Ngorongoro/Ndutu/Piaya

March 2007

[2007/200703-2_grant%27s_gazelle_males_clash.jpg] [2007/200703-2_giraffe_relax_with_a_gol_mountain_back_drop_near_piaya.jpg]

[2007/200703-2_suyan_piaya_fossils.jpg]We started at Ngare Sero for the first night and as my guests had traveled a great distance with time zone differences of many hours I decided to let them enjoy an easy start by relaxing that first morning and driving up to Plantation lodge after lunch. The next day it was up at 5; 30 am and into the crater before heading for Olakira Camp at Ndutu. Our 5 nights there were wonderful and the Ndutu area at its best.

Again March is an off season pleasure. I have been promoting the March-May and the November-Christmas periods for years as I firmly believe that these supposed off season times are excellent.

I had warned my first time guests from Newport California that the Ngorongoro Crater and Ndutu could be busy but we would get away from it all at Piaya. I had convinced them to invest 5 nights at Ndutu - something that first time safari goers find difficult to understand, but to their credit they agreed and were very glad that we did. Ndutu was extraordinary. But also unexpected was the massive drop in visitor numbers compared with the safari I led here in February. We saw only 20 other vehicles in the crater and had a lot of the Ndutu experiences to ourselves.

We then drove up to Suyan Camp at Piaya for a fascinating few days. I depict a few imagines of the Suyan experience below as this is the last visit to Piaya for this season. Our camps move in April, maintenance and relocation work is already ongoing. Piaya moves north to the Soit Sambu area for June, Olakira moves to central Serengeti and Sayari South moves back up to enlarge the Sayari Mara Camp. Our private mobile camp have already headed back to Arusha for repairs and upgrading.

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It’s been a challenging season with heavy rains and sometimes difficult conditions but that’s Africa and I love it each and every year-no matter what the conditions. Try these off season times- you just might like it! I have a short but sweet last safari before a two and a half month gap in my safari schedule.

Time to sort out the paperwork - I suppose!! And watch the end of a very nerve racking football season.