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Category: Travel

My Africa Diaries: Close Encounters of the Maasai Kind

On our first day on safari, we discovered that the Masai Mara reserve had changed their policy so that it was impossible to pay for a partial safari day – and charges per person per day are $80, so a visit of a few hours wouldn’t be cost efficient. Thus, instead of starting directly with a game drive, we moved our village visit to the first evening to get the most from our time and money. The village was a Maasai village about a mile’s walk from our camp. Our guide, a Maasai warrior, took us down the path. It…

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My Africa Diaries: Video Safari

Video diary of our travel to and time in the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya: Since I’m not a professional cinematographer or photographer, my goal on safari was largely to experience it myself, not to document it perfectly. I brought my relatively new point and shoot camera (Powershot ELPH 330). I love the video journaling function on this camera, but turned it off to save space for longer videos for this trip. I ended up with a few hundred photos and 8GB of HD video. (My battery died halfway through the first day of safari since I forgot to…

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My Africa Diaries: The Good Safaritans

After a full week at the iHub, we awakened early to meet our safari guides for our 5 hour drive to the Maasai Mara. The van we were to take was out front along with numerous other safari vehicles – the Norfolk is a very common starting point for safaris going back to the 1900s. Of course, they were typically weeks instead of days, but they didn’t have radios or cell phones to share information, either. We chose to drive in to the camp – which meant subjecting ourselves to what locals affectionately call “the Maasai massage”. Once you leave…

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My Africa Diaries: The Clash

One of the most striking things about Kenya was what a blend of the future and the past it represented in almost every location, all swirled up in one moment of technology and tradition. The iHub was in a way a space out of time or place. The welcome mats read “There’s no place like 127.0.0.1”, as if I’d never left Silicon Valley years ago. There was a mural of the original Mario Brothers game on the wall in the staircase. And dozens of programmers (both genders), with the stickers on their laptops surely familiar to Western programmers. There were…

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My Africa Diaries: Drinking, Eating, and Drinking

THE WATER The first thing many folks tell you when traveling to a “developing” country is about the water quality. Specifically, to avoid the tap water at nearly all costs. This was my first experience in a country where that recommendation was active. Of course, this recommendation is far more impactful than just drinking bottled water. Wait, you’re telling me we shouldn’t have salads and unpeeled fruits? What about handwashing and showering – why is that OK but drinking the water not? And in a tropical country you have to be careful of iced beverages? Most incongruous of all is…

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