Saruni Samburu

Aug 2010

Built into the mountain side overlooking a huge valley of redish gold landscape, and blue skies lies Saruni – the first stop on our safari adventure. It absolutely took my breath away. Mr. K and I were definitely not expecting this scale of luxury!

Saruni Samburu is operated on community land owned by the local tribes, and rented by the owners of the lodge. Saruni also employs the local tribes men and women. The lodge is located about 15 minutes from the local reserve. On route we pass the “thumbs up, Saruni is the best rock”, and watch in awe as our land rover does some rock climbing to our destination. We are greeted by the staff members who will be taking care of us for the next few days and make our way up to the lodge. It was nothing like I expected – I was totally unprepared for what I saw – a huge gorgeous valley view and a lodge that was literally built into the mountain side. We followed the Tom, camp manager down a long path to our “room” aka huge suite that opened up into a cliff overlooking the valley. Everywhere you look was nature’s beauty the place was brilliant. It was more than I wanted. That afternoon we watched the sunset in our outdoor sitting room with a bottle (or two) of wine and bitings. We have found heaven and it looks like two wine bottles and an African desert valley.

We then had to answer the pressing question of where would you like to dine tonight? In your room or the lodge.  Room please! And that folks is pretty much how the rest of our stay went in Saruni whatever we wanted was offered. Private game drives easily done, private dinner done, sundowners and a bonfire right this way, massages, and infinity pool yep we got those too. We could have it all and it was all for us – literally we were the only guests! And it spoiled us big time!

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September 25, 2010. Travel. Leave a comment.

Samburu Safari Day 1

Aug. 24, 2010

We are picked up from the Buffalo Springs “airport” by our guides, Chris a Samburu Masai warrior and Simon the warrior in training. They lay down the rules of their safari and off we drove over the bumpy red roads to begin what is our first safari ever! The Samburu landscape consists of mostly red sand and super thorny bushes that are conveniently located on the edge of the road threatening to stab you at every curve. Our guides wear the traditional red robes of their Masai tribe, brightly colored beaded bracelets and these wonderful head pieces that bring the whole outfit together. At times other tourists found our guides to be more entertaining than the animals. Once pair of UK folks asked us if they could take a photo of our guides – to which I thought um why don’t you ask them???

Anyways our very first animal sighting are dik dik’s tiny antelope looking things that we soon find out are as common as squirrels or pigeons – at least in Samburu – in southern Kenya, dik diks are less and less of a common occurrence. We see impala everywhere, gerenuks eating leaves on their hind legs (they are nicknamed giraffe antelopes for their long giraffe like necks) and the blue ball monkeys (aka vervet monkeys) – yes they are named for a certain part of their blue anatomy.

 Next we drive up into a herd of elephants! Huge elephants just a few feet from the car and they don’t even seem to care! Next up we find a bunch of young giraffes and see one timidly step up to the river to drink water right next to a little croc sunning itself on a grassy patch. Seconds later two young elephants bust out of the bush ahead of us in a mock fight pushing each other with their trunks and mini tusks! Look to your left, are those giraffes kissing?  – why yes I believe they are! Nat Geo has nothing on this! Such an abundance of wildlife all within a few yards of each other.

We are lucky enough to see all the Samburu five on our first day of safari. Oryx, gerenuk, Gevey’s zebras, ostrich, and reticulated giraffe – these 5 animals are only in the Samburu region of Kenya (northern parts of Kenya). We stop for a bush lunch near a natural spring and eat with some curious Grevey’s zebras and then head off to Saruni.

If you want to follow our honeymoon adventure through photos check out our website!

September 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Travel. Leave a comment.

Rules of Engagement

9/16/10

So as we sat around the corner of the bar discussing if the engagement should come when you are bursting with love for each other or when you are bursting with love for each other and financially stable.  And then discussing the age old question of how long it too long to wait for that ring? And do expectations increase as the wait increases? In my humble opinion no they should not, which got me thinking about some random thoughts I was having while strolling down Broadway on my way back from lunch.

A few days before I left for Africa for the first time ever I took off my engagement ring and put  it far and away in a very safe place, leaving me to sport my wedding band while roaming the African plains. So for the past few days I have been wandering the streets of NYC with just my band on receiving some of the weirdest looks of “what exactly is that on your finger?” and “what is that band supposed to mean?”  and “Where is the rock?” So today I retrieved my rock from my far and away place, which got me thinking what exactly does an engagement ring mean?

To me it means a worldly declaration of a couples love for one another. Because they loved each other before, but now it is serious business and the whole wide world can know. In a way it simply means we are taking this relationship to the next level. When you stop and think about it, the wedding band is the important bit. That is the piece that symbolizes the vows, the sacrament (or whatever you believe in) that is made in front of a religious/government official and your family and friends. It is the piece that really seals the deal.

An engagement ring can be given back as easily as it can be accepted, but once that wedding band goes on breaking it off can get a whole lot trickier. I can see how people can get caught up in the sparkle and glam and forget about the commitment that comes along with it.  In NYC it feels like some people view their engagement ring as more of a status symbol than a symbol of committed love. Mr. K proposed to me with two rings one bought from a touristy shop in Jackson Hole and another handmade specifically for the engagement by a man he randomly met a few days before he proposed. A normal person would not see the glam to these rings, but I saw their pure wondrous fulfilling beauty. That moment was everything I had ever hoped for and more than my wildest dream could have fulfilled upon! I took that ring back to Manhattan and showed it off to everyone and anyone who would stay long enough to hear my story. So for me  it’s the meaning behind these two pieces of jewelry that really matters not the ascetic of them. It doesn’t matter how long you waited to get this ring – the point is that you go it, you should be proud of it whether it s a piece of garden twine or a 7 carat flawless diamond with matching pave wedding band. It isn’t the pomp and circumstance in the way that these things are presented.  It’s the love, trust, commitment, and happiness that resides in these symbols that really count.

September 17, 2010. Friends, love, Newly Wed Notes. Leave a comment.