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Safari to Serengeti:I am very fortunate man


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optig

Despite Covid 19 I was able to go on safari in the Serengeti. I stayed at Namiri Plains Camp and Olakira Camp for four nights. They were both excellent. The guiding was particularly good at both camps. This was my 5th trip  to Tanzania and my 27th safari. I was able to see no less than 10 new species of birds at Olakira Camp. This was quite amazing considering just how many safaris I have been on. I also got to see 4 lions in two different trees.

 

 

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pomkiwi

@optigPresumably it wasn't very busy? Nice photos!

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michael-ibk

Very nice pictures Owen, lucky you! When was this?

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TravelMore

@optig  WOWSA!  What a phenomenal sighting!  When did you go?

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optig
Posted (edited)

Thank you all for the comments. @pomkiwi, No it was not busy at all.At Namiri Plains there were never more that 3 guests at a time.It has a capacity of 20 or 24 if you use the family tent.

 

@michael-ibk@TravelMoreI was at the Serengeti from 10th February 2021-22nd February 2021,that was last month.

Edited by optig
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Botswanadreams

@optigIt looks like were at the same time at lake Ndutu.

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optig

I had so many phenomenal sightings and fortunately there weren't masses of other vehicles that I had to share them with. This was particularly true at Namiri Plains Camp. It is located in a isolated area of the Serengeti, and one needs over one and half hours to drive there from the airstrip. The highlight of my safari was getting to finally  see and photograph a caracal for the first time in 27 safaris and after spending more than one year of my life on safari. There was only me and my guide at the sighting of this beautiful and most elusive cat. 

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optig

@BotswanadreamsIf you were there on the 12th,13th,14th or 15th then I think we were there at the same time.I was at Olakira Camp on those days.

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Botswanadreams

We had a Spezial Campsite from 10th to 14th on the Ngorongoro site of Lake Ndudu but arrived one day to late because of our chaotic snow situation in Germany. 

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Kitsafari

Fabulous sighting of the stunning caracal! 

Sounds like you had another wonderful safari.  I'm very envious you're able to go on safari anytime you want

 

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wilddog

Tha Caracal sighting is lovely. A memory, and photographs  to be cherished.

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michael-ibk

An awesome Caracal sighting indeed!

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Botswanadreams

@optig Did you get any information to the accident during the wildebeest crossing on Lake Ndutu on the 12th of February in the midday time where around 200 wildebeest died?  

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optig

@BotswanadreamsToo bad we did not get to meet and no,I wasn't informed of the incident.That was quite unfortunate.

@Kitsafari @wilddog @michael-ibkThank you all for the positive comments.I will keep uploading more.

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madaboutcheetah

@optig - You had an excellent trip!!! Namiri is one of my favourite areas ........ Great Caracal sighting.  Did you look for the melanistic Serval while there? Oh one last question - was the Covid testing facility in Seronera open when you were there? How was testing in Tanzania prior to your return to Nairobi?  

 

@Botswanadreams- By accident? they drowned in the lake?? 

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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optig
Posted (edited)

I have seen servals at various places before on safari, including South Luangwa National Park and Nairobi National Park, but I was unprepared for what I saw in the Serengeti. I managed to see two servals together. It was almost as exciting as finally seeing a caracal. It is almost unheard of to see servals together.

 

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Edited by optig
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optig

@madaboutcheetahI have just posted the serval photos.I did look for the melanistic serval but did not see it.Frankly I do not know if the Seronera Facility was open.I got my Covid Test in Arusha immediately after my driver picked me from the airstrip.I had to do it in a hospital and got my results in about 60 hours.They sent the results to my email.

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optig

Yes I did see cheetahs and leopards at both Olakira Camp and Namiri Plains.  One never tires of seeing them. 

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Botswanadreams
1 hour ago, madaboutcheetah said:

By accident? they drowned in the lake?? 

 

We saw on this day two crossings at the same time. One was at the end of the lake close to the place we were. The other was maybe a kilometre far from us. I was focused on the close by but my husband watched the second too. Without any recognizable reason a bigger group of the wildebeests started to turn back in the middle of the lake. A short moment later he saw the wildebeests turning in the the water - the body under water and the legs out. As first he thought an attack by crocodiles but couldn't see any. There are no crocodiles in the lake at all. Nobody have seen something happend on Lake Ndutu before we asked. To us it looks like only pregnant females died. Non of the calves and no zebra were involved in this event.    

 

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This pic is from the afternoon on the same day.

 

I just contacted the Ngorongoro Conservation Authorities. If I get an answer I will post it.  

Edited by Botswanadreams
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TonyQ

A wonderful sighting of the Serval and the Caracal. And your photos are beautiful.

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Botswanadreams

Here is the answer I got from the Ngorongoro Conservation Authorities via Facebook: (Google translate from Suaheli)

 

"For two consecutive years the wildebeest died in large numbers as follows; In January 2020 approximately 600 Lake Masek, 12.02.2021 approximately 300 Lake Ndutu
CAUSES OF THEIR DEATH
A few years ago the rains were below average and caused the lakes to dry up or become less watery so that wildebeests could easily cross from one side to the other.

Heavy rains for two consecutive years were enough to replenish water in all lakes (especially that of the 2019/2020 season) and to fill the mud in the lakes with increasing depth. The wildebeests passed by trying to cross as they had become accustomed to and encountered mud that clung to their feet and was overwhelmed by the abundance of water and thus died in large numbers.

The wildebeest have learned to see the bodies of their peers floating and so many have avoided the area and sought relief ferries for themselves and their offspring.

These are natural disasters that technically help to balance their abundance to suit their needs of the breeding area and pasture.

This was a feast for those who ate carcasses like vultures, evening birds, hyenas, foxes, etc."

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Kitsafari

thanks @Botswanadreams for the information. 

 

@optig you're getting spoiled - 2 servals together in daylight?!! and after a caracal sighting??

and a lovely shot of mum and cub cheetah. 

Edited by Kitsafari
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Julian

Wonderful caracal sighting and photos, and the two serval. Were the two serval fairly young , as I believe there was  a serval with kittens in the Namiri Plains area in 2019?

27 safaris and over a year of your life - that’s amazing! Wish I could say the same but I have only been on 8 safaris. There are obviously others here on Safaritalk who have been on safari many times. When did you first go on safari ? , my first one was 1990.

 

 

 

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optig

The birdwatching was just superb and I managed to see no less than no 10 new species of birds at Olakira Camp and one at Namiri Plains. Now I remember witnessing all the corpses of wildebeest that had drowned in Lake Ndutu. I saw so many beautiful Yellow-billed storks in my 4 days at Olakira and one during my days at Namiri Camp.

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optig

I was surprised to see so many chilled elephants at Namiri Plains. I also saw plenty of giraffe. The photo of that male lion on a kopje is a particular favorite of mine.

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