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We arrived at Kichuguu Camp around 6:30 p..m.  Six smiling staff members awaited us at the parking area.  We were ushered into the very nice lounge area and were quickly introduced to the camp and staff.  Our tent was the closest one, number 4, I think. We quickly showered (Harry's first bush shower!) and headed out to the campfire. We'd been offered rubber boots and umbrellas; unfortunately we didn't make use of them!  

 

Seated at the campfire, we were told of the lions that had visited the night before, from 7:30 - 9:30.  Sigh!  Our delayed flight in Amsterdam cost us that visit (but of course there were other lovely sights that we got instead.)  We sat by the fire until the rain started coming down in earnest, then ran for the dining tent. Soup was delicious; butter and sweet corn soup.  Yum.  Dinner's protein was pork chops with the usual accompaniments.  Very nice. 

 

Early breakfast, packed lunch, and we said a sad farewell to the staff at Kichuguu.  I'd return in an instant!  

 

Lounge tent on the left; dining tent on the right. Our tent was to the right of the dining tent, perhaps 20 meters away

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Their website:  http://kiotacamp.com/kichuguu-camp.html

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Tarangire, Saturday Morning

 

We woke early, ate breakfast, and departed by 7 a.m. We were headed for Silale swamp.  Camera continued to be a problem.  Boo!

 

Millipedes galore; should prove a hit when I share them with the kiddos at my school.

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Heron and some other unspecified aquatic bird.  :D

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Kori bustards eluding my best attempts at a sharp photo.

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Secretary bird laughing at me

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Matabele ants, quite ferocious and named for a fierce Zulu tribe from the 1800s5a440a04d51fc_TZA_3237(2).thumb.JPG.00c22d66254f0c598e072a8c0c11e95c.JPG

 

Wildebeest, coming out of the swamp, straight towards...5a440a9ec07b8_TZA_3242(2).thumb.JPG.52727462437af6a7deb67f6fadb3d6c8.JPG

 

Oh this? It's just a few trees. Or is it?5a440af78bb15_TZA_3243(2).thumb.JPG.ea400cb9143cd71320df0b0105d5788c.JPG

 

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Brava brava! Lionesses in trees.  Some on the ground too!  

 

And then my camera started to do this.

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We stayed there for something like 45 minutes, watching the lionesses watch the wildebeest. All the while Fadhil was trying to make heads or tails out of what had happened to my camera.  He uses Canon, not Nikon, so it wasn't a quick fix. Eventually I mentioned the time and we had to race for the gate, to get out before our time was up.

 

Oops, kind of clear shot! TZA_3283.thumb.JPG.1b1e1968db601c5e6119fc17d73e7908.JPG

 

But the rest of the way out of Tarangire was no bueno.  We had other cameras, and Fadhil fiddled with the Nikon for close to 2 hours before he fixed it, somehow. 

 

I'm happy to report that I enjoyed just watching them, although am really relieve that I got a couple of photos of the lions in trees!  A first for me!

 

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@AmyT  Yay- finally into the report mode :)     Love the elephant "love" - me too. I will never ever forget the moment I fell in love. Amboseli.  Quietly wandering along, watching all the beautiful elephants. All of a sudden, a small grouping starts trumpeting, running....oh no ...there is another group coming....also trumpeting and running....I had no idea what was happening. And all of a sudden, they joined up and it was a big family reunion of trunk mingling, rumbles, rubs....it was a family getting back together after a day of foraging....and it was the most incredible....the most loving thing I'd ever seen. Such joy to see each other. And that was when I fell in love with elephants. Anywhooo....glad to hear the camera got sorted out- that is a safari-goers nightmare....to have something go wrong with their camera....yup- been there and done that too and oh....the freak out.   Okay- give us some more  :)

 

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Treepol

@AmyTwhat an excellent way for your husband to recouperate from surgery! Tarangire is one of my favourite parks and I enjoyed seeing your recent photos.

 

I also am wondering about the young lion cub left with the male, have you had any updates from the camp about this unusual situation?

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@Treepol, I haven't heard any updates. I'll check; I want to know too!

 

Episode Two: Ngorongoro Crater

 

We left Tarangire National Park one minute past our deadline, but the park official waved us through without a penalty. Whew!  Next, we were on our way to the Ngorongoro crater. It proved to be a big 5 day!  We’d seen lions, elephant, and cape buffalo in Tarangire.  Overlooking the crater, we spotted a miniscule dot through binoculars (and subsequently, my camera) that proved to be a rhinoceros. Later, on the journey along the rim road we startled a LEOPARD who darted into the vegetation.  No time for a photo, but we were elated!

 

We arrived at Lemala Ngorongoro shortly before sunset. Our tent was delightful! Major, the “talking shower,” stood by to add more hot water.  ?  Coming from Southern California where drought is a regular occurrence, 20 liters of water was more than enough for the both of us.  We enjoyed the company of the other couple (who were the only guests during our stay at Lemala) and made it an early night as we had an early morning awaiting us!

 

6:00 a.m.; at the gate and rarin’ to go.  First guests into the park that fine chilly morning, as we descended into the crater. Our camp-mates had a more leisurely approach, having breakfast first and leaving later in the morning.

 

 

By 6:30 a.m. we were on the crater floor, enjoying the absolute silence. No one else around that we could see. 

6:40 a.m.

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We enjoyed the first few animals that we saw, and then Fadhil noticed hyenas. What were they looking at?  In a word...

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Bellies were full; they were cleaning up after a meal. 

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Isn't it time for a nap yet?TZA_3433.thumb.JPG.efed6a68d5fdc9c05971afb699f9befb.JPG

 

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We meandered down the road, to find that the lions had been awful polite in choosing their dining location.

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Right next to the road, facing the sunrise.

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Edited by AmyT
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Great report so far @AmyT! Fun to see so many young ostriches together. Also great lion shots. Hopefully the little one survived. The male having dinner looks funny. It looks like he has buffalo feet and a big piece of meat on his lap :)

How did you do the drives? Separated drives in morning and afternoon or all day gamedrives?

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1 hour ago, LarsS said:

Great report so far @AmyT! Fun to see so many young ostriches together. Also great lion shots. Hopefully the little one survived. The male having dinner looks funny. It looks like he has buffalo feet and a big piece of meat on his lap :)  HA I hadn't noticed that!!

How did you do the drives? Separated drives in morning and afternoon or all day gamedrives?

@LarsS

 

While we had our private guide, it was up and out before dawn, back to camp at sunset.  This was our choice, but I think that Fadhil's an all-day, every-day kind of guy. This man has passion, and his face lights up when he sees his beloved cats.

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Speaking of cats, it's time to finish up my lion report for 7:00 a.m. in the crater.

 

There were 15 or so cats and cubs where we first met up with the pride, and quite a few odds and ends hanging at the kill.TZA_3468.thumb.JPG.6e5c043741277ab0979036fe7acdd41a.JPG

 

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Along came another male for his second meal at the carcass

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Another male for the feast.  There were 4 or 5 around; I can't recall.  Just gobs of 'em.  LOL5a451e2fe9273_TZA_3613(2).thumb.JPG.ec345a3bb254654693b809cae608c1f4.JPG

 

And so we left them to their breakfast at 7:30.  All told, we saw around 25 lions by this time.

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Edited by AmyT
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Amylovescritters

Loving your report! We can’t wait for our turn with Fadhil’s guiding ;)

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Great report so far and love the photos of the elephants in Tarangire and the lions in the crater. We also saw the same pride early in the morning in the Crater on the eastern  side, and they were feeding. We were told there were 27 in the pride in total.............must get on and do my report ....... Christmas festivities have delayed it.....

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@Julian... looks like some of our lions were laying down on the job!  :)  

 

We are packing up, getting ready for our trip to Colombia's coffee region (birthplace of my hubby and his dad.)  I'm taking my laptop along; hope that our leisure time will allow for posting!

 

Coming up: more at Ngorongoro crater, including a beautiful interlude at the hippo pools. Also, who showed up for lunch?  (Personal note: dang, I love safari!)

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Alexander33

@AmyT

 

Good for you for your resilience in getting back to Africa, not to mention in managing to tack on that last day after missing your connecting flight.  I'm with you -- losing a safari day just isn't an option!.

 

Tarangire looks lovely -- really like the shots of the elephants and the lionesses in the tree.  But what the heck happened to your camera?  Sure am glad that it started working properly again.  A lesson to us all, though -- take more than one body, just in case!

 

You sure had a beautiful morning at the Crater -- and all to yourselves.  Beautiful lions.  I'm looking forward to more.

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Atravelynn

Camera fiddling was a success and just in time for all the lions and jackals in the crater.

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serendipityntravel

Love the lioness on the tree shot! There is a pride at Lake Nakuru that does the same....probably trying to trick the tourists into thinking they are leopards....specially those looking for "tigers"! :P

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africaaddict

Hi Amy,

 

It was a pleasure to meet both yourself and hubby Harry as well and catch up with a good friend Fadhil again @ Namiri. :D

 

Great TR & images (so far) and look forward to your amazing Namiri leg of your safari, where I know you'll "rub it in" gently. :P

 

Your warm/bubbly presence was a much welcome and needed change from some of the company that I shared camp with.;)

 

Cheers

Marc

Edited by africaaddict
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you to @Atravelynn @Amylovescritters @Alexander33 @serendipityntravel and @africaaddict!!

 

Sorry for the delay, we just returned home from our multiple-generation trip to Colombia, where the only wild animals I saw were salsa dancers in Cali and guatin in the Zona Cafetera. I'll be returning to my trip report forthwith!

 

Marc (AfricaAddict)... it was so much fun to meet you and learn a few choice tips on photography.  Dinner is better with gales of laughter and amazing tales of bravery and lack of brilliance.  ;)  I do hope I bump into you again! I'll be sure to lead you to <omitting species reference here> thanks to my excellent guide!!

 

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  • 1 month later...

@AfricaAddict has been buzzing in my ear; it's time for me to get back to my trip report.  Without further ado...

 

So... still in Ngorongoro Crater.  We were on Engitati Hill, observing elephants in Mundusi Swamp and looking at a rhino in the far distance to the north.  As we waited for the rhino to emerge from behind a dip in the horizon, we decided to break out our picnic lunch (which was delicious, by the way.)  Windows rolled down, relaxing and looking to the north between bites, I happened to look down outside of my window on the driver's (right) side.  I saw a shaggy multicolored coat and thought... that's an odd color for a dog... then realized that the dog was a lion, walking around the vehicle looking for some shade.  Rounding the corner...

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I may have exclaimed an off-color word or two; I'd been lazily thinking about petting that mane. (Mobile phone photos; he was much too close for my camera.)  There was another vehicle nearby; he would lay down in the shade of one, just to have the car move.  Then he'd go to the other one, with the same result.

 

 

 

 

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Julian

@AmyT

had there been any recent rain in the Crater when you were there- it looks a bit greener than when I was there?

Looking forward to your Namiri part of the report, Recently posted first two days of my Namiri Plains stay.

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@Julian, the short rains had started, sporadically. It had rained when were were in Tarangire NP, and I believe even before that.  Yes, Ngorongoro was GREEN!

 

 

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Marks

I'm a bit (well, very) late to the party here, but this is a beautiful report. Tarangire in particular looks really nice.

 

Even your camera's misfires have a certain trippy charm to them, especially the first one!

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