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4 hours ago, kilopascal said:

I have been 3 times I think.  Never this awesome but I think the key is the length of stay.  A lot of people, including myself, just go through for 2 or 3 days on a tour including the Serengeti.  Staying longer allows you to experience what it really has to offer.  9 days might be a bit much for some people but I would certainly recommend at least 5. I will be back again in December but only for 3 days.  We will see what is in store.


How exciting! Never been there in December but I think you should be able to catch the migration coming back from the Mara. It is, however, a bit too early for calving season is it? I wonder if you'll be able to see much Ndutu at that time so perhaps 2 to 3 days are enough there.


I am seriously thinking about going to Ndutu next Feb if possible after reading your report. I am trying to recruit a friend to go with me since I think my husband will be safari-out for a while after our November trip back to Tanzania and Botswana.

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5 minutes ago, anocn4 said:

our November trip back to Tanzania and Botswana

Lucky you!!

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12 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Wow, caracal!   I bet you were as excited to see the caracal as those stuck in the mud were excited to see that tractor.


4 hours ago, kilopascal said:

It was exciting and I was jealous of the guide who got to see a caracal take down a Grants gazelle.  Yep.  Grants. 

The people who were stranded had quite the story and most of them were excited about the adventure of it all.  One guy not so much.


Despite feeling bad for those who were stuck and the annoyance of the traffic jam,  I couldn't help but felt somewhat excited and adventurous when it happened as long as I am not the driver. I also liked the energy when the guides worked together to help one another out.

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March 21

So it's my next to the last full day in Ndutu and George thinks we may have gone long enough without rain that we should head for Hidden Valley, so that's the plan.  We spot the usual suspects along the way and evidence of some that we don't see.  




We are about 45 minutes into the drive and you can feel the car sinking into the ground a bit.  George changes direction this way and that but finally stops and says a little apologetically "I don't think we are going to get there, this is still not the lowest part".  No problem George.  So back we go.  We are going back out to Macao plains but George wants to stop at one of the camps that is packing up for the move out and buy some diesel from them.  The truck that comes to Lake Masek hadn't come and was supposed to be in tonight, but George wanted to be sure he had enough in case it didn't show up.  "or you won't be happy with me" was what he said.  Not a chance George.


Well, this is where our luck and slight smugness at not having been stuck in the mud yet ended.  On a road toward the camp the right rear wheel drops down into a mud hole and there we are.  George gets out "No worries".  A jack, a shovel, some sticks and strict instructions not to go more than a few feet from the car and in less than twenty minutes we are out and on our way.  IMG_0540.JPG.f2004e2fba3552688f1bc1bd437fc427.JPGIMG_0541.JPG.37d58b3504dbbafb31f5310911e33aa0.JPGIMG_0543.JPG.75bacbe683dc463c5c26b9fe5b9428a6.JPGIMG_0545.JPG.2d92b5322ab03e69e99b69a8f720d8f2.JPG


more lions on honeymoon...fullsizeoutput_144.jpeg.200e213e33062df940ec267a61206a6e.jpegfullsizeoutput_145.jpeg.1692a5064d2075f2d3aa85fc26c3d161.jpegfullsizeoutput_146.jpeg.8c98e6b1020c1051adb9ed498c4047ea.jpeg


Then we start searching for cheetah, hoping to see the mother and cub again.  Two other cars that are together are out looking as well.  George has a brief chat and we all go in different directions looking. George spots them and he radios the other two, who are very quiet and well behaved observers.fullsizeoutput_148.jpeg.d37dff825d0aa6635ef2c8392aa42d11.jpegfullsizeoutput_149.jpeg.09e5dae7311480b5a1343e8457988283.jpeg


Shortly after we find them the mother sees that some wildebeest with some small calves are on the way and she starts slowly making her way toward them.  Hiding then moving, then well hidden in a patch of grass.  Wildebeest still coming their way.... but then young cheetah cannot contain her excitement and jumps the gun.  So no wildebeest for lunch.  


But we have our lunch, watching them play now.  The other 2 cars are going back to their camp for lunch and will come back out in the afternoon










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Oops.  Those last pictures weren't supposed to post yet!


But since they did.... We spend most of the afternoon with them.  Playing then resting.  (The cheetah). The other two cars are back out.  We periodically go back to lions and then after one more failed attempt at hunting everyone is about to give up when the mother starts moving back and forth through the grass.  George says she is looking for baby gazelle.  And sure enough she flushes one up out of the grass and lets the young one go after it.  This was hard to watch.  She would get it down but not kill it.  It would get back up and she would go again.  Then she has it down and George says "uh oh, there are jackals and vultures".  Then he says 'hyena are coming".  The mother sees this and backs away, looking very concerned.  The cub has not noticed and George says "she needs to run.  They will kill her."  :(  She then sees her peril and lets go of the gazelle and a hyena immediately grabs it.   Then it gets really gruesome. (pictures not included).  A second hyena appears and the gazelle is ripped in half.  We all just watch this is in stunned silence.  Wow.  What a safari day.



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                     We all just watch this is in stunned silence.           Wow.  What a safari day


Yes, what a safari period. 

We have been the polite midwesterners and when asked on previous safaris "what would you like to see" we always answer, we like everything, which is true.  We will be in Northern Tanzania soon with George and when he asks I am going to say, a caracal and a successful cheetah hunt.  Neither of which we have seen in 6 previous safaris.

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So every time @Atravelynn posts a trip report after being with George she always sees something awesome like a honey badger, which I have never seen. I always say why don’t you show me that George and he just says “you must be patient”.  

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You got to see the caracal!!!  Everybody's hunting on your trip!

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wow wow wow what an awesome sighting of the caracal, and of it protecting the carcass against the jackal and vultures. They are such beautiful elegant cats. my favourite small cat, and you are so lucky to see it.

although it sounds rather edgy, you had fun skidding along wet and swampy roads with George. that picture of the car half buried in the "temporary lake" is scary!

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As everyone else has said, wow a caracal!  That was what my wife was really hoping to see on our last safari, but no luck.  Hopefully next year!  You really had a great trip... hard to ask for anything more.

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March 22

Our last full day in Ndutu.:(  We head out for the final cheetah hunt.  Hidden Valley and Small Marsh will have to be on the itinerary for another time as they are still too wet.  We meet one of the cars from yesterday and they tell us to drive a bit west, that there is a large, lone male cheetah who is calling and searching for his brother.  After about 10 minutes we locate him.fullsizeoutput_152.jpeg.ddc480fe60a4aa7c626dc63e3b12b683.jpeg_MG_6935.JPG.5d4d9439f31fc3e1e82cc4fb3ca489ff.JPG

We stay with him for about an hour, hoping they might meet up but he is traveling a long distance and ultimately we leave him.  Still calling.  Driving on we find the females from the pride that we saw yesterday.  Three adult females with two younger females.  We are just watching them rest, then they all stand up and look in the same direction, then the two young ones start to run. And I do mean run, as fast as possible, until we can no longer see them. And this was the apparent cause._MG_6900.JPG.1396be6d6c8b65b7d8b4f5f7d4fa44d4.JPG

He joins the group and soon a serious fight starts between him and one of the females.  We are actually a bit far away at this point.  The picture above is from later.  Two more females join in  and he backs off for a while.  Then starts to make nice and ultimately wins one of them over whom he proceeds to mate with and guard literally all day.  If she got up to move, he would get up.  If she walked somewhere, he would go, often inserting himself between her and other lions.  Ultimately the pride moves under a tree with another big male who pays no attention to any of them_MG_6992.JPG.425ca1e796330456e735bea0c97d87e6.JPGfullsizeoutput_157.jpeg.2d9e99470e6d59dedaef405721162d26.jpegfullsizeoutput_158.jpeg.ffa885b049870a78eaa76fec9ca0e81e.jpeg_MG_7003.JPG.858707736e618f4e1ba8423887b6f286.JPG_MG_7009.JPG.1b02277e9a1e3417e5796d2d37d47181.JPG Mating continues for hours.  We'd leave.  Come back.  And they were still there.  At one point a group of zebra are moving in our direction and we are hopeful for a hunt, but they soon catch the scent and run the other direction.  We never did find the two young lions again and our hunt for cheetah was a bust today.  More hyena here than George has ever seen in Ndutu, which may be why we find no cheetah.fullsizeoutput_153.jpeg.3c724167c61c8a0b81924389bcb2aaf8.jpegfullsizeoutput_159.jpeg.8654c28503cbc97e868392dc9e179e77.jpegfullsizeoutput_154.jpeg.423cdd009dda65c917fa61f1ef213680.jpegfullsizeoutput_15a.jpeg.8d89a27ce571c4ef1959c452bb5c2681.jpegfullsizeoutput_15b.jpeg.8493f4ef8ffc85e04614e7df6861b585.jpeg


We head back early so I can pack up all my stuff before dinner.  The staff at the lodge had made a cake and had a bit of a celebration for me to thank me for the 9 day stay.  A very nice thought but a little more public attention than I usually like.  I asked George if he had anything to do with it and he firmly denied any involvement.  So goodbye to Ndutu for this year.  Next stop Ngorongoro Crater.

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My apologies for the ridiculously long video.  I clipped it down to 10 seconds then uploaded the wrong one.  Grrr.

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March 23

Bummer.  Leaving Ndutu today. I finally get a picture of one of the dik dik that are always outside of my tent. We stay for a leisurely breakfast then say goodbye.  The staff here really are fantastic.  As we are leaving we spend some time watching masked weaver making nests.  On are drive out of the plains I keep looking out at the wildebeest hoping for one last cheetah sighting but it doesn't happen.  Guess that would be a little greedy.  _MG_7050.JPG.481b17911c995b089b2e58dbd9c39121.JPG_MG_7071.JPG.8fa39a7e5203de5ac61eac871d61a118.JPGIMG_0260.JPG.61990f61326374652affa3f9312cba4f.JPGIMG_0265.JPG.d9e77bbfd373aef129242303fdd2e3e0.JPG_MG_7063.JPG.89eabaf4032431c4c73dc308b1a991e8.JPG_MG_7149.JPG.24dd5c9ba2228132f51cae3c6b072444.JPG_MG_7154.JPG.78e9cbaf9b700a4cdc6e0ab11d8414e2.JPG


We take the dirt road route and not the main gravel road with the goal of stopping under 'the tree' for coffee.  But not this year.IMG_0269.JPG.ca9d31a5a12e8dcbd4fabb945c708e1e.JPGI have never seen this, even the year I went in April.  A lot of wildebeest and eland dot the landscape but nothing out of the ordinary on our trip out.  fullsizeoutput_12f.jpeg.8c3354befdd78384c2d5e5e8220267fb.jpeg


We are staying outside of the conservation area at Ngorongoro Farmhouse.  I've always stayed closer to the crater when visiting, but thought I would try this option.  Much less expensive, especially since it is owned by the same group as Lake Masek, so there is a bit of a price break.  It sit on beautiful grounds that are lovely to walk around.  Nice large rooms.  Bathrooms perhaps a bit dated but this lodge has been there a long time.  Excellent food but the dining area, IMO, is really uninspiring with a very limited and strange bar area.  The balcony outside that has a fire at night is very nice.  IMG_0288.JPG.ac1433f2dc9ed023b56c37f3510283c5.JPGIMG_0289.JPG.1134dd7c4bac8cce72767ce44e2405d5.JPGIMG_0290.JPG.f9e31474683f0946f140963246ced65d.JPG


So off to the crater very early the next morning.  Here comes the disadvantage of staying outside.  Even though we get to the main gate of the conservation area before it is officially open, we are behind a line of trucks waiting.  Then once you are through you still have to get to the crater gate.  So we are not there until about 7 am and it is very light by now. In past years we drive down into the crater in a little bit of darkness and we would always see something fun like a serval or hyena.  


I have been to the crater 3 times before.  The first time in August, almost 9 years ago, then the next year in April, the in May about 5 years ago.  I think the April visit might have been my favorite, even though it was very wet.  Not many people.  Beautiful flowers and elephants very close to the road and some very amusing baboons.  During the may trip we did see cheetah which is the only trip here that I have seen them.  This trip seemed not quite as exciting.  Often the sightings like the stunning elephants that are here were far from the road or buried in the forest.  or it could be that I have just been very spoiled by Ndutu.  Still a beautiful time to be here with far far fewer cars than in the high season.  fullsizeoutput_160.jpeg.2327e898772efd86e7746a6f4430a5d8.jpegfullsizeoutput_162.jpeg.f31b4860aecb284c0e8e2b4c18009235.jpegfullsizeoutput_15e.jpeg.9aa82448c7d6abb898c9b33bec0e055a.jpegfullsizeoutput_164.jpeg.6b00af460cbb4db0f922da81e56777c1.jpegfullsizeoutput_166.jpeg.baf0cbc858f236434a620e35996c8f6c.jpegfullsizeoutput_167.jpeg.6902e7bd7d3873920b80ce0a78fec65b.jpeg


This wart hog was the definition of 'happy as a pig' in mud and the buffalo thought it looked like a lot of fun and decided to join in which annoyed the wart hog who abandoned his mud bath when the buffalo started rolling around.  The nerve of some.. fullsizeoutput_16c.jpeg.869ba119728f7d4dae3c9aac3b2ef447.jpeg_MG_7353.JPG.2e6605653306e1903c8424a0e0cbc64c.JPG

Some very sleepy lions_MG_7280.JPG.b475f2cdd3a4ab1c1530ad07e2fc1e26.JPG_MG_7286.JPG.9d2b9bedb838c7cce2f9ce845fd58376.JPG



Uh, looks like zebra coming our wayfullsizeoutput_168.jpeg.abde9b52493b9defb6a5c6f2f14ba963.jpeg_MG_7317.JPG.5da1dab9c34556f8f40494d86e6b0bd6.JPG


Nope.  Back to bed.  At which point they park themselves in the shade of our car.fullsizeoutput_169.jpeg.57a74fa2bd0edd1b2bf48a5942580e9e.jpeg


My usual distant and blurry view of the rhino in the crater._MG_7336.JPG.8dfda3f3816bb406df8f893be7a6030d.JPGfullsizeoutput_170.jpeg.0880284f58e7fe1f3b0c15f1216fd31f.jpegfullsizeoutput_16f.jpeg.a95f3d14ef0ab0281552a2703edac678.jpeg


Our day here finishes with a deluge of rain and we leave a bit earlier than usual, around 3 pm. This gives me some time to tour around the coffee plantation of the farm and rearrange my stuff for our trip to West Kilimanjaro tomorrow.  I am excited about this as I have never been to this area.  George has been twice, during the dry season, and tries to lower my expectations.  He said it was a bit empty.  Turns out, this time of year is definitely the time to go.


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Thanks for your comparison and examples of staying on the rim vs. further away from the crater.  It may be blurred and distant but you saw the rhino in the crater.  Love the oxpeckers on the zebra foal.  Wonder what the little guy makes of his winged companions?

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Hmm. Work seems to be getting in the way. Hope to get you to West Kilimanjaro soon. 

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March 24 Off to West Kilimanjaro

Here's where I really wish I would have written a report sooner.  Or taken some notes because I don't remember a lot of the details from today.  We left around 8 am but I honestly don't remember where we stopped along the way for lunch, or if we did.    Now that I think about it, I think we ate a late lunch at the camp, arriving at Kambi Ya Tembo sometime between 2 and 3 pm.  You turn north off the A23 east of Arusha but before Moshi at Boma Ng'ombe , still on tarmac road through several very lovely villages.  The last bit of road, probably about 30 minutes worth (?  I so need to develop some note taking habits) is dirt road that has not been well maintained and would be almost impossible if it were raining hard.  More about this later. This camp is also run by Tanganyika Wilderness and is absolutely lovely.  More on the rustic style with just a few tents in a stunning location.  I was given the last tent, furthest from the communal area, and this looked out into the bush and was extremely private with excellent bird watching.  IMG_0316.JPG.e6f3573ca950c570ab43ce27cc129d37.JPGIMG_0315.JPG.5fc130fbd6ab5c026d2a53f50e64118b.JPGIMG_0311.JPG.a67ea3c14776d03c50f6b2b646f0a51f.JPGIMG_0309.JPG.948c0ea54e27cc0ae5b02a345c635320.JPGIMG_0312.JPG.3b3f6113bf098a8bb9acf70009617774.JPGIMG_0314.JPG.c60590102f27d17d7cb04a0edc7c39cc.JPGIMG_0313.JPG.094a6bab7c172b2993585d17659a5983.JPG  


The camp manager has me shown to my tent then tells me to come down to the communal area at my leisure.  I take a quick shower and change clothes then wander down.  He gets me a Kili then says from now on, you just serve yourself from the refrigerator.  Excellent! The camp is in a 600 sq km concession called Sinya and sits quite close to the Kenya border. The dining area is on a hill looking over the conservation area and has stunning views.  _MG_7494.JPG.287490b6fea7897bae7ec794a224ef08.JPG_MG_7504.JPG.f4531515f320f3c3c8d962ba3bf7bfd0.JPG


After it's now about 4 pm and dinner is pretty much whenever you want but tends to be 8 pm or later.  This accommodates people who arrive at Kili airport in the afternoon and come out here as their "starter park", or so says George.  So off to my tent and I'm quickly asleep until time for dinner.  


The area is not a park but a conservation area and an important animal corridor especially for elephants from Amboseli.  I am hoping to see some of these elephants and some gerenuk, which I have never seen before.  As I mentioned, George tried to keep my expectations low, but you can always hope.  The camp has arrangements with the local Maasai who work here and accompany all guests when they go out on safari.  You can visit local Maasai communities and there is a Health clinic that TWC helps support.  It is also possible to go to Kilimanjaro park and hike as well (Shira Plateau).  Sylvester suggests that tomorrow we leave just before dawn and then come back after a couple of hours for breakfast, then go back out.  Perfect.  


March 25

Coffee and cookies are ready in the dining area and as suggested we leave just before daylight with our Maasai guide.   I have looked everywhere to see if I wrote his name down but can't find it, but he was great. The Maasai in the camp do all jobs and you are asked not to tip your safari guide individually, but to do a group tip at the end.  

_MG_7372.JPG.37088f442d12f31f7c1c276040ff2289.JPGGeorge and our guide leaving the dining area for our first safari.


We slowly make our way down the hill to the flat land below and about 15 minutes into the drive George and Maasai say almost simultaneously "gerenuk".  It is a very fleeting glimpse.  She quickly takes off but I am excited to have seen one._MG_7383.JPG.deeb744cce40905b6336d6b4d8f4a08c.JPG_MG_7389.JPG.2b1bad6f3c30d30b25cd4bf7665e6c1b.JPG


So we are off to a good start.

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So it would appear that this time of year is a beautiful time to visit, providing you can get there.  At dinner, George said something to the manager, Sylvester, about the road in and how it needed to be plowed.  A couple of self-driving guests had great difficultly the night before and had to be pulled out.  Sylvester said they used to plow it but then the government instituted a system of fines for plowing anything that was not private.  What?  Yep.  They said if you can afford to plow the road you can afford to pay us.  Oh my god.  Makes no sense.  Sylvester agrees.  Makes no sense and so the road stays this muddy rutted mess until you get to the land owned by TWC.  


Our first day out is beautiful.  We drive up to the top of a hill for a coffee break and close by are several buildings that were to be a hotel built on the top of this hill by a group from Kenya.  Disagreements and court proceedings ensued and they were then instructed to stop and tear down what was built.  I don't know all the details but was told they were not dealing with the Maasai communities appropriately and TWC got involved with a law suit of sorts.  Of course, TWC does have a vested interest in being the only lodge, so who knows.  The buildings did, however, ruin a beautiful landscape on this hill and it doesn't appear they will be torn down anytime soon.



Our trusty land cruiser



I spend much of the afternoon on a walk with our guide with George keeping track of us in the car.  Note to self, when a Maasai asks you how long you can walk and you say 'long time' it will be a long walk.  But, it was a very very pleasant way to spend the afternoon, learning about hyena vs cheetah foot prints, spotting a couple of hyena, checking out fecal matter and learning who it belonged to and a bit about the area.  fullsizeoutput_133.jpeg.eee1e9d3aeb7e99e67890caf6981c082.jpegI really need to email TWC and asks this young mans name.  He was great company.

This a quoted directly from the latest Brandt's guide:  "Much of West Kilimanjaro is comprised of very flat land whose fine volcanic soil once formed the bed of Lake Amboseli-then twice as big as present-day Lake Manyara- before it started to dry up some 10,000-15,000 years ago."


You could feel sections as you walk that were quite soft and you would start to sink in and we would have to walk around them.  When we were not on the main road, the guide would tell George where he could drive and at one point got out to direct him through an area so we would not get stuck.  During one of these periods as we were driving around some bushes there suddenly appeared a lesser kudu.  Or at least I think it's a lesser when I make comparisons to the Greater Kudu we saw in Ruaha.



And so goes day one here, with more zebra and giraffe and both George and I are loving this part of our trip.




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So in my previous post about the lodge half built I implied that Kambi ya Tembo was the only camp here.  That is not true.  Shumata camp is not far away.  A bit more upscale and higher price I believe.  Then further south are Ndarakwai Lodge and Ranch and Africa Amini Maasai Lodge.  


So on to day 2 in West Kili

The morning starts the same.  Early coffee and out.  And not too far along the road, maybe 10-15 minutes there is a small herd of elephants.  Not really keen on being seen and they  turn and keep browsing away from the car until we can no longer see them.  More giraffe, zebra, a troop of yellow baboons, which are quite common here, vervet monkeys and more gerenuk!



We stop for a coffee break in an area where calcareous  deposits were mined by the Germans to make Meerschaum tobacco pipes.  Apparently quite a famous style of pipe but I had to google it!  There are abandoned pits from the mining that collect rainwater and provide water for wildlife even during drier times of year.  We couldn't make it out the day before because it was still too wet, but we manage to maneuver our way to this area today.  



For the afternoon our guide takes us through an area that we have not been before and it's beautiful.   We pass several Masaai homes with large numbers of goats.   At one point we come to a local water source that looks fairly new.  I am taking pictures of this and then we are approached by a Maasai who asks George why am I taking pictures of his property without his permission.  Quick thinking George in a very friendly manner says, oh no, we are just taking pictures of Kilimanjaro.  Fortunately I am pointed in that direction and Kili is not clouded over today.  The Maasai looks skeptical but George just wishes him well and we move on.  We spot kudu again and more gerenuk.  Our guide thinks we should drive to the Kenyan border, so we head there and have a our sundowner.fullsizeoutput_19f.jpeg.8a982894666bdd7fea1d8ee498541df4.jpegfullsizeoutput_18d.jpeg.439fcc2e118aadbec27631f27260e967.jpeg_MG_7688.JPG.31740fcb3b348a0189fc077545b1e554.JPGIMG_0348.JPG.291d785562dc5eccbaa97ad9aafbfcf6.JPGfullsizeoutput_1b2.jpeg.b1324a5534091d7185fa38dce916cc78.jpegfullsizeoutput_19a.jpeg.8af6aba6d3b95cd0c26daa7e31472564.jpegfullsizeoutput_193.jpeg.49f9292b0deb17b98ef094abd16142aa.jpeg


Me in Kenya



The drive back gives us a beautiful view of Kilimanjaro, and I add a new bird. Timmincks Courser.  Or at least I think it's new for me.  I don't really keep track all that well.



The day really couldn't have got much better.  

After dinner this evening I notice two of the staff are placing a big heavy iron cage over the chest refrigerator that is then sort of locked down.  I think it's kind of strange and wonder why would they have to do this.  Later on one of them tells us they have to put that over the refrigerator because the honey badgers come in and help themselves.  


The following morning we eat breakfast and prepare to leave.  George wants to get going because it looks like rain.  All the staff gather to say goodbye and this is when a group tip is given.  George tips them as well which I thought was nice.  We leave with these two final sightings.  The monkey has pretty much made his home outside of the entrance to the dining area.




It indeed starts to rain, fairly hard at one point and we are sliding around a bit on the road, trying to avoid the deep ruts, but we get out onto the tarmac before it gets too bad.  I am leaving this evening but we have a fair amount of time before my flight.  George says 'lets go check out my car in Moshi".  George had purchased a used land cruiser from an NGO with really low mileage last November.  In February he took it to the Toyota shop in Moshi where they cut them up and turn them into safari cars.  He had this one made to accommodate 7 people.  The one we are in is for 5.  I know he has been very excited about this and I say that would be great.  So we head to Moshi.  We get there mid-morning and stop at a coffee shop.  He calls the Toyota people to ask if we can come check on the care and they say sure.  So off we go.  The work on it is almost complete.  After they finish he will take it someplace else for heavy duty springs and bigger wheels/tires.  

It's quite nice. Just like the car I am in, he has had bigger windows installed and the windows by the two back doors are large roll down windows instead of the half sliding.  Also has air conditioning which the older one does not.  IMG_0558.JPG.a461c2df6cff6cd68af75fd8a1fe2809.JPG


By this time it is about 1 pm and we talk about having lunch someplace.  I ask him if he remembers where we went with the students last year after we opened the computer lab at Pasua elementary school.  He can't really remember what I am talking about until I start to describe it, then he remembers but only knows the general direction.  We wander around a bit, asking several people and then finally find it.  Unfortunately I have forgotten the name but they grill chicken, fish, goat here and have a nice outdoor sitting area in sort of a park like setting that has places where kids can play.   We eat lunch and spend time on the internet, then finally make our way back to the airport.

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Final Thoughts

9 days in Ndutu was perfect and despite the potential for a lot of rain, going in late March was great.  Low numbers.  Lots of cheetah sightings.  The downside was it can limit where you can go.


There are not many places to stay in Ndutu after about March 15th when most mobile camps move.  Ndutu Safari Lodge of course which is nice.  Lake Masek Tented camp was excellent but unfortunately its just getting a bit too big I think.  We will have to see if Ndutu Under Canvas continues to set up on the Serengeti side.


This will probably be my last visit to the crater unless I am with friends who have never been.  A bit expensive now for one person.


West Kilimanjaro was the icing on the cake.  I will definitely return, keeping in mind that time of year might make a big difference.  I think George was there in August before and felt like there wasn't much to see.  Two full days here was about right.


And finally - Guide George - awesome as always.

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Love your report, many thanks!

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We look forward to traveling in George's new car.

Really great TR.  Thanks for your contribution to our excitement. 

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Thank you for a wonderful trip report! for me, the Caracal sighting was the highlight. I have never been to Northern Tanzania. Your TR certainly has perked up my interest!

Looks like George is a popular guide among Safari talkers! I guess he will be the best person to get in touch for a Northern Tanzania itinerary, isn't it?

Could you tell me more about Ndutu? How is it like during dry season (outside calving season)? Dry and dusty for sure but how is the game viewing?

Thank you again!



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That was an outstanding trip, despite all the rain and wet ground. How many cheetahs? Wow. What tremendous sightings, and getting in the gerenuk and lesser kudu (stripes, especially the two on the neck) at the end must have been wonderful since you didn't expect anything. 


High quality report. Thanks @kilopascal 

Edited by pault
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