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About Calo

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  1. Hi Atravelynn! Yep, it's me. I haven't been as active on the boards as I was once upon a time, but I keep returning to Africa, and it truly is fun to write about my travels and offer bits of advice based on my experiences. May was a wonderful month to go to Tanzania. The grass was not tall enough that we couldn't see game, so photo ops were as good as any other month I've been there.
  2. I have experienced exceptional cultural and game viewing experiences in Tanzania with Warrior Trails on 4 separate safaris! Each trip has been unbelievably rewarding in its own way because Warrior Trails is brilliant at what they do…providing “Unforgettable Safaris and Lifelong Memories” (as per their company tagline). I have had the pleasure of being on safari with 4 different WT guides, each of whom has been remarkable in their game spotting ability, and their knowledge of the local flora, fauna, and cultures. Not only are they highly trained and skilled, but they are fun and engaging. Our guide Frank was absolutely exceptional; he is a treasure!! Typically, I go on safari in June or July, but Warrior Trails recommended a trip in May last year in order for me to experience the green season, witness the migration in a different location, and see lots of baby animals. I was amazed at how just a few months earlier in the year could make such a marked difference in my experience; I was NOT disappointed. Bonus: May is much less expensive time to be on safari, and there weren’t the crowds of earlier or later in the year. In fact, we had several camps to ourselves!! Cultural experiences are a hallmark of Warrior Trails. Because the owner of the company is Maasai, the company is able to offer unique, authentic experiences with local Maasai communities. Highlights on each of my trips have included spending a night at a Maasai boma, and participating in traditional Maasai activities including: milking cattle, beading with Maasai women, storytelling around a campfire, visiting a Maasai well, and going on nature walks with Maasai warriors. These cultural interactions are not the contrived experiences of the “tourist bomas” that other safari companies use. If you book your safari with Warrior Trails make sure to include a visit to a Maasai boma in your itinerary. Camps and lodges used on safari last year: Mt Meru Hotel in Arusha, overnight at Makuyuni Maasai boma, Maramboi Tented Camp, Lake Masek Tented Camp, Ang’ata Serengeti, Ang’ata Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Farmhouse. Of these, we had the boma, Lake Masek, and the 2 Ang’ata camps to ourselves! Incredible. Our wildlife and bird viewing were exceptional; as always, I saw and experienced everything I had hoped to see, and more! Next year I hope to include a balloon safari and a trip to Zanzibar in my itinerary. One of these times I'll do a gorilla trek!
  3. My daughter is planning to do some volunteer work in sustainable development in northern Tz, leaving sometime in the next 6 months, so of course I have to go and see her! If all works out, this will be my 4th trip to East Africa. My plan is to go in May 2013 which is low season in Tz and should allow me an extra long stay - hopefully a month. In my 3 previous trips I've never "done" Kenya (other than Nairobi), so my hope is to get to Samburu and the exciting!
  4. What I learned on my first safari.... Don't get stuck behind the lens. Come out from behind your camera and just soak it all in!!
  5. I've really enjoyed eveyone's beautiful baobab photos! These were taken in or near Tarangire National Park: Sorry, I thought I was following the directions for uploading images, but mine are appearing tiny for some reason. I'll have to investigate further.
  6. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond, Twaffle. It's great to be able to experience all levels of camps. We went from fairly basic at Kati Kati to luxurious at Lemala. Mkomazi is certainly one to watch. It was a beautiful place. The bonus was that we had the entire park to ourselves! Next time I'd like to incorporate Kenya into the itinerary, and still keep a chunk of time for Tanzania. In the past we've only transitioned through Nairobi, so I'd like to actually stay in the country and see Samburu and the Mara.
  7. Yes, July was fabulous for Tanzania. We've always gone at that time of year. Next time I want to go in the green season, but I do love the dry mild weather in June/July, not to mention not many biting bugs. Warrior Trails was very helpful in coming up with some suggestions for this itinerary that would be a bit off the beaten path (which we like). We hope to incorporate Kenya next time - perhaps Samburu and the Mara. The planning is such fun! We got down into the crater as soon as the gate opened, and there was only 1 other vehicle that descended ahead of us. The vehicle traffic was never a problem to us in terms of game viewing. I'd say there were no more than 5 vehicles at a time at the busiest locations, but mostly we were the only vehicle at sightings. For example, we sat with a cheetah that was resting right at the side of the road for about 1/2 hour before another vehicle came along. We viewed many lions, elephants, (hunting) hyenas without any other vehicles around. I've read/heard about horrible vehicle traffic in the crater, but in our 3 forays into the crater, we've never experienced it ourselves.
  8. Yes, it was a fantastic itinerary, Atravelynn. I really don't think I'd have changed a thing. Thank you for pointing out that I had forgotten my dates of travel which I've now added thanks to the edit button.
  9. That did it, Super LEEDS. Thank you for your help with this!
  10. Hi all, I posted my trip report recently and have replied to those of you who have responded. However, my most recent replies are not showing up (after posting) until I hit reply again, and then then show up on the new screen. So, they are there somewhere, but not showing up on the trip report screen. I hope that makes sense Thanks in advance for any insight into this.
  11. Pault, the gekkos were finger-sized, translucent little things. At least they appeared translucent at night under the dim light of my mini mag. We could hear them scurrying around all night. Like I said, I used to like gekkos
  12. It was great that we had Mkomazi to ourselves, africapurohit. I hope the park continues to rebound and becomes a more popoular destination.
  13. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks Kavey!
  14. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, pault. The geckos were odd (size of finger), almost translucent little things. Or at least, in the middle of the night they looked translucent. As I said, I used to like gekkos
  15. P, it was quite an experience! The lapping sound was incredibly loud; actually woke us up. Certainly a highlight for us.

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