Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

A Return to the Serengeti: Migration Season in the South (February 2017)

Serengeti serian kusini kakessio great migration caracal cheetah kill serval pangolin lion

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 sek07

sek07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:05 PM

We recently returned from a 9 day/8 night trip to Tanzania in February 2017.  

We have had the pleasure and good fortune for this to be our 8th trip to the continent, starting with our honeymoon years ago.

 

Our honeymoon was both a blessing and a curse.  A curse in the sense that once we visited we found out we are like the many people who talked about how it gets into your blood, and how no trip will ever compare.  When planning every subsequent vacation, we ask ourselves, will this live up to Africa??  In most cases we believe the answer is no, and we find ourselves facing the large expense to return.  I can say, however, that we have never returned and thought that it wasn't worth every penny.  Retirement is going to have to wait!!

 

As many of you also know, the blessing of visiting Africa takes many forms.  Starting with the obvious, the beautiful landscapes, the amazing wildlife that never fails to amazing and bewilder, exposure to new and wonderful foods.  The understanding of new cultures, viewpoints, ways of life.  Making new friends, experiencing the mishaps that inevitably occur and somehow surviving without your "stuff" for a few days.  Learning to appreciate how lucky you are to have the things you have and how random life is that you were born where you were.  Noticing the subtle and larger changes you make to your life after returning- maybe wasting less, helping more, just appreciating the natural world.   But always returning home wondering how, when, and where we'll be able to get back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  • ZaminOz, PT123, pault and 4 others like this

#2 sek07

sek07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:21 PM

The itinerary for the trip was as follows:

 

Depart Friday February 10th from Newark to Kilimanjaro (via Amsterdam) on Delta/KLM

Arrive Saturday February 11th early evening and be picked up for transport to Rivertrees Arusha

Depart Sunday February 12th from Kilimanjaro 10:30am to arrive early afternoon at Serengeti South

3 nights Serian Kusini Camp

Road Transfter to Serian Kakessio for 4 nights (also called Serian Serengeti South)

Depart Sunday February 19th From Ndutu to Kilimanjaro.  Several hour layover then Depart Kili to Dar to Amsterdam to Newark on KLM/Delta

 

We arrived at Newark Airport at 4pm for our ~7pm flight on that Friday. At about 6:30pm the announcer came on to say there was a mechanical problem with our flight and that it was going to be a minimum of 3-4  hours before another plane could get there to take us.  We would clearly miss our connection with no flights out of amsterdam for 24 hours so we would miss a full day of our 8 day safari, and have to try to make countless adjustments to our small planes, hotel in Arusha etc..  I also for the first time ever didn't buy trip insurance for some reason (murphy's rules).  

 

After a minor freakout, we took a deep breath and started to formulate a plan. I scoured Kayak and found a flight at 11pm from JFK traveling on Turkish Air that would connect via Istanbul and get to kilimanjaro at about 3AM.  not ideal, but a possibility.  After waiting for 30 mins on hold with Delta (the line was 100 people deep at the counter) i finally got someone who told me that Delta would only book me on a 'partner' airline and all of those options wouldn't get us to Kili without losing a day of safari.  They refused to book me on Turkish despite it being a viable option.

 

Typically if you don't get on your outgoing flight it automatically cancels your return.  I was able to get the delta person to cancel our outbound but keep our return flight.  He said we would get a refund for the outbound portion but would have to negotiate that when we got back.  We closed our eyes and booked the Turkish flight one way which was shockingly reasonable given the flight was in 4 hrs.    We raced to find a cab and make the ridiculous trip from Newark to JFK and pray we made it there and get through security in time.

 

LESSON- ALWAYS BUY TRIP INSURANCE


Edited by sek07, 19 March 2017 - 10:24 PM.

  • ZaminOz, pault, Caracal and 1 other like this

#3 Caracal

Caracal

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Local time: 07:19 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Victoria, Australia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:37 PM

What a nightmare start to your safari @sek07 - what's the distance between Newark and JFK? Then there's the traffic!

 

Hoping to hear good news re the new connections and your flight experience with Turkish, and then looking forward to following your Serengeti safari.


"Moments that touch the soul are always short but they echo pleasantly afterwards"
Stephen Pern - Another Land, Another Sea Walking round Lake Rudolph.

#4 sek07

sek07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:47 AM

We had booked with Serian directly, so I sent an email to Billy at Serian (who was long asleep in London) saying i would hopefully give her an update on arrival in Istanbul.  I then fired off one more to Rivertrees to give them an updated pickup time from the airport. 

And off we went to JFK.  An hour later we arrived with nearly 0 traffic, pretty much an impossibility in new york on a friday night.

 

The plane took off slightly late but we had a 3 hr layover in Istanbul.  We wouldn't know how much of a $ hit we would take until returning but we were just thrilled to be en route.   We arrived with plenty of time to spare.  The Istanbul airport is incredibly modern, so we had a ridiculously over priced italian meal, were able to send some emails updating people that we should in fact arrive and boarded the plane and were off to Kili.  Crisis averted.  



#5 sek07

sek07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:12 AM

So quickly why Alex Walker's Serian camps?

On a previous trip (see trip report here http://safaritalk.ne...i-with-serian/)we had stayed at their Ngare Serian Camp (Mara North), Nkorombo Camp (Main Reserve Maasai Mara) and the Serian Serengeti North Mobile camp (Serengeti Lamai).

 

Map-Serian-camps.jpg

 

It was a tremendous trip clearly and we were anxious to see what else he had to offer: every tent gets their own vehicle; its one of the few owner operated camps; a well earned reputation for great guiding;  great food but with fresh/healthy options; Alex is a nice guy, and we'd get to have our guide Masha from the Tanzanian portion of the trip again.  

 

Alex chooses locations in prime areas, but away from the crowds.  His was one of the first camps in the mara north, and one of the first camps in Serengeti Lamai, one of the few camps in Kusini, and one of the only camps in Kakessio.   And several of the camps allow our favorite activities including some walking, night drives, and some off road driving allowed. 

 

We had an opening in the early part of the year and given that is prime migration/birthing season in the southern part of the Serengeti we decided to go for it.  


  • pault, Zubbie15, offshorebirder and 1 other like this

#6 sek07

sek07

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:53 AM

Rivertrees in Arusha is a lovely place which we unfortunately didn't get to enjoy for very long and hence no good pictures to post.  we finally arrived after 4am, woke up, had breakfast and had to head to the airport.  I would definitely recommend it as its one of the closest hotels to Kilimanjaro Airport (but not Arusha airport as its on the other side of town, with apparently a lot of traffic on most days).   It has nice grounds, with monkeys in the trees above our room and some birdlife as there is a river that runs through the property as you might have guessed from the name.

 

We did get to see Kiliminjaro for the first time as it was a clear morning on the drive to the airport.  The pictures don't do it much justice as they were from an iPhone in a moving car.  Needless to say we were excited to see it not covered by mountains.    

 

Next post I will finally get to the fun part, the pictures and the safari.  Enough background already!



#7 pault

pault

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 4,068 posts
  • Local time: 03:19 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:56 AM

Well done! Calm under pressure. Yes, to getting on to the fun part but warnings that this kind of stuff can happen are worth having. It never happens until it happens!


Waiting again... for the next time again


#8 AKR1

AKR1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,342 posts
  • Local time: 04:19 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City area, USA
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

Great job coming up with a plan B on the fly and executing it. I confirm how lucky you were to not encounter the usual horrendous traffic between EWR and JFK.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Serengeti, serian, kusini, kakessio, great migration, caracal, cheetah kill, serval, pangolin, lion


© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.