Jump to content

Northern Serengeti trip, August/September 2013


Recommended Posts

My husband and I leave for Tanzania in a few days flying from Atlanta to Amsterdam then to Kilimanjaro. We're spending two nights in the Arusha Coffee Lodge and doing a day tour including taking supplies to a school/orphanage.

 

We then fly to Lamai Serengeti for four nights and then a short trip over to Sayari for four nights. Hopefully we'll see the migration and some crossings. Although I've done the hot air balloon ride we'll do this again from Sayari.

 

I realize it doesn't make sense to stay in two locations so close together but in the end this was what Bill Givens from The Wild Source and I came up with. We tried to make the itinerary as palatable as possible for my husband who wouldn't have picked a safari as a bucket list item.

 

Deo, Bill's partner, will guide us at both locations.  has left her bean bags with Deo and has been kind enough to offer them to me to use. I'll take my D4, D800, 24-120 and the new Nikon 80-400 plus a 1.4 TC. The 80-400 is a compromise that I think/hope will serve me well.

 

I'm still debating taking my Jobu Jr. gimbal head to use with the apex bean bag  or leave it behind. It's probably and over kill for that lens. But, it would raise the height of the lens when shooting out the window. Any thoughts on this?

 

Next is Zanzibar for five nights staying at The Residence and touring Stone Town on our last day and then home.

 

I would like to think that I could post a few installments during our trip but if not I'll check back in when I get home which wil be.......September 11th....aaagghhhh....what was I thinking flying on that day?!?!

 

Toddles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 92
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • PCNW

    40

  • pault

    8

  • graceland

    7

  • ZaminOz

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I just read back through this report and my word at the errors. An English teacher would send it back for repair.   Doors of Zanzibar     They were the first part to be

On our 2nd full day in the Serengeti we trudged up the fairly long walk to the car park area in the dark. We had made two requests early on and then three weeks out for a particular bourbon (three op

We landed in the Serengeti and Deo, our guide, was there to meet us. I had read so much about him that I wanted to hug him. What a humble, intelligent, knowledgable man, a pleasure to be with. We w

Posted Images

On 8/23/2013 at 7:54 PM, PCNW said:

I'm still debating taking my Jobu Jr. gimbal head to use with the apex bean bag  or leave it behind. It's probably and over kill for that lens. But, it would raise the height of the lens when shooting out the window. Any thoughts on this?

 

I'd vote for leaving the Jobu at home; on my Ndutu trip I rarely used my gimbal head, mainly for stationary setups with my 500. The vast majority of my shooting was with the 100-400--love the flexibility of shooting hand-held and the IS helps erase most of the movements. If you happen to have a mini-ballhead, that would probably do for any stationary shots.

Link to post
Share on other sites
twaffle

PCNW, I fly out of Nairobi on the 11th also. I'll wave to you from the air.

 

Have a great trip and I hope your husband enjoys himself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
graceland

Have a fabulous trip - your husband will become a convert I'm sure! So many of us will be in Afica

in Sept. My hubby and I will be in S. Tanzania while you are in Zanzibar! Wave to me - I'll be walking ~hopefully along a river.

 

I did receive some pics of the mobile camp from another ST'r who just returned. LOVELY. VERY "Out of Africa"

I'm sure PaulB will include the pics with his TR. I think we're gonna have fun... :)

 

and Patsy youall will have a blast.....I hear Wildsource has fab. guides. And the lodges appear outstanding.

 

Safari Njema to all leaving soon!

 

A myriad TR's to come.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all and Twaffle and Graceland ill stand on the highest termite mound and give a big wave.

Link to post
Share on other sites
ZaminOz

Have a great safari

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a good one.

 

The Jobu Jr. isn't much heavier than my ballhead so I'd take it, but it really depends on whether you would use it I suppose. It's useful to me. You may be as happy with just the bean bag. How's your back? Do you envisage wanting to leave your lens loose but in position while you are hands-free? Would your ball-head do just as well for your purposes and would that pack better?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zim Girl

Have a great time in Tanzania

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

We are at the end of our last full day in Zanzibar and have had a wonderful trip. My husband reluctantly agreed to do this trip and after a little rough start he is now talking about a return visit. Some of my report will be copied and pasted from my daily email reports to friends and family.

 

Mr. Toads Wild Ride.......


...to the tenth power. Lordy, my main man was not a happy camper. The hour long trip from the airport in a simple (read rickety) van in the pitch dark along a dangerous road going lickety split. You can't believe the weaving in and out, left side, right side, no rules seem to apply. And, all with people walking along this very dark road.

Breck was already a little pissed after reading the US gov. travel site last night on Tanzania and Zanzibar. One of the many warnings was of road blocks involving kidnappings and robberies. Well of course ten minuets out we hit the road block. The kids would have had a field day watching their dad do all of the Breckisms as we sat blocked from the front and rear not knowing what was happening.

He started with the sighs, moved to the head drop and shake, did the forehead rub, took the baseball cap on and off and finished with the bilateral temple massage. At one point I said holy cow (literally) did you see that cow! I looked over and his jaw was jutted so far it was nearly in the front seat.

The blockade turned out to be from an accident and we had to find a detour that took us down a rutted dirt road through a little village. Breck said he didn't come this far to see squalor, I was fascinated. There was meat hanging in the open windows, people giving each other hair cuts, breast feeding women and a heck of a lot of beer being consumed. I suggested we stop in for a drink and that's exactly when he blew a gasket.

But, we made it to the Coffee Lodge and had a very good meal, a nice fire in our room and the best shower we can remember.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After the tour of Arusha that Breck said we weren't doing he had to admit that he was so glad we went. The orphanage was a very humbling experience. An older couple doing what they can for a lucky few, even finding funds to send some to boarding school. Public school apparently is not good. Many hugs and appreciation.

post-14577-0-83978800-1378736250_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-89035400-1378736273_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-40204000-1378736287_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-82484000-1378736457_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

After the orphanage we stumbled on a market where the Maasai come to sell their cattle once a month. Tanzania is in the middle of a drought and they fear the loss of cattle if they don't sell now. The men herd their cattle for several days to get to the market. We were the only non Maasai among a hundred traders it seemed. Our guide had to negotiate every photo for a fee. At one point I was able to go into a back shed and see them butchering a goat. It was already dead before I got in there.

 

Like Nikes are a sign of affluence in the US tire tread shoes are a symbol in Tanzania. Our guide said you could leave your motor bike but the tires will be gone when you get back.

 

After our tour we had a drink in the bar and took a bottle of wine and a pizza back to our room.

 

post-14577-0-59715000-1378737474_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-30850200-1378737496_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-77150900-1378737513_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-57640100-1378737529_thumb.jpg

 

post-14577-0-43097600-1378737545_thumb.jpg

 

 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
wilddog

@@PCNW You may have had to negotiate but the images are great. Enjoyed Mr Toads wild ride too. Keep it coming.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We landed in the Serengeti and Deo, our guide, was there to meet us. I had read so much about him that I wanted to hug him. What a humble, intelligent, knowledgable man, a pleasure to be with.

We went to our room at Nomad's Lamai and sat on the porch and had a beer over looking the huge Serengeti. We can see Kenya from our room. We are at 5000 ft and the steep climb from our room to the lodge is a friggin hike, up steps and over boulders. I'm plumb tuckered when we get there.

We were very lucky to have found a massive leopard on our first drive and spent and 1 and1/2 hours with him. The tsese tsese flies are attracted to dark colors so you can imagine how much they loved Breck's black shirt. Deo was constantly slapping Breck and oddly Breck never seemed to notice Deo or the flies.

Dinner was festive with a surprise birthday song in Swahili and cake. Deo was excellent company at happy hour and at dinner telling stories of guiding for several tv documentaries including a dangerous trip to Angola which is still filled with land mines.

We sleep with just netting on part of our room/tent/lodge and have Cape buffalo right outside. Our wakeup call is 5:30 and we hit the road with our breakfast packed at 6:00. Life is good.
post-14577-0-98372500-1378738129_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-28947900-1378738151_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-02152400-1378738204_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-31968800-1378738227_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-19831100-1378738266_thumb.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Wilddog. I agonized about what lenses to take and I can't tell you how happy I am that I went with Nikon's new 80-400 and my 24-120 and two bodies. Perfect for this trip and whatever IQ loss I have by not using a prime (can't be sure on this laptop) was more than made up for with versatility and being able to handhold the zoom. So many situations would have been difficult for me if I had brought a larger, heavier lens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Game Warden

Nice images, have you given any of them an HDR tickle @@PCNW?

Link to post
Share on other sites

GW I only download about 10% onto my laptop and edit fairly quickly while on a trip. When I get home I download everything onto my Mac from my cards and then delete everything off my laptop. No HDR but I use other adjustments.

Link to post
Share on other sites
africapurohit

@@PCNW which dates were you in the Northern Serengeti? I was there from 19th to 29th August (staying at Alex Walker's Serian Camp) and one of those leopards looks familiar. On 28/08/13 at around 4:20pm, I remember a Wild Source vehicle arriving at a leopard sighting at the Nomad Kopjes (part of the Wogakuria Kopjes) and parking close to our vehicle. Deo was the driver and there was a gentleman sitting with him at the front. There was a lady at the back wearing a black (I think) fleece/jumper pointing her camera up at the leopard towards the rear of the vehicle - was that you?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Game Warden

Next time shout out "I'm with Safaritalk!" ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
africapurohit

I think the SANParks forum members tie yellow ribbons to their wing mirrors for identification - Safaritalk should start something similar, like Liverpool FC flags :D

Edited by africapurohit
Link to post
Share on other sites

Africapurohit that absolutely was us. Deo picked us up in the morning on the 28th and we saw the leopard on that afternoon drive. Small world.

 

The same thing happened to me in Botswana. While reading John Kok's report I recognized the sighting and he remembered us too. The ribbon idea is an excellent suggestion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The pastures are always greener.....

 

We left at six am for the Mara River to hopefully see a crossing and actually saw something less common and that was a herd of ele's crossing over to Kenya.
post-14577-0-71421200-1378787461_thumb.jpg
Then we saw why we came to Tanzania….to see the wildee's cross. They bunch up trying to decide, walk away, come back and finally one gets the courage and the rest follow. This crossing became known as our mini crossing lasting maybe 8-10 minutes.
post-14577-0-38756500-1378787546_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-09571900-1378787592_thumb.jpg
Wildebeests are not the smartest animal, not looking for an easy crossing point, never considering the other bank, getting across only to look back and think the pastures look greener from where they came and.…back they go.
We saw poor dying babies and some with injuries stranded on the bank unable to get up. One poor soul was just below us on the bank all morning, mercifully he was dead the next day. It was heart wrenching. We stayed until 1:00, eating breakfast, swatting flies and talking all while watching the false starts. A few solo crossings of youngsters looking for momma. We did see one make alone, find momma and start to nurse. A happy ending for him.
We saw one dying youngster that had what looked like acites fluid or urine leaking from his umbilicus area. We came up with some possibilities but I guess we'll never know what the fluid was and why leaking from that spot.
On our afternoon drive we saw the most beautiful river scene and it was then that I realized that the best part of this trip may not be the migration but the ever changing topography and landscape. I didn't realize that there would be such a variation from one game drive to the next and frequently in the same drive.
post-14577-0-44816100-1378787961_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-05140300-1378788017_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-53131200-1378788066_thumb.jpg
post-14577-0-84500900-1378788088_thumb.jpg
We head out in the am at 6:00 again and we'll stay out all day. Deo said he's making all of the decisions tomorrow and Breck and I laughed….that was pretty much like today.
Breck was being a trooper and I truly believe he was enjoying himself. The food was very good…and that helped.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trooper Breck thought he was going to be fighting off machine gun-wielding kidnappers with a rolled-up newspaper for a minute there didn't he? Glad he had a good time.

 

Some fantastic photos and really enjoying the report. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

So people are allowed to walk on the bank of the river? Looks like that in your picture above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So people are allowed to walk on the bank of the river? Looks like that in your picture above.

 

they are not allowed but some nevertheless do, for example on the Narok side in the Masai Mara

Edited by ice
Link to post
Share on other sites

Scootr29 you are not allowed out of the car. For the crossing above and then again the next day we parked "in our secret spot" and we scrambled down the bank and saw two crossings alone and with the sun behind us. Perfect place yet breaking rules.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy