nairobi can, for the time being expect a few minor delays.
Once the safari was under way we saw some amazing things including a rarely sighted (if rather gruesome hyena kill. There were leopards, cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos and all manner of antelope and gazelle and vast herds of wildebeest in the Maasai Mara National Reserve - a truly awe inspiring sight. Below are some of our photos. The accommodation was excellent throughout and the food was of the highest quality. I can't wait for next year. In fact I am currently putting together a small group safari to visit the southern Serengeti in February when the massed herds of wildebeest will be calving. This is another great natural event attended by predators, and once again great game viewing is all but guaranteed. As soon as I have firm details I will post them on this blog. Meanwhile, as promised here are a few images from this year's Great Migration Safari.
Dik dik antelope, Lake Manyara, Tanzania.
Olive baboons sharing an intimate moment in the middle of the road, Lake Manyara.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.
Don't let anyone tell you that you don't get close to the animals on safari.
Handsome fellow, Ngorongoro Crater.
Spectacular crowned cranes, Ngorongoro Crater.
Maasai village school between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Tanzania.
Great hairstyle. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Where's dinner Mum? Serengeti.
In a waterhole, Serengeti.
Leopard up a tree. Serengeti.
The Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Topi antelope, Maasai Mara.
Resting in the shade. Cheetah, Maasai Mara.
A minute part of the 2-3 million wildebeest spread out across the plain of the Maasai Mara.
Mother and calf, Amboseli, Kenya.
Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park.
Finally, the obligatory African sunset shot. Amboseli National Park.
Now then, for those of you who for some inexplicable reason do not wish to visit Africa, here is a great special from Thai Airways for flights from Brisbane to Bangkok return. The cost is $892 per person including tax. It is a companion fare, so two people must travel together. It is available for sale until October and seat availability is limited so be quick.
Please call me for bookings or further information.
Africa Travel Specialist & Home Based Travel Consultant
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