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TAKE TWO: WE FOUND THE MIGRATION IN MORU!


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Seronera to Panorama campground above Mtowambu

The time has come to leave the Serengeti. 

In the morning, we wave good-bye to our neighbors and leave Sero 4 for the last time. This spot remains one of my all-time happy places.

 

below: sharing Sero 4

 

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Edited by KaliCA
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Our Second Northern Tanzania Self-Drive Safari   21 Days in June, 2018     One of the things on my bucket list was to experience East Africa in the green season and photograph

The first afternoon we spot lions by a river and a leopard is in a sausage tree moving his carcass to another branch.  The next day we visit the Turner area that was teaming with gazelles, zebra,

Lake Manyara NP, 2 nights   Lake Manyara is certainly green, green, green and there are flowers everywhere. The vegetation along the tracks is very thick and even giraffes appear shorter and

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We take the river road and  find two male lions with their females. They barely lift their heads, but it’s four lions before breakfast and we take it. 

Then we drive out to Masai Kopjes as we want to game drive and take the eastern  inside track to Naabi Hill Gate thus avoiding the dreaded main road.  

We drive out into the wide open wilderness that is the south-east Serengeti and finally find the herds of gazelles on the short grass plains and also spot two cheetah far away, as well as two herds of eland. After that, it’s another highlight of this trip: I spot a little cat head in the grass and it’s my first ever caracal. It runs off but we see him clearly. Yay! Firsts are great.77528370-1936-4DE2-B186-00A1A64659F5.jpeg.0b2ec5b78051ab0529ed86af362f00c6.jpeg

 

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We check out of the Serengeti and into NCA and it’s pretty easy with just a few papers being checked, but I have to write our info into the big ledger to enter the NCA after all. (even though we are only using the NCA for transit, we have to pay full day entrance fees and a vehicle fee) ( Also, the TANAPA and NCA Computer systems have not been coordinated or merged!)

Later on, as we fix the tent cover straps by the Serengeti entrance gate, there are Masai boys all dressed in black with their faces painted white.  They are asking for money “abusing their culture” as Nathan said. Then comes the worst stretch of washboard road  and it is tough sharing the narrow space with oncoming traffic without landing in the ditch. I am very nervous but DH is a great defensive driver.

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Soon we leave the dusty plains behind and start to climb into the foothills which is slowing down the Land Rover again. The steeper ascend towards the crater comes next and its back into first gear with many GD’s passing us by. We see Masai herders all over the hills, leading their cows and sheep to water. We pass two crater lakes we didn’t even know existed and the hills are dotted with yellow flowers and zebra are grazing in them. Very pretty sight. 

 

We reach the Seneto descend Gate  road and stop and rest a little. The view into the crater is still great and still green, but less so than 13 days ago.

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The little shack there is the Seneto Gate, one of two roads that descend into the crater. 

 

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We decided against spending another night on Simba public, because of the cold, price, and having time to make it closer to Tarangire. Then it’s back to the hairpin curves along the crater and down into the Valley again. I’m very nervous about the oncoming traffic but again, DH is doing great and all goes well. 

We make it to Lodaware Gate in one piece and I have to stand at three different offices waiting for clerks to stamp and check, even though my paper says “exit permit”. So the system is still inefficient despite having prepaid and it being computerized. 

We get to Karatu and see a small supermarket that has tomatoes for sale and I buy also water and bread and pay about $2 for everything but pay in TSH. The locals are very helpful and a man is translating for me. After Karatu, we stop at a souvenir shop and it takes some time to do our shopping and bargaining.

 

 

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Then we enter Panorama campground via a very bad dirt road and it seems that nothing much has changed there in three years. The souvenir shop attendant is the same man and he shows us to the fireplace circle where we can park and open the roof tent. We order dinner as we don’t feel like cooking after this long drive. Camping is $10 pp. First order of business is taking hot showers and wash hair. Then we meet a nice couple from Portugal and they invite us to sit with them for dinner. After dinner, local youths present an acrobatic show with singing and dancing. We sit and chat till after 11 pm and they are good company.  I go to bed with earplugs. 

Welcome back to civilization.

 

Next up is the last part of this trip: 4 days in Tarangire NP

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Tom Kellie
12 minutes ago, KaliCA said:

 ...by the Serengeti entrance gate, there are Masai boys all dressed in black with their faces painted white.  They are asking for money “abusing their culture” as Nathan said.

 

~ @KaliCA

 

It's useful to know that you saw this. 

 

Was there any indication about the essence of their concerns? What was the “abuse of culture” which they felt was made by safari guests?

 

Were they teenagers? Older?

 

I'm sensitive to local protests, wanting to better grasp what motivates them.

 

Tom K.

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penolva
10 hours ago, KaliCA said:

Then we enter Panorama campground via a very bad dirt road and it seems that nothing much has changed there in three years. The souvenir shop attendant is the same man and he shows us to the fireplace circle where we can park and open the roof tent. We order dinner as we don’t feel like cooking after this long drive. Camping is $10 pp. First order of business is taking hot showers and wash hair. Then we meet a nice couple from Portugal and they invite us to sit with them for dinner. After dinner, local youths present an acrobatic show with singing and dancing. We sit and chat till after 11 pm and they are good company.  I go to bed with earplugs. 

Welcome back to civilization.

 

Next up is the last part of this trip: 4 days in Tarangire NP

What a fabulous time you had in the Serengeti. Driving around on your own in that vast landscape, wonderful. A double booking! So annoying and it happens so often. You were decent about it but sometimes one does wonder if some people are giving someone else a 'little extra'! You had to pay full fees to exit through the crater? That is a lot of money, isn't it? The zebra with the flowers is a lovely photograph and a caracal, icing on the cake. Looking forward to the end before we leave :) Pen

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@Tom Kellie  Hi Tom, it seems that I did not communicate very well. I’ll try again. As we drove out of the Serengeti, there were five Masai Teenage Boys all clad in dark robes with their faces painted white. Other tourists had stopped there and for a fee, people could have their picture taken with the Masai, or just photograph them. They had a thriving business going, taking money for allowing tourists to take their photos. As I told Nathan, our car rental owner about this he explained that the dark robes and white paint have a special meaning for adolescent boys in Masai culture but only during a certain time of year. He said that the youths are abusing and using their culture by the way they dress and paint their faces all year long in order to make money from the tourists. 

I hope this is clearer now. 

See the picture below. 

8935E233-4BBA-40EB-9A69-71E74B6F945D.jpeg

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Tom Kellie

~ @KaliCA

 

It was undoubtedly my poor comprehension, not your writing which caused the original misunderstanding.

 

I apologize for that.

 

Tom K.

Edited by Tom Kellie
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Tom Kellie

~ @KaliCA

 

Now I understand. Thank you for clearing up my befuddlement.

 

So many gold rings on the outstretched hand.
 

The white face designs are bold and vivid. I've never encountered anything comparable.

 

The sandal in the lower right has the type of design which appeals to me.

 

Thank you for posting this image

 

Tom K.

 

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From Panorama Campground to Tarangire NP

As expected, we wake up early from kitchen noises where cooks prepare  breakfast  for their guests. I go to the ledge of the escarpment to see the sunrise but it’s not over Lake Manyara. We organize our car and clean off the Serengeti dust that has covered everything. We fold up the roof tent and off we go down the escarpment hairpins to Mtowambu village to get diesel and fresh food. Our boys come to the gas station right away and we don’t understand how they find out that we are back. 

There is no diesel at the pump, but the minimart has apples, yogurt and water. Then my “personal shopping guide” and I go back to the market stalls for fresh vegetables and bananas. I have to try the red bananas my guide insists  0E7258B0-AB2B-49D8-9D45-DA7E7FF719F4.jpeg.b684cde1fa358d2ed616222aed0d5133.jpeg

 

 

DH makes arrangement to get diesel from across the street from a siphon. I worry what if it’s not clean gas or full of water? DH says he is committed, so the men fill our tank with a canister. All is well and the gas was fine.97C51A9E-AE5C-4EFF-9B3F-522B70726419.jpeg.f1f72a5d95e67bf9c8fb95d339d4edc4.jpeg

 

 

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We leave Mtowambu one last time, drive to the junction at Makuyuni and turn right. Then it’s about 30 km on the Dodoma road to the turn-off to Tarangire. Now they have added speed bumps to the road, so it’s slow going and that’s where the kids are waiting for hand-outs. A little dirty boy holds up a pod to sell and I take it for TSH 2000. He looks shocked! After a picture below the entrance arches, we park in the shade and I go do the paper work.

 

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First step is registering with all our information of where and how long on a small piece of paper in a tent. Then I walk to the next office with slip in hand. The clerk enters all the information into the computer and prints out the permit. It’s almost $800 for 4 days camping in Tarangire. The clerk is annoyed that I make him repeat all the items on the list, but he does it. Payment is made by Visa card. Then I show the permit at the booth where they copy down something and we are in. 

We have paid for three nights camping at the public campsite and one night sleeping at HondoHondo special campsite by the Silale swamp. 

We really like the public campsite where we have many animals passing by us, but I’m annoyed that despite the new ablutions, there is once again no warm water in the showers. So I heat the water on the gas and then bring it over to the shower stall. Once again, you have to adapt to what the reality is and there is no use asking why, because the answer inevitably is that tomorrow there will be hot water. Not.

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Camping on the public campsite, wide open and with animals passing by

 

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Tarangire NP is famous for two things giant: an abundance of elephants and an abundance of baobab trees. On top of this, the park is highly scenic with the Tarangire river flowing through it, swamps, hills, and waterholes close to the entrance. Game driving is done on both sides of the river and by Silale Swamp. 

 

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29F8CC67-1561-4ADB-8ADF-A6753515DB0B.jpeg.ccd31bee5b12d82da6c59e7ef11e7cff.jpeg

 

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Below our campsite 

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The Misses

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And her mister 

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Tom Kellie

83E9AA57-28EB-447B-A2C0-B45C90F73583.jpeg.961016d91787891990392473ae0336ec.jpeg.61f28cf98baace1fd3de62df31514112.jpeg

 

 

~ @KaliCA

 

Postcard Shot of the Year!

 

Lovely beyond all words.

 

Thank you for posting it.

 

Tom K.

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penolva
8 hours ago, KaliCA said:

29F8CC67-1561-4ADB-8ADF-A6753515DB0B.jpeg.ccd31bee5b12d82da6c59e7ef11e7cff.jpeg

 

7815D7DC-070F-46FF-BFC5-E4EC52988358.jpeg.7ac5e0ecacdb562f0c1811e51e305121.jpeg

Below our campsite 

EBC10768-617B-4D96-8ADE-8955E10918BB.jpeg.e737afc9578594b67a3ad04e8cf1883d.jpeg

 

 

366B17D7-C0F6-4558-B5D8-8F31AFC522DF.jpeg.285b3af8b64358169d94eabb70d8e99f.jpeg

 

FEB539CE-3A27-47DC-A027-B002553441B5.jpeg.0ecb3ee1586652406645b4628cce2c57.jpeg

 

A8985944-29C8-4858-81A8-0FEAFDAB5291.jpeg.abf97add3e888af49a2454e099a5d0fc.jpeg

The Misses

AF31EF92-153B-4F17-A8EE-10CA8575FF98.jpeg.9d465f30424dc23b53a315308baa5926.jpeg

 

And her mister 

 

Fabulous Tarangire. It's been 8 years since I was there. Seeing your photographs we must go back, soon!

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Fantastic photos of Tarangire. Absolutely one of my favorite places in Africa.

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Thank you all for your kind comments and pushing the “like” button. :)

 

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During our last trip in August, Tarangire was chuck full of herbivores and we saw ellies by the hundreds, no wonder as the river attracts animals during the dry season. To tell you the truth, we are a little frustrated with the lack of animals and the tall grass. Who would have thought that the park could be so different in June. But... on the plus side, it’s very green and we do have some very nice sightings after all, just not the masses of animals. Quality over quantity, maybe, to put a nice spin on it!41D14256-75B7-43E4-B0B9-4FA25A8718DF.jpeg.c1442cef819ec5abc55c26ef2fa63b38.jpeg

A first: We have never before seen a baobab tree with green leaves. 

 

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Another first: a crescent eagle, I think. Correct me if I’m wrong. 2568CF5F-E3B4-4DBE-BD4A-759BCA57AA13.jpeg.6952d961ca392b9d89ccd60ddf0ef386.jpeg

Never seen a ground hornbill fly and sit in a tree. 

 

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And who knew there were so many lovely flowers blooming?

 

 

 

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9B7E953A-F440-48DB-A2C8-27BA36204A13.jpeg

 

Anothe postcard especially posted and sent to Tom K. In China

Edited by KaliCA
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Tom Kellie
3 hours ago, KaliCA said:

 

 

9B7E953A-F440-48DB-A2C8-27BA36204A13.jpeg

 

Anothe postcard especially posted and sent to Tom K. In China

 

~ @KaliCA

 

T H A N K   Y O U  !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Tom K.

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