July and August Safaris

I’ve been out twice since July 20th. The first safari was with Marc Baker and 6 Canadian guests - two of which were 10 year old daughters that kept their four parents and Marc in check! We started at Ngare Sero Lodge near Arusha, then 3 nights at Oliver’s Camp Tarangire, followed by a night each at Plantation and Ndutu lodges either side of a visit to Ngorongoro Crater and to finish 3 nights at Sayari Camp in the very north of the Serengeti. This sort of trip is a wonderful first time to Tanzania safari. Perhaps a little too much driving but as these guests were heading on to Matemwe in Zanzibar for a rest after being with Marc and I, packing in all into 9 nights worked very well indeed. Seeing different habitats over 9 days is an acute learning curve of the highest order. The baobab bush lands of Tarangire combines with the highlands of Ngorongoro and the dusty Serengeti plains to help gain an overview of the terrain on offer. And to finish in the Serengeti’s green north it is like seeing all the conditions Northern Tanzania can throw at you-all in one safari.

We experienced fog, rain, dust, mud, lowlands, wetlands and mountains, plains both brown and green. Our mammal and bird count was impressive. What a wonderful way for 10 year old minds to learn.

[2007/200708_03.jpg]A Martial Eagle eats a Guineafowl

[2007/200708_02.jpg]A male cheetah marks his teritory in Tarangire


[2007/200708_04.jpg]A misty Mara morning

[2007/200708_08.jpg]For Marc

[2007/200708_07.jpg]Careful with the gears

[2007/200708_09.jpg]Marc's Really Shitty Landrover

My second safari was a family affair. My mother comes out from the UK every year and we do something different each time. My slightly younger brother hasn’t been out here for 10 years, so when they decided to come together this year I planned a special side trip to show them Lake Natron and our Suyan and Sayari camps. My wife Marina (Tati) also joined us so a truly family outing. We headed out to the volcano dominated Rift Valley and down what seems to the Earth’s belly at Natron. It is such a spectacular drive. We then drove via the Gol mountains to Wasso and on to the North Eastern side of the Serengeti. Again we encountered rain and green grass after the dusty Rift Valley.

Two seasons in one! As we arrived at Suyan camp two 8 week old lion cubs were sleeping in the tree right in front of my mother’s tent! It went on like this with wildlife encounters a plenty. The migration was in full flood as well as the river. The Mara River was high and I pushed my way through the flood waters over to the Lamai Plains one day where we watched a cheetah mum hunt and then deliver alive a female Thomson’s gazelle to her 16 month old cubs. They dispatched it fairly quickly, much to my mother’s relief. Wildlife was everywhere, and being the first time for my brother Stephen to witness it, it was very special to watch his complete awe at this wonder of the natural world. Coming out again next year, Stephen? I know my mother will!

[2007/200708_05.jpg]Bloody Mum

[2007/200708_11.jpg]That Mammoth at Mara

[2007/200708_06.jpg]Bush people

[2007/200708_01.jpg]A crater on the way to Natron

[2007/200708_10.jpg]On the move again