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Found 21 results

  1. The rainbow does not mean that the wait for rain was over, wishes fulfilled. Distant showers bathed the crater, not Ndutu. I was told that when you see a rainbow on the horizon you won’t get rain anytime soon where you stand. Those words proved accurate. Itinerary – February 2017 7 total nights Ndutu (Njozi Camp), split in the middle by 3 nights Kusini (Kimondo Camp) 6 Depart Chicago on KLM 7 Arrive JRO, o/nt Tulip 8, 9, 10 Ndutu at Njozi Camp. 7-ish hour drive from Arusha. Njozi indoor dining area, as lovely as the outdoor area 11, 12, 13 Kusini at Kimondo Camp. 1.5 hour drive from Njozi Camp View from Kusini, Ngorongoro Mountains in background 14, 15, 16, 17 (back to) Ndutu at Njozi Camp 1.5 hour drive from Kimondo Camp Njozi tent. Njozi means dream and it was very comfortable for sweet dreams. 18 Ndutu to JRO, depart on KLM. 7.75-ish hour drive from Njozi Camp 19 Arrive Chicago, KLM This itinerary split a week in Ndutu into two stays, with a 3-day gap between. I was trying to be in Ndutu close to the start of the rains and then return for what is traditionally peak birthing time in mid-February. Kusini, also excellently located for green season travel, divided the two Ndutu segments. We were out each day about 12 hours with packed breakfast and lunch, as has always been the approach with The Wild Source in Feb and March in Ndutu/Serengeti. We usually ate lunch outside of the vehicle and stretched our legs. There were even lawn chairs to sit on. (Of course, you don’t have to be out 12 hours/day; it’s just a nice option.) George was the guide from the 8th to the 14th. Deo was the guide from the 15th to the 18th. Both were marvelous throughout. Great guides and great guys! This split-Ndutu approach was also used by @FlyTraveler this past Feb. We tried to meet in Ndutu but did not manage it. As you can see by the map, Kusini is in Southern Serengeti, and it even means “south” in Swahili. It was a good itinerary, even if the rains did not cooperate. In Nov-Dec, rain was sparse. Then after what seemed a promising start in late Jan-early Feb, the spigot was shut off. Instead of lush, green habitat, we had dry, often dust-blown conditions. This is Lake Ndutu, its entire perimeter captured in this NON-panoramic shot. Very little water. “The sky is practicing cloudy,” is The Quote of the Trip, and was originally provided by a Botswana guide back in August 2005. Most every afternoon was cloudy practice overhead, but the clouds always dissipated by nightfall and no rain. Evidence of “the sky is practicing cloudy.” Unfortunately, no rain followed. Ndutu. Despite these arid conditions, within 45 minutes of entering Ndutu, we saw 10!! cheetah!! Two families of a mother and 4 cubs boost duma totals quickly. Those 10 represented about a third of our total cheetah sightings this trip (some were the same cats seen more than once). Mother and 4 nearly adult cubs, Ndutu Pile ‘o sleeping cheetah, Ndutu The second cheetah family of four had younger cubs. Mother and 4 approx 4-month old cubs, Ndutu One of the approx. 4-month old cubs, Ndutu We encountered the mother with four near adult cubs again in a situation that was both record setting and appalling. The record setting occurred when 2 males appeared, paying close attention to the family. There could soon be several females of interest for the males between the maturing female cubs and the mother, who would be receptive again when her cubs left. The result was 7 cheetah in one view. A coalition, plus! 7 cheetah can be counted – a mother & 4 near-adult cubs plus two males. Seen on the plain halfway between big marsh and small marsh Mother cheetah checking out the intruding males 3 of 4 near adult cubs and Mom The appalling part was that a hot air balloon landed illegally right where these 7 cheetah were milling about, and then the crew proceeded to set up the breakfast table. George pointed out they were not allowed to do that. “The wind pushed us,” was their excuse. Yeah, right. Mother Cheetah had enough to worry about with the gentlemen callers and did not need a balloon safari to contend with. Fortunately, all the cheetah seemed to ignore the entire balloon affair and distanced themselves with an air of disdain. Note the family is more interested in the male cheetahs (out of the frame) than the balloon behind them. to be continued
  2. Hello everyone, I've been away from the forum for a while, missed you all. In the meantime I made a trip to Namibia and KTP last May, will start a report when I find time, but need to finish first my Madikwe and Entabeni game reserves 2015 South African TR. At the moment I am thinking of visiting the Ndutu area in NCA in mid February with the idea to try to catch the wildebeest calving, or at least the migration there. I realize that I am quite late for booking, but doesn't hurt to send queries to various safari outfitters and camps which offer also packages. Would you recommend such outfitters and/or camps that you or friends of yours have used. A am looking at the lower end (as far as there is such a term for Ndutu in February) of the market. Could use an advise regarding itinerary, as well: If there is availability and the prices are OK for me, I am thinking of something like: Feb. 14 - arriving at 03:20 in the morning at Kilimandjaro airport. Transfer to a lodge / camp in Ndutu area (Ndutu Safari Lodge or some of the mobile camps - Angata, Ndutu Wildlands, Flycatcher Lagarja etc.). We are looking for the cheapest option, which provides en-suite toilet and shower and facilities to charge our camera batteries and laptop computers. Game drive and overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 15 - full day game drive and overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 16 - full day game drive and overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 17 - full day game drive possibly to Moru Kopjies in Serengeti NP and back to NCA for overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 18 - full day game drive and overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 19 - full day game drive and overnight at Ndutu area. Feb. 20 - morning game drive in Ndutu area, then transfer to Ngorongoro crater, overnight there (en-suite toilet and shower) accommodation. Feb. 21 - early morning descent to the crater floor and full day game drive there. After that - transfer to Kilimandjaro airport to catch our flight at 02:30 in the morning (on Feb. 22). If the price is acceptable (by my standards), I am thinking of adding a couple of days somewhere in Seronera area at the beginning of the trip. I am aware that most likely the migration will be gone from there by mid-February, but perhaps it would be a good idea to change the scenery (see Moru kopjies, for example). Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Cheers and thanks in advance for your time!
  3. My wife and I are just back from 2 wonderful weeks in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The trip was as follows 20-25 December The Z hotel, Nungwi, Zanzibar 25 - 27 December Tarangire Safari Lodge 27 - 29 December Wilderness Ndutu Tented Camp (not to be confused with Wilderness Safaris in Southern Africa) 29 - 31 December Wilderness Serengeti Tented Camp 31 - 1 January Sopa Ngorongoro 1 January Day room at Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha 2 January Back to Denmark We booked Zanzibar ourselves. The safari part was booked with Base Camp Tanzania in Arusha. After having shopped around I ended up using the services of Achmed Philips at BaseCamp. He was very responsive and came up with some very good suggestions as well as very reasonable prices. We deceided to go against the flow starting in Zanzibar and finishing with the safari as one Means of avoiding the crowds. It seemed to Work but I had forgotten how much Work it is to be on safari so we were very tired by the time we returned to Denmark. We had a great time in Zanzibar. I can hihly recommend the Z hotel. Great rooms, great service and a superb restaurant where we ended up eating most nights. In Nungwi there are two Turtle sanctuaries. We visited one and had some very nice interaction with the rescued Green Turtles that later will be reintroduced in the wild. No trip to Zanzibar is complete without a trip to Jozani National Forest to look for the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys. We arrived in the afternoon and entered the forest with a very professional Ranger. It did not take long before we encountered the Red Colobus monkeys.
  4. Well, before I forget how to upload pictures from Flickr again, I thought I would post the latest trip. A little bit different trip this time. One where I accompanied 5 veterinary students on a short faculty-led study abroad trip. This is the second such trip, the first being in 2011. Prior to the trip, students spend time in the classroom reviewing various topics ranging from the culture of Tanzania, wildlife conservation, and animal and zoonotic diseases of the region. This was followed by a two week tour in Tanzania over their Christmas break. We left the US on December 31st, flying Delta to Amsterdam and on to Kilimanjaro. No surprises along the way and everyone’s luggage arrived. Yay!! We were picked up at the airport by a driver from Mvuli Hotel and taken to Mvuli Hotel in Arusha. This is a lovely, small hotel that was well within the budget of a student tour and has some of the best service I have ever experienced. Nothing was too difficult and the transport to the hotel was only $40, which is less than the usual fare charged for transport from the airport to Arusha. The rooms are very clean and the air conditioning works great. WiFi in certain parts of the hotel. I may have even had it in my room, but I can’t remember for sure. We are up early the next morning as we will be flying to Seronera (central Serengeti) with Coastal Aviation shortly after 7 am. We have breakfast and are taken to the Arusha airport for a fee of $20. We get checked in at the airport. Fortunately I had remembered to print off all of the tickets. Not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t. Luggage was weighed. The students were all extremely good about limiting what they had brought, but we did have some extra things that we would need later that Mvuli stored for us as we would be returning to the hotel. Although all of the students have traveled internationally, some to under developed countries, none of them had ever been to Africa or flown on a small plane. And they loved it!! We were the only people on the plane out of Arusha, then picked up a couple at Manyara. Before taking off from Manyara, the pilot asks the students if someone would like to be the co-pilot. One immediately jumped at the chance. Next stop Kuro airstrip (for those going to or coming from Tarangire). Then onto Seronera. The excitement grows as the students see many giraffe lined up along the airstip in Seronera. We land and the pilot announces, “your co-pilot welcomes you to Seronera”. The student co-pilot said “that was the best thing ever and that she could go home right now and her trip would have been a success”. We are met at the airstrip by George Mbwambo, the guide I have used for the previous trips, including the one with students. We load into a very nice land cruiser that George has leased for us. Normally we go in George’s land cruiser, but since there are six of us, we needed the 7-seater version. George has it well-stocked with water, snacks, and coffee for me, as he knows it is never too hot or too late in the day for my coffee break. We spend a full day game driving, eating box lunches that George has brought from Osupuko Serengeti camp where we will be spending the next 2 nights. Seronera does not to disappoint, but how could it when you are in a car full of people who have never been on an African safari. Nothing compares to the first time. Young giraffe practicing their sparring skills That evening we check into Osupuko Serengeti, which is in the Rongai Hills area. The camp is a basic mobile camp but very will set up, with really nice tents and a beautiful location. The service and food are exceptional. I have stayed at several mobile camps in the Serengeti and I think this might be one of my favorites, and it is very reasonably priced. The students really hit it off with the camp staff and a good time was had by all. Plus that added experience of the bucket shower for the uninitiated. On the second night here the students introduced George to roasting marsh mellows. This was something mentioned on a previous trip with students and George had no idea what a marsh mellow was, so we told him we would bring some. So George and the camp staff tried them, but were not impressed. Too sweet for their liking. But it was fun none the less. Tents at Osupuko Serengeti Camp Dining and Lounge Tent Day 3 arrives and we are on our way to Ndutu, taking it slow and doing a game drive on the way. George getting the car ready Leopard sightings this trip were, sadly, all quite distant A stop at the hippo pool proved especially entertaining this time. They were very active, with lots of young ones, and we were the only people there. That's it for now. Much more to come in the next few days.
  5. Well, it’s taken me longer to get this started than expected! Let’s just say that life has gotten in the way and really slowed me down, I only finished processing my photos a couple of weeks ago (4 months after returning, ugh). I obviously had expected to get to this quicker, based on my previous post a couple of days after getting back (http://safaritalk.net/topic/15876-just-back/)! Thankfully, @@Atravelynn and @@africawild presented their awesome trip reports from visits they made around the same time; in fact, maybe it’s good to be delayed, given how great their reports were. For anyone who hangs around the Tanzania/Rwanda TripAdvisor forums (hi there @amybatt), I posted a lightly edited version of my travel journal on there already, mostly to give people contemplating their first safari an idea of what it’s like. This report will be for more advanced travelers. I expect it will be heavily photo focused, although my last (Australia) trip report completely morphed from what I had planned to what I actually did, so we’ll see. In any case, I know myself well enough that once I get this started I will get through it, so let’s begin. Tarangire Sunrise
  6. There´ve been several trip reports of almost the same trip as we´ve made this January/February with similar sightings, but nonetheless, I will add another one. Schedule: 23.01.2013 KLM flight Cologne-Amsterdam-Arusha, overnight KIA Lodge at Arusha airport 24.01.2013 - 25.01.2013 Ngorongoro Crater, one night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 25.01.2013 - 31.01.2013 Ndutu, 6 nights Ndutu Safari Lodge 31.01.2013 – 04.02.2013 Serengeti Seronera, 4 nights Kati Kati mobile camp then 6 nights Zanzibar We´ve booked this trip with 4x4 adventures, the tanzanian sister company of an Austrian/Kenyan safari company. Normally it´s only the two of us, my wife and me, on a trip, this time my brother with his girlfriend is joining us. They´ve already been to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater before, but that was on a camping trip in one of these Overland Safari trucks, I like to call Safari jails. Might be fun, travelling with them. 23.01.2013 We are welcomed by Saimon, our driver/guide for the 11 day safari trip, who quickly took us to the KIA Lodge just 2 minutes away from the airport, which was fine as our flight arrived on schedule 8.50pm and we were tired. The best you can say about the lodge is, that it is so close to the airport, the outside bar is nice and the Kili view might be spectacular, if there are no clouds. 24.01.2013 Saimon picks us up early and we do some shopping (beers and wine;) ). We hit the road to get the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge in time for our afternoon game drive. We will have two game drives, one in the afternoon and the other one the next morning. After lunch at the Lodge we drive into the Crater. My expectations are, that there will be huge numbers of vehicle surrounging the sightings, but I am positively surprised: the huge numbers only appear, when there´s a cat sighting. All other sightings you share, if at all, only with a few cars. On approaching the crater bottom, I realize, that Saimon is not stopping at all, unless there´s a cat or you tell him. Okay, no problem, I know the word: „Stop“. There are some lions far in the distance on the slopes, as well as Elephants and Zebras. In the open we see a sleeping Black Rhino, which should appear to be our only sighting of that species on the whole trip. I must admit, that I did not think, that I´d like the crater that much. The slopes of the crater make a beautiful background for photographs. We see good numbers of Buffalos, Zebras, Elephants, Warthogs, Wildebeests, Crowned Cranes, a Kori Bustard and a nice Hyena family. At last we visit a hippo pool with lots of hippos inside. My brother says, that hippos used to be his favorite animal, but after seeing what they are pooing in their water, he´s rethinking his choice. You have to be out of the crater by 6 pm, which means a short afternoon game drive, as you also have to go up the slopes to the gate. So, if you only have one drive, I think it´s better to go in the morning, you might have more time. We enjoy the last lights in the Sopa Lodge. We will leave tomorrow early and have already to carry our stuff with us. 25.01.2013 We leave by 6.30, taking our breakfast with us. We are one of the first cars in the crater, so we have the sighting of a small pride of lions just on us, before the sleep-out tourists arrive. As we prcede I stop Saimon for some Buffalos, who make for nice photographs. Later we see a beautiful, relaxed Martial Eagle. Although I miss the exclusivity of a Botswanan Safari, I must admit, that the animals here are much more used to cars and so more relaxed, which makes for good photo opps. We drive all around Lake Magadi with all its Flamingos. This place is paradise! There are so many animals around, lovely! After our breakfast stop we again drive around Lake Magadi slowly back to the gate. But there´s one more stop. More than 20 cars can not be wrong. A pride of lions is relaxing in the sun, but a herd of Buffalo is not happy withthem being around. They chase the big cats. The lions, most of them still youngsters, run away from them, but they don´t look really scared. It appears more like a game for them. Unfortunately the sun is already very high, so the pics are not good. They seek shadow and hide using the numerous cars. While watching them, getting watched (one lady in another car called it a „Russian Stand-off“, which caused big laughs), flocks of Crowned Cranes fly over the crater. After a while we leave. First we have to go down to the main gate, then we go up again to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, where we have lunch. After lunch we procede to Ndutu. Saimon shows us a hill called Matiti, which looks like big boobs. This seems to be the mountain, they use as an orientation. It comes to a kind of running gag, when Saimon frequently asks: „Where is Matiti now?“. We arrive at the Ndutu Safari Lodge in the afternoon. As we have 6 days here, we decide to call it a day. The huts are nice, it´s a good place, just like it should be. At night we were always joined by up to 5 genets for dinner, they are not shy, but as they are still wild animals, they don´t like to get touched (I didn´t, I swear!).
  7. It starts off as usual. I go to Tanzania. We’re back a couple of days and I think, “I wonder what the air fare might be in __________ (fill in the month)”. Then instead of being productive I start looking. What! A promotional fare on Qatar from Philadelphia? Then I look to see how many American miles it would cost us to get a round trip to Phili. Only 25,000 each. It was meant to be. Now I just need to email the guide and see if he is available. Chances are yes, since it would be in May. And that’s how it happens. We have never flown Qatar Airways but it sounds fun and exotic. Air fare from Philadelphia was $1150 and the connections were awesome. (Notice I say were.) The flight arrives at KIA at 3:20 in the afternoon which is kind of nice. We will drive to Karatu the same day and stay overnight. Excellent. Or not. Then you get the email that says there has been a change to your schedule. I tend not to get too worked up because it is usually a flight number schedule or just 5 minutes here or there. And such was the case until about 4 weeks before I left when there was another email. Fortunately I don’t ignore this, as this time my transit time in Doha on the outbound trip is down from an hour and 40 minutes to just 55 minutes and on the way back the transit time is now 10 minutes. Uh oh. The email reads “please contact us”. Yes, I should think so. There are not any real good options that don’t result in 8 hours plus in the Doha airport. So I leave the outbound the same. On the trip back, it would involve more than a 12 hour stay. I then ask if they could fly us directly to Chicago or Dallas. And indeed they can. Still an 8 hour wait but better and this means we only have 1 flight on American to get home instead of 2. Switching the American flight was very easy. The other down side to Qatar is the luggage restriction for those of us in the economy section. So that means a checked bag. But I have learned my lesson (see Mara River trip report) and will put appropriate clothing in my bag with the cameras. The day finally arrives. George’s shoes are packed. If you are wondering what this is about see my Mara River trip 2014 report, post #21 (www.safaritalk.net/topic/14415-mara-river-september-2014/?hl=mara). We are flying out early to Philadelphia, having dinner with friends, and are staying overnight near the airport. We fly first to Chicago, then Phili and arrive at 1 in the afternoon or so we thought. We get into Chicago and immediately get a text which says the flight to PHL is cancelled. So off to the desk. Problem. Lots of flights to PHL cancelled. No other American flights. US airways has a flight that leaves at 11 but we will be on standby. So I ask about Delta. Yes. You will fly first to Minneapolis then to PHL. Good grief. But at least we can get seats. So we book this and get into PHL around 5 pm. A 12 hour day. My ‘fun and exotic’ plans for Qatar Airways aren’t looking so hot right now. We leave the next morning on Qatar Airways and the flight, I must say, was excellent. Great service even though a very full aircraft. The 55 minute transfer time in Doha was a bit stressful. You get off the plane onto a little shuttle bus that takes you to an entrance and then you go to the transfer area where you have to go through security. We now have only 30 minutes (flight is already boarding) and the security lines are frighteningly long. We show our boarding passes to personnel and they direct us through the first class passenger line which is very short. Then to the gate. Security again and we’re on. Flight is not full. Leaves on time. Service okay. Not as good as the previous flight but certainly acceptable. The flight stops in Dar first then on to Kilimanjaro. One big advantage is that almost everyone gets off in Dar. So when you arrive at Kilimanjaro, there are very few people (only a couple of dozen or so) going through immigration. We don’t need new visas so it took us all of 10 minutes. And low and behold, despite the very short transfer in Doha, our checked bags are here!! As is George Mbwambo, our guide, and we are on our way to Karatu. We arrive in Karatu around 7 pm at the Bourgainvillea Lodge, which we have used several times in the past and really liked, although our stays this time maybe not as much. We have previously stayed in the older rooms around the pool area and they are a bit larger and much quieter than the newer rooms which border a busy area near a petrol station. The dinner was excellent. Service was good. Rooms are lovely, very clean and very reasonably priced. We give George his shoes before we part for the night and he is genuinely delighted. Up and out the next morning. Breakfast is great at this lodge. It’s been long enough now that I can’t remember anything of any significance on the way to the Serengeti except at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area gate. George is busy taking care of the paper work. We walk around a bit, then I go back to the car and I open the front passenger seat so I can get in and unlock the door to our seat. Then I get out and open the back door, but leave the front door open a bit. There is a bus full of school children parked fairly close to us. I sort of remember hearing them talk about the baboons. There are always a lot of them here and you have to make sure you don’t leave windows open. Then all of a sudden in absolute unison the bus full of children shout “Close the door. Baboon is coming” And sure enough, there is a large male baboon stealthily making his way to the open front door. I close it quick and bang on the side of the car. He responds by running up and giving the side mirror on the door a good hard whack. The students are all laughing and I go over to thank them and ask where they are going. They are on a school trip to Olduvai. No other adventures. We eat lunch at Naabi gate and proceed on. We are barely past the gate and see two immature male lions, and then a cheetah at a fair distance from the road consuming a young wildebeest. We spent three days in the central Serengeti and about 3 days in Ndutu. In Seronera, we stayed at one of the Kati Kati camps run by Tanganyika Wilderness. I believe it was one in the Makoma campsite area. Basic but very well-run camp with great service and good to very good food. Seronera was not busy, being May, but actually busier than we expected. Of course, there are the May disadvantages. Very tall grass so a bit of work to see lions but I have never seen so many lions in trees. There were thousands of wildebeest still here and in Ndutu. We saw several leopards with cubs, one of which started to hunt some wildebeest that were passing by, only to have it ruined by vehicles that cut her off in their attempts to jockey for position. George was very annoyed. Something we don’t see often, and he said to one of the other drivers, “everyone needs to back off and wait and all of our clients will get to see something special”. That worked for about 3 minutes, then the melee ensued again. We left with the leopard having a trail of cars after her. We saw the leopard again that afternoon in the same tree she started from with her cubs, but no food. The next morning, however, there was an impala hanging from the tree. Okay, enough talk. On to some pictures from Seronera. George pronounced a count of 14 lions in this tree and after several recounts we finally agreed. There are only 13 visible in the picture and one you have to imagine way up in the foliage. Crested Lark Grey-backed Fiscal Shrike White-browed Coucal Bearded Woodpecker This cub and one other really wanted to be up in the tree but were kept away by the self-appointed 'guardian of the tree' seen in the next photo Success at last! As we are driving out on the day we are going to Ndutu, we are stopped and George is pointing out some bird to us, I can’t remember what now, and we are looking out the driver’s side of the vehicle. Then all of a sudden I sense there is something in the car with us and let out an embarrassingly girly squeal and George looks over to see a monkey stealing our cashews. George swats at it with some papers and it takes off with the bag of cashews. We start laughing uncontrollably, as do the people in the car behind us, and outside of the car a ruckus ensues over the bounty. As we are leaving the Serengeti, we find another leopard with cubs in a tree. The light is not good and they are a fair distance away, but the cubs are very “busy” and we spend a lot of time watching them torture their poor mother and climbing in and out of the tree. There are several other cars that come and go, but they are all very quiet and the time spent here was quite enjoyable. More later. I need to post this before I do something silly and hit the wrong button and delete everything. This is taking me longer than I remembered!
  8. I finished Part 2 of my October 2015 Trip Report a little sooner than expected, mainly because I had previously processed more images that I remembered. So join me for cats, cats and more cats… The TR continues here
  9. Saw this recently on the Ndutu Lodge facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.825667707547243.1073741922.430197203760964&type=3 - seems like they have local Wild Dogs with pups now. Wow!
  10. Some time ago, in 1996 and 1997, I came to the Serengeti. I was back in May 2010 and May 2011. In 2011, I decided to go first, for about a week, to the Ndutu area. I stayed at Lake Masek. For most of the time, I was the only guest. Ndutu Lodge was also almost empty. So, when I was on a sighting, I was the only one. There was not a lot of plain game but the cats were there. Hyenas on the road to Ndutu Some good lion’s sightings from different prides. Female cheetah near lake Ndutu. There was a female with cubs hidden in the marsh. One day, I followed her, knowing that she was out to find a prey. On my way, she suddenly stopped. It took me a few minutes to spot a lionness under a bush. I went closer and noticed that she was seriously ill. I continued to follow the cheetah until she crossed the Serengeti boundary.
  11. Here is a nice one put together by Squack Evans for us. Photos donated by our own MAC - thank you, Hari, very grateful. They (the photos) look spectacular on: http://www.chaloafrica.com/tanzania/safari-expeditions/southern-serengeti/eye-of-the-cheetah-squack-evans
  12. Cue Elton John This zebra foal is minutes old Itinerary, booked with The Wild Source, using Guide George Mbwambo 1 night Manyara at Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge + 7 nights Ndutu at Wild Frontier Camp = 8 nights, 9 days on safari. 2014 Feb 12 Depart Chicago 4:25 pm on KLM Flight 0612 to Amsterdam, then KLM Flight 0571 to Kilimanjaro. Feb 13 Arrive Kilimanjaro at 8:50 pm and o/nt KIA Lodge, 5 minutes from airport on hotel shuttle. Feb 14 Depart KIA Lodge, Kilimanjaro 7:30 am and arrive Lake Manyara 11:15 am, 30 minutes of stops enroute. Game drive from arrival until 6:00 pm, boxed lunch. O/nt Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge. Feb 15 Depart Wildlife Lodge about 7:00 am after breakfast, morning game drive in Lake Manyara until 11:00 am. Arrive at Ngorongoro Conservation Area Lodoare gate at 12:00* noon. Box lunch and arrive at Wild Frontier Camp in Ndutu 6:15 pm, game drive enroute. Feb 16 – 21 Ndutu. Depart Wild Frontier Camp at 6:30 am with breakfast and lunch boxes, return to Wild Frontier Camp between 5:55 and 6:25 pm. One mid-morning until afternoon excursion (4.5 hours round trip) to the plains at the foot of Gol Mountains. Feb 22 Depart Wild Frontier Camp at 6:30 am with breakfast and lunch boxes, arrive at Ngorongoro Conservation Area Lodoare gate at 11:45 am.* Back in Kilmanjaro about 4:15 pm after a 25 minute stop in Arusha. KLM Flight 0569 at 9:50 pm to Amsterdam, then KLM Flight 0611 to Chicago. Feb 23 Arrive Chicago 2:25 pm. * To avoid paying for another day in the park ($50 I think it is) you need to arrive back at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Lodoare gate no later than the hour you entered. Park permits are in 24 hour increments. A short grace period is sometimes granted, especially during the rainy season when vehicles get stuck and delayed. Wildebeest calf being born
  13. Lemala Camps operate some of Tanzania's premier camps in the best locations for viewing wildlife. Wildlife Photography Africa have worked closely with Lemala to create 3 safari itineraries for 2015 that will put you in the right place at the right time. February 2015 - we'll be in Serengeti Ndutu for the wildebeest calving and the start of the great migration. 22 February – Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area June 2015 - we visit Lake Manyara before spending 6 days in the Serengeti with our time divided between the Seronera area and Grumeti in the Western corridor where we should again find ourselves in the midst of the migrating herds as the move northwards. 21 June – Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Grumeti and Ngorongoro Crater September 2015 - 4 days in the magnificent Tarangire NP, renowned for its huge elephant herds, before we fly to Serengeti Mara where we should again encounter the wildebeest as they move back and forth across the Mara river. 20 September – Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Each of these itineraries will be escorted by Martin Dunn, the founder of Wildlife Photography Africa. Martin has been leading safaris in Africa for 30 years and his passion for the continent remains as strong as ever. Working together with our experienced Tanzanian guides, he will endeavour to put you right at the heart of the action. Martin is an experienced wildlife photographer who will share with you many invaluable tips on making the most of your wildlife encounters. Key Points: Designed for photographers by photographers Maximum group size will be 6 people. Extra weight allowance on domestic flights - Baggage on domestic flights is usually limited to 15kg per person. With photographers in mind we have purchased additional baggage allowance on all domestic flights so you don't have to choose between camera gear and clothes. For the avoidance of confusion; this post was deleted and re-posted as I needed to make an update to the pricing information for 2015.
  14. Earlier this year I was fortunate to accompany a group of Aussies to Tanzania to witness the migration. Serengeti Safari - Central Serengeti and Ndutu at Migration time (this link has now been fixed) It was a super safari and we saw some wonderful wildlife Serengati Safari - Central Serengeti and Ndutu at Migration time
  15. 1) Name of property: Lemala Ndutu 2) Website address if known: http://www.lemalacamp.com/ndutu.htm 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known) January 2013, shoulder season 4) Length of stay: 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I've used Lemala before and consider them to be amongst the best mobile camp operators 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Direct 7) How many times have you been on Safari? Ah, it is too many. Approx 4 times a year since 1980 8) To which countries? Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Egypt, Oman, Yemen 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Mara Ngenche Camp, Maasai Mara Elephant Bedroom Camp, Samburu Tarangire River Camp, Tarangire All of these are permanent camps, Lemala is seasonal. 10) Was the property fenced? No. Askaris on hand to escort guests to and from tents and chase away foraging buffalo 11) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? The tents are spread among the trees – no views to speak of 12) How comfortable was the bed - were suitable amounts of blankets/duvets/pillows provided? All excellent 13) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Food was all freshly prepared and really tasty 14) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Breakfast was buffet, with hot stuff to order, dinner was from a set menu with multiple choices, Everything was terrific. 15) Can you choose where you eat, ie privately or with other guests, guides? Single tables or communal dining? Depending on guest/group preference meals can be taken in the dining tent or out in the open. 16) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Didn't have one 17) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. We had our own Land Cruisers, but the camp did have its own vehicles with guides. 18) How many guests per row? 3 rows, usually 2 per row. 19) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? As long as we wished, camp staff were very flexible about meal times. 20) Are game drive times flexible: ie, if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, ie not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Yes, as flexible as you want 21) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? During the wildebeest migration (Jan/Feb) Ndutu is the main assembly area for the herds before they begin the trek northwards. Excellent sightings. Also lots of birdlife and plenty of raptors. 22) How was the standard of guiding? N/A 23) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 24) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: N/A 25) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes, exceptional 26) Trip report link: http://www.wildlifephotographyafrica.com/safari-diaries/tanzania-diaries/serengeti-safari/ 27) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: These mobile camps are a real safari experience. It takes 7 trucks to transport all the equipment needed to build the camp. The tents even have wooden floorboards. 28) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. http://www.wildlifephotographyafrica.com/you-just-cant-beat-an-authentic-tented-safari/
  16. WEATHER REPORT ACCOMPANYING ITINERARY Cheetahs playing in Ndutu
  17. Those of you who remember my Green Season On The Mara TR (http://safaritalk.net/topic/9071-green-season-on-the-masai-mara-may-2012/) from last year might remember that my preference for photo safaris in East Africa is during the Green Season--from better lighting and backgrounds to fewer safari vehicles. Not to mention cost. In late March/early April of this year I enjoyed another such experience, but this time on the Serengeti, which only served to reinforce my preference. And it helps when you share your experience with a few hundred thousand furry friends (wildebeest, not tourists!). Here's the link: http://martinwgrosnick.com/Tanzania13TR.html Feel free to ask questions! Martin
  18. Considering that all the photo equipment I have is a Canon SX40 bridge camera that has never been moved away from auto-mode (unless by mistake!), I feel quite pretentious starting this mainly photo thread. And even more pretentious because I've signed these photos (only done that to distinguish among the various people who took pics within our company on this trip - not because I think they're great, by any means!) With that little background, some thoughts. When I got back from Mana Pools last year (my first foray into photography because it was my first safari without my daughter, the family photographer), I remember Lynn & Pault mentioning that even non-photographers on this forum tend to get influenced by the quality and composition of the photos they see here on ST. That comment stayed with me. And although I am very much a binoculars person, on this trip (again without my daughter), I found myself thinking of this or that picture I had seen here as I tried (for the first time) to put some thought into framing my shots. Lake Manyara Ranch, Tz Breeding ground for yellow-billed storks The Ngorongoro Highlands Masai Mara giraffe Doum Palm sunset Skybed platform at Loisaba (Laikipia) Laikipian horizons Clouds on kopje Laikipia Sunrise Loisaba skies Loisaba horizons An Encounter Sundowner A Nomadic Sundowner Three guesses on who inspired these :D I am almost tempted to see what life would be like on P mode, but that is a slippery slope!
  19. Hello AndBeyond Buddies, Hope the rest of your safari was as exciting and memorable as these active young cheetahs. Here are two photos that I said I'd post on safaritalk. Hope you make it over here to check them out. Feel free to personal message me and I'll email you these. Safari njema and best wishes, Lynn (atravelynn)
  20. Due to some unavoidable circumstances at work, I have to postpone my mobile safari to Tanzania. The dates are 22nd March 2013 to 7th April 2013. The itinerary is as follows 22nd, 23rd, 24th March : 3 nights in Moru 5 Special Campsite, private mobile camping 25th,26th,27th,28th,29th,30th,31st March : 7 nights in Hugo Memorial special campsite in Ndutu, private mobile camping 1st, 2nd , 3rd April : 3 nights : 3 nights in Nasera Rocks special campsite in NCA, private mobile camping 4th,5th April : 2 nights in Natron Concession in Ngare Sero Lake Natron tented camp 6th April: 1 night in Ngorongoro crater Sopa Lodge. This trip was planned with another STer @@AKChui . We each had our own vehicle and guide. The 2 guides are Fadhil and Deo from The Wild Source. @@AKChui is a semi pro wildlife photographer and an old hand with Africa having been to several trips- camping, self drive, regular camps - last trip was last year in May to Serian for 12 nights in Mara. His Trip Report from that can be seen here It includes all park fees, camping fees, all lodging, all food and bottled water. Alcohol and Drinks are on pay what you consume. The mobile camp pictures are given below and is backed by a Chef and a Manager who doubles up as a driver to move the camp along with the chef and for anything related to the camp- So you have full flexibility. It also includes the last day (on 7th April) a trip into the crater on a shared basis with @@AKChui ( this was done to share the costs of crater entrance) . Apart from the 7th April trip to crater, all vehicle and guides are on a private basis. Crater entrance and park fees etc paid up. We had agreed for getting out as early as possible with Park rules, full flexibility in packed breakfast and packed lunches if you want that. All the mobile sites are private. Bean bags etc sorted for the car. It also includes 1.5 seats on Coastal air at 12:30 pm on 22nd March at JRO to Seronera where it lands at 2:20 pm. The return is from Sopa by road to JRO. So the safari is fully paid for JRO to JRO. This trip cost me USD 8585. However if I cancel and AKChui goes alone, I get back USD 5037 back which I can use for later on when things are clearer. Hence to ensure that AKChui has some company and if it can be of any value to any STer, am offering the full trip above at USD 5037 + USD 25 ( wire transfer charges at TWS's end, your wire transfer charges are at your own end and payable by you) =USD 5062. This offer is for a single person only and charges for 2 might differ. The idea to offer this trip is not to recoup any money for myself as USD 5037 is what I have in credit with TWS and I will still go in April. The above cost for 16 nights on safari works out to USD 316 PER NIGHT. This offer is for only a single person. If there is a couple who is interested, I am happy to help you work out the costs along with TWS and I still require the same amount as above to be able to send someone else in lieu of me. For guidance, for a couple the guiding fees will not be added to this amount, but park fees, camping fees, food and accomodation and flights will be. There is a USD 30-35 per person that needs to be paid at Natron to the villagers that is not part of the above amount as thats not strictly a legal fees but the villages had been imposing it. Pictures of the mobile camp: ( For a single person there will be just one bed to ensure more space) and links to the lodges _ Will post in 3-4 hours as have to rush right now. The amount is directly payable to TWS and not to me. Please PM me if you are interested.
  21. So have the following safari from 22nd March till 7th April 3 nights Moru Kopjes- Serengeti no offroading 7 nights Ndutu - NCA, offroading allowed 3 nights Nasera rocks - NCA offroading allowed but rain could be an impediment 2 nights Lake Natron - Natron concession, offroading allowed, but rain could be an impediment, mountains, flamingos 1 night crater Sopa for 4 hours in the crater - no off roading. I am definitely taking my 300mm f2.8 ii and the 600mm f4 ii. Have upto 45 kgs of luggage allowance per person on the one bushflight we have but gear will include tripod ( we plan to do some star photography if we have clear days) and some bulky-ish stuff for my guide and his family plus some extra stuff to make the camping a bit easier -electric lamps, a really nice spotlight, a fleece liner for the sleeping bag etc. So thinking of leaving behind my 70-200mm. Of late I have not liked a lot of wildlife pics of it -especially when you have to shoot down, because the ground is so much closer, there is minimal bokeh. But am scared I might miss it for landscapy shots. My wide angle is 24-70mm and I want to take the fisheye 8-15mm as well. What do you guys suggest- leave behind the 70-200? I might have to make further compromises with the non-photo gear part but this will release sizable space and weight on my carry on. Thanks!

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