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BIG CATS AND LITTLE THIEVES SPOTTED ON KENYAN SAFARI

THURSDAY Nairobi spends a good part of each day masquerading as a traffic jam. The small group of travel journalists at Expo Kenya 2011 land at the elephant orphanage five minutes after it has closed. A cheesed off Viennese colleague loses what little patience he has left, our German colleague seems less exercised. Kenya is like that. Disney taught a generation of children the phrase: Hakuna Matata.

>THURSDAY NIGHT Jaideep Vohra is our host at the Serova Stanley, a splendid Nairobi old world establishment which has been on the go since 1904.

It is located on a street filled with tourists and confidence tricksters telling me about their starving families. One charming girl who looks about nine engages me in conversation before purloining my camera, which she returns with a self-congratulatory smile for a small fee.

Psy's bar is where the night finishes, full of locals -- and Tuskar going down well. Nairobi is as lively a city as you will find in the world.

>FRIDAY Everyone who matters in Kenyan tourism gathers in the rotating restaurant over the Nairobi skyline after Expo Kenya. John Buckley, a third generation Corkman, says that business with his excellent airline Safarilink has picked up despite recent events (Kenya is at war as I write this).

>SATURDAY Nairobi has an amazing safari park, rich in rhinos which are hard to find elsewhere after decades of depletion by poachers. It is a short hop from the airport and worth a look on a stop over. A most bizarre sight -- animals with skyscrapers in the background. Habitat wars.

>SUNDAY An early start for a big journey reciting my mantra to safari seekers:

1. Start at the Masai Mara, if you have never taken a safari holiday. Don't consider anywhere else for your first wildlife adventure.

2. Never go to the Masai Mara by road, despite what they try to tell you about how much the road has improved. Partly right, until you hit the potholed mess that is the road across the Loita plains. Fly with Safarilink.

>MONDAY Cats are the cream in safari, and the cream of cats is found here, lions hanging around here, prides with their cubs basking in the sun there.

>TUESDAY The stinking carcass of a giraffe has attracted jackals and vultures.

>WEDNESDAY We spend the evening in the amazing Tipilikwani lodge, with Nagib Popat and Jackson Olata.