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Tanzania Strikes Back


Brian's Art for Animals

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Brian's Art for Animals

I have started another video series, but here's some text here to go along with it.

 Earlier this year I went back to Tanzania for my second time (I have already visited Kenya 5 times, so I decided to move one county down.)

The plan was for my wife and her father to come along with three others that I know in the animal field. My wife and I are both zookeepers in the Chicago area. Of course nothing goes as planned when you are a group leader for a trip, and to keep this statement true for this excursion, the night before we set to leave, my father in law gets a horrible flu. He had travel insurance, so that is good. Something I never purchase, but should sometimes. I will try to plan another trip for 2020 so he can finally see Africa.

The plan was to pretty much do the same route that we did on our first visit to Tanzania a few years ago.

Go to Tarangire (filled with elephants), then to Ndutu, and then off to the Serengeti and finish with a drive in the crater. A nice 10 day safari booked again through Savannah Explorers. A smaller travel company that usually deals with tourist from Italy, but I loved my first trip thorough them and Roberto and his team did such a great job, so I used them again.

The first video takes you from cold Chicago on Jan 26-2018 to warm Tanzania where we set off on our first drive after an excellent nights stay at the Planet Lodge in Arusha.  From Chicago I like to fly KLM. Nice planes and staff and the food is ok enough for airplane food. I seldom sleep, so I spend my time watching movies and counting the hours away. It is approx. 8 hours to Amsterdam, a few hour layover (which is ok, as their airport is very nice)..but this time it was a few minute layover, and then 8 more hours down to Tanzania.

Tarangire (a must for any Tanzania visit) was again filled with elephants. It seems like after a good 10 minutes on the main road in, the wildlife just starts appearing. I really enjoy this park, usually no matter what we see we are alone, and I have never had more than two other jeeps with me at any sighting. It was also fun to see the excitement on the faces of the two in our group who were on their first African Safari. I love to bring along people for their first time.

 

 

The second video keeps trucking along as we continues on our first drive. I always have the hard choice of what to do first when we have a good sighting..camera or video camera? The past two years or so, it is always to video first and then if enough time allows I take a few photos and then try to sit back and appreciate the sights before me. My spotting skills were finally picking up where I left them. I was happy with the amount of wildlife we were seeing just hours into our Safari. I can count on Serengeti to supply the cats, so I try to appreciate all the”other” animals here in Tarangire.  This second video also looks at our lunch break spot. There is an excellent look out post where many jeeps take their groups. The sad thing is the amount of tourist who toss things to the vervet monkeys. They are brave enough now to jump on your lap and take food from your hands. Not a good situation at all. At this junction, we did see a lioness (not included in the video.) but she was far off, so I decided to leave her out of it. All in all not bad for a first drive and I was excited to see our lodge which will be the Lake Burunge Tented Lodge (next video coming in a week or so..)

 

 

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Very nice videos! I really like this style of trip report. It looks like the eles did not disappoint.

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Brian's Art for Animals

Thanks for watching the video. Yes, Tarangire seems to be a great location to find large elephant herds. I hope they can keep the big Tuskers protected.

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Atravelynn

So sad your father-in-law could not join you. I do hope he'll get to go next time.   Good going with the eles in Tarangire.

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Brian's Art for Animals
Quote

 

yeah, I hope to do the same route in Feb 2020, so he can finally see Africa.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Brian's Art for Animals

After that long first drive, we checked in at the beautiful Sangaiwe tented lodge (Tarangire National Park.). Luxury tents are the favorite way to go in Africa. This lodge sits at the foot of a small hill which elevates you to overlook a nice section of the park. This area also doesn't seem to get as many jeeps since it is a little off the main road that many visitors take for their one day in the park.

After a nice swim (love to get into the pools, no matter how cold they are)..it was sun down then sun up to get right back on the road. My wife did an excellent job spotting a lion as we all still had sleepy eyes on so early in the morning (around 6:15am). Also seeing a Tawny eagle is also fun. hope you enjoy the footage of the first part of our morning drive...

 

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Amylovescritters

Great TR thus far... Loving the narrative! We leave for 16days March 29th. Counting months, days, hours, minutes. Lol

My second safari but first time to TZ (1st was Kenya). Rest of the group (hubby, mom, and BFF) are first time Africa visitors. Looking forward to the continued report (gets me through this countdown period). 

Thanks for sharing!

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Brian's Art for Animals

Thank you. I hope to get back to Tanzania in Feb 2020, so my wait is pretty long. After a few trips to Kenya I am glad I tried Tanzania. For me it is more wildlife and less jeeps. I do miss my friends in Kenya and visiting the amazing programs Lewa has. Good luck on your trip, it will be fun to watch people enjoy Africa for the first time.

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Brian's Art for Animals

continuing that drive we came along a herd of elephants. And not too far from that we saw cape buffalo taking a nice mud bath. I remember a ranger once telling me you had better odds walking through a herd of cape buffalo rather than a group of 3-4 old males. I really want to live my life without ever having to walk near any cape buffalo. We did the classic safari thing where you drive up to see what the heck a jeep that has been stopped for a long time is looking at. This time it paid off and we were able to watch a leopard from far away. A far away leopard is better than no leopard. I hope you enjoy the video...

 

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Brian's Art for Animals

We closed out our final drive in Tarangire with seeing yet another elephant herd. No other jeeps were around so we sat for close to an hour just watching them move along. The mongoose were darting around but making sure not to get too close to those large elephant feet. At night we stayed at the beautiful Lake Burunge tented lodge. I was able to put out my camera trap to see what would creep around the tent at night. The grounds of the lodge had Dik-dik all around. Next stop is Ndutu.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ritsgaai

I am enjoying your videos a lot. Great job. 

We've never been to TZ or Kenya and want to go next year to see the migration. We are reading a lot and will have to make a decision sooner rather than later where to book. Serengeti or Maasai Mara Conservancy? Your advice would be appreciated. 

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Brian's Art for Animals

both will be crowded and one never really knows when and where the animals will cross the river if that is the part of the great migration you want to see. I personally have never gone for river crossings but rather the general movement of the herds. I like Tanzania side (Serengeti) as to me it seems more room and less jeeps. There are a million travel companies, but I like Savannah Explorers, as they are small and have great prices and customer service. Thanks so much for watching my videos, I should have another one up in the next few days...

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Brian's Art for Animals

sorry it has been a while..i have been getting ready for my India trip next month. so in this video log we leave the Tarangire area and start heading down to Ndutu. The was filmed in Feb so plenty of prey and predators around. The first lion we see was surrounded by a few jeeps, but I was happy none of the jeeps stayed long and the cat didn't seem bothered at all. When we went to the pride only us and another jeep where there for maybe 5 minutes. something so magical about sitting and watching lions. A good day...

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice to see you're also making videos for TR's. Like how you tell your story.

 

And a very impressive YouTube channel with lots of views and subscribers. Well done! I guess you were very active in the early stages of YT, am I right?

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Brian's Art for Animals

Yes, I think I joined on YT the first year, but didn't really start posting until 2008. I have been doing videos for 10 years now. At my most popular I was one of the most watched animal channels and also would contribute to CNN reports and the such. Now I am just some guy doing videos, as the popularity of the channel has long gone. When I started I thought it would be cool if workers/safari guides could make videos of their day to day (which is happening as there are several camps/guides who have channels) as well as I hoped all the good zoos and rescues would make videos (which is also happening.) So now a days I get lost in the shuffle which is ok. I still have fun doing the videos. I donate some of the money I get from the tiny ads that run on the videos to various conservation groups. I could donate lots more when my videos were popular, but oh well.

Speaking of videos...So as we left that lion pride we drove maybe 10 minutes and came upon these cheetah who had just taken down this young wildebeest. In my jeep were 2 others that were on their first safari, and they were blown away by this sighting. It was fun to watch their reaction. After a good 10-15 minutes we left and made our way to the mobile tented camp. We met some nice people from France at the camp fire. They showed us some amazing photos they took. It is always nice to end the day at the camp fire.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another great video. Can't beat the sound of hyenas at night!

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Brian's Art for Animals

I could listen to hyena all night long :) This was our first full day in Ndutu.. this was the first part of our morning drive. Seeing those two majestic lion brothers by the lake was a real treat. If I had any real photography skills, I could have came back with some amazing shots..oh well...

*Brian’s Art for Animals “SAFARI” series provides you an honest view of what you might see while on safari. Unlike productions on major channels/networks that may use weeks, months, and sometimes years of footage to paint a picture of a safari drive or viewing wildlife, on my series what you see is exactly what I saw on that particular day. I do this to give you a realistic view of going on safari to various locations around our planet.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88fa4IK9qRI&t=5s

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Brian's Art for Animals

More hyena :) 

 

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Brian's Art for Animals

and...cute Jackals....as we finally enter the central Serengeti location....

 

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Oh my- that buffalo/elephant scene was great. That buffalo didn't even flinch and it actually looked like an elephant took a couple steps back from him. Never thought I'd see that. Awesome :)

 

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Brian's Art for Animals

it was funny as a person in my jeep said.."look those elephants are going to chase that buffalo away", and I replied.."i bet you that buffalo just walks right through them."..i wish I would have made it a money bet :)

. A guide once told me the scariest thing to see is a lone buffalo, that he (the guide) could probably safely walk through a herd of buffalo slowly, but would never want to walk up or around a lone buffalo.

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ForWildlife
On 12/6/2018 at 3:21 AM, Brian's Art for Animals said:

I remember a ranger once telling me you had better odds walking through a herd of cape buffalo rather than a group of 3-4 old males.

 

 

The one thing I was always very anxious to meet on foot in the African bush was a single, or small group, or buffalo bulls and surprise them. If they rest or are quiet and there are no oxpeckers they can be hard to detect. And I have walked through a big herd of buffalo once to make it back to camp before dark. This was a very large herd and very spread out in a field with small bushes. We walked from bush to bush, but fortunately for us the buffalo didn't pay much attention to us. In this way we got back around dusk (after a 25k+ hike that day), had we chosen to go around we would have had to add another couple of km's to the hike. Just before we reached camp, lions started roaring. We were pretty glad we were back in camp!

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ForWildlife
4 hours ago, Brian's Art for Animals said:

A guide once told me the scariest thing to see is a lone buffalo, that he (the guide) could probably safely walk through a herd of buffalo slowly, but would never want to walk up or around a lone buffalo.

 Exactly that!

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