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The Captain's Choice part III — Kenya

Thursday, March 9, 2006

The Captain's Choice was founded by Phil Asker 12 years ago. It provides luxury, all-inclusive personalised tours to remote and exotic destinations. Passengers travel on Qantas aircraft to places not on the airline's usual routes.

Tours vary in length, as does time spent in each port. Accommodation is always the best available and all meals, banquets and regional entertainment are included. Some tours include travel on private train, luxury ship and other deluxe modes of transport.

Passengers stay with the same aircraft, crew and The Captain's Choice Tour escorts who give individual attention to everyone. You check in just once and only aisle and window seats are used. They are re-allocated each sector so everyone has the opportunity of having a window seat. A doctor with medical supplies accompanies each tour.

Ground tours are arranged but, of course, you don't have to stay with the group. You are free to head off by yourself if you prefer.

After exciting stops in Marrakech in Morocco and Tripoli and Leptis Magnus in Libya, the tour headed for The Republic of Kenya.

After touching down in the capital, Nairobi, an internal flight and drive takes you to the country's finest wildlife park, the Maasai Mara National Reserve, an extension of the Tanzanian Serengeti National Park. Just 270 kilometres from the capital, the 1160 square kilometres was established in 1961. Its history can be traced back at least 2000 years with evidence of pottery and arrow heads from Neolithic times. Everything about it is outstanding. Migrating herds of wildebeest (there are around two million in the park!) and zebra provide a spectacle as they cross the Mara River. One of the world's highest concentrations of predators is right there to amaze you.

The reserve is a mass of swirling rivers, open grasslands reaching the horizon and acacia woodlands scattered throughout, which play host to the extraordinary variety of animal and birdlife.

Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife feeding and drinking — giraffe, hippos, baboons, meerkats, gazelle, antelopes, and of course, the big five — lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros.

Birdlife abounds in the reserve. There are more than 450 species, including around 53 birds of prey.

A memorable adventure in the Reserve is a hot air balloon safari. They start very early in the day and once airborne, views of the Serengeti Plain, the sun rising between the mountains and congregations of animals at the river are just breathtaking. The morning culminates with a champagne breakfast.

Another terrific thing to do is a Breakfast in the Bush walk. Armed escorts guide early morning walks through the Maasai Mara and you pay a visit to Maasai Enkang or Manyatta where you can speak with the Maasai and maybe purchase carved masks and bead necklaces. (The guards are armed just in case a rogue animal should appear).

The Maasai live in dung and timber huts within acacia-thorn enclosures. Huts generally have two small, dark rooms, filled with beds and a vented fire pit. They are herders and fiercely protect their precious cattle from lions and leopards at night by sheltering them within the settlement.

Their diet is mostly cattle blood and yoghurt, with meat for special ceremonies. Red-clothed males pass through three life stages with special rites of passage — boyhood, warriorhood around age 14 and elderhood around age 30. By the last stage they own sufficient cattle to take several wives.

It is a spectacular sight to see warriors doing their athletic dancing with amazing high leaps. Women sing tribal songs and take care of a multitude of children. The Maasai people are extremely proud and live strictly by their centuries-old culture.


Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.


The Captain’s Choice Tours offer luxury packages to exotic destinations, travelling by plane, train and ship. The South America, Mexico and Cuba tour visits the Mayan ruins at Uxmal and Chichen Itza and the cities of Merida and Havana. A cruise on the Amazon from Manaus in Brazil takes you to three nights in a Rio de Janeiro beachside hotel for partying, relaxing and shopping. After that it’s Iguazu Falls, Lima and Cuzco, gateway to Machu Picchu, and on to Easter Island.

Price starts at $22,000 per person inclusive of travel on a chartered Qantas 747, meals, five star accommodation where available, tours, a welcome drink at each dinner, travel insurance, tipping and taxes, the services of an experienced Tour Escort Team and an accompanying doctor.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

The Captain's Choice Tour
34 Main Street
Croydon 3136
Toll Free Phone: 1800 650 738
Fax: (03) 9723 9560

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