SaminKaz

Naboisho, Ruaha and Zanzibar

45 posts in this topic

~ @@SaminKaz

 

You were blessed in having Evelyn's skills available. She sounds like an exceptionally fine guide.

Photograph after photograph I'm impressed by your composition and aesthetic harmony.

Thank you for posting such beautiful images of your various sightings.

The rain and general dampness resulted in color intensification — lovely!

The cheetah kill followed by hyena theft reminds me of the predator vs predator issues which have been highlighted in @@bettel's recent trip report.

You were indeed fortunate to have time for photography of the cheetah's eating.

Thank you for posting the fine portraits of Lipstick, who I observed last month.

Your photography somehow brings out the size and power of the subjects. Very, very nice.

Tom K.

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@@SaminKaz - wow; great sightings and equally great pictures. The young cheetahs in post #19 - amazing eyes; Young leopard and bird in #22 - brilliant capture (I am sure you could sell that one to the camp for their website) and I really like the atmosphere in the young lion in post #23 (the one just before the lion in the water) - what was the story behind that one?

 

kind regards

 

deano.

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Great stuff - that is one wet lion!

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Posted (edited)

@@SaminKaz

Excellent photography! The lionesses running over the stream ... rarely seen!

Edited by xelas
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Continued - Naboisho Sightings

 

As a regular on safari I like to be able to tick off a couple of new experiences that I haven’t encountered previously on each trip. Naboisho allowed me to see an aardwolf on two occasions, which was definitely something on my list. Unfortunately, the sighting was done with not enough light for photos and the car was moving. I also managed to see a very large python we think we think with a recent kill due to the size of it but it was slithering away back into its nest. This was a particularly amazing for myself but Evelyn found it to be a very superstitious sighting and was hoping we wouldn’t see it again. The close proximity to the leopard cubs was a first for me on this trip. I had seen cubs in the Seronera area of the Serengeti in April, 2015 but they were on a kopje. We tried and failed to see rhino in the reserve when we went down for a full day drive but couldn’t find them after looking for about two hours. We also failed to see a crossing in the Mara Reserve down near the Serena Crossing where we were lucky to be alone until another car joined us and the guide allowed his guest to get out of the car and then they continued to talk loudly to each other whilst the guest was standing outside which spooked the herd of wildebeest and zebra.

 

My main reason for going into the reserve was to find Malika and her 3 cubs at the time which we achieved. I had visited the Mara three times to achieve this and each visit I was told by guides at other camps that it was not possible. An added bonus was seeing Lipstick in fantastic golden light who is a lion that I have followed on a number of different Facebook pages. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to do any walks at Naboisho which would be my main reason to visit this conservancy again. The day before my walk I ended up pulling a muscle in my shoulder and found the pain nearly unbearable unless heavily sedated with pain meds. I didn’t want to cause any problems for other people on the walks or be a hazard incase something went wrong so I opted out.

 

During my stay the camp was relatively full for November due to many last minute bookings. Ivan Carter and his team were there filming Carter’s WAR which was an unscheduled visit. His original plan to film elsewhere was cancelled when permits/licenses fell through. He ended up filming an alternative story about lions and their interaction with the Masai with help from Asilia who provided the crew with transportation and contacts. This episode aired on the Outdoor Channel last week. Although I don’t agree with everything he does, he was certainly a very charismatic man with incredible stories, photos and footage from his time as a guide, hunter and documentary maker throughout Africa. Other guests were mainly from the US and about 30% from Europe. Everyone apart from the film crew were all first time Africa visitors who were very impressed with Asilia and the other camps they had visited.

 

My experience at Naboisho Camp were excellent. The conservancy is fantastic, the proximity to the reserve is good so day trips can be arranged, the sightings are great, the staff were brilliant, the room was super glamping comfortable, the food was some of the best I have eaten whilst on safari and Evelyn my guide was a treat. It was a privilege to enjoy about 70% of my time with Evelyn alone which allowed us to just sit and enjoy the animal behavior, take photos, gossip and laugh. The only thing I would definitely do next time is organize to do some walks and fly camping.

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Matemwe, Zanzibar, Tanzania

 

This is the first time I have ever included a beach stay at the end of my safari. I normally spend a few days in Abu Dhabi where I relax before getting back to work but this time thought Zanzibar would be perfect. I considered a detour to Mafia Island to see the whale sharks but the cost was a little too much at the time so I opted for Asilia’s special at Matemwe for 6 nights. Not knowing what to expect with weather or activities I went ahead and just booked it with Troy from True Africa.

 

https://vimeo.com/149963436

 

My transfer from Ruaha was a very long one with my flight leaving at noon via a detour to Jongomero to pick up more passengers, a wait whilst a large storm went through, 2 hours back to Dar, a 90 minute wait, 20 minutes to Zanzibar and then the 90 minute drive to Matemwe. My arrival around 8pm was in a blur and all I wanted was a very quick bite to eat and sleep. I was welcomed by the relief manager who offered me an upgrade to a bungalow with my own plunge pool and butler which was a treat. I was shown to the room which was amazing but I was super tired and decided to investigate everything the next day. After a quick bite to eat, I was showered and under the sheets in a lovely large king size bed surrounded by some fine mosquito nets.

 

The next morning I was able to enjoy my first sleep in for a couple of weeks and boy did it feel good. I was woken by my butler bringing in breakfast at 9am and opened my doors to find paradise outside. The views from my outside undercover deck were stunning. The deck had two lounge chairs, a queen size day bed and an eating area for up to four people. Inside the bedroom area was a king size bed with netting, air con, a very large separate bathroom with a huge bath, open shower and separate toilet with double sinks. Upstairs was the piece de resistance with my own plunge pool, undercover seating area and two sun lounges.

 

https://vimeo.com/149962314

 

My days were spent relaxing in the plunge pool whilst alternating between the sun and shade. Enjoying meals downstairs along with the view, read and catching up on editing photos/videos. Matemwe was the perfect place to just chill out and rest whilst enjoying the spectacular views on my doorstep.

 

I indulged in a couple of activities whilst there which were really enjoyable but costly. The best activity was the snorkeling at Mnemba Island which was directly in front of the lodge and about a 20 minute boat ride away. This activity offered the opportunity to swim with the local dolphins if they are in the vicinity. I snorkeled on two different days and enjoyed the dolphins on the first day. I also went into Stone Town for a city tour but unfortunately I had tripped down the bathroom steps and pulled my shoulder and neck muscles for a second time which meant extra pain killers to endure the long and bumpy drive to and from the historical town. I found the town to not be what I expected and actually very small and a little boring. I was very thankful not to have booked any nights there because a half day tour was enough. My other activity was a reef walk which was a little treacherous due to the many sea urchins living in and around the reef. It meant that I was extra cautious where I placed my feet and I was thankful for the walking stick the guide provided. This was not the ideal activity to be doing in the middle of the day and I only stayed out for an hour because the heat and humidity was too much. I found the snorkeling more enjoyable and offered more to see. I wish I had done the snorkeling a third time because it was so relaxing and enjoyable.

 

https://vimeo.com/147601726

 

 

My time in Matemwe was a fantastic, relaxing break that I especially needed after a pretty stressful period and an extended safari. The location was beautiful, the room was luxurious and had every comfort imaginable, the surprise upgrade allowed me to enjoy my room and the plunge pool with the joy of all my meals being brought to me. The food and service (apart from my butler and guides) in general wasn’t as good as the other Asilia properties but this didn’t worry me because I was on island time. I hope to have the opportunity in the future to return and to also pop over to Mafia Island where I can swim with whale sharks.

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Hi @samimkaz did I miss ruaha ?

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@@Hads

 

I wrote it at the start of the trip report. Did it the wrong way around.

 

Sam

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uahoooo photo!!

we stayed in mara 2 years ago. now we would like go in ruaha. can you tell me the name of your camp ? was tend camp?

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@@maraciolo

 

Hi, I stayed at Kwihala which is an Asilia Camp. Take advantage of their specials that they offer throughout the year.

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@@SaminKaz

 

The one of the cub in low-light and the one of the lioness running through water are gems.

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Thank you everyone for your kind words.

 

Now to finish the Mega Africa TR which is running a little late. At least I have the videos to remind me of what we did.

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Excellent TR Sam, :)

 

I'm a regular @ Kwihala as well, highly recommended, also an interesting read re. Naboisho as I have managed to squeeze in 12 nights @ Encounter from July 13th.

My first time here in this relatively new concession, looking forward to (hopefully) less crowds come the start of migration time. The Aardwolf sighting is most encouraging.

 

Cheers Marc

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@@africaaddict

 

I actually preferred Encounter's camp because it was more rustic but still lovely and had a great hide. Try and organise Andrew (Encounter manager/guide), Ben (Rekoro Camp guide but he does move around) or Evelyn (Naboisho Camp but can move) to guide you. They all have great experience, know the crossing points and are great for photographers. You can also request to have a packed breakfast i.e. bacon/egg toast sandwich to eat if you want to not waste time for sit down breakfasts, especially for crossings if you need to just wait. Just speak to your guide/management to arrange this.

 

I am very jealous. I can't wait to get back there again. You will have a lovely time.

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Lovely cheetah footage.

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Posted (edited)

You are on a roll with bird kills! Right you are on spectacular leopard shots. You got your requested blood and your cameras out of the bag in time to record it. Great b & w's. The b& w & blood shot is a new perspective.

 

The baby bat ear fix peck on the check is priceless! You really got the lions to perform on trees and in the water for you--and in nice light!

 

4th time is the charm for Malika and her cubs. I bet in your previous 3 quests that you had some non-Malika experiences that made the (unsuccessful to that point) search all worthwhile.

 

Congrats on the aardvark and python.

 

All the cheetah activity you mention has me very interested in the area. The video is great for both the starring cheetahs and the lush environment that time of year. Nice to see the cubs still have some mane.

 

Great dolphin video. Was the snorkeling you did escorted?

 

Hope your shoulder and neck did not give you too much trouble. No fun to be in pain anywhere, but especially not on a trip.

 

What tremendous, high quality variety on this trip.

Edited by Atravelynn
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@Altravelynn

 

The snorkelling was unaccompanied for those that were comfortable in the water and accompanied for those that wanted a bit of guidance. They also provided an inflatable ring for some guests who needed to hold onto something and the guide then had a rope and dragged it along. I was super comfortable and went off on my own a bit because at the beginning there were a lot of tourists in the water and many that had no idea how to snorkel or stay calm in the water leading to a lot of noise and disruptions with the sea life. As long as I looked up every so often to have an idea where the boat was then I felt fine.

 

The shoulder was a real inconvenience but with a few painkillers each day and very little lifting of the cameras during my stay it came good. Thanks for asking.

 

It was a great trip and certainly established my love now for places that are a little off the tourist route like conservancies and definitely during the low season to optimise more private sightings without the crowds, better prices and longer stays.

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Thanks for the snorkel info. That's what I was looking for. When you go alone, you should not just head out to see with your snorkel and flippers. Going on a group trip takes care of that.

 

Your focus on stills over videoing worked out well, based on the results. Just noticed that lion intently walking down the tree. Hope your shoulder is A-ok again.

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