October 19, 2012
Molly summits Kilimanjaro! Fulfilling the wishes of a 7-year old girl and raising awareness of genetic disease, HHT.
Go to a prom, go on a safari (at Six Flags theme park), go to a father/daughter dance: these were some of the items on 7-year-old Molly Dunne’s bucket list. Tragically, she didn’t have the opportunity to fulfill these simple wishes. After collapsing on her first day of kindergarten in September 2010, she had a long, difficult battle with pulmonary hypertension and the rare genetic disease, Hereditary Hemorraghic Telangiectasia (HHT), which eventually claimed her life in May 2012.
In her honor – and in order to raise awareness of this preventable disease – people have been taking a photo of themselves with Molly’s picture in various places around the world. Now Molly has been to a prom, visited an aquarium and been to the state fair, all of which were items on her bucket list. Her photo has traveled across the US, Europe and has even landed in the hands of host Mario Lopez on the television set of Extra.
Thomson Safaris’ guest, Dr. Scott Olitsky, raised money on two Kilimanjaro climbs for HHT and brought Molly’s story to our attention. When he asked if we could take Molly’s photo to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, we were more than honored to do so.
Thomson Safaris’ staffer, Rachel, with a photo of Molly at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro
Kristen Dunne, Molly’s mom, said, “I received the pictures of Molly at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was thrilled beyond belief to see that! Molly was one tough cookie and I know she would have loved to have been able to do that some day. Thank you so much to everyone involved in getting her up there. Thanks so much for wanting to share Molly’s story. It makes me smile and keeps me going every day knowing that Molly continues to make a difference.”
Join in and support Kristen Dunne’s initiative to make miracles come true for Molly while raising awareness for HHT, a genetic condition that causes malformations in blood vessels. She adds, “We want to get the word out to hopefully help prevent another family having to go through what we’ve been through.”
October 6, 2012
Is the grass always greener on the other side? For the wildebeests, it is. Drawn by instincts, weather patterns and their appetites, the giant herds of the Great Migration make a continuous circuit around the Serengeti ecosystem in search of food – which is, literally – green grass.
The circuit follows a general pattern each year, however given the nature of nature, there are always variations making the exact location of the herds unpredictable from year to year. For instance, this autumn, the migration crossed the Mara River almost a month earlier than prior years due to an unusual and ample amount of rainfall during the dry season in the northern Serengeti.
The sheer numbers of the Great Migration make it a sight to see however there are a few events throughout the year that safari enthusiasts with good timing are lucky to witness such as newly-born wildebeest calves in March and the annual wildebeest rut in May. The suspenseful and dynamic Mara River crossings in July and October often get top billing and have been dubbed “nature’s greatest show on earth.”
Many of our guests are returning from Tanzania now after witnessing this year’s early river crossing. North & South Safari guests, Paul & Kirsten Kesicki, said, “We had an incredible time in Tanzania. We were very fortunate to see a couple of hundred thousand wildebeest cross the Mara River on our first day in the Northern Serengeti! That is something we will never forget. We were very pleased with the itinerary and the whole Thomson experience.”
Vance Miller, who recently returned from a custom, private safari, commented, “The wildebeest migration was in full swing. We were able to witness three Mara river crossings in a single day.”
The video above was shot by Thomson Safaris’ guest, Keeley Keenahan, and shows the organized chaos of a river crossing where thousands of wildebeests struggle to fight the strong currents, avoid crocodiles and hope to make it to the green grasses on the other side.
Have questions about the migration? Learn more here!