Northern Tanzania in February 2012
Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:02 AM
I am still sorting out my photos, but would like to start with a few, which are below. Am not much of a reporter and will leave most to be told my images.
A beautiful leopard in Ndutu:
Warthog in Tarangire National Park:
Adult and young bufallos:
An albino baboon in Tarangire:
Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:40 AM
What was going on with the migration?
Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:01 AM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:26 AM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:40 PM
We flew from Sao Paulo to Joburg and from there to Dar. Slept one night at the Southern Sun (nice hotel with a good restaurant) and left next morning by Coastal Air to Arusha and then to the Ndutu Airstrip after a stop at Lake Manyara. Long trip... and after all that flying we found out that we would have 3 more hours by car to reach our camp. It was not a very good surprise, considering that I had been informed that it would be a 15 min drive.
Anyway, Asilia's Ubuntu Camp was great. Located in a beautiful spot(more to the South than I had expected, in the Kakesio area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area), the camp was very comfortable and run by very nice people. We met some very interesting fellow travellers and had a wonderful time with them. Five minutes after we joined everyone for drinks the camp manager, Markus, was stung by a scorpion but bravely remained with us for dinner keeping a lively conversation despite the clear pain. It was overall a great camp.
A little after our arrival we were informed that due to the lack of rains the wildebeest herds, which had been there in january, had moved far up north-west. We felt sorry because we were certainly looking forward to see those huge herds. It was not to be this time.
Although the huge herds were not there, we could see from camp several large herds on the plains before us. Wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, and eland. There were a few thousands of them not far from the camp. Closer to the camp we could at any and all moments several giraffes (at one point more than 20 in one sight). Very nice. At night we would hear hyenas and other cries.
Our drives through the plains were very good and productive. First, it was our first time in that region and we were amazed with the vastness of the plains in southern Serengeti. At some points we could look around 360o. and see not a single tree or bush. At the same time we would see countless animals all around us. Beautiful.
Close to the camp and indeed for many miles up north there were no other cars at all. We drove for hours by ourselves.
It was up north closer to Ndutu that we saw the leopard, some elefants, several cheetah and hyenas, and a few sleepy lions under a tree. Here we also saw many more cars and lodges.
The highlight in that area, though, were the wild dogs. We first saw them one early evening, when we were already at camp preparing for drinks when someone called us to say that they are not far and asked if we wanted to see them. We surely did. It was already dark and we saw them there doing that wild dog stuff: some sleeping, some playing around. It was too dark and after a few minutes we were back at camp.
Next day we were told they were still around. We decided to go and see them in the afternoon. We found them at around 3:30 and decided to stay with them to see what they would do next. For 2:30 hours we just watched them playing and sleeping and grooming each other. Then, at one point, when it was starting to get dark, they became more alert and seemed more focused. Four of the males started to walk slowly towards some wildebeest that we could see at a distance. The others followed half-heartedly. Some still running around and playing. This went on for a few minutes until they started to look all more fierce and focused. One of them took the lead and the others formed a tight group following him. The wildebeest were still there, grazing with their youngs. It was exciting to see how then the dogs started to crouch towards the unaware grazers. At one point, then, they started to run towards the herd.
Our guide had placed the car in a great spot and we could see, as it was getting dark, the dogs running and the herd splitting in two large groups raising a lot of dust in the process. The dogs, however, didn't care about the dust and also split in smaller groups that followed their own targets. A calf was downed some 30 meters from our car and was dead and eaten in what seemed to be seconds. Another two calves were killed around us. We then saw that the dogs had targeted an adult female that was running by itself followed by a hungry pack. We move our car in their direction and saw the dogs grab her from behind. It was an exciting and gruesome view. We saw more and more dogs circling the wildebeest and effectively eating it alive. After a while we left because no one could stand the sights and sounds any longer. Heavy stuff. Raw life and death.
Now the images. As you will see, it was getting dark and I had to increase to ISO to the limit, which affected the level of noise in some of the photos. There was only one more car during the kill, also from Ubuntu Camp.
There is a calf somewhere in there:
Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:43 PM
"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.
How to post images in the text.
Want to tag another member in a post? Use @ before their display name, eg @game warden
Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:35 PM
These are the dogs that possibly could have denned around Ubuntu as they have been seen their very regularly. Since this is the denning season for them in those parts, fingers crossed!
Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:30 PM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:36 PM
A thrilling (but gruesome) experience!
Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:57 PM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:29 PM
… clarity in thought comes after challenge …
Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:15 PM
Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:54 AM
The final pic shows how both opinions come about!