Archive for May 7th, 2010

Hello Beautiful People, Below I have posted my future Son-in-laws (Eddie) Camp Questions and Answers. I found this to be hysterical, as it is so true. Please know his answers are how most of us in this field would like to answer our guest after living in the bush 3 months straight, answering the same questions for the 400th time , but we are all very professional and have to keep these thoughts to ourselves. Maybe those of you who are coming to visit this amazing country in the future will have many of your questions answered here. If you would like to add some questions, please do, I will be more then happy to answer any questions on camp life, safari or life in Kenya for you in a professional manner, I promise. Hope everyone not in this field can appreciate the humor in the below Question and Answer statements. Huge Hugs to everyone, Tana

Why don’t lions just jump in the vehicle and eat you?

Contrary to what you may have seen in movies, lions are not on a mission to consume all human life. In fact wherever possible they would rather avoid you. It is they that view us as a threat and will, in most cases, run away if they can. They largely ignore you in a vehicle because they see the car as a barrier if you will: you are safely inside your cage and can therefore can do no damage to them. You are not seen as meals on wheels.

Can we get out and take photos with the lions?

Sure, why not? You’ve signed your waiver and release form and obviously have no understanding of the term ‘WILDlife’ so go ahead and I’ll write up a report for the Darwin Awards.

Can elephants run?

The common answer to this is no. However, running is far more complicated than simply having all your feet off the ground at one time and involves things like transfer of kinetic energy in the limbs. Recent study shows that when elephants travel at full speed they somehow manage to run and walk at the same time, in fact they run with their front legs and walk with their back, or the other way round according to some. Basically scientists can’t agree so I don’t know, but what you need to know is that they will easily outrun/walk you whichever way they do it.

Why is it raining?

This involves all sorts of complicated things about weather systems and such, but by your tone of voice I deduce you are implying that I am somehow responsible for this unseasonable downpour. You’re right of course, I apologise, I do control the weather and chose this moment for it to rain so you could sit there and give me grief.

Will we get to see alligators in the river?

(Sigh) No we do not have alligators in Africa; they exist solely in the Americas. What we have here are crocodiles. I could explain the difference but you will forget it so I won’t bother, just accept that there is one.

Are there snakes here?

There are snakes just about everywhere except Antarctica although for some reason they couldn’t quite tolerate Ireland either. This is Africa, this is the bush so yes there are snakes. You are unlikely to see any but they exist and no they are not all waiting to ambush you.

What about spiders?

Ditto, except for the Ireland bit, you’re not safe there either.

Would the lions come into the tent?

No, and sleeping next to the zip won’t put you in a more dangerous position. Even if they did want to eat you their grasp of the zip mechanism is fairly limited.

What do we do if there’s a lion outside our tent?

Be very polite, laugh with and not at, remember to say please. No, just stay put. It will leave, especially after hearing your scream.

We saw a jaguar in a tree

No you did not. I’ll make this clear: jaguars – South America; leopards – Africa… and Asia as well but let’s keep it simple.

Is this local beef/chicken/lamb/vegetables/fruit?

Why yes; Kenya is surprisingly capable of producing its own food and it tastes great. Actually the veggies you purchase from your local supermarket are most likely from here too so it should make you feel right at home.

How does your cook come up with these meals?

I’ll ask him, I suspect it’s magic.

How does one approach the Maasai?

They’re people; treat them as such and the outcome will be wonderful.

Do the Maasai still kill lions?

Not legally.

But does that mean…

No comment.

What would your askaris do if a lion walked into camp?

Would the answer to this question make you feel any different about your stay here? If the answer to that is ‘yes’ then they would chase them away fearlessly. If your answer is ‘no’ then nothing.

How bad is malaria?

Bad, but not that bad. Quick treatment and you’ll get over it pretty quickly, but given that you’d probably only develop symptoms back home where a diagnosis would require a ‘tropical disease’ specialist, I’d say keep taking your Malarone.

Why are the lions roaring?

Despite what you’re feeling they are not planning an all-out killing spree on the camp. Roaring is simply communication between pride members, however bowel-loosening the sound may be.

Is the Maasai language a different dialect to Swahili?

They are entirely different languages with no connection whatsoever, and while we’re on the subject there is no such language as ‘African’, just because I speak Swahili it does not mean I can understand Zulu.

We want to see a leopard.

So do I. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Unfortunately they’re a bunch of divas and are very picky about when they show themselves. You’ll just have to hope and deal with it if you aren’t lucky enough to see one.

Can we see Shakira?

Big Cat Diary naming animals is a pain in the rear. Shakira is as special as the next cheetah and so be happy to see any at all. Alternatively I could tell you than any cheetah we see is Shakira and there’s very little you can do to prove me wrong.

How do you find your way around here?

It’s not an innate skill, I’ve been here a long time. Drive around enough and anywhere will become familiar – I don’t know why people find this incredible. I couldn’t begin to find my way around London but you can, because you’ve been there for years. The Maasai don’t have inbuilt GPS, they’ve lived here their whole lives. Are you getting my point?

I can’t quite get my camera to…

That’s because you went and bought an overly expensive piece of equipment that you haven’t the first idea how to use and can’t be bothered to read the instruction manual. It’s highly unlikely that this trip will turn you into a wildlife photographer extraordinaire, so why not get something simpler and more familiar that you can at least use instead of spending half your holiday trying to figure out why the photos are blurry.


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