Six PCEC members go on safari in Tanzania

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In November, six persons from the Pattaya City Expats Club went on a safari in Tanzania for 10 nights and 11 days. Allan Riddell and Pasit Foobunma, who were part of the group, helped to organize the safari and told PCEC members all about it at the Sunday, January 3, meeting. Their talk was entitled “The Best Safari in the World”. In addition to Allan and Pasit, the others on the Safari were Brian Songhurst, Mag Rittinghuas, Peter Barnwell, and Mike Todd-White.

Both Allan and Pasit are on the board of the South African – Thai Chamber of Commerce. They will be helping to organize future safaris for the Chamber of Commerce as well as for PCEC members. A second safari for PCEC members is already scheduled to depart on 12 January, which will have the same itinerary. The main organizer of the November and January safaris at the Thailand end was Pasit, through his company, Thai Charoen Pattana. A company called Tanganyika Safaris did most of the organizing at the Tanzania end.

Members Pasit Foobunma and Allan Riddell as part of their presentation introduce an 8 minute video showing their PCEC audience more of the activities their group enjoyed on their November safari to Tanzania.

Pasit Foobunma is originally from Nakhon Ratchasima Province and later lived in Lopburi. He joined the South African –Thai Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and was very soon elected to the Board of Directors. Born in Durban, South Africa, Allan Riddell attended Durban High School and the University of Natal. He has had a varied career, including stints with Unilever, the Zimbabwe Sun hotels, and the top American advertising agency D’Arcy MacManus and Masius. He has also been a television news presenter and host.

Mag Rittinghuas presents a slideshow of photographs taken by the PCEC members during their 11 day safari to Tanzania describing the many animals they saw and local tribes people they visited.

The participants flew from Bangkok to Nairobi, Kenya, and then on to Mount Kilimanjaro airport. Allan said that the safari was very well organized and the scenery was spectacular. The party slept in very well equipped and comfortable safari lodges some nights and tents other nights. When they were in tents, they were very much in the wild. There was no fence surrounding the tents to keep animals out. If anyone wanted or needed to leave the tent at night, they had to use a whistle to summon a Masai guard to escort them.

Pasit Foobunma tries his luck at starting a fire with the aid of tribesmen during their safari in Tanzania.

When they were on the road, Allan said, they did not leave the jeep. The roof of the jeep was open so that they could view the animals. They saw all sorts of animals, including the “Big 5” – the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the African leopard, the African lion and the white or black rhinoceros. They also saw gazelles, hippopotamuses, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, pelicans and even snakes, just to name a few. And they were lucky enough to see herds of migrating animals.

Two Masai tribesmen along with four members of the PCEC Safari group: (from left) Peter Barnwell, Brian Songhurst, Mag Rittinghuas, and Mike Todd-White.

Allan called on Mag Rittinghuas to provide commentary as she presented a slide show of the various wildlife and scenery. The photographs were made by the members of the group and compiled for the presentation. Overall, Mag said it was a wonderful experience not to be missed.

After her presentation, Allan and Pasit introduced an 8-minute video of the animals, scenery, and people that was a collaborative effort of Brian Songhurst, and Peter Barnwell in putting it together. After the slide show and video presentation, Allan said that he initially wondered whether a group of six people being together all the time for 10 days would create any problems, but he said everyone got along fine.

One of the PCEC safari group Michael Todd-White learning a new trade.

Pasit mentioned that one of the highlights of the safari was being able to meet the Masai people, many of whom spoke very good English.

The cost of the safari, for 11 days and 10 nights, ranges from US$3,500 to US$4,500 per person, airfare excluded but obtained at a discount through their connection with the South African – Thai Chamber of Commerce.  Allan said that the government limits the number of tours in any one area in a given year so as not to interfere too much with the animals’ habitat. The safaris can last anywhere from five to 10 days, but Allan recommends the full 10 days.

Member Ren Lexander (right) interviews members Mag Rittinghuas (left), Allan Riddell (center), and Pasit Foobunma (not shown) about their Tanzania safari. To view the video, visit https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=tzPHMliHSHE

During the presentation, Allan and Pasit volunteered to discuss in depth all aspects of “The best safari in the World” with those interested in possibly booking a safari now for travel any month in 2016.

At the conclusion of the program, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on club and other events and called on Tony Heron to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.

Member Tony Heron invites the audience to join him in the Open Forum portion of the PCEC meeting as an opportunity to ask questions or make comments about Expat living in Pattaya.