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Serengeti finally done right! the Asilia way, with "the big cats that roam" the Namiri Plains; Cheetah on demand and friends bitten by that Africa bug


madaboutcheetah
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Dear All,

 

First of all, big Thank to the great folks at Asilia who put together a phenomenal "Big Cat" experience at Namiri Plains. Take my word - when they market it as, "Place where the big cats roam" .......... that's exactly what it is! When a camp's logo is cheetah, I had to make plans to get there ....... where else do you bump into cheetah when you are viewing and photographing another one? or where you leave for a pit stop and leave a cheetah a few hundred metres just to bump into different ones???? 17 in all .......... :) :) :)

 

Travelled with friends and relatives all first timers to Africa - they are fully bitten by the Africa bug and want to go next year already ......... (I have already brain washed them about Kwando Lebala ;) )

 

Got lucky with the weather where it only rained on the last day - some pockets of migration; say 4 or 5 pockets of 400 to 1000. It was good enough to have some variety.

 

Landscapes very scenic - endless plains to spectacular Kopjes to Yellow Acacia fever tree forests.

 

Oh finally after all these years, my first viewable picture of a Martial Eagle.

 

Big Thank You to Mark who runs a tight ship at Namiri with friendly staff (nothing was difficult) - they put up a spectacular birthday party for my cousin. Thank YOu to Albert who went out of his way to show us all the cheetah and Lions that were around ............ What can I say, except get to Namiri Plains if you are going to the Serengeti.

 

Thanks to Sangeeta and the Chalo Africa team who had to deal with all our requests and constant changes and constant back and forth quirkiness .........

 

Before all of this, I was at Topi House with friends that I grew up with and they took their kids on safari who are already asking me about African safaris .......... What can I say? Topi House was absolutely phenomenal .............. That would have to go in the Kenya forum though.

Trust everyone are well.....

Best

Hari

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Hey, and welcome back here as well, Hari, good to hear you had a great time. And yes - photos! :)

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Landscapes very scenic - endless plains to spectacular Kopjes to Yellow Acacia fever tree forests.

 

Oh finally after all these years, my first viewable picture of a Martial Eagle.

 

 

~ @madaboutcheetah:

 

You certainly do know how to build up our anticipation of the images yet to come.

It sounds like a tremendous experience, including the photogenic Martial Eagle.

Tom K.

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So glad the Serengeti difficulties of the past have been put to rest, sounds like you had a seriously great trip. Can't wait to see some photos of all those 17 cheetahs.

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Welcome back. It seems only yesterday you were telling us (in person!!!) about the upcoming trip. Now you have gone and returned and are in the report phase. You are Mr. Formidable Title, that is for sure. And your photos always back it up!

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Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of your safari, Hari. Glad you were finally happy with the Serengeti. Can't have you recommending Botswana exclusively :)

Welcome back!

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the Serengeti cheetahs finally get recognition from MAC! they've got to be awesome to have done so. Looking forward to more details of the trip, and Photos of the beautiful cats.

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Welcome back Mac....really looking forward to your "new" take on the Serengeti...

17 cheetah, wow, we only had 10 in the Mara and I thought that was outstanding.

 

Photos!

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Here's the first set of 4 quickly edited images ......... just some random stuff from Namiri to show some of it's diversity ......... Here's Barafu Kopjes; Hartebeest (a Namiri speciality) with them big skies; Elephants in the Yellow Acacia Forest; Martial Eagle near Barafu

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Sweeeeeeeet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~ @madaboutcheetah:

 

That's the kind of clear image which makes me sit up and smile.

The environmental context around the eagle is especially pleasing.

Many thanks for posting this for us.

Tom K.

 

 

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Barafu kopjes look stunning.

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Welcome back Hari, glad it went well this time!

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@@madaboutcheetah - LOVE the photos of the Barafu Kopjes. I was there just a week or two before you and the green grass (and the milling wildebeest) completely change the feel of the place. I loved it even without the green, but this is just fantastic. Keep the photos coming.

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Sounds like you had a great time. Looking forward to savoring every photo of each of the seventeen cheetahs!

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@@madaboutcheetah

 

There should be a health advisory about getting bit by the"Africa Bug". When i went to Africa, i got bitten by a worse (?) bug- the general wildlife bug. Funnily, i seem to be happy and not take any medicine or vaccines! Probably need to get my head examined.

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@@madaboutcheetah

Serengeti is on my bucket list. Could you share details regarding where, when, how, costs etc

thanks

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@@Earthian - Thanks .........

 

Serengeti eco-system is huge with a variety of choices and the topography changes constantly - seasonally very different too -

 

For this trip, we only did Namiri Plains which is on the Eastern side of the Serengeti?

 

We booked through Chalo Africa - prices, best to contact your agent as the prices change seasonally ........ we went in the off-season and Asilia had stay 3, pay 2 specials.

 

How to get there - we took a flight from the Mara. Basically fly from the Mara to Migori (to clear Kenyan immigration/customs); drive across the border into Tanzania - fly out of Tarime airstrip into Seronera in the Serengeti and then game drive to Namiri (this took the entire day as we took our bags with us on game drive in the Mara at 6 am).

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@@madaboutcheetah..... From your first piost I think you are going to need your thesaurus with you for this report, to get all the necessary adjectives.

 

... or your photos might be enough

 

Glad to hear your positive report on Namiti Plains

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Here are a few more images ......

 

Lions are no strangers to this section of the Serengeti - the Serengeti Lion Project have habituated several large prides of Lions through their presence over the years. A few radio collared females can be seen amongst the various prides. After a point, we didn't stop for Lion (especially if they were sleeping).

 

I have no idea how much traffic this section of the park generates during the dry season/ High Season - We saw no one outside of the research cars. We did not venture to the Seronera area, which is the place to go to if you are keen on Leopard. Some others in camp usually did take a day trip to the Serenorea valley and came back with several good sightings. I'm sure Leopard are around this section of the park, but, according to our guide none of them are relaxed for photography purposes.

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Wow Hari, I have been curious about Namiri Plains but now that it has your seal of approval I guess it's truly outstanding! Excellent photos, can't wait to see more!

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@@cheetah80 - it's a fabulous camp. It ticks all the boxes ....... It has a wilderness feel to the location; great game viewing area; stunning landscapes and scenery etc etc.,

 

This time of the year, the camp was bug infested - no fault of Namiri's ..... it's just what it is - not sure how it is during the dry season. The only quirky thing that I would change in the camp is, the access to wifi in the common lounge mess tent. IMHO, it felt odd that people came back in the evening and sat around on their smart phones and ipads while they had a stunning camp fire roaring round the corner. I wish operators, if they feel the need for wifi would hold it in a specific isolated zone (keep off the common areas) or probably had it accessible only in the rooms (probably will be expensive to do that).

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Welcome back and glad to hear you had a fantastic trip. Stunning pics, look foreward to see more.

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Thanks @@AndMic - Glad you guys had a fabulous India safari - look forward to reading your on going report this weekend - I did brouse through to look at Michael and Lynn's pictures ..... quick peek ;)

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Lion Cubs do make for entertaining photogenic subjects - There is an overlap in the Namiri area, between the Kibumbu pride and the Semetu Kopjes pride. I think these cubs might be part of the Kibumbus.

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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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