My two weeks package included Maasai Mara game reserve, which is a must see when visiting Kenya. However, when I got to Mombasa my agent informed me it is not possible, offering me to visit Kimana instead. I was pretty much disappointed knowing nothing about, actually never heard of it before. After about two hours of flying in a small jet we arrived to Kimana or Kilimanjaro Kimana, which is actually private game reserve of African Safari Club.
Kimana is situated in the most western part of Kenya, very close to Kilimanjaro and Tanzania.
Fondest memory: Our accomodation was at Leopard Lodge, small but beautiful camp which cought my heart on a first sight. Here I met my first Maasai who live in his natural ambient, just a few kilometres away from the camp. I was surprised to know but Maasais are not welcomed inside the camp and game reserve, besides, visiting of their village wasn't in the program. Actually, we had to bribe our driver to take us in the Maasai village. He asked us not to tell it to his boss because he could lost his job.
Sad true about Kenya, Maasais are trade-mark of its tourism and yet very discriminated inside the Kenyan community.
The most impressive memory I will take back from Oloitokitok are the encounters with the elephants. The Amboseli elephants have been studied by Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole for around 30 years, so they are used to people and cars and usually did not take much notice of us. Most of the time they were pretending to ignore us, but what gave them away was their trunk with which they were smelling in our direction, even if they pretended to look somewhere else. I never got tired of watching them feeding, sleeping, taking dust showers and interacting with each other.
Sometimes they were getting a bit too close for comfort, though, when they decided to be not quite so discreet and walked towards the car to inspect us with flapping ears and outstretched trunk. Our guide always had his hand on the car keys to make a quick exit if necessary.