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Atravelynn

We spent time with dry wildebeest as well as the “crossers.”

 

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But the wet ones, or those about to take a dip, were more interesting.

 

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Estimated 7,500+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #4, Observed from Lamai, 5 Aug at 12:20 for 25 minutes –There does seem

to be a definite “Point Man or Woman” taking the lead here.

 

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Estimated 10,000+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #7b, Observed from Lamai, 5 Aug at 15:15 for 30 minutes

 

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Estimated 20,000+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #4, Observed from Lamai, 7 Aug at 9:19 for 16 minutes

 

I found the remarks of my friends who have viewed some of these crossing shots to be interesting.  “Like a painting.”  “Looks like a scene from the Civil War.” “Biblical.”  And my favorite: “That’s a lot of water buffalo heading for a swim.”  The guy who made that comment is actually someone I am working with on his own trip to Africa, but there will be no water buffalo at the swimming hole on the itinerary.

 

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Estimated 10,000+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #7b, Observed from Lamai, 5 Aug at 15:15 for 30 minutes

 

We saw 5 crocodile-wildebeest interactions.  In one, the adult wildebeest escaped the snapping jaws of the croc.  One take down of a calf that I did not photograph was very quick.  Two attacks on calves lasted long enough to observe or take photos.  For this last attack, we came upon the croc after he had gotten the calf and the herd was gone. 

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About 15 minutes into this feeding frenzy we witnessed something very disturbing.  There were air bubbles floating up from near the submerged calf’s head, accompanied by erratic movements of its legs.  Could the poor beast still be alive and conscious?  We were relieved to see a catfish flopping around and nibbling from the carcass.  The bubbles and leg movements could be attributed to the catfish. 

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A catfish joined the croc in consuming the wildebeest calf.

 

Where are all the zebras in these crossing herds? Zebras often lead the herds of wildebeest across the river in the Masai Mara and when heading back to Tanzania in October/November.  But on the way north from Tanzania to Kenya, many zebras abandon the wildebeest herds and cross the Sand River (circled in purple) rather than the Mara River (circled in red). Shown in this handy Bushtops map.

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This zebra off to the side by itself was one of about only 10 zebras I saw crossing the river with the wildebeest.

 

 

 

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Kogatende Scenery vs. Lamai Wedge Scenery:

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Kogatende landscape

 

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About 3/4 of Lamai Wedge is open like this

 

 

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The last Kogatende sunset

 

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The last Kogatende sunrise

 

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Goodbye to the Northern Serengeti, aerial of the Mara River

 

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Hello to Ruaha, the largest park in Tanzania--baobabs and giraffes--aerial view

 

To be continued

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Estimated 20,000+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #4, Observed from Lamai, 7 Aug at 9:19 for 16 minutes     Estimated 20,000+ wildebeest, Crossing Point #4, Observed from Lamai, 7 Aug a

We spent time with dry wildebeest as well as the “crossers.”     But the wet ones, or those about to take a dip, were more interesting.   Estimated 7,500+ wildebees

Hopes for this trip: (1) See the wildebeest cross the Mara River at least a couple of times and try to catch some croc predation. (2) Check out Ruaha National Park and see/photograph baobabs, general

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Atravelynn

 

Ruaha

 

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Ruaha is baobab country and this baobab is in bloom because there is a water source under the kopjes.

 

Mdonya Old River Camp in Ruaha  is located in a beautiful setting visited by antelope, monkeys, and birds.

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In front of Mdonya Old River Camp in the morning

 

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Atravelynn

 

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Acacia forest about 10 minutes form Mdonya Old River Camp, rather Mana Pools-like

 

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There are 2 elephants present

 

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Black-backed jackals in acacia about 10 minutes from Mdonya Old River Camp, Ruaha

 

Lions in the dry Mdonya Riverbed were a highlight.  We saw about 20 lions during my four days, most of them on the last morning.  The majority of our lion sightings were flat cats or prides tucked into shaded brush.

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Mdonya Riverbed, dry in August, 2 lions present

 

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Mdonya Riverbed, dry in August, 1 lion cub

 

Leopards eluded us, but Ruaha is good leopard territory and there was plenty of leopard talk around the campfire from guests who were leaving about the time we arrived.

 

A cheetah was the surprise of my Ruaha visit and it was interesting to watch it in more wooded habitat than I was used to.

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Cheetah and baobabs and the Great Ruaha River

 

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Atravelynn

The Ruaha River, about 2 hours from Mdonya Old River Camp, offered a more open venue for wildlife, especially elephants. 

 

The Rivers:

Mdonya River – A sand river with water flowing underneath in the dry season, at least at the surface.  But elephants can dig down to find water, something I did not witness.  The Mdonya River has changed course over the years.

Mdonya Old River - where the river used to flow, but no longer does.  Mdonya Old River Camp is located in the former path of the river.

Mwagusi River - Mostly dry and subterranean  in the dry season, with small amounts of water rushing to the surface in parts.

 

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Mwagusi River - baboon

 

Great Ruaha River - Remains flowing year-round, though diversion for farm irrigation and the Mtera and Kidatu dams, have reduced the flow. Habitat and wildlife that depend on the water in the dry season are increasingly at risk.

 

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Crowned cranes at Ruaha River

 

 

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Elephants approaching the Ruaha River, saddle bill stork in foreground

 

The Mwagusi and Great Ruaha Rivers meet in a confluence that was especially productive for elephants and wildlife. This confluence was about 2 hours from Mdonya Old River Camp.

 

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Waterbuck at the confluence of the Mwagusi River and Great Ruaha River

 

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Elephants at the confluence of the Mwagusi River and Great Ruaha River

 

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Atravelynn

I found one! I finally found one! A baby baobab tree!! Only 15 years old and about 6 feet tall.  I was actually shown two different baby trees, upon my request, and they were well off the normal route.  Great job by the guides and driver! 

 

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I am pointing out a 15-year old baobab.

 

An early morning departure put us in good position for sunrise baobab shots, about 15 minutes from camp.  On Aug 12, the time for sunrise shots was about 6:30 am - 7:00 am.

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Many baobabs were within 15 minutes of Mdonya Old River Camp

 

Other baobabs were found throughout the park.

 

large.1730338977_0d4DSCN2998kopjesandbaobabs.jpg.fc4f24195d7c7759de26ef329752e912.jpg

 

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There is a rock hyrax in this photo—way on the left.

 

Signature species for the park are the Greater Kudu and Ruaha Hornbill, both fairly easy to see and photograph, and easily found within a short driving distance from camp. 

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Greater Kudu in Ruaha

 

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Ruaha Hornbill

 

 Elephants are also a key species in Ruaha—at the river, in the acacia, under the baobabs, between the kopjes.  They seemed to arrive, predictably, at the Ruaha River by late morning or afternoon. 

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large.610432060_01D3M7A4561RuahaRiverElephants.jpg.a3a9d6c7edf99a032cdb47b76161f614.jpg

 

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Elephants at the Great Ruaha River--digging down and scratching for water along the banks.

 

To be continued

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mvecht

@Atravelynn   Great find with the Baobab. I have always wondered what they look like?

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Atravelynn
15 hours ago, mvecht said:

@Atravelynn   Great find with the Baobab. I have always wondered what they look like?  Rather spindly and unassuming.

There are not many young baobabs around because the elephants devour them before they can grow, but the two baby baobabs I saw were in areas that were hard to access, which probably offered more protection.

 

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At the Great Ruaha River

 

I definitely wanted to visit Ruaha in the dry season.

 

But here’s an interesting comment on Asilia’s website: “The dry season is the best season for predator viewing, and the rainy season is the season for elephants!   [They] are attracted to the areas where the rains arrive first, where new nutritious green grasses grow...These groups can reach up to 200-300 individuals, all moving together, slowly and completely focused on grazing the new grass. They mainly move with the rain and the availability of large quantities of palatable grass species...In this green and lush time of year, it seems like the elephants have taken over and are now the owners of Ruaha.”

https://www.asiliaafrica.com/ruaha-seasonal-elephant-dynamics/

 

Here's what @FirstTimeAfrica said in their report:

“For those who consider to go in the green season: You will be rewarded with an extremely beautiful and green landscape, with rivers actually being rivers (though in Ruaha many are dry anyways) and with a lot of birds.  But one should be aware, that there's a trade-off, especially regarding lions and other cats. They are much more scattered, as wild-life in general, because it's just not necessary for the animals to only stay around the river beds. And the grass is about one meter high, so if you're mostly after killings, etc., one should simply not choose this time of the year. Also seeing Leopards is much more difficult, as not only the grass is high, but bushes and tress are also very dense, so I guess it's much more a matter of luck than in the dry season.”

 http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/18908-first-timers-visiting-selous-and-ruaha-in-the-green-season-february-2018/page/2/

 

And put on your sunglasses before viewing the intense and dazzling greens of @mopsy's  January visit to Ruaha (and Selous).

http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/18318-ruaha-selous-january-2018/

 

One factor I’d like to know about in dry vs. wet season in Ruaha is the tse tses and mosquitoes.  There were none at Mdonya Old River Camp. When we entered areas with tse teses, a pot of burning/smoking elephant dung in the back of the vehicle was used to keep them at bay.  The driver did some fancy maneuvering to avoid wind-blown smoke getting into the photos.

 

How much heat and humidity occurs in Jan-Feb vs. the dry season would also be something to consider.  The August weather was very comfortable, up to maybe 85 F in the day and down to mid-50s F at night.  No rain.

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Elephant, kopjes, and baobab

 

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At the Great Ruaha River

 

An interesting and depressing fact:  Ruaha-Rungwa elephant population declined from 34,500 to 20,000 between 2009 and 2013, with a further decline to 15,800 by 2015.

University of York. "Patterns of elephant poaching in East Africa uncovered by scientists."

 ScienceDaily, 18 December 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171218132037.htm>.

 

I wish I could find more recent elephant population figures.  The peaceful scenes of elephant herds going about their daily routines that I witnessed made the poaching devastation experienced by this species seem so distant.

 

large.1070716578_01P3DSCN3319EverybodyDrinkNow.RuahaRiver.jpg.7f35862323b1d94614337f38a57984be.jpg

At the Great Ruaha River

 

large.1810354579_01P1DSCN3311ElesdrinkatRuahaRiver.jpg.ba6c693cb3d97e78f7df0265e883a491.jpg 

At the Great Ruaha River

 

 

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Tree hyrax, cousin of the elephant

 

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Tree hyrax, cousin of the elephant

 

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Tree hyrax in Strangler Fig--to the left of the hole

 

 

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The beginning of a Strangler Fig

 

 

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Lesser Kudu

 

 

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Lesser Kudu, along with an impala.  It looks like they are on a date.

 

We had a few different guides, and all were very enthusiastic. We had the same driver (Godson, pictured above) who was a highly skilled veteran. I appreciate the fine job and time spent searching for, spotting and allowing us to get views and photos of the elusive Lesser Kudu.  (Another request of mine besides the baby baobab that I must admit my safari mates were not as enthused about as I.)   The odds were estimated at less than 50-50 that we’d see a Lesser Kudu and we saw two in thick brush well off the beaten game-drive path.   Very happy with these guys who could do something a little out of the ordinary, like find baby baobabs and Lesser Kudu.

 

large.663626692_z70V3M7A3645girafferuaha.jpg.8840a295197c8ca2fda5147b84c5a2a0.jpg

Masai Giraffe

 

 

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Masai Giraffe

 

large.164099520_04P9c7ossicones.jpg.9789a06f9d123318fa837a0df770404e.jpg

 

I always admire how skilled photographers can produce a unique perspective and composition for certain shots.  This giraffe and Red-billed Oxpecker inspired me to try for a unique angle.

 

large.1042596232_Z7.53M7A3532redbilledoxpeckerongiraffe.jpg.412b9a73460e34c34699677564f2eb7c.jpg

Red-billed Oxpecker and Giraffe.  PG Perspective.

 

 

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Red-billed Oxpecker and Giraffe. G-rated perspective.

 

Sepia is just around the corner, I can feel it.

 

To be continued

 

Edited by Atravelynn
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mapumbo

The leg looks like tree bark.

Are those ticks on what look to be testicles?

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Atravelynn
1 minute ago, mapumbo said:

The leg looks like tree bark.

Are those ticks on what look to be testicles?

Bingo for both.  It is a leg and testicles & ticks in the PG.

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Zubbie15

Your comments about the poaching reminded me of this article: 

 

https://www.ippmedia.com/en/news/elephants-safe-after-ruaha-anti-poaching-drive

 

if you believe the official information, then poaching is greatly decreased since the start of 2018. Of course, I think it’s always advisable to take this type of information with a grain of salt.  They also say there are about 15 000 elephants in the park, although whether that is from the 2015 census or a more recent census isn’t mentioned.

 

I loved seeing the baby baobab, I’ve asked to see one in Tarangire and our guide has pointed them out, but they didn’t really look like mini baobabs like yours did.

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Atravelynn

How very timely @Zubbie15.  Most encouraging.  That was the type of info I was looking for.

 

image.png.1e16957c82568677312200ce745d2181.png

March 16 from The Guardian Limited

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Atravelynn

The food at Mdonya Old River Camp in Ruaha was truly outstanding.  Even lunches in the bush were full meals transported in pots and a cooler.  There were numerous picnic spots with tables and chairs and a view.

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Lunch spread in the bush

 

Evening dining was under the stars AND IT GETS COLD AT NIGHT, even with heated pots under the table. WEAR WARM CLOTHES.  Seems no one is warned of this in advance and new arrivals are always underdressed and shivering.  It almost seemed to be an initiation ritual that newbies freeze.  So be warned and be warm!

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White Brown Vein Butterfly on a Giant Tootbrush, with a bonus dragonfly.

 

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Red-headed Rock Agama

 

During my 4 days, it seemed the majority of the visitors in our at-or-near capacity of about 28, were first time Africa visitors and/or beach go-ers that added on some safari time.  About 20% seemed to be more seasoned safari travelers.

 

Some birds:

 

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Helmeted Guinea Fowl

 

 

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Lilac breasted Roller

 

 

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Ostriches

 

 

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Little bee eater

 

 

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Green pigeon

 

 

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Martial Eagle

 

 

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Juvenile Lesser Spotted Eagle, but I would welcome a correction if needed.

 

 

These are the game drive options in effect when I was there in August 2019--and it was nice to have options since there was mix between serious safari travelers and holiday-makers:

 

~ Leave at 6:30 am or at 7:00 am, taking breakfast with you, and returning for lunch.  Afternoon game drive starting around 4 pm and ending with sundowners and back about 6:30 pm.  Or stay in camp during the afternoon instead of going out at 4 pm.

 

~ Have a full breakfast in camp and leave at 8:00 am, returning for lunch. Afternoon game drive starting around 4 pm and ending with sundowners and back about 6:30 pm.  Or stay in camp during the afternoon instead of going out at 4 pm.

 

Adding another twist, you could remain in camp for the morning and do just an afternoon game drive, stating around 4 pm.

 

Why stay in camp?  I never opted for camp over a game drive, but the morning of my departure day, I remained in camp longer than normal and observed some nice antelope, monkey, and bird activity. The camp setting produced some very lovely pictures when the light turned golden.

 

~ Leave at either 6:30 am or at 7:00 am, taking both breakfast and lunch with you and staying out all day until 6:00-6:30 pm.  This longer day allows ample time to get to the Great Ruaha River (and the Ruaha- Mwguasi confluence) and enjoy it.  Ele activity at the river tends to be mid-morning and afternoon.

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On the grounds of Mdonya Old River Camp

 

 

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On the grounds of Mdonya Old River Camp

 

 

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On the grounds of Mdonya Old River Camp

 

 

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On the grounds of  Mdonya Old River Camp

 

From what I saw, every party of 2 or more guests at Mdonya Old River Camp got their own vehicle, meaning choosing among the outing options involved only discussions within your party.  The solos (such as myself) were put with others. 

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The “Bambi” shot

 

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My very congenial husband & wife safari mates had a different concept from mine of what constituted the perfect safari schedule. I offered to pay extra to move to my own vehicle so we all could do what we wanted when we wanted, but a recent vehicle breakdown and high season meant there were no spare vehicles.  There was also a problem with how the permits were written that presented more obstacles for splitting up the vehicle occupants, but that eventually was resolved. 

 

 

Between my adamant request to maximize my time “out there” and my safari mates’ very, very strongly expressed desires that it was crucial to the success of their holiday to maintain a schedule to their liking (which had plenty of relaxation in camp), I was able to swap vehicles and join others who stayed out for the day.  So, it all worked out for everyone in the end.

 

It has all been covered except the snake and the adapter.

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Python spotting tutorial

 

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Python

 

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The adapter used throughout the trip to Serengeti and Ruaha—G-type

 

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Powerstrip used in Tanzania into which G-type adapters are plugged.

 

 

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Bye bye Ruaha

 

 

The End

 

 

 

Edited by Atravelynn
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mapumbo

Reading between the lines, were you a little disappointed with the lack of predators in Ruaha?

You did get to see a surprising cheetah in Ruaha.

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Atravelynn
4 minutes ago, mapumbo said:

Reading between the lines, were you a little disappointed with the lack of predators in Ruaha?

You did get to see a surprising cheetah in Ruaha.

I was mainly going for some kind of animals in interesting Ruaha settings.  It would have been nice if the lions had spent more time in the riverbed near camp.  I would have liked to see the lions in the typical Ruaha environments of sandy riverbeds or around baobabs.  There were several lions laying under various baobabs, which were interesting, but very shaded.   We did see over 20 lions, but not very good photo ops.  As for leopard, I never really expect to see them.  A lot of our lion sightings looked like this.  A little challenging.

3M7A5401.JPG.3a4dfb17c78864238354a8a0b92857a8.JPG

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monalisa

Wow what a trip! That is sooooo many wildebeest. When people say they want to see the migration, I think what you got is exactly what is hoped for.

My experience (late August/early September) was quite a bit different. We sat for hours waiting and waiting. Will they cross? Won't they?! The herd walked back and forth deciding whether or not to go. And while an impressive number, weren't this many!! The croc-wildebeest activity you saw was amazing. I would have loved to have seen that!

 

And it looks like you had some good sightings in Ruaha too. I'm impressed you saw a cheetah there!

 

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Kitsafari

An excellent summary of Ruaha. its landscapes are beautiful. 

Interesting that Mdonyo has so many options for game drives, but i wonder how you ended up in a vehicle mates who had totally opposite goals to yours? perhaps the camp could asked on your arrival what you would like, and then pair you up with guests with similar goals? it does sound like the camp is quite far from where the main action is, though I'm glad to note that there are no tse tse at the camp!

 

I had to laugh at your analogy of chicago cubs to wildes.....

 

I too would have loved to hear the cockatiel talk altho I think it would have been annoying listening to the loud chatter.

thank you for taking time out to share!

 

 

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Atravelynn
11 hours ago, monalisa said:

Wow what a trip! That is sooooo many wildebeest. When people say they want to see the migration, I think what you got is exactly what is hoped for.

My experience (late August/early September) was quite a bit different. We sat for hours waiting and waiting. Will they cross? Won't they?! The herd walked back and forth deciding whether or not to go. And while an impressive number, weren't this many!! Some of the crossings were a few hundred and one was estimated at about 40. The croc-wildebeest activity you saw was amazing. I would have loved to have seen that!  The whole river scene was truly spectacular.  Spending a week there helped to see the full spectrum at the river.

 

And it looks like you had some good sightings in Ruaha too. I'm impressed you saw a cheetah there!

 

 

9 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

An excellent summary of Ruaha. its landscapes are beautiful. 

Interesting that Mdonyo has so many options for game drives, but i wonder how you ended up in a vehicle mates who had totally opposite goals to yours? perhaps the camp could asked on your arrival what you would like, and then pair you up with guests with similar goals?  I think they matched people and vehicles based on arrival and departure times and on number of vehicle occupants.  At a less busy time than August, there would have been more vehicles to work with.  But in Aug the camp was full or nearly full and all vehicles were in use.  From what I saw, all ready-made groups of 2, 3, 4+ got their own vehicles and were not mixed with each other; and then the solos were added in with some of the couples to make 3 guests in the vehicle.  The other solos I encountered at camp had different arrivals/departures than I did, so a vehicle full of solos would have had people coming and going all the time.  Also at least one solo traveler I met was a lovely young woman who added a safari at the last minute after competing in some kind of aerial water sport event in Zanzibar. She might even have been famous in this sport, which I forget.  She really liked her morning lie-ins, so that would have been a problem to be matched with her.

 

  it does sound like the camp is quite far from where the main action is, though I'm glad to note that there are no tse tse at the camp!  No tse tses in camp, right.  If the lions that hung around the (sand) Mdonya River had been visible, then we would have had more activity very near.  But those lions just happened to be gone during our stay and no vehicles saw them for a few days.  They reappeared our last morning, which was nice. 

 

The acacia woodlands, the Mana Pools-like environment just 10 minutes from camp, had plenty of elephants, antelope, monkeys, jackals, and giraffes. 

 

But the big elephant activity and also our cheetah sighting was at the Ruaha River, which was about 2 hours away.  As is often true with elephants drinking at the river, they usually arrive mid-morning or later.  So with a 6:30 am departure we had plenty of time to take sunrise baobab shots, check out the Mana Pools-like nearby acacia and then get to the river.  Our guides anticipated the elephants' arrival spots at the river around lunch time and late afternoon and they were right.  Mdonya Old River Camp offers one of the more affordable non-camping options for a solo traveler in Ruaha, which was an important consideration for me on this trip.  I did not request a private vehicle when booking due to cost.  It did work out.  For guests with specific photographic goals in Ruaha, a shared vehicle at Mdonya Old River Camp would not work.  Since my hopes were modest: a baby baobab if one could be found and interesting scenery unique to Ruaha hopefully with some animals in it, I figured I'd be fine at Mdonya Old River Camp in a vehicle with others and I was.

 

I had to laugh at your analogy of chicago cubs to wildes.....

 

I too would have loved to hear the cockatiel talk no you wouldn't!  Trust me.  altho I think it would have been annoying listening to the loud chatter.

thank you for taking time out to share!  Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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michael-ibk

Thank you for another great report, Lynn. As always I really cherish all your notes and detailed comparison maps.

 

"It made me wonder if there are more intelligent beings watching us humans, might they derive similar conclusions about our collective behavior as I did watching the wildebeests?"

 

I really had to laugh about this one, if you were Douglas Adams that would probably be the starting point for another Hitchhiker´s novel. :-)

 

And btw, I totally get your camp friend, I always thought you look fantastic with that headlamp! :wub:

 

You got some very cool, really intense crossing scenes, well done with the Croc stuff especially, bravo! But I particularly love the landscape photos, really beautiful. The most striking one (for me) is not even a crossing one, but the Kotagenge landscape photo. A true wall-hanger. And don´t get me started about the Ruaha scenery. Don´t let a certain someone see that, or we will soon be there. Or maybe I should not refuse, that red and yellow bag in front of your tent might be telling me something?:)

 

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What a treat to read your Trip Report, Lynn. Your photos illustrated by extremely detailed and practical commentary will be an immense help for others going to both the Lamai wedge to escape the circus that crossings have become during peak periods across the border in the Mara as well as a still somewhat undiscovered  park-  Ruaha. Thanks for taking the effort to share this. 

Edited by AKR1
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Atravelynn
2 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Thank you for another great report, Lynn. As always I really cherish all your notes and detailed comparison maps.

 

"It made me wonder if there are more intelligent beings watching us humans, might they derive similar conclusions about our collective behavior as I did watching the wildebeests?"

 

I really had to laugh about this one, if you were Douglas Adams that would probably be the starting point for another Hitchhiker´s novel. :-)

 

And btw, I totally get your camp friend, I always thought you look fantastic with that headlamp! :wub:  Maybe we'll be seeing them on the runways of Paris if I've launched a trend.

 

You got some very cool, really intense crossing scenes, well done with the Croc stuff especially, bravo! But I particularly love the landscape photos, really beautiful. The most striking one (for me) is not even a crossing one, but the Kotagenge landscape photo. I know the one.  Last morning, nice colors. A true wall-hanger. And don´t get me started about the Ruaha scenery. Don´t let a certain someone see that, or we will soon be there. Or maybe I should not refuse, that red and yellow bag in front of your tent might be telling me something?:)  What an eye for detail!

 

 

2 hours ago, AKR1 said:

What a treat to read your Trip Report, Lynn. Your photos illustrated by extremely detailed and practical commentary will be an immense help for others going to both the Lamai wedge to escape the circus that crossings have become during peak periods across the border in the Mara as well as a still somewhat undiscovered  park-  Ruaha. Thanks for taking the effort to share this.  Always fun to re-live with the report.

 

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Thanks for posting @Atravelynn that was a fantastic read.

Great to see images of Ruaha in dry season, you captured the beauty of the park very well.

 

Was interesting to hear your views on the clientelle at Mdonya. I found the same thing, with admittedly a smaller sample size to compare.

We spent 5 nights there, and the highest number of guests in camp during that time was 8 in total.

All of the guests were last minute fly in from either Zanzibar or Dar. A lot of them couldnt believe we were in Tanzania for safari only with no beach time at all.

We of course couldnt believe that people came to Tanzania just for beach time with no original intention of going on safari!

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

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Atravelynn
2 hours ago, mopsy said:

Was interesting to hear your views on the clientelle at Mdonya. I found the same thing, with admittedly a smaller sample size to compare.

We spent 5 nights there, and the highest number of guests in camp during that time was 8 in total.

All of the guests were last minute fly in from either Zanzibar or Dar. A lot of them couldnt believe we were in Tanzania for safari only with no beach time at all.

We of course couldnt believe that people came to Tanzania just for beach time with no original intention of going on safari!

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Seems the %s hold for types of guests at Mdonya Old River Camp, regardless of season.  Two of the more serious safari-ers that I met were a husband and wife team of Doctors without Borders.  I made good friends with a young French girl who was an un-serious safari-er because I gave her my dessert every night.  Nothing wrong with the dessert, just so much good food throughout the day and I liked getting to bed early.  So I left the dining table before dessert and the French girl enjoyed seconds on dessert.

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  • 1 month later...
vikramghanekar

What a stupendous report!

I always thought the number of vehicles on Tanzanian side waiting for crossings was much less than what one would see in the Mara. It seems things have changed in the last few years with increasing number of camps in the northern Serengeti.

Great photographs and exhaustive summary of the crossings.

Interesting report about people going to Ruaha as a last minute addition to  a beach holiday. Never thought Tanzania as a beach destination!

Looks like the lions sightings were a tad disappointing in Ruaha. May be it has to do with a late (0700) start and then some driving time to find the lions which as you said were not spending their time anywhere close to the camp.

Have you been to other camps in Ruaha? Has anyone else? If yes, how would you rate Mdonya Old river to other camps like Kwihala and Mwagusi?

thank you

vikram

 

Edited by vikramghanekar
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Atravelynn

"Looks like the lions sightings were a tad disappointing in Ruaha. May be it has to do with a late (0700) start and then some driving time to find the lions which as you said were not spending their time anywhere close to the camp."  We started at 6:30 am.  I saw about 20 lions, most were resting in the shade.  If good lion photos had been the goal of my Ruaha trip, I would have been disappointed compared to other places I have been.  I was more interested in animals of any kind along the river or near baobabs. That worked out well.

Have you been to other camps in Ruaha? no

 

Thanks @vikramghanekar!

Edited by Atravelynn
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