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    • pscrimshaw
      Hi Elena! Thank you so much! Funny enough I was just watching your Mana Pools video with the wild dogs from this morning. Small world! I'm still figuring out what my style is as a YouTuber (that feels weird to call myself but true), but personally I think creating a narrative and weaving that with the photography is how I like to create these videos.  I was in Amboseli this past March, and it was my first time in Kenya where I didn't go to the Mara. I chose this time of year because I had never been to the park in the green season, and the rain is helpful at preventing the build up of dust and clouds that often times cover up Kilimanjaro at other times. Just for reference, I've only seen Kilimanjaro clearly once in the dry season, and that was only for about 30 minutes or so. This last trip, it was in clear view every single day! Amboseli is a great choice if you're trying to combine it with Tanzania, but much like the rest of East Africa you don't really self drive here. It's almost always with private guided vehicles, and in fact the Mara just recently passed a rule where you can no longer bring your self drive vehicle. HOWEVER, I will say that Amboseli is probably the one major park where you could self drive because the park is mostly flat and clear so it's very easy to get around and find game on your own without getting lost. I'm not so familiar with the companies that will rent you a vehicle, but they do exist in Nairobi. If you have the time and patience, you can find so many incredible things in Amboseli, even the big tuskers!
    • pscrimshaw
      Yes I will definitely be making some large prints from these!
    • Galana
      Birds from my balcony in course but meantime mammals from the Kitchen sink. I don't mind washing up with this to watch.     Any volunteers to dry the pots?    
    • janzin
      It was indeed a long drive to Bandgavarh, but we arrived just about in time for late dinner. We were shown our room and dropped off our bags, but when I went to turn on the A/C, we couldn't get it to work.  Plus the room itself was very basic and small, not what I'd expected from the photos on their website. I called the front desk and told them about the a/c and they sent a handyman but he couldn't get it working either. Well, I wasn't eager to stay in this rather claustrophobic room--with Alan not feeling 100%--and with no A/C.  We decided to try and request a change of rooms, so we didn't unpack anything and headed to dinner.  When we got to dinner and I found the manager before I could even say a word she said "we've upgraded you to a deluxe room, at WWI's request."  Yay!  Luckily we hadn't unpacked anything and they moved our bags to the new room, which was lovely and very comfortable!   The new room.     A/C that worked great, whew. (In Africa I know we never have A/C but in India it's very welcome.)     With a patio with a view out to the forest (we never went out there, too hot!) But it was nice having the big windows, lots of light.     The lodge itself was very nice although for some reason I have no memory of the dining area. I think it was just to the side of the lounge, seen here. They also gave us dinner one night up on the roof of this building.     While I'm at it, let me mention the food on the trip, in general. We absolutely love Indian food, and we like it somewhat spicy as well. Let's just say that on the plane on the way home we both remarked that we couldn't wait to get home and get some GOOD Indian food (plentiful in New York City.) We know of course there is some great food in India, but seemingly not at these lodges which are really geared for tourists (I'm not sure what the Indian tourists think! From reading reviews on TripAdvisor, they don't find the food very good either!) Nothing had enough spice, and everything was very repetitive. There were always multiple vegetarian dishes, but they always seemed the same in all of the lodges. There was always one non-veg dish, but it was ALWAYS chicken. Chicken in a variety of non-spicy sauces. Oddly we never even got lamb/mutton. We swore we wouldn't eat chicken for a month when we got home! Jamtara did have somewhat better food but because of Alan's illness we really didn't get to appreciate it.  We had a much better variety of food in Southern India on our last trip, and when we've eaten in restaurants in Indian cities we had some excellent food. But not at these lodges   Actually the very best meals we had were the lunches on the road at the equivalent of their "truckstops." We had a great biryani (chicken of course) at one lunch.   Okay, back to safari after that interlude.   We had booked three full-day safari's in Bandhavgarh.  The full day here gives you a couple of advantages. First, you get to enter 15 minutes earlier and leave 15 minutes later than the other gypsys.  Secondly, you have no restrictions on zones and can go wherever. Finally of course you have the full day.   Here's a map of Bandhavgarh; the red arrow shows the location of our lodge and the red circle the gate (Tala gate) which was a good 15 minutes from the lodge; but here you were driving through the buffer zone and there was a chance of seeing something (although I don't think we ever did.)     The park is quite large and reminded me of Ranthambhore, in terms of the variety of habitats and the terrain, although there are no large lakes. There is a fort and at one point it was a private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa. There are a few remnants of buildings and monuments scattered about.   Some typical landscapes (shot with my phone.)  Lots of very high grass for tigers to hide in!     Cliffs     The remnants of what once were stables of the Maharaja.    
    • Atdahl
      Wow, what a trip this is turning out to be!
    • AfricIan
    • Kitsafari
      wow a glimpse of the elusive mighty cat! your thermal camera came in extremely useful at the river! we didn't have this equipment and saw zilch mammals on the night ride, which was really not surprising as it's pitch black in there.  
    • ElenaH
      Stunning Photos of Ellies in Amoseli! Also very good sightings in NNP. But what I love the most are your videos (subscribed ;-). I again see how important the good narration is! The footage can be not so good in some shots but you telling a story is excellent! The videos are getting just to the other level. You also zoom out your photos in videos what I find very interesting and nice.  The photos are, of course, amazing. But when I know the story behind it is even more valuable. What month were you visiting Amboseli? It is long time on my list but I've never been there. However, I'm more interested in Amboseli than in Mara. I was thinking if it is possible to combine Amboseli with Ndutu in Feb-March. The question is if Amboseli looks like this? I know, you can see Kili not every month... Have you been self-driving or did you have a private vehicle? You mentioned that you were waiting for an elephant  (Pascal?) to cross in front of the Kili. You can do it only when you are alone, I suppose.
    • Bush dog
      White-fronted bee-eater     In the afternoon we went up the bed of the Ruckomechi.  The valley becomes narrower and narrower until it forms a gorge flanked by rocky hills, a suitable environment for klipspringers.  In fact, we saw two of them running across the bed.  Arriving at a set of rocks, you cannot go any further, the upper bed being more or less three meters higher.  In this amalgamation of rocks, there is a hole 1.5 meters deep, still filled with water, at the level of the lower bed.     The day before, a tragedy had taken place there.  A very young baby elephant, coming to drink, had accidentally fallen in it.  Unable to escape, it drowned.  Dylan, the pro guide, pulled the dead animal out of the hole so that the water would not be contaminated by its decomposition, this hole being frequented by different species.  The mother, still present at the scene, witnessed the operation and showed signs of aggression towards the vehicle.  Dylan thought it might charge cars in the future.  In the evening, Dylan warned us by radio that hyenas were present feeding on the remains, asking me if I was interested in going there.  I responded negatively.   Returning from the gorge, we followed the bed of the Ruckomechi.  Arriving near the camp, we found two of the three lionesses seen on the first day.                 Then we pushed further to find the third lioness with one of the two males dominating the territory.         At nightfall, we returned to the two lionesses who had not moved.  We were on the right bank, the camp being on the left side, the 2 lionesses in the river bed near the left bank. It was not yet completely dark when a herd of buffalo slowly came out of the thickets, crossing the river towards the camp's water hole.  The lionesses flattened itselves in the sand and did not move.  The herd was going to pass to the right of the first lioness.  The second was further to its left.  The strategy was, obviously, to let the bulk of the herd pass and then attack the rear of it.  We couldn't really see what was happening anymore, just guess.  The full moon was only scheduled for ten days later and the flashlight could not be used so as not to interfere with what was about to happen. As expected, the first lioness let the herd pass and pounced when the last buffaloes came within reach.  This, of course, caused utter chaos and confusion, as one can imagine.  The front of the herd stampeded towards the camp, perhaps without even knowing the reason for what spooked them, while the last buffaloes turned around to rush into the thickets, followed by the lioness.  In the meantime, we had turned on the flashlight.  The second lioness quickly passed in front of the vehicle before also disappearing into the vegetation.  All this in a cloud of dust and a symphony of sounds such as mooing, cracking of wood and branches and hammering of hooves on the ground.  We followed them and searched for a long time without success.  I think the hunt was a failure.  
    • madaboutcheetah
    • Hads
      It was time for a coffee and a bush break. Kelvin took us to a nice little waterhole for a cup of coffee and some snacks. Great way to finish the morning drive   Kelvin (rear) and BB (front left) with my 2 boys.       My youngest boy was delighted to see a Striped kingfisher - he actually spotted it after asking to go look for one      
    • Hads
      Kelvin and BB heard some dogs, we went and looked for them with no such luck then returned to the lions again. As we got back to the lions I turned around for some reason and saw a predator running off in the distance - I initially said look a Hyena before realising it was the dogs - so off we went again in pursuit. There was only half the pack there, initially they were quite active before they settled down for the morning. What an amazing morning we have had.                      
    • Hads
      Continuing on the morning drive off across a beautiful plain we saw 3 large Cats heading in our direction. Kelvin says they are brothers and a sister - 3 young lions in great condition.       Tiny puddle - drink time.             What can I see off in the distance. Kids I-Phone pic      
    • Hads
      Well after a wonderful introduction to 4 rivers with the dogs last night what would today bring. The breakfast at 4 Rivers was fantastic. Kelvin and BB where ready to go and off we went. It wasnt long before we came across our first Sable herd - what majestic animals they are.        
    • Hads
      Thanks very much to everyone for following along   Thanks @Peter Connanfor identifying the bird for me. @michael-ibkyes 4Rivers was very upmarket for us, it was wonderful to be able to stay at a place like this, but it will be quite sometime before I can afford to do it again with a family of 5, I cherished every moment there.  @Alex The Lionour guide Kelvin (who I rate very highly) took us on a nice drive out through the TSUM TSUM area which was stunning, lots of floodplains and water crossings - obviously, there would be more game in the winter months. @ElenaHI am not the best photographer but encourage my kids to take plenty of photo's. The i-phone photo's give a nice change to the report. It is nice to take plenty of photo's of the camp area's and the various accomodation, it gives people an idea of what they will experience. We did experience plenty of action on one particular game drive at 4Rivers with the dogs. @Africaloveryes Joster is definitely one of a kind.  
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