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Where is Matiti now? A trip to Tanzania

Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger


sorry that I generalized, you may be right, but I think you and the others know, what I meant.


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Wild Dogger

After we are leaving Ndutu we hear on the radio that the leopard cubs are relocated by her mim again. This was at least the second time in three days.


South of Naabi Hill we see the first forerunners of the migration.

My first thought: oh no, now we are going north and the migration arrives in Ndutu.








As soon as we arrive the Seronera area we see lots of cars staring at a far away tree: Leopard.

It is very far away so we procede. We want to get to aour Camp: Kati Kati Mobile tented Camp.

But before we arrive there, we see another leopard in a tree, also far away from the road.

Offroading´s not allowed here, so we drive to the camp.


The camp is very nice, a lovely setting on the foot of the Mukoma Hill. We will be staying here 4 nights.


The tents are big with everything you need. Claudia would like more light, because she´s a busy reader.


The food here is plenty, way to much. Drinks are much cheaper than in the Ndutu Safari Lodge.


There´s a nice fireplace in front of the dining tent.




But where is Matiti now?


After our lunch nap we procede on our Safari.


First we see is a big city like traffic jam.
Leopard again in the far distance.

I count the verhicles: exactly 50 cars are blocking 2 roads on a crossing.

The leopard is walking in high gras and crossing a road to get to the small river.

We drive on, I am not waiting in line with 50 cars.

We need our own personal leopard! I want my private sighting! I am an egoist!

We drive the loop around Seronera and have a nice sighting of a Topi.




By stopping there for a picture, we almost cause an accident, because nobody stops for a Topi here, you only stop for Big Five or a predator!.

The vehicle behind us was to close and a truck was even closer to that car. The truck driver is angry, he just should drive slower.


There are some Buffalos.




Then we make a stop at a Hippo pod, before we head back to camp.




This was the first day in the Serengeti, there is no migration anymore in the Seronera area.

We decide to go South tomorrow morning, to Moru Kopies, maybe we catch the big herd there.

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Wild Dogger



It has rained all night and it´s not really warm.


My brother´s girlfriend is again not joining us and won´t in the afternoon also. She has seen everything, she wanted and sleeps out.


We are going south to hopefully get in contact with the migration.


Saimon is very informative today and tells a lot of stories of the history of the Serengeti.


Before we get to the Moru Kopies we stop at Lake Magadi, funny enough that the lake has the same name as the one in the Ngorongoro Crater. When I checked it at home I was a little bit confused.


Well, there´s a flock of beautiful Yellow-billed storks occupying the lake.




They all have slightly pinkish feathers which results from their diet.




We procede south and we have the Moru Kopies almost for us alone. Only very few cars, if at all. We learn, that those who are staying in that area are mostly heading north to Seronera, because there´s more game there.


Nonetheless, we have good sightings of















and Buffalo and most of all: it´s a beautiful area!


No signs of the migration. It has already moved south. Saimon would love to go there, but the due to the rains, the roads are extremely slippery in that direction and so we decide to go back to Seronera.

We´ll try our luck tomorrow morning again, if it´s not raining at night.


Back at the camp, Saimon realizes, that the car has a broken leaf spring. Luckily he has a spare and also the necessary tools to change it.

It takes a bit longer than expected to change the part and so we leave at 4.

First we have to fill up some diesel and then the fun can start.


Those trees along the little river seem to attract those leopards. There´s the usual car park arounnd that area. We hear that a leopard with cubs must be around.

Some baboons are running and shouting like crazy, The big boss is chasing a leopard through the high grasses. Saimon doubts, that this is a leopard with cubs. He said, a mum would rather fight the baboon then run away and leave the cubs in danger.

Well, we just see a glimpse of that leopard. I don´t want to wait here and suggest where the leopard´s going and we drive.


We see a beautiful Coucal




and this shrike (I think, it´s a shrike), Saimon checked it in his book, but I forgot what it was exactly.

Saimon actually didn´t know everything, but he was very busy in finding out an answer to all our questions, which I liked.




We go back to the area, where the leopard was expected.

There are much less cars now, those coming from maybe Sopa Lodge way in the south had to get back before they are late.

There´s a Bushbuck staring in one direction and we suggest, that he´s seeing danger.

The buck stands still for quiet a while as suddenly Saimon said: „I´ve heard a Guinea Fowl call, and it did not sound like usually. Let´s go there and check out what this is all about.“

We turn around and go to the opposite side of that little river.


All of a sudden, Saimon yells:“There he is, look, there he is!“

At first, I saw nothing but a dusty road, but then I saw him:



our own, private Leopard, proudly walking on a dusty road. No cars around!!

Saimon is screaming from one ear to the other. It´s just a 2 minute encounter, but what a lucky one!

He´s walking straight at us,




passing us on the right




and disappears in the gras, before the next car arrives.

Unfortunately the pics are not as good as I hoped for.


So on our way back to Camp my brother and I are singing:
„There he was, just a walking on the street, singing: Doo-wah-Diddy-Diddy-Dum-Diddy-Doo“. (Don´t know, if that´s the proper text, but we didn´t care.)

Somehow, we´ve been full of adrenalin from thus sighting.

We´re happy and I feel a little pity with my brother´s girl, but everybody´s responsible for his own luck.


After dinner, we sit on the fire place and enjoy life!

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Wild Dogger


As it has not rained at night and still isn´t, we decide to once again go south and try to find the migration.


Saimon telly us a strange story. There must have been a safari vehicle got stuck on the way from Seronera to the Sopa Lodge in the south last night. The driver and the guests had to spend the night in their vehicle as nobody seems to have missed them in the Lodge. Okay, Sopa Lodge is a big place, but I think at least the colleagues of the driver must have missed him. There was also no cellular network in the area.


We again visit Lake Magadi, the storks are not there. No day is like the other.

Instead there are




Blackwinged Stilts





Kittlitz´s Plovers (I hope, I am right)

We procede and see Black Korhans and Hyenas.

A beautiful Bat-eared Fox is enjoying the day.




Elephants and Giraffes are plenty.





There are again only a few cars in the area.

Saimon asks one of the drivers about the conditions south and he tells, that it might be passable now, but when it starts raining we got to hurry back.
The roads are extremely slippery that side.

We don´t mind and take the risk.

A lion is scanning the area.




In the end we see the big herd. But it´s far in the distance.




This is only a fraction and it looks like a big herd of cows in an old Italian Western.

Saimon tries to find a way to get there, but there is none.

So we turn around after we had a small coffee break.

We see lions in a tree.




I don´t know, what this is nowadays with these cats in the trees. Seems to be a new fashion.

We are afraid that this branch breaks, when the lioness moves.




In the afternoon it´s just Claudia and me alone in the car.


After a while Saimon is raising the speed. There must be something.

A Leopard with 2 cubs!




Lots of cars are surrounding the little family.




One cub is walking under the vehicle. They are so used to vehicles as if they are part of their natural environment.

The family disappears in the high grasses.




Most of the cars leave now, they have to go South.

There´s a tree line along a small river and Saimon decides to go on the opposite side of that water.

The Leopard appears and checks one of the trees out, if it is safe for her cubs.




It is and the cubs are climbing the tree.






They run over those huge branches like they never did anything else.




They climb up to the crown of the Acacia. Just amazing!

After a while they rest and we procede to find

a small herd of elephants passing by in the distance.




It´s a bit misty out there.




Then again:

another leopard!




He´s resting on a mount close to the road. We are standing in second line blocking the whole road.

There´s a warthog in the distance. Suddenly the predator gets up, but the warthog knew what would happen and is already gone.


What an afternoon drive.

4 leopards including cubs!

My brother´s asking me: „how many leopards have you seen?“ and is getting jealous.

In the evening on the fire side there´s some guys from Norway who have a laptop with speakers. Strange to hear music in the bush. But they´ve asked if it disturbed us and we didn´t care as the music was nice and not loud.


Tomorrow´s our last day in the Serengeti, who knows which miracles are waiting for us.

Edited by Wild Dogger
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Wow, Leopard Overload! Adore the pics with the cubs. And absolutely terrific shots of those yellow-billed storks! Loving your report, please keep it on. :)

Edited by michael-ibk
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I promise you, we saw the same Lions on the same tree!!!!

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Wild Dogger

I promise you, we saw the same Lions on the same tree!!!!

I saw also pictures from others of that.

It seems to be their chillout lounge :)

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Some really wonderful photos. Love the fox and the tree climbing lions and leopards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scanning your photos, you had some incredible sightings and managed to capture it by camera. All these reports from a similar time frame are one way to never leave Tanzania!

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Wild Dogger Jambo. Your photographs are superb. May i apologise openly if i my previous comments were taken personally. I am sure that

most of us care for wildlife otherwise we woulld not there. Your concern is touching.On a happy note ; the small cubs on big marsh are still o.k. The lioness is Aphrodite. There were 9 cubs born on big marsh in march 2009. 4 males ( Hector Achillies Paris and Odysseus ) 5 females ( Hera Athena Cassandra Aphrodite and Helen) . Greek gods and heros as i am sure you know. The other 2 lion prides at Ndutu also have fascinating lives. Again my apologies but what a wonderful priveledge. My kind regards.

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I have tried to access discussion forum but old age and lack of knowledge prevents me. So, Aphrodite has 2 cubs on big marsh. Aphrodite was born march 2009. Her mother was One eye or Notch and she has 3 female siblings (Hera Cassandra Athena and the well named Helen ) Soon there will be more cubs born at the hardest time (migration back in Mara ). It was joy to see young Jessica doing well from your photo. Thank you. ( Jessica 1 of 4 cubs born to Notch oct 2011) It is clearly involvement with individual animals that clouds my emotions. Cheetah watch following Eleanor, Loopy Lou, Coffee brothers , Emily and many others may sometimes c...loud research. That cannot be a bad thing. One day maybe see Hector or his brothers again.We are all individuals and deserve respect. My sincere apologies for any offence. Simba.

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Hi Simba,


I truly hope you stay on safaritalk to provide valuable knowledge to the forum base.


I did see Aphrodite and her two cubs at big marsh with binocs. It was great that the Lion research team were monitoring their every move......


I was told by the lady from cheetah watch that, Eleanor hadn't been seen for quite some time. Yes, she did id the mum with 4 cubs as Emily......



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Excellent images & report.

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Many thanks for your kind comments Madaboutcheetah. I am extremely pleased that you saw Aphrodite of Big Marsh pride. I also hope that you saw Young Tom (www.panthera. org ). H..... from cheetah project is superb and very willing to share her knowledge around the campfire. I know that this is trip report Game Warden but it was Wild dogger's excellent photographs and amusing report that stirred this old fool. Best wishes.

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Hi Thomas!


Super trip report! Super photos as well! The last day you described was indeed a TOP day! Until your last report I thought we ourselves had been a tad (but just a tad) luckier with sightings of the spotted ones...after your last post that can not be said any more. The leopard cubs are truly awesome!


My favorite image of your image remains however without any doubt the lion under the rainbow!


Also nice that there seems to be a lot of knowledge about the Ndutu cats on this forum so that one can identify his/her sighted cats.

Edited by Bart
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Many thanks for your kind comments Madaboutcheetah. I am extremely pleased that you saw Aphrodite of Big Marsh pride. I also hope that you saw Young Tom (www.panthera. org ). H..... from cheetah project is superb and very willing to share her knowledge around the campfire. I know that this is trip report Game Warden but it was Wild dogger's excellent photographs and amusing report that stirred this old fool. Best wishes.

Many thanks for your kind comments Madaboutcheetah. I am extremely pleased that you saw Aphrodite of Big Marsh pride. I also hope that you saw Young Tom (www.panthera. org ). H..... from cheetah project is superb and very willing to share her knowledge around the campfire. I know that this is trip report Game Warden but it was Wild dogger's excellent photographs and amusing report that stirred this old fool. Best wishes.

Yes, I met H from cheetah project. I owe her images from our trip that I promised to email. Have not started editing them yet as I have been swamped with work and other obligations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After just the first page, I can congratulate you on the excellent photos of the lion kill. That Martial Eagle is looking ominous! I'm already jealous of your rainbow shots as both the arc and color intensity exceeds what I got. You had really nice light in the crater. I feel a gag reflex after seeing that zebra kick to the throat. Ouch.


I was wondering what Matiti was from the title. Now I know.

Edited by Atravelynn
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I think your private leopard shots are great. I get the feel of his lumbering gait. The yellow billed stork flapping is exceptional! Nice to know you like the Hoopoe, my favorite.


50 cars!? I would not care to wait with 50 either. I thought about half that was a crowd.


Your leopard cub shots are very cute. Lotsa' leopards. The lions in the trees are just draped all over the branches!


Regarding the fate of the young cubs, I had heard that a hyena killed them not long before I arrived.


So Matiti is still there and you're back home with lingering fond thoughts of "her."

Edited by Atravelynn
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  • 2 years later...

@@Wild Dogger / Thomas


Thanks for a great trip report and fantastic photos. The light and colors is magical.

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Just worked my way backwards through this thread thanks to the bump - great stuff! Beautifully shot photos and some food for thought about proximity to wildlife, as well.

Fantastic job with the lion/wildebeest sequence.

The zebra kick was also a highlight for me.

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post-49296-0-00519900-1439152633_thumb.jpg post-49296-0-04627400-1439152645_thumb.jpg

~ @@Wild Dogger


Beautful photographs!

Directly in line with the lens.

Such exceptional images.

Thank you for sharing them.

Tom K.

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  • 8 months later...
Game Warden



@@Wild Dogger Re reading this report and I love this shot. Great timing and eye for a photograph.



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Page 1 is powerful start! The lion drinking from the dead wildebeest teat is most interesting behavior. Though not as powerful as the lion kill, the roller kill is impressive. The zebra kick shot is perfectly timed.



Ha ha. I thought this was a new report and I would head back to Ndutu. While it seemed vaguely familiar, I did not realize how similar my comments would be this time vs. the first time.


Beautiful yellow billed storks.


But what is different this time is my familiarity with Matiti. We did not play an actual game of "Where is Matiti now?" but I often asked about it as a landmark and appreciated how it "moved around." Funny how the two hills collapsed into one when approaching closer.


Regardless of the year, Ndutu and the crater is an exciting place in the green season!

Edited by Atravelynn
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