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Family  Safari


June 2 - July 16 ,  2006



Our grand-daughter  ( age 9 )  had been wanting to go with

 "La-La & Grand-dad "  on one of their adventures.

So we decided that her first experience should be a safari.  ...

and since we've been on more safaris  and game drives in Africa than we can count on 2 hands

 ( and feet ) ,

 we knew exactly what to expect ... & were able to brief her before the trip.

Now since most travelers rarely want to travel with other people's children,

we looked around for a company that

specialized in tours that were geared with children in mind.

Found just what we were looking for ...  with  Thompson Family Tours


Mt. Kilimanjaro   .... view from the dining area of our lodge in  Arusha.


The  "road"  to Moivaro  Lodge  in  Arusha


It was a nice lodge, with swimming pool , & lovely cabins with fireplaces.


We arrived a day before the rest of the group   ( as is our habit,  in order to rest up  & "do own thing", after the long flights ).


Here's the group ..... 5 Families + 4 drivers and  1 "mentor"  ( who devised all sorts of things to amuse & challenge the children ).

Our travel to the various animal reserves was either by van or private plane  

&  our stay in the camps was  ... several days per camp.


The company arranged for each of  our children to be

assigned a school pen-pal ...

several months before the trip started.


This is the NEW  school.   They are thrilled with it.

 As is normal with this type of visit,   the group's  way of saying  "thank you for your hospitality"  was the presentation of a bunch of school supplies.


This is the  OLD  school.


As you can tell ... Deirdre & the class had a lot of fun  !!


And here she is ... with her  pen-pal  Naomi.



" permanent" ... means that the tent didn't travel with us.  The next 2 camps were  "movable".


When we drove from camp to camp ... the children and adults traveled together.

But when we went on game drives ... the children had their own vehicle  ( with the mentor, Peter )


While we would sit quietly  ( in the dark )  with our drinks ... watching the sun begin it's journey ...... we were also entertained by these animals, wandering around the tents




Dwarf  Mongoose


Vervet  Monkeys


Our tents sat near the edge of a cliff.


And the view always provided us with something interesting to watch.


The children LOVED these Baobab  trees ( "upside-down" trees )


and thought the "gimongous"  Termite Mounds..... "totally awesome"


Unlike some of the other safaris we've shared with you via  the web  .... we're not going to show you as many examples of ALL the really neat animals we saw.

Been there ... did that.             And by now, you all probably feel like you've been on those trips with us.

But you know me ...........   if there's an animal encounter possible ... I'M  THERE  !!!   (  to be truthful ... I could go on a safari every year ... and still want more ).

However .... we DO  want to share with you a few that Deirdre was especially taken with.

( her favorites were usually those  encounters involving  baby animals .... or animals that reminded her of  "The Lion King " )


BABOONS ...... Good grief .... they were everywhere !!  All of the children were entranced with their squabbling & antics.


Go-Away-Bird .... it's call sounds like  "go away".


Maribou  Stork .... thought they were really "ugly"

Yep. ... got that  right


Thought they were the most beautiful things

she ever saw


Vulture  .....  they all had never seen one up close before.   "WOW  !!!"


Ostrich .... " Is that where you got that big egg from, La La ? "


Zebras ... everyone fell in love with the little brown fuzzy young ones.


Cape Buffalo ....  "nasty"


Impala .....  The kids were all excited,  watching the young  "bachelors"  doing  "boot camp" training.  ( everyone was cheering on their favorites ... in hushed tones )


Elephants .....  hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of them.      We were all absolutely fascinated with the interaction between the babies & the adults.


Somebody  wants  dinner. ....   this was a hoot to watch  !!


Stopped here for several hours.     Had a fantastic lunch ... toured the plantation & visited some caves ... carved out by elephants.


Even though life in Arusha  was a big surprise to the children ..... as we went along,  increasingly deeper  into Maasai  territory

it was fascinating to see their reactions to a way of life so very different from their own.

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