November 2002:  As part of a three-week trip that included Uganda on my first trip to sub-Sahara Africa, I traveled to Kenya for one week via a local bus from Kampala to Mombasa and onwards to Diani Beach, a tropical paradise with reports along coral fringed white sand beached. Sadly, my disposable camera failed me during the trip and my photos are all terrible.

 

My route

I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Indian ocean and Diani beach was far from overdeveloped and there were pockets of forested coastline with vervet monkeys and giant lizards for me to explore. I stayed in a budget beach hotel and organized scuba diving to reefs, shipwrecks and even a night dive. It would have been easy to spend my whole week in Diani beach, but I knew I also had to go on safari somewhere, I was in Kenya, and it would be a sin not to.

 

Diani Beach

kenyan girl, who I met that followed me and begged me to marry her and take her to Africa.

Vervet monkey outside my hotel sliding door that tried to sneak into my room

My dive boat on the Indian ocean

Sunset over Diani Beach

I organized a two-night safari to Tsavo National Park from Diani beach. I booked my own safari tent with a shower and toilet inside overlooking a watering hole where I could watch wildlife from my tent. This was a dream come true and even though I had already seen a lion and elephants in Uganda i was excited to see more African wildlife. What made Tsavo distinct was that its lions are world famous, and a movie was even made about them. During British colonial Kenya, when indentured servants were building a railroad across the African plains, modern day Tsavo, the workers kept disappearing in the night and eventually it was discovered that this was because a pair of male man-eating lions of Tsavo were preying on them. At least 135 men were eaten by the lions before a professional big game hunter finally caught up with them and killed the lions.

I was fortunate to see many lions and chettah on safari in Tsavo and at night I went to sleep in my tent listening to them roar in the distance. It was an incredible place where I was able to see a lot of wildlife. I just wish I had a better camera back then.

 

Entrance gate

My safari tent in tsavo

Watering hole by my tent

Elephant on the road

From Tsavo I traveled by public bus to Nairobi and flew back to the USA.

 

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