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About serendipityntravel

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    Tour Operator
  • Category 2
    Wildlife Photographer/Artist

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    Orange County, California
  • Interests
    Photography. World Travel. Conservation. Camping.

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  1. Heavy traffic on the highway!
  2. THE PHOTO ABOVE - Heading from the West side of the Mara Triangle, we could see a tree shaking at a distance. Getting closer, we saw the matriarch shaking the tree, while three youngsters were standing in line and watching her. It reminded me of a school teacher instructing her students. The matriarch would use her trunk and head to shake the tree so that the fruits would fall onto the ground. She would then turn around and shake the tree with her back....all this, while the 3 youngsters would wait in line, watching her intensely.
  3. The first week of December was spent in the Mara Triangle. The recent rains in the night, very cool mornings, and a combination of lightning which would put a fourth of July fireworks display to shame, produced waist high grass in the triangle.....lush grass. Plenty of it. Enter the elephants. Many of them. We stopped counting after reaching 250. Yes, it was an unusual black rocks from far away, dotting the green grass. Go off the main road and it would be muddy. This was not the place for those white vans, and they were wise....not getting close to the mud. This was a place for the 4WD Toyotas and the Land Rovers.
  4. This cub looks around 3 weeks old, and definitely should have been with mom. The male is probably the father, if not the cub would have been killed right away. I have seen this happen a few years back, and the male (who is not the father) would kill the cub instantly. Maybe the mom went out to hunt and left the single cub behind. I wonder what happened to the others? Possibly killed?
  5. Absolutely. Having visited Kenya for almost decade, I am still to find a Kenyan that wants trophy hunting reintroduced! I still come across people in the US that occasionally ask me if my business offers trophy hunting. My only reply to them is to go find that business elsewhere. My website has a picture that clearly opposes trophy hunting.
  6. Yes, I am there right now.
  7. @bettel - No, film crews are not permitted in the night with the $500 permit. In the Mara, I am pretty sure that it is only Nat Geo that is able to go out in the night, and they too have a Ranger in their vehicle. I remember when I obtained the permit last year that it stated it was for Video and still photography, so there is no difference in price. As @janzin said, I too would 'gift' off road permits for my guests if it was only $300 per week. Anyway, let me find out tonight or tomorrow. Thanks!
  8. Thanks @bettel . I wonder if it is a "click and bait" type thing as I had a film crew with me last year and that was what I paid ($500 per day) for the Masai Mara. I was with the Nat Geo guys the last few days for 'Safari Live' and they were saying that they were paying an arm and a leg for so many days of filming. In addition, I saw the Rangers checking their permits a couple of times, even when they knew who they were. So, just to confirm, it is the Camps that are quoting you this price, and it is not a tour operator? If so, what is the exact wording? Give me a few days and I will try to ask someone who knows about the price over here. Thanks for replying!
  9. @bettel - Hi! I am curious to see how you are getting an off road permit for $300 a week. I had a film crew with me last year and the off road permit cost $500 a day and it took quite a while to get approved as only a certain amount of off road permits are issued per day. The cinematography fee is $300 a week for film crew and that does not permit off road driving. I am surprise to see the rate change from $3,500 a week to $300 a week.....a big reduction in price!
  10. @penolva - I was able to check out the Malaika Camp for you a few days ago. It looks very nice, and at a good location. I did not see any camp vehicles parked, and they could well have been away on game rides. I really did not see any guests at the camp either. As for your concern regarding the financial stability of the small camps in the Mara, it is impossible to know their status, and that may be a risk you have to take.....and that is where your travel insurance kicks in, I believe. As a Travel Operator, I know that there are some camps/lodges that are hurting due to several last minute cancellations as tourists feared violence/demonstrations during elections and the inauguration. One of the well know (large) lodgings in the Mara had only 3 rooms booked on certain days last week. It was unusual to see 6 people at dinner at this large place. The Mara Triangle has also been far less crowded where I saw only two other vehicles on the Eastern side all day yesterday. The western side side (Near Mara West and the Angama Pride) had about 6 vehicles, mainly from the camps around there. However, I counted about 8 vehicles at a cheetah sighting on the Mara side a few days ago. Hope the info above helps.
  11. This image says it all....
  12. <<* July - Aug (not yet booked) 10 days Sri Lanka. A quest for 3 small cats. Rusty spotted cat, Jungle cat and Fishing cat. plus alot of other species. Will looking for travel companion on this sometime next year so if you are into Sri Lanka and some hardcore mammalwatching. Drop me a note >> @Antee - One of my childhood friends' daughter started the Fishing Cat Project in Sri Lanka. She was one of the young speakers at the wild life conference recently in San Francisco. If you would like, I can put you in touch with her. If you have any questions about Sri Lanka, please ask, and I will do my best to answer it or put you in touch with someone who can. Have been in the jungles since 9 years, and have been photographing wild life there for a couple of decades.
  13. @PHALANX - Loved reading your post about my favorite place - Ol Pejeta, and of course Sweetwaters. I have never taken a trip to Kenya without stopping at Sweetwaters. I will be there in a few weeks, but now I want to get there sooner!
  14. leopard

    That is great news! I have been photographing leopards for almost two decades in Sri Lanka...until last year, when I said enough is enough after swarms of tourists swarm the park every day. Sri Lanka has the largest density of leopards in the world in Yala National Park. A small area, packed with leopards, and almost guaranteed with a leopard sighting during your morning or evening 3 hour safari....this was until a few years back, when words got around, and tourists packed the area to see leopards. Greedy for money from park entrance fees, the government did nothing to regulate the flow of never-ending jeeps, and sometimes reaching over 500 in a single morning!! I post below one of my favorite shots from over 8 years back, when this male leopard was walking towards our stopped vehicle, with me laying on my stomach on the roof of the Land Rover, above the driver. He kept walking towards us, stopped about 15 feet away, froze and looked up at me for about 15 seconds (awful long time!) and turned left into the brush! my heart almost stopped as I thought he was going to pounce on me!!

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