Audubon Shop Kenya Safari
Audubon Shop Kenya Safari recently sent us a fantastic
trip report and comprehensive bird list following
their guided ornithological trip with Origins
Safaris last year. The Audubon Shop Kenya Safari
was a program of Caligo Ventures Tours and Travel,
guides Edwin Selempo and Joseph Gichanga escorted
this trip to Nairobi National Park, Mount Kenya,
Rift Valley Lakes Nakuru and Baringo, Kakamega
and the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Here is an extract
from the Audubon safari journal, for a full trip
report and the Audubon Shop bird list from this
trip please download the pdf's below:
and Natural History of Kenya
an incredible two weeks in a land that has it
all! Thanks to one and all for making the trip
of a lifetimeď more than live up to its billing.
The African skies, plains, mountains, lakes, and
forest made for breath-taking backdrops for one
the most natural history-rich places on the planet.
The trip list of 478 birds and nearly 50 mammals
was enough to make anyone's head spin.
all were made palatable with the patient expertise
of Joseph and Edwin, great weather, and relatively
easy viewing conditions in a pleasant climate.
The accommodations and food were consistently
first rate, as were the ever-dependable Land Rovers
from which we did more than 50%(!) of our field
work. Kenya is definitely on my list for a return
Trip 2005 Report
Trip 2005 Bird List
Alyson & Gerry Pearce
From: Brighton, United Kingdom
Safari: Mountain Gorilla
We are regular visitors
to Africa and always look forward to every
visit with as much enthusiasm as our first
trip. However, I can honestly say my first
visit to the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda was
the most exhausting and rewarding experience
of my life. It took over 2 hours of strenuous,
uphill trekking before we were even close
to the group we were tracking, and then a
further 40 minutes following their trail before
we found them. Even then they didn't stay
still for long, but with the first sighting
my aching muscles vanished and I was transfixed.
The group consisted of 7 members, 4 of which
we saw, the 1 year old infant being a particular
highlight of this visit was narrowly missing
being knocked flying by one of the young
adult gorillas charging past to join his
family, and then watching as he then headed
further down the mountain sending Gerry,
my husband, flying! After our hour following
these characters through the undergrowth,
we returned shattered but exhilarated to
& Gerry Pearce
second day our guide, Alex, took pity on
us and got us permits to visit a gorilla
group who usually chose a lower mountain
position for their foraging. This trek took
only 40 minutes of steady climbing and the
whole family of 8 were gathered in a clearing
making it very easy to sit and watch them.
We spent a wonderful hour watching the boisterous
youngsters fight, eat and cause mischief!
The Silverback, the largest on the mountain
at 250 kgs, posed for our cameras beautifully
and we all got some wonderful pictures.
two hours visiting these amazing creatures
were incredible, and for anyone
with a love of wildlife I would say it is
worth every minute of the journey,
the climb and the aching limbs!
you Origins Safaris for an experience we
will always remember".
- Alyson Pearce
Mary Alice & Wilbur N. Moulton
From: Arizona, USA
Safari: The Original East
African Ornithological Safari, Kenya
We want you to know
that the Bird Venture safari from which
we have just returned was one of the finest
trips we have ever taken. It was superb
in every way. As birders the 400 species
we saw was beyond our expectations. It was
great advantage to have a private trip,
a luxury we had not experienced before.
trip schedule was perfect. It was great
to experience such a wide variety of places.
Meru was our favorite among all the places
we visited, not only for the wildlife, but
also for banda accommodations. Your staff
made us feel like royalty. Our conversations
with James Haigh gave us a broader perspective
on many issues.
all we treasured our guide Richard Mbithi.
His ability to locate birds by sight and
sound continually amazed us. His driving
skills on highways, country roads and no-road
bush were a marvel. He quickly became more
than a driver-guide; he became a fine traveling
companion and friend. Please convey to him
our appreciation for all his services and
addition to the safari we enjoyed our stay
in Nairobi, where we had the opportunity
of visiting acquaintances and seeing some
local attractions. In addition we spent
a day near Embu with Kenya Habitat for Humanity
projects which have an on-going relationship
with our Prescott Habitat for Humanity.
summary we had a great trip and would enthusiastically
recommend it to anyone who would consider
- Wilbur Moulton
Harison and Linda Walker
Ethiopia, Mountain Gorilla Safari –
Rwanda, Northern Tanzania,
- the Spice
is with the greatest pleasure that Linda
Walker and I extend our praises to Steve
Turner of Origins Safaris for creating such
a perfect trip for us to Ethiopia, Rwanda,
Tanzania and Zanzibar. Every little detail
went according to plan.
would like to mention some of the guides
so that you may credit them with exceptional
knowledge, insight, kindness, courtesy,
flexibility and humour. They are truly pre-eminent
in their field.
begin: our guide in Ethiopia, Solomon Tekle
W. Tsadik, was outstanding. He possessed
vast knowledge of his country, and he was
so refined and courteous. He was with us
throughout our stay there, which makes such
a difference. When we parted, we were like
old friends, infact, I have already received
some photos from him about the lip plate
women in the South of Ethiopia. What a lovely
and considerate gentleman.
our guide in Rwanda, Budaramani Frederic,
or Fred as we called him, was wonderful.
He was most engaging and accommodating.
He did not accompany us on the trek to see
the gorillas as this was left to the expert
guides and trackers who always handle this
part. By the way, Linda and I were thrilled
with the trekking experience, and we did
see the gorillas (8 in the Amaharo group
on Mt Bisoke).
This was no easy
trek as we climbed up to 5,000 Ft. of an
8,000 ft Mt. We trekked through mud, rocks,
rain, mist, and stinging nettles with guides
hacking trails through thick bamboo. We
went STRAIGHT up the Mt., and finally we
saw the gorillas. They were very friendly
and we got along very well during our one-hour
visit with them. There were 5 other tourists
in our group and all of them were MUCH younger.
When we all returned safely, (6 hours later),
all of them said how fit and able Linda
and I were. Everyone received a certificate,
which I will treasure forever. For me, it
was like climbing Kilimanjaro. Linda and
I loved everything about Rwanda.
in Tanzania, everything was flawless
there also. Our guide, Raymond Ole Kosyando,
was the perfect match for Linda and me.
We were so happy that he accompanied us
every step of the way, five days. We appreciated
his vast knowledge about all the animals
and the flora. What a difference it makes
to have a guide who is well informed and
articulate. We saw the elusive black
rhino as well as two leopards and 4 cheetahs.
The lions were wonderful as well as the
plentiful elephants, giraffes, buffalo,
wildebeests, zebras, etc.
Zanzibar was exotic and wonderful. Our room
had a balcony looking right out on the Indian
Ocean with the colourful dhows and other
boats. We ate lobster every day and had
a splendid time going to Stone Town, a spice
tour, and one to the Jozani Forest to see
the Red Colobus monkeys. Our guide, Charles,
was a perfect match for us with a great
sense of humour and a store of knowledge.