safari diary

  • Eleven Days Well Spent in Tanzania

    Bryan Fawcett
    November 21, 2017

    If you want to know how to spend 11 day on an Africa safari in Tanzania, here is a great account. Arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, they were met by their guides, Lomayani and Freddie. From there they overnighted in Kilimanjaro Lodge, unaware of the great sightings they had in store and the experiences they will have. Well, they had expectations, but they are normally nothing compared what is experienced.

    Early the following morning they headed for Manyara National Park. Here they saw basic animals like elephants, and many small antelope, Impala, Dik dik. The next day, they arrived in the Serengeti National Park. Right at the gate, they had the pleasure of seeing a small part of the migration that is in the south of the park at the moment. The main sightings in the Serengeti were the big cats – lion and cheetah, that they saw over the three days that they were there. The Serena Lodge in the Serengeti was their base for these three days. Going out after a relaxing breakfast they had the pleasure of enjoying sightings throughout different times of the day. Animals are visible at certain times of the day, waterholes early morning and late afternoon, in shady areas at lunchtime, scattered on the grasslands the rest of the time. The predators are generally around little hills so they can have a lookout to see what is there from them to capture. At the lodge they saw buffalo and dik dik. Seeing these magnificent beasts whilst relaxing in the lodge is pretty amazing!

    In the Serengeti they had the opportunity of watching a lion family on the hunt, and how the mother and father look after their cubs. As you can see by the pictures they had a kill, now the father brings it closer and in a safer place for the cubs to feed. Protected by the rocks they can safely feed on the wildebeest that had been killed for them, the parents eat as well but make sure there is enough for the little cubs to eat. Other families seen were the cheetah laying about, as you can see they had recently eaten, hence the reason why they are lazing about. On the second day in the Serengeti they had a picnic lunch at a remote picnic site, The picture below shows how they spent it, great enjoyment all around.

    From the Serengeti they headed out and into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The next day, they went into the Ngorongoro Crater, termed as the “8th Wonder of the World”. Inside the crater they got to see the black rhino, one of the most endangered species on Earth. Thereafter, they overnighted nighted in Karatu before heading to see the native tribes of the region. Two tribes with specific industries amongst them. The Hadzabe tribe specializes in hunting and the Datoga tribe in the blacksmith trade. Here they learnt how the Hadzabe hunt and the Datoga make tools and weapons. The trade between themselves and others for survival, the group had a local lunch with the tribes. Later, they headed to Tarangire National Park, where they went on a night game drive, with Brendan, the night safari guide. During this game drive they say jackal, bush babies, zebra, buffalo and elephants. Seeing these creatures at night is very different from the day, a true feeling of Africa comes over you.

    On their last day of safari they headed to Arusha National Park, where they saw flamingos and beautiful scenery around Mt. Meru. Spending these 11 days in Africa gave the ma true and authentic experience in Africa. Come join us on a similar itinerary customized just for you.

  • News on Tarangire National Park

    Bryan Fawcett
    October 17, 2017

    Reports from recent safaris in Tarangire National Park, we can see the movement elephants in the region. Water is low now, due to the lack of rains in this short rainy season. A lot of the animals are migrating to where there is water still. The National Park is still relatively full of wildlife, as the region is protected from villages trying to seek water for their domestic herds of cattle, goats and sheep.

    The animals migrate in the park according to weather patterns and the access to water. The Tarangire River rarely drys up, so the elephants hang around the extent of the river depending on the vegetation in the area. Tarangire National Park is known for its large elephant population.

    At the moment the herds, are on the move and are covering large areas every day in search of food. Other animals are hanging around the swamp areas where there is more water and vegetation around. At lot of the lodges have pumped waterholes which allow for animals to stay in the areas but this is dependent on the vegetation in the area.

    From our pictures you can see that the elephants are moving in big herds relying on each other for protection and food. The lodges are getting fantastic views of elephants, zebra, waterbuck, the odd wildebeest and a plethora of birds. It is without a doubt that you will wake up to sound of birds and a view of animals close by. You may even get an elephant close to your room in the night! Tarangire Safari Lodge, Sopa Lodge and Oliver’s Camp are excellent examples of lodges with this atmosphere around them.

    The WMA’s (wildlife management areas) next to the park have it pretty rough at the moment where domestic animals and the wild ones fight for vegetation and access to water. The areas close to the lodges in the WMA’s are a safe haven for wildlife and having waterholes close by they tend to stay. Nimali and Tarangire Treetops are prime examples of such places.

    Our guests recently have had the pleasure of seeing vast amounts of elephants and a range of other animals. Some were lucky enough to see lion, and a few other predators like hyena. This time of year the wildebeest and zebra are still here in a reasonable number, as later in the year they migrate for the calving season in February.

    I mentioned birds earlier, now let me explain them a little more. The amount of bird species in East Africa is huge, with many sub species. So for the avid birder reading here, you will immensely enjoy being in Tarangire, you just may fill up your SD card with birds! The beauty is that you don’t have to look hard, they are everywhere! Some birds you may get tired of seeing but there are certainly others that you won’t get the opportunity of seeing again! If you are counting you will be adding up your list pretty fast here.

    Keep on watching our blog and we will with delight bring you updates and news from places and events in East and Southern Africa.

  • An Extraordinary African Safari

    Bryan Fawcett
    October 11, 2017

    Before we get to the actual story, I have to restate the heading. A wild dog sighting in the Serengeti National Park! To see these amazing creatures is truly amazing, there are not many packs left in the wild throughout Africa today, there are an estimated number of 6,600 left in the wild, and they have been endangered for more than 20 years. A pack can cover a range of 900 square miles, so getting a chance to see them is awesome! I have lived in Africa all my life and have only seen them in the wild twice; hopefully, I’ll get to see them again soon! So these guests of ours were truly lucky! Most areas where they exist now have programs that monitor and protect them.

     

    These guests had the beauty of seeing a few endangered species on their safari, with different settings to admire these magnificent creatures. So they saw the wild dog and the vulture, two of Africa’s endangered animals. They had the opportunity to see the wild dogs playing about in the shade and the vultures at a zebra kill. Both sightings are really good the photos will show you that. Yet, as mentioned earlier, the wild dog is by far one of the rarest sightings you will have in the Serengeti.

    The guests were overjoyed in seeing these beautiful animals! Our driver, did a great job in finding these animals. The wild dogs are a playful bunch always looking for fun and games. They are such great creatures.

    The guests were able to watch vultures and lion squabble over a zebra kill. Vultures are also amongst the endangered species that exist in the savannah plains. Sitting and watching these animals you realize that survival of the fittest is at play here, there is no mommy to look after you in the African bush.

    The strongest only survive here and from these pictures you can see that! Even among the same species you have to fight, survive and be better than the one next to you. You can learn a lot about life from watching wildlife whilst on an African safari.

    Here is a picture of a cheetah on an anthill, from this picture you can see he is on it to get a view of his surroundings so that he can locate his prey. On examination of this picture you can see that this anthill is used for many things, it’s a den from hyena or warthog sometimes both. Fun fact, termites which built this anthill are regarded keystone creatures in the circle of life, as they provide shelter for themselves and also for other animals.

    Lion prides are common because of the plethora of animals around. Our guests got to see a few prides in different settings, from lazing in the shade to defending a kill. It is always good to see cubs about this shows that the lion population is maintaining itself in the region.

    Our guests were extremely lucky to see a vast range of animals on safari and especially to see some of Africa’s most endangered animals.

  • A Day Excursion in Nairobi

    Lesia
    September 21, 2017

    What is there to do in Nairobi if you have just a one day layover? When visiting Kenya, proceeding on safari to the famous Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru or even Ol Pejeta is quite common; as we know Kenya is one of the most accessible countries in East Africa. Yet, if you have just a one night transfer in Nairobi for business and don’t have lots of time for the long safari carry on reading.

    nairobi-national-park-safari

    We have a solution for you! The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, can boast an opportunity to see wild nature without even having to go out of the city. Recently, our youngest team members loved their visit to Nairobi National Park, the Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center.

    The Elephant Orphanage only allows visitors strictly between 11 and 12pm. Julia and Lesia from Shadows had adopted two young elephants in the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust about six months ago. It gave them an advantage to visit at 5pm when these cute creatures were getting ready for sleep. That is why they planned their day accordingly.

    david-sheldrick-wildlife-trust Wirh adoption certificates, February 2017

     

    At 8am, after a refreshing breakfast, they headed to Nairobi National Park for a short game drive and to be in time for the giraffe and elephant visits. It is quite a short drive to the park, but when it concerns Nairobi, you may need to be ready to deal with heavy traffic. Realistically, it takes around 40 minutes to get there.

    The most special thing about the Nairobi National park is the opportunity to observe wildlife right in front of the skycrapers. Just a short distance from the entrance, you can see zebras, giraffes, antelopes and African buffaloes. If you are lucky enough, you will get to see at least a couple of lions and even the endangered black rhinos. The ladies were more than surprised to observe around 7 rhinos at the same time! Elijah, from our Nairobi office, explained that in Nairobi National Park it is possibly the best place in Kenya to view these rare and endangered species. In stunning Nakuru National Park, you may only get a slim chance at seeing such a big group.

    rhinos-safari-kenya

    nairobi-rhinos-kenya

    The team also paid a visit to the Ivory Burning Site Monument, where more than 100 tons of ivory was burnt to hinder poaching.
    It was the largest ivory burn in history.

    After the game drive, the ladies visited the Giraffe Center, which is open from 9am up to 5pm. The center allows visitors to touch the giraffes and even feed them; but you need to be careful, these proud animals can hit you with their heads.

    giraffe-center-nairobi-kenya Julia in the Giraffe Center

     

    Finally, the most exciting part of the trip for Julia and Lesia was the visit to their adopted elephants Jotto and Malkia. They were saved by the David Shelrick Wildlife Trust and will be re-introduced back into the wild at the mere age of three. Any visitor of the orphanage can choose an elephant to sponsor. The minimum donation per year is just $50! This helps the foundation to supply babies with milk, food and to save more animals all around the Kenyan National Parks.

    elephants-orphanage-nairobi In hurry to get some milk

     

    The Trust is not just hosting elephants, but as well as warthogs, rhino and a giraffe. This is a great chance for you to be a part of rescuing and saving african species from extinction. Some of the guests adopted more than 5 babies and come regularly to visit them. There is even an opportunity to adopt elephants online; this means that you can make an appointment to visit your baby at 5pm, when there are not that many tourists around. Thereafter, they spent a fanstic evening enjoying the restaurants of Nairobi.

    Nairobi is definitely a city of contrasts. Here you will find everything - skyscrapers and slums, wildlife and traffic, a mix of nationalities and cultures. It is one of the most modern African cities with its own atmosphere.

  • A 10 Day Safari with Bashiru

    Lauren Smith
    October 3, 2016
    A great 10 day safari with lots of predatory action.
  • Kilimanjaro Day Tour, Biking, and Lions!

    Lauren Smith
    September 15, 2016
    We can help you arrange extra activities before, during, or after your safari such as biking, hiking, climbing, canoeing and more!
  • Making the most of Safari - Prep for a whole day out!

    Lauren Smith
    September 15, 2016

    Driver and guide, Bashiri took Sean and Jennifer on safari through Tarangire, Central and North Serengeti and Ngorongoro. There is so much to see along these routes. With no time to lose, we always recommend taking a packed lunch with you on safari so as to not waste precious safari time going back to your accommodation to eat. We can organise your lunchbox around specific dietary requirements as well, as was the case with Jennifer who informed us that she needed lactose free lunches.

    Just some of what they saw:

    • In Tarangire, they saw local migrations, and a lion hunting a wildebeest
    • In Central Serengeti they saw leopards, lions, buffalos and elephants. One of the lions that they saw chased and captured a hartebeest
    • In North Serengeti they witnessed the great migration pass the famous Mara River!

    Bashir sent us some of the photos that he took along the way! Here they are below:

    Elephants Tarangire Elephants, Tarangire National Park
    Leopard Serengeti Leopard in the tree, Serengeti
    giraffes elephants waterhold Giraffes and elephants around a small waterhole
    Sunset in the Serengeti Sunset in the Serengeti
  • Big Safari with the Big 5

    Lauren Smith
    September 5, 2016

    Our driver Bashir just came back from a Safari with two clients from China.

    Their safari consisted of 6 days travelling to Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Arusha National Park (Amini Maasai Lodge). They saw the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino).

    Check out their big cat sightings below!

    Tanzania Safari Lions Tanzania Lions Tanzania Leopard Tanzania

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