inyathi

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  1. @AfricIan Your goshawk is dark chanting, the barring on the underside isn’t right for gabar. Although you can see nyalas without too much difficulty in the right parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe where I have seen them, for anyone who has never seen one these beautiful antelopes before, it looks like Majete would be a great place to go and good for other antelopes as well.
  2. I don’t want to get into a whole debate about elephants but I don’t really see how they are relevant to the hunting ban, trophy hunting was not controlling the population in any way, a point that @Bugs made earlier. As to the hunting ban generally whether you think it has been successful and a good thing or the opposite seems to depend on your opinion of hunting, lots of people who oppose hunting have hailed this as a great success and a step in the right direction, because it appears to me that’s what they want to believe. Having spoken to guides in Botswana who took a rather different view and suggested that a lot of former hunting areas have not been taken over by photographic operators as was supposed to happen and that the promised employment has not materialised. It may be that this has simply taken rather longer than expected and that lots of new camps have opened in former hunting areas I don’t know. But I am somewhat sceptical and I’ve no doubt that there are a good few areas that simply aren’t well suited to photographic tourism at all, with so many fantastic prime game viewing areas in Botswana, why would people want to visit areas that are not good for photo tourism.? Why would anyone even want to try and set up tourist camps in these areas when they have no realistic chance of success? I’m yet to be convinced that the hunting ban was a good thing, at the moment I’m more inclined to believe that it hasn’t been, both from speaking to people in Botswana and from reading various articles on the subject of the hunting ban. BOTSWANA’S HUNTING BAN; THE ECONOMIC AFTERMATH
  3. I agree with @Peter Connan it looks like a southern red-billed hornbill, i assume that the two species may overlap in this area of Namibia but my Birds of Africa South of the Sahara illustrates the Damara with a pure white neck and the southern with the dark markings on the neck that your bird has. @johnweirFollowing the revelation that there are actually 4 species of giraffes, according to the most recent taxonomy the giraffes from southern Zambia southwards are all southern giraffes (Giraffa giraffa) this species is divided in to two subspecies the South African giraffe (G. g. giraffa) and the Angolan (G. g. angolensis). Checking the information on giraffe species on the GCF website confirms what recalled from reading it before, all of the giraffes in the main part of Namibia are Angolans only the giraffes in the north-east in the Caprivi Strip or Zambezi Province as I think it's now known are South African. The Angolan apparently extends across to central Botswana according to GCF's map giraffes in CKGR are Angolan whereas as those in the Okavango are South African, as are those in Hwange in Zim. The identification of 4 species of giraffe was confirmed by genetic evidence, I don't know how much work has been done on the genetics of the southern giraffe in Botswana for example to really establish where the boundary between the two races is.The Angolan was obviously so named because it occurred in southern Angola a national park called Mupa was established to protect these giraffes but sadly giraffes were one of the many casualties of the country's long civil war and this race became extinct there. Now only a few SA giraffes may exist in the south east and an extralimital population exists in Quicama/Kissama NP where they were introduced some years back. Giraffes have I would guess been reintroduced in certain parts of Namibia from which they had disappeared but I don't know to what extent this was necessary but I presume that some of the populations on private reserves may have been reintroduced. The map on the IUCN Red List website certainly shows that they have a large range in Namibia, undoubtedly in the past they would have occurred practically throughout the country except for the very driest parts of the Namib Desert. Nice to see some shots from Desert Rhino a great place.
  4. @AfricIan Very interesting report, Malawi is a very beautiful country, the only place on your itinerary that I’ve been to is Liwonde and that was a long time ago, so I’ve enjoyed reading about the other places you went as well as seeing what Liwonde is like now. Great to see those sables and the buffalos in Liwonde, I was there in the wet season and they were having major floods in the region so we weren’t able to get around the park that easily. Good to see the wire-tailed swallows are still nesting on the boat. I’m not too surprised that you needed a warm fire on the Zomba Plateau with the weather like that; the landscape in a couple of your shots is quite reminiscent of the Nyika Plateau though the latter is much bigger and higher, at Chelinda Lodge there which is at around 7,500ft / 2,228M all of the rooms have log fires and they’re very welcome on a chilly evening especially when it’s wet. Despite the unfortunate start this is a good advert for Malawi, a country that gets overlooked in favour of its neighbours with their better known national parks. I hope that all of the recent developments in Liwonde and Nkhotkota will help to change that. It’s such a beautiful, diverse and friendly country that I think for anyone who has been on a couple of safaris already, it is a great place to go if you are looking to go somewhere a bit different. @Atravelynn I have just read this evening while writing this that Liwonde had the highest density of sable in Africa, all of Malawi's parks have suffered a good deal of poaching, populations of all antelopes have I would assume suffered declines, however Liwonde has remained a stronghold for sable, probably in part due the construction of the rhino sanctuary in 1992. Various antelope species that would have ended up inside the sanctuary have been kept safe from poaching allowing their numbers to build up, also Liwonde hasn't had a population of lions for some years so there's not much predation. I've no doubt now that African Parks are running Liwonde and the whole park is fenced it will once again have the highest density of sables in Africa, all of Malawi's parks have some sable, but I've not seen them anywhere in Malawi. I would guess after Liwonde, Majete is probably the best place to see them, in the past Nkhotakota would have had a large population but I presume numbers now are pretty low, but they should increase again, if their numbers need boosting I've no doubt AP will move some there. I’m not absolutely 100% certain of all of the birds but I’ve had a go at identifying them. Bottom of post 12 I think the scruffy looking male weaver is probably a village weaver also called spot backed, I presume the female is the same, followed by white-winged cliff chat and African pied wagtail but I suspect you knew the last two and just hadn’t named them. Post 16 your hawk eagle looks to me like it’s an immature martial eagle. Post 18 I think you’re right they look like grey-headed parrots Post 19 you are correct the hawk is a Harrier hawk or gymnogene, then after the malachite kingfisher is a spur-winged lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) often called spur-winged plover, as part of the attempt to standardise bird names all members of the genus Vanellus were quite recently renamed lapwings, however people often still refer to the ones that used to be called plovers as plovers. After the grey-headed kingfisher is a white-backed night heron that’s a great sighting as these are not easy birds to see. I think the woodpecker could possibly be a golden-tailed because of the pale yellow spots, the raptor looks like a snake eagle and I would suggest western banded. Post 20 the eagle is an African hawk eagle.
  5. I wouldn't imagine that plastic bags would be an issue if you are only transiting through Nairobi, the news report I listened to, the Kenyan woman interviewed said that they weren't intending to prosecute ordinary people; their objective was to force the manufacturers to stop producing bags in the first place. I hope in time this will be a success and lead to the demise of what is jokingly referred to as Kenya’s national flower the plastic bag bush, Rwanda banned plastic bags completely in 2008. Tanzania should also have banned plastic bags, they were due to do so in January but the decision was delayed so I'm not sure if it is in force yet. Whatever the case I don’t think it will be a problem in either country for tourists. For flights you could co KLM because they direct fly to Kili, from recollection the Amsterdam – Kili flight is at 10:00 a.m. so even if you decide to stay the previous night at Heathrow, this necessitates a very early start to catch the flight to Amsterdam which leaves London at 06:30, however you can get around this by flying the previous evening and staying the night at one of the airport hotels at Schipol instead of one at Heathrow. Then you don’t have get up far too early and can either have breakfast at your hotel or maybe go slightly earlier to Schipol and have a leisurely breakfast there. If you’re not based anywhere near Heathrow, then I suppose a flight from your local airport to Amsterdam the previous evening could be very convenient if you decide to stay the night in Amsterdam, I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult to fly to there from most parts of the UK. I don’t recall ever having my hand luggage weighed at Arusha so I've never had a problem with the weight limit, but they do x-ray all of your luggage, I once arrived there on a flight from Ruaha and discovered I had left my Swiss Army knife in my pocket, when no one was watching I put in my camera bag sent it through the machine and fortunately no one spotted it or if they did it wasn't problem. I was a bit concerned so if you have a knife, try not to make the same mistake. Generally they should only be interested in checking your yellow fever certificate if you are coming from a country where yellow fever is endemic, the certificate should indicate that you can’t be a carrier. The virus is spread by Aedes mosquitoes so all countries that have these mosquitoes, but don’t yellow fever will ask for a certificate if you've been in country that does have it. So going direct from London to Nairobi it shouldn't be an issue. I wasn't aware of the cholera outbreak but I wouldn't be concerned about this even if you were going to Kenya, I don't think cholera poses much danger to the ordinary safari tourist I've not had a problem applying for a Tanzanian Visas by mail; you can also get visas on arrival. I've not been in October so can’t comment on weather or tsetses at this time of year, I can say the worst place I have been in the north for tsetses is Tarangire but that was on a February trip and some years ago and you’re not going there. So I wouldn't worry, I've not encountered bad tsetses in the Serengeti and none in the Crater but if you’re going to an area where there’s a fair bit of woodland then there might be a few. Not necessarily the quickest place to get to but I've stayed a few times at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge which is outside Arusha in the forest at the base of Mt Meru. If you’re not just looking for a bed, but will have a few hours of daylight there before leaving, it’s a beautiful place, it was an old colonial farmhouse and has a nice garden and grounds with a small lake/pond out in front and surrounded by forest full of birds and Kilimanjaro black and white colobus and Sykes monkeys. It also has a pool if you want one however it is a bit further from Kilimanjaro Airport and from Arusha Airport than the other options which may also be cheaper. It’s only really worth going if you have long enough to appreciate the monkeys, birds etc, if the weathers clear you can also get views of Mt Kilimanjaro as well as Mt Meru, there’s no guarantee that you will see Kili and obviously you won’t if you are leaving too early. Whether it’s worth considering may depend on what flights you decide to go for with KLM you would be arriving at Kili in the evening so you wouldn't get there until well after dark so you’d have quite a late night. If you then have to get an early flight from Arusha somewhere else closer to the airport would be better. However if you were on a different airline and arriving on a morning flight into Kili or flying up from DSM then you would get to Ngare Sero in time for lunch and have a whole afternoon there. I haven’t actually been to Manyara but I just happened to have a look at the TANAPA website for some other reason and the first thing I saw on their homepage is that they have built a canopy walkway in Manyara’s forest which is interesting. This is the first canopy walkway in Tanzania and only the third one that I know of in Africa, the first is in Kakum NP in Ghana and the second in Nyungwe NP in Rwanda, I haven’t heard of any others. You might already know about this, I wouldn't know how much wildlife you are likely to see from the walkway, but if you've got sufficient time in Manyara NP and you are okay with heights then it would be worth checking out.
  6. Actually I think that they are agama lizards but then there are a few different species, I don't have a reptiles book so I'm not 100% certain of the species in this case, but from looking online I think they are probably blue-headed tree agamas (Acanthocercus atricollis) this is a different genus from the more familiar agamas. Searching the Reptile Database website produced 8 Agamidae lizards for Tanzania I haven't had a proper look at all of them because they don't have a lot of photos of each of them. A Google image search for the blue-headed produced some reasonable matches for your lizards so that's my best guess, the colour will obviously vary with age and whether they're breeding or not, so you need to look at a lot of different pictures to get a good match.
  7. Wow @jeremie looks like you're in for a serious adventure. I'm not sure I quite understand your dates, you're starting in October and finishing in March, your first post suggests you are planning on doing East and Central Africa first and then finishing in Southern Africa, but then in your next post you say you would be visiting Gabon & Chad in February or March, and also that you might start in Tanzania. I'm not entirely clear in that case when you will be in Southern Africa except maybe not February or March. If you are planning on going from East Africa to Central Africa, would you in fact then be going to Southern Africa first, and not last as I had originally assumed? In Botswana the rains are between November and March so I guess whenever you go may be in the rains, I've not been to the camp that you mention or to Kwai but I have been to the Delta in February which is not the best time for game viewing but I still had a great time and saw plenty of dogs and also cheetahs and lions. Generally when the dry season ends elephants and the big herds of buffaloes tend to disperse so you won't see so many of these animals, you will see some elephants, but you might not see many buffaloes, however when everything is lush and green it's very beautiful and it's a great time of year for birds. While this time of year isn't the best for game viewing in the Delta, it is conversely the best time to be in the Kalahari, so depending on exactly when you are going to be there, you might want to consider including Nxai Pan and or CKGR if time permits. Although I think the CKGR does now have a few elephants at least occasionally, in the Kalahari you're more like to see elephants at Nxai Pan. Both are very good for cats especially lions, but also cheetahs and with a bit of luck leopards and not just the big ones, the Kalahari is extremely good for African wildcats. Certainly in February in both Botswana and Namibia you've a good chance of getting rained on, I would assume this is also the case in January as this is when the green season really starts, so if going at this time you need to be prepared for this possibility. Earlier in October, November and December it may not be quite as likely to seriously rain, but it can be extremely hot and humid as it builds up to the main rains, so this isn't the most comfortable time to be in Botswana. I have been in November and from what I recall it was very hot, but not a bad time to be in Botswana otherwise. For the Serengeti when it comes to the wildebeest migration it's impossible to say for 100% certain where they will be in a given month, you just have to hope that they will be where they are normally supposed to be at the time that you are there, and that the weather hasn't done something funny and caused them to move somewhere else. Generally in October the bulk of the wildebeest will be in the Kenyan Mara, but there may still be some in the north eastern Mara region of the Serengeti, in November they should have crossed back in to Tanzania and will be heading south again. At least that's my understanding of what should be the case from looking at some maps, take a look at the maps on the Expert Africa website here's a link to their November migration map The Africa Travel Resource website also has a migration map as part of their main map which has all the different camps shown on it, you need to zoom in on East Africa until the Serengeti/Mara appears and then it should show the migration, at the top right of your screen it should then say migration and underneath January, click January and it will give you a list of all the other months. ATR map I've not been to the Serengeti in either October or November but maybe someone else has who might be able to give an opinion from their experience. I hope the maps are some help, with such a major adventure planned I'm sure you will be looking for plenty of further advice.
  8. Agreed despite the leaves obscuring the head the vulture is an African white-backed (Gyps africanus) @wilddog I think that the proposed new name for the bateleur was probably short-tailed eagle or maybe short-tailed snake eagle as they are a type of snake eagle, the problem with this name is it would lead to confusion with their relative the short-toed eagle, and bateleur which comes from an old French word for a tight rope walker is in any case a much better name. I'm glad that the name hasn't changed, when they fly a lot of the time they just soar without flapping and the way they tilt the wings is reminiscent of how a tightrope walker uses their arms to maintain their balance on the highwire. However short-tailed is an apt description, the tail of a bateleur is shorter than any other African eagle, when you see one flying you can identify it very easily just from the shape of the wings and the almost nonexistent tail, when perched the adults are normally unmistakable but immature birds are all brown and could be confused with other eagles, so if you're not quite sure the tail if you can see it is the absolute give away.
  9. @pedro maia Type the @ symbol and then start typing the name, the way it works now a list of names will appear as you type, keep typing until you see the one you want and then click it, that will ensure it's correct. if you type in the full name make sure it appears highlighted in green, if it doesn't then either you've mistyped or it hasn't worked for some other reason.
  10. This is very interesting research, the BBC as part of the Radio 4 series The Food Program have been following this research. Their reporter Dan Saladino went out to Lake Eyasi to visit the Hadzabe and talk to the researchers and go out hunting with the people to understand their diet. In the recent programmes broadcast back in July besides the scientist they talked to Daudi Petersen of Dorobo Safaris who when not guiding safaris including visits to the Hadzabe of the Yaeda Valley, has spend a lot of time working with the Hadzabe and probably done more than almost anyone to secure land rights for the Hadzabe, to protect them from the pastoralist peoples constantly encroaching on their lands. Being hunter gatherers living in an egalitarian society they don’t have tribal leaders to represent them and fight their corner or the knowledge and means to secure legal title to their land. Were it not for the hard work of Daudi and of course others, neighbouring tribes would simply walk all over the Hadzabe and take their land from them, resulting in their culture disappearing even faster than is already the case ultimately leading to the demise of the Hadzabe one of the World's last remaining traditional hunter gatherer peoples. Just to clarify for anyone unfamiliar with these people, used correctly the name Hadza just refers to an individual person, to refer to the people correctly you should use the plural Hadzabe, however as in the case of these research most people do just tend to refer to them as the Hadza. If anyone wishes to contribute to helping protect the Hadzabe and their culture you can donate to the Dorobo Fund and you can also purchase limited edition hardback copies of Daudi Petersen’s book on these remarkable people Hadzabe by the Light of a Million Fires. Dorobo Fund If you don’t have cash to spare but are still interested in the book you may be able to pick up a paperback copy from Amazon or some other bookseller. If you are in the UK you can find the radio programs on the BBC website, I'm not sure if you’re elsewhere in the world whether you can access the programs.
  11. I was very pleased to read the following story in the Daily Telegraph this morning, it would appear from looking up this story on their website that they are moving towards being a subscription only site so you may not be able to read the full story. However I have found the same story in the Sun so I will provide a link to that as well. British Army Gurkha 'super-tracker' hunting poachers in Gabon to save last remaining elephants The Gurkhas are extremely well trained in the art of jungle warfare mainly in Brunei but I presume also in Belize and when it comes to tracking Corporal Rai is clearly the best of the best, the British Army has actually been involved in ranger training in Gabon since 2015, I hope that the skills that Corporal Rai can pass on will really start to turn the tide. Forest elephants have been taking a real hammering in recent years and evidence shows that they reproduce very slowly and that the effect of poaching is even worse than it is for their savannah cousins and could cause their extinction and without intervention certainly will cause the extinction of some populations. Like the lowland gorillas that share these forests the forest elephant is a vital component of the ecology of the rainforests of Gabon and the wider Congo Basin distributing the seeds of many different tree species. Their loss would have a huge impact on the fauna and flora of this region. Besides the ecological impact, if Gabon is ever to seriously get its act together and develop a proper wildlife tourist industry then it needs to ensure that it's elephants are safe so that tourist will be able to visit and see them as I did. It is the sad reality of poaching in Africa that rangers need to have not only excellent tracking skills but also proper combat training to deal with the people that they are up against and I am extremely glad that the British Army is helping to provide the necessary training, in particular some of our Gurkha soldiers. ONE-MAN TUSKFORCE ‘Super tracker’ soldier deployed to Africa on a mission to save elephants from cold-blooded poachers
  12. Until I heard about this place thanks to ST, I’d barely believed it was possible to even see a black-footed cat never mind see them as well as that, what an extraordinary place. I had meant to reply a bit earlier when the subject of wildcats and hybridisation came up I think it’s bad form to turn someone’s report into a debate unless invited to do so, so I don’t really want to do that. However I entirely agree with you @Antee on the subject of feral cats. @offshorebirder No you don't have this is problem, but we certainly do here in the UK and it is a very serious problem, once upon a time (European) wildcats lived throughout mainland Britain but habitat destruction and persecution had by the 20th century confined the species to Scotland, such that they are now always referred to as Scottish wildcats (whether they are genuinely a separate subspecies Felis sylvestris grampia distinct from mainland European wildcats is debated). In 2004 the Scottish wildcat population was estimated to be around 400, in 2012 a new estimate put the number at fewer than 35 purebred animals making this species the UK’s rarest mammal without urgent intervention extinction is imminent. The greatest threat to their survival is hybridisation with feral cats that figure of 35 is just an estimate and no one really knows for definite that any of these animals are completely pure, it may be that none of them are. Feral cats will never revert back to a wild type, because their population is always getting a fresh injection of domestic genes from new strays, that have either been abandoned or just from roaming pets, since many cat owners allow their cats to roam freely at night. Here in the UK feral cats behave quite differently to wildcats because the latter are always solitary, whereas the former will quite often form colonies and they hunt a wider variety of prey. It’s therefore important to understand that (in the UK) ecologically feral cats and wildcats are different and that hybridisation doesn’t just mean that we will still have a population of wildcats but they just don’t look like proper wildcats. They will have been transformed into an altogether different animal. I have not heard of feral cat colonies in Africa but maybe they occur somewhere I don't know. In my book the only good feral cat is a dead one or maybe here in the UK a neutered one, but then my love of cats has never really extended to the domestic kind that might be in part because I’m a birder. The only cats I love are true wild ones of all shapes and sizes. The situation for African wildcats may not be quite as dire as it is for European/Scottish wildcats in the UK, but I think this issue should still be taken very seriously and feral cats and obvious hybrids should ideally be captured and euthanized or at least neutered. Particularly in parks/protected areas that are close to significant human settlements, that are likely to have a significant population of domestic cats. In large very remote areas pure wildcats have a much better chance of surviving, because there will be very few if any feral cats turning up and the odd case of hybridisation won’t really matter. Our problem is that our wildcat population is completely dwarfed by the population of domestic cats (estimated at 8 million) ensuring that there’s a very substantial population of ferals, without intervention their genes will just swamp the wildcat genes that make the genuine article such a wild and special animal. I could say a lot more but I don’t wish to hijack this report. One day I’ll make it to South Africa, it looks like when I do I’d better include a visit to Marrick to try and tick off a black-footed cat, what a special little animal and such great views of it, if I can tick it off my list that would leave me with just two African cat species that I've never seen anywhere in the wild, golden cat and sand cat, but finding them might prove a lot harder. I've been lucky to stumble upon aardvarks a couple of times but I've never taken a photos of one it looks like Marrick would be a pretty good place to try and do so. Lots of great sightings from the Okavango too, I'm looking forward to whatever appears next.
  13. @COSMIC RHINO @offshorebirder Interesting I’ve never been to Lewa so I only know about its reputation and what I have read here on ST. Great to see rhinos with proper horns on them when so often you see rhinos that have been dehorned and just have a smoothed off or part re-grown stump. I have to say though the rhino cow with the large rear horn next to its calf at the bottom of post 29 is a black rhino, its back is a different shape to that of the other rhinos; white rhinos as is well illustrated by the photos in post 28 have a quite prominent “hump” mid-back. Having decided this I thought I’d better have a look at the differences between the two the just to confirm that I wasn’t mistaken. If you look at a white rhino skeleton (you can find a couple of photos online) at the shoulders the spinous processes on their vertebrae are significantly elongated so they have a very pronounced hump at this point, and then just over halfway down the back they are again elongated, though not nearly so much this creates the smaller hump on the back. On a black rhino’s skeleton they are only elongated at the shoulder but not on the back, so the back of a black rhino looks much more concave. The other give away that they are black rhinos is that her muzzle is an entirely different shape from that of the rhinos in the other photos. It must be very rare these days for a rhino to have a rear horn that long but then it’s pretty rare for rhinos to have intact horns like these animals have, with so many rhinos being dehorned. In the past when there were hundreds of thousands of black rhinos I imagine it might not have been that unusual. Great to see photos of rhinos and Grevy's zebras together. Keep up the good work, Lewa is a very important place both for the rhinos and the zebras as your photos show.
  14. @Atravelynn @madaboutcheetah I stayed at Mdonya on my last visit, assuming it hasn’t changed at all and I don't think it has, it’s a nice camp with 12 tents, there were a couple of camp elephants wandering around and always other wildlife visible from camp like giraffes, zebras and impalas and of course vervets. It’s not too far from the Mwagusi River so you can certainly game drive in that area and I did so. I also had excellent views of a male leopard close to the camp. The one drawback which I assume is still the case is that the Tsetse flies in certain places on the Mdonya River were absolutely terrible, one evening we simply weren’t able to stop for our sundowner and had to just return to camp they were so bad. Otherwise if you don’t mind the fact that it’s quite basic, for example there’s no electricity around the camp so you have to hand in batteries for recharging in their office, it is a great camp if you want somewhere cheaper than the competition. In many ways I prefer somewhere somewhere that's still just a little bit basic as long as everything works and the food is good, so I am quite pleased that the place appears not to have changed from what I can see online, I don't really want to have to pay a whole lot extra for unnecessary luxuries that I can live without. I'm interested looking at the ATR website that there is another new Asilia camp opening next month called Jabali Ridge that is so new they only have an artist's computer illustration of what it will look like but it promises to be the most luxurious camp in the park. a quick Google image search just produces more artists impressions, if it opens on time then maybe there will be some actual photos appearing quite soon. If it is as luxurious as they state then I would guess it will have a hefty price tag, unless TANAPA decide to extend the tourist area of the park, I hope there won't be any more new camps appearing in Ruaha, remembering what it was like when it only had one lodge and some TANAPA Bandas and nothing else except campsites. Asilia Jabali Ridge
  15. @BeatNavy I am afraid to say much as others have said I think your itinerary is well pretty crazy in parts and doesn't entirely work. I've no doubt that Wildwaters is a nice place but if you are basically heading for Bwindi then it seems a bit mad to start by going somewhere that’s in totally the wrong direction, giving you an even longer drive to Bwindi. It’s a long time since I've been to Uganda so I don’t know what the state of the roads is like, but I'm sure that @pault who has been recently, is right that the driving your proposing is too far. Even if he hadn't said so, I would thought it was really too far to try and do in a single day, If you are determined to drive then I think a better option driving from Entebbe to Bwindi NP would be to stop at Lake Mburo NP on the way. This is certainly doable because when I was last in Uganda in we were driven from Bwindi to Lake Mburo NP and then on to Entebbe. Lake Mburo is a beautiful park and you can boat on the lake although I haven’t done this and you can also go horse riding and walking. It’s not perhaps the most exciting of parks as there are no elephants and no rhinos both disappeared long ago and sadly no lions as the local people have killed them all in recent years to protect their spectacular long-horned Ankole cattle. However it is one of the only Ugandan parks where you will see plains zebras, impalas and common elands and the UWA has recently introduced some giraffes, you could spend half a day or a day an half here, you might not want spend longer if you are going on to the Mara. According to the Africa Travel Resource website Mihingo Lodge at Lake Mburo is There are several other options in the park, but Mihingo Lodge would seem to the nicest of them but that would of course make it the most expensive. You’d likely need to stop at Lake Mburo again on the way back I don't think it's wise to try and drive from Bwindi to Entebbe in one day even if it is in fact possible, I tend to think unless you have a lot of experience driving in Africa you don’t really want to be driving too much at night and you certainly couldn't do the whole drive in daylight. If Wildwaters and the Nile cruise is something you're desperate to do, you could if you have enough time go from Entebbe to Wildwaters and then from there to Lake Mburo. Not so many people visit Lake Mburo most fly over the top on their way to and from Bwindi, at least the higher end tourists do, because of this the cheaper accommodations at Lake Mburo are mainly catering for overland safaris wanting to break their journey to and from Bwindi, if you were just doing a one night stop then one of the cheaper options might be fine. Flying might well be the better option rather than stopping at Lake Mburo both ways. Although I've visited Bwindi my time there was entirely spent birding as I hadn't been able to obtain gorilla permits for the dates I was there, I have just looked at Clouds Lodge on the Africa Travel Resource website and they suggest that gorilla trekking at Nkuringo can be a lot more strenuous than from Buhoma, that may be a reason to switch to Buhoma, but you may already know this and not be worried by the possibility of a tough trek if you are pretty fit. I am afraid no not really unless you are on an overland safari or doing your own trans-Africa self driving safari in your own car or maybe backpacking and using public transport. Crossing the border from Kenya into Tanzania and vice versa has for a very long time been quite problematic, as relations between the two countries are quite strained at times. Following the collapse of the original East African Community and the demise of East African Airways in 1977, the border was closed entirely by Tanzania, until I think 84, in part in response to the creation of Kenya Airways but also because I believe the Tanzanians were fed up with safari operators based in Nairobi driving people over the border into the Serengeti, feeling that the lion’s share of the money from these safaris was staying in Kenya and they weren't really benefiting. They shut the border hoping that more tourists would start flying to their new airport at Kilimanjaro (built in 1971), to go on safaris purely in Tanzania, rather than always flying in to Nairobi and starting from there. It didn't quite work out that way and for a long time not many people went to Tanzania, that eventually changed and there are no shortage of visitors now. The border is no longer closed, but crossing it is still slightly problematic. I have on one occasion been driven from Arusha to Nairobi, which was a pretty long drive, mind you the Chinese were converting the road into a major highway at the time and rather than work on it bit by bit they were upgrading the entire length of the road all in one go. I would therefore imagine as this was eight years ago, that this road is now pretty good and the drive is not too long, this route crosses the border at Namanga. At the time that I did this our Tanzanian driver took us all the way but I don't think this would be possible anymore, because Kenyan safari vehicles are not allowed to drive in Tanzania and Tanzanian vehicles are not allowed to drive in Kenya. If you are therefore being taken by a Kenyan safari driver/guide to the border, you have to walk across through immigration and meet a Tanzanian driver on the other side. If you are driving yourself in your own car then you can drive across, but I would guess maybe not if you are in a hire car but I don’t know about that. You can only cross the border by car at official border posts and there are none between the Mara and the Serengeti, there was one but the Tanzanians never reopened this border crossing, because they don't want the Serengeti overrun with Kenyan minibuses and other safari vehicles, at least that's what they say the reason is, as far as I know. So you would have to cross at Namanga which is a long way east of the Serengeti or at the only other option Isebania/Migori west of the Serengeti. Taking either route to get from the Mara to the Serengeti will take you a long time, as perverse as it may sound to get to the Serengeti from the Mara it’s actually easier to return from the Mara to Nairobi and then fly to Tanzania than it is to go overland. In September the wildebeest migration should be in the Mara Region either side of the border with many of the wildebeest in the Kenyan Mara, on the Tanzanian side it would depend on how early in September you are there as to whether you would still see wildebeest crossing the rivers, the exact timing of the migration is unpredictable. It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to do the Mara and then fly to Tanzania and trek all the way back up to the border to catch up with the Wildebeest again, if you've already seen them. You could if you are determined to visit the Crater go on to Ndutu in the NCA because there’s still a good amount of resident wildlife and very few tourists at this time of year, and that might make more sense than going into the Serengeti proper. With the migration up in the Mara Region I'm not sure what merit there is in visiting other parts of the Serengeti in September, you could go to Seronera to look for leopards as they are seen very reliably there, but it may be horribly crowded. Alternatively fly to Kilimanjaro go to the Crater if you must, it's certainly worth seeing once if you've never been there and then drop the Serengeti and visit Tarangire NP instead. To me going to Amboseli and then onto Nairobi to fly to Zanzibar doesn't really make a lot of sense, unless you are desperate to visit Amboseli, it is doable Amboseli is very close to the border crossing at Namanga, but you’d need to have a Tanzanian driver to take you to Namanga and then have a Kenyan driver presumably from a lodge in Amboseli collect you from there. I haven’t been to this park in a very long time, for me besides the well known elephants the main reason to go there is for the spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Otherwise I don't think it has that much to offer in terms of wildlife that you can't find elsewhere, someone who’s been more recently might have a different view, I would favour dropping this part, if Amboseli isn't a must see and after the Serengeti or Tarangire just go to Arusha and fly to Zanzibar from there. From various places around Arusha if you’re lucky and the weathers clear you should be able to see Kilimanjaro and you’d likely see it from the air flying from Arusha. You could then add the time saved from dropping Amboseli either to the Ugandan part at the beginning or to your time in Tanzania. Another idea for Tanzania if you are looking for a different experience would be go to Kisima Ngeda Camp at the north end of Lake Eyasi south of the Crater to visit the Hadzabe people some of Tanzania’s last hunter-gatherers. (They are often called the Hadza but Hadzabe is the correct name because it’s the plural of Hadza) they still try to live a more or less traditional way of live with the men going out hunting with their bows. From Kisima Ngeda you can join them on one of their hunts; sadly almost all of the big game in this area was wiped out by poachers, so they have been left with little to hunt but birds and rodents and other small game. If you are not at all squeamish about the idea of joining a traditional hunt this is a fascinating experience, you do need to be fit because they set off at a fast walk and often break into a run and once they are in hunting mode they won’t stop to wait for you, if you don’t keep up you could get lost. Despite the hardships of trying to live this way in 21st century Tanzania they are a very welcoming and happy people. One of the problems they have always faced is their lands being invaded by other peoples and in this area this has primarily been Datoga pastoralists pushed south by the Maasai. After you have been hunting with the Hadzabe you can go to a Datoga village to visit the blacksmith and watch him turn bits of scrap metal into various objects. This option is really entirely a cultural experience, if what you want is more wildlife then go to Tarangire. Stone Town on Zanzibar is an interesting place for its history architecture and culture, but it does depend a little bit on how interested you are in such things, it’s not one of the absolute must see sites of the world. If you are not that interested history or culture then you might be slightly disappointed by it, however having an interest in African history I’d always wanted to go there so I found it a fascinating place. Besides Stone Town you should if you’re interested visit Jozani Forest to see the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkeys, this you can do easily enough from Stone Town. You could also go on a tour of some spice plantations if that’s of interest. Then go from Zanzibar to Nairobi and Giraffe Manor if it’s still available Generally on trips I would always prefer to stay 3 nights at each place keeping 1 night stops to a minimum as far as possible, inevitably though you always have to include a few single nights, but try not to have too many. Aside from not being very restful, too many one night stops can make getting laundry done when you need to a little tricky, I prefer to take as few clothes as possible and rely on putting them in the camp laundry or washing them myself, so that I don't need to take too much clothing, if some of your transfers are by small plane then you will be subject to a weight limit, this is why I always try to pack as light as possible. Besides practical issues like this you don't want to be worn out by then end of your trip, from being constantly on the move, especially given the age of the youngest and oldest members of your group.

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