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Yes I did see Wildebeest


CaroleE
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Back from the first visit to Tarangire and Serengeti North.
Another fantastic trip!

Amd yes I did see wildebeest.....so many I have had my fill for a while.

Firstly a quick summary of the itinerary
Amsterdam-Kilimanjaro direct flights (on return a stop at Dar to pick up passengers)
Overnight Moivaro Lodge Arusha
2 nights Tarangire Muwe Ninga Camp with private guide and vehicle
Coastal flight Kuro via Arusha to Kogatende
4 nights Serengeti Mara Lemala Mara Camp
Coastal flight Kogatende to Kilimanjaro

 

I left a grey, cold, rainy Amsterdam and headed for the sun. As I was waiting at the gate I looked up and above the plane I saw the beginning of a rainbow. It quickly developed into a full rainbow

 

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Then for a fleeting few seconds it was a double rainbow. Surely this was a good omen for my trip.

 

After a relatively hassle free flight I landed at Kilimanjaro. I then had to run the gauntlet of the immigration system. First to this window, then to another queue only to be told on reaching the window I was supposed to be at another. At least I am getting the hang of the first 4 fingers, then thumb and repeat with the other hand process. After a somewhat lengthy wait I had my visa and I was officially in Tanzania.

 

A quick car journey to Arusha and I arrived at the lodge. I cannot tell you too much about the Moivaro Lodge as I arrived at approx 9pm and left the next morning at 8am. What I can say is that my dinner of green banana soup was excellent (too late for much more), the rooms clean and spacious and the breakfast would satisfy all tastes.

 

The next morning was an 8am start to head to Tarangire. For this part of the trip I had a private vehicle. The previous evening I had discussed various options with my guide Samwel. He advised there would be enough to see especially around the waterholes and the river and I decided to head into the park and stay out until late afternoon. We would leave arriving at camp until as late as possible to maximise game viewing. We had lunch boxes, lots of water so we were ready for whatever the day would bring.

 

On the drive to Tarangire I went past several large farms, especially those for coffee. Also small holdings which had a good mix of crops. Along the road I saw new Maasai warriors on a couple of occassions. Their faces painted with white chalk, dressed in black cloaks having completed their circumcision ceremony. We also passed by thatched Maasai houses, the idea of covering them with cow dung to keep the warm in or the cold out and it also acting as a deterrent for tsetse flies seemed like a very good idea. Even more so after a few more days experience of said tsetse flies!

Open channels in the ground were an indication of the problems of building houses and growing crops in this area. The sun sucking moisture out of the ground leading to highly unstable earth which would open up into big channels. Impossible to use. It was the dry season and dotted along the road there were still a few waterholes. With cattle and goats being driven to them to get to the precious water.

 

We soon reached the park entrance. And there was my first baobab tree. In my reading before the trip I had found out that Tarangire was known for these strange trees. There within a few seconds of my arrival was my first one. Bereft of leaves, it did look like it was upside down with its roots pointing up into the sky. The baobab trees are going to be a lasting memory of Tarangire.

 

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After completing the paperwork and paying the park fees, binoculars were placed around my neck and the big lens was afixed to my camera and the safari began.

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~ @@CaroleE

 

As I'm about to leave on my own safari, I'll enjoy your trip report upon returning.

I must say that the photograph with the rainbow arcing over the aircraft is as positive of a portent for a safari as I've ever seen!

Lovely...as is the immense Tarangire baobab tree.

It's very nice of you to prepare this trip report for us in your upbeat, down-to-earth style!

Thank you!

Tom K.

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~ @@CaroleE

 

As I'm about to leave on my own safari, I'll enjoy your trip report upon returning.

I must say that the photograph with the rainbow arcing over the aircraft is as positive of a portent for a safari as I've ever seen!

Lovely...as is the immense Tarangire baobab tree.

It's very nice of you to prepare this trip report for us in your upbeat, down-to-earth style!

Thank you!

Tom K.

I think the rainbow was indeed a good portent for this safari. It turned out very well.

Hopefully I will be a bit further along with the trip report on your return.

Immense is a very good choice of word for the baobab tree......as I already mentioned defintely a highlight of Tarangire.

 

And thank you for your kind words about this fledgling report!

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Love that Baobab and Tarangire. Such a beautiful park.

Tarangire is indeed a beautiful park. The Baobabs defintely helping in that!

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@CaroleE

 

Great start, can't wait to read/see more. Tarangire is indeed beautiful (Elepahants and boabobs a plenty).

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Very excited to see how this turned out. Baobabs are such impressive trees; I bet you were able to see some really great ones based on the pictures I've seen of Tarangire!

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This should be interesting! I'm jealous of people in Europe who are close enough to Africa to go for a week, it doesn't seem worth it from North America.

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@@CaroleE

 

Yes, I think the rainbow over the KLM jet would have been fortuitous indeed.

 

May I join @@Zubbie15 in expressing my jealousy of your European flight connections to Africa? It's not so easy for us North Americans. (I'm going to exact my revenge by spending a week in Costa Rica this January -- 4 1/2 hour direct flight. So there!).

 

In the meantime, I'm most looking forward to the rest of your report. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

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Looking forward to your report of Tarangure, such a beautiful park! I think I remember that Baobab. :)

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@@Zubbie15 I am SO jealous of the Europeans for that reason too! Yes @@Alexander33 Costa Rica is so much easier. I've been twice and do really enjoy it - but it's not Africa!

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Beautiful rainbow over the plane! Playing along with your title, so you saw wildebeest, plural. More than just one?

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Thank you to everyone for the likes and great comments.

 

@@PT123

Yes indeed lots and lots of elephants and baobabs in Tarangire. I now know why it is known for them. It is a beautiful park.

 

@@Marks

The baobab trees were fantastic. You could (and I did) spend lots of time marvelling at their shapes. Which were even more accentuated without leaves.

 

@@Zubbie15

This was the first time I went for a week. One of the reasons I felt able to do it was because the flight times were not so long. (Sorry..can't do anything about the flight times from the US!) I did meet a few Americans who were doing shorter trips. Including one group from Hawaii and their journey time was unbelievably long!

 

@@Alexander33

Aargh only 4 and 1/2 hours to Costa Rica. Ok you have your revenge, very jeakius of that short journey time!

 

@@michael-ibk

Aha you have also been to Tarangire! Yes this baobab is right by the entrance gate. So not very hard to miss nor forget as it is probably the first one you will have seen. I thought you were in Zim? You can't be back already!

 

@@SafariChick

Ok so Costa Rica isn't Africa but it is Costa Rica and that has many reasons to visit it. To be able to have visted twice is fantastic. I have seen so little of the American continent. One reason being the longer journey times. I keep trying to see more but always find places in Africa to visit!

 

@@Atravelynn

Oh yes I can safely say I saw more than one wildebeest. Most definitely plural! I am so glad I snapped the rainbow. Everyone who sees it likes it. Me included! It was a good omen for the trip.

 

 

Please bear with me as the next part of the trip report will take a bit longer to put up as I still need to go through some photos. Hopefully I will be able to put a bit of it up this weekend.

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Carole, I'm departing in 12 days. :)

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@@michael-ibk Yes we are aren't we. :D:D:D:D:D

 

@@Zubbie15 @@Alexander33 @@SafariChick You're all right, we do have a much shorter flight than you to get to Africa but on the plus side you have Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, Yosemite, Everglades, Alaska, and many more and you don't even need a passport. :P Who's jealous now :(:(:(, as they say the grass is always greener on the other side.

 

@@CaroleE Thanks for the report, I'm enjoying the current plethora of reports we seem to get at this time of year and hope to add my own soon.

Edited by Big Andy
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@@CaroleE

cant wait to read your report and your pictures, which i am sure would be great as usual.

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Carole, I'm departing in 12 days. :)

Waaahaay....only 12 days! (For some reason I had the idea you were already there......brain has stopped working I think:-))

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@@michael-ibk Yes we are aren't we. :D:D:D:D:D

 

@@Zubbie15 @@Alexander33 @@SafariChick You're all right, we do have a much shorter flight than you to get to Africa but on the plus side you have Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, Yosemite, Everglades, Alaska, and many more and you don't even need a passport. :P Who's jealous now :(:(:(, as they say the grass is always greener on the other side.

 

@@CaroleE Thanks for the report, I'm enjoying the current plethora of reports we seem to get at this time of year and hope to add my own soon.

Aha someone else off to Zim. You lucky lucky people!

 

Still some way to go with my report. Always good to have reports to read but especially when you have just returned and have the post safari blues!

Looking forward to your stories and photos on your return.

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@@CaroleE

cant wait to read your report and your pictures, which i am sure would be great as usual.

 

Wow thank you for that very nice compliment! We will see how the photos turn out....still reviewing them. But I really am a rank amateur compared to some on here!

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That's true @@Big Andy - I'm sad/embarrassed to say I've only been to one of those (the Everglades), and there for less than a full day. I need to get out more in my part of the world!

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@@CaroleE

 

Lovely start (with rainbow) to a great trip report from the iconic location. Looking forward to read and see more. This autumn will pass by really fast, with so many so good trip reports to read :) .

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@@CaroleE

 

Lovely start (with rainbow) to a great trip report from the iconic location. Looking forward to read and see more. This autumn will pass by really fast, with so many so good trip reports to read :) .

 

Thanks!

I also think there are going to be quite a few good trip reports to read in the near future.....but I'm pretty sure I'm already way behind reading the ones already on here :)

 

P.S. Haven't forgotten about Sri Lanka....just too few hours in the day at the moment!

Edited by CaroleE
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Day 1 Tarangire.

 

First stop a waterhole as it was approaching midday and the heat of the day. A big chance there would be animals visiting. Along the way I spotted a female waterbuck. Nice start!

 

Arrival at the waterhole was perfectly timed. A big herd of elephants were making their way to the water. Off in the distance I could see more arriving. The eles quickly made their way for a drink.

 

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They were quickly joined by wildebeest (yaay I saw some!) and zebra. Impala were grazing arund the edges. It was a busy place!

 

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The interaction between the different herds of elephant was great to see. They waited their turn just away from the water's edge, upon realising there were more waiting the first group calmly made their way to another part of the waterhole giving the other herd sufficient space. The first group then made their way to the mud. There can be no more glorious sight than eles in water and mud!

 

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Meanwhile a bull eleohant made his way through the trees. Then another turned up. This could have been an interesting situation but one soon made his way towards the first herd of elephant and began to follow them as they departed the water. He was still following them, showing a very keen interest in the females, as we made our way further through the park.

 

There were still many more animals arriving. A female ele with the most enormous tusks appeared. The tusks almost touching the ground.

 

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A very enjoyable first hour in the park. We then made our way slowly towards another potential watersource. Birdlife was also varied and numerous. According to my notes I saw Crested cranes, Yellow collared lovebirds, Hamerkop, Blacksmith plovers, African fish eagle and Saddlebilled stork in this section of the park. No good photos unfortunately.

We than found some Masai giraffe. Including one very small individual which still had a piece of the umbilical cord attached to it. I was to see a similar young giraffe a few days later in the Serengeti.

 

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Via a very useful id photo of a waterbuck. If anyone ever needs one :)

 

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....we reached the smaller patch of water and there was another ele. This one with only one tusk. Having a dust bath.

 

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Then there was an umissable photo op. An ele and a baobab tree. It just had to be done!

 

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It was time for lunch. The nearest picnic spot looked like it was going to be busy judging by the traffic making its way to it therefore we headed to another watersource and some shade. Unfortunately for the few zebra who had made a long lonely walk to it there was no water in sight. I am still somewhat regretting not taking a photo of that cracked, brown, dry earth.

 

I did however find another fine baobab specimen on the way. If you don't like baobabs or eles I would suggest skipping the rest of the Tarangire bit of this trip report :)

 

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Then I spotted a familar sight in a bush quite close to the roadside. A Lilac breasted roller.

 

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@@graceland had come to say hello.

 

It must have been @@graceland as the roller stopped where she was, posed very nicely and allowed me to take some great photos. My first good roller pictures ever. Even though tinged with a little bit of sadness this did make me smile so much.

Edited by CaroleE
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The elephants are marvelous, but the giraffe framed between two pieces of tree trunk is just perfect!

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I did however find another fine baobab specimen on the way. If you don't like baobabs or eles I would suggest skipping the rest of the Tarangire bit of this trip report :)

 

There are people that don't like baobabs or eles?

 

 

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