Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Well, thanks to @AtravelynnI have taken this back up after a very long interlude. 


We were staying at Nyumbani Collection Camp in the eastern Serengeti which is owned by Safari Infinity. It is in a beautiful location, up against some large kopjes that they will take you up for sundowners.  Probably my favorite camp ever. Service is excellent. Food is amazing. Tents are basic canvas tents but beautifully furnished with attention to detail and bathrooms with running water not bucket shower. I will be returning with friends to this camp for New Year’s and am really looking forward to it.



Looking down on the camp from my sundowner position.







 Some of the camp staff. Manager and phenomenal bartender Moses in the center.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay.  About George’s proclamation of 20 lions, 6 cheetah, and a leopard. Holy moly.  After thirty different lions over 4 days I stopped keeping track. It was ridiculous. Everywhere we turned it seemed, there would be more lions. On the first morning out, after a night of pouring rain, we found these four along the road. Quite active and entertaining. 





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mid-morning there was a cheetah with her 4 cubs and she was hunting.  A total of only 4 cars, including ourselves, were patiently watching and it’s wasn’t a long wait. 






The  other 3 cubs were wait very reluctant to move up because of the cars. I’m sure they are not used to this.  One of them would not come until all cars backed way up and, after lot of coaxing from mom, finally gets there.  





Link to comment
Share on other sites



We move on to find many more lions, including the one who had been playing with the wildebeest carcass the day before. 







Link to comment
Share on other sites

The group of three lions in the previous post were very close to the road and we were watching them for quite a while and suddenly up pop two very young cubs that had been completely hidden.








And just to prove it wasn’t completely about lions (although almost)






Stay tuned for tomorrow for

more babies

a mad dash for safety

the amazing caracal hunt

Edited by kilopascal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never doubted George's feline #s!  And so many cubs. Your fav camp ever!  I'll have to look into Nyumbani Collection Camp.  I checked out the translation, meaning home.  Seems like the name was well chosen based on your experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/22/2022 at 6:39 PM, Atravelynn said:

I never doubted George's feline #s! 

Well, unfortunately he was wrong about 1. And since we've seen cheetah and lions you could guess it was the leopard. No go this time but he would make up for it the next time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a great first day for us in the eastern Serengeti but not so much for some others. Around 3 or so we were driving back toward our camp. It had been raining most of the night and had started up again. George says, with a little dismay, “there is someone walking on the road”.  And sure enough there is a driver walking, holding a floor mat over his head to keep the rain off. He had been stuck, along with his 4 clients, since 11 in the morning, down in a bit of a gully right in the area where we had seen the 4 lions that morning. His phone had no service there, and there was no response on the radio and no other cars had come by.  He had heard our car and another coming so walked up to the intersection to see if he could get help. It took about 40 minutes to get him out and at one point they discussed just taking his clients back to their camp and sending out a more robust extraction team, but persistence prevailed.  George got back in the car, covered in mud, laughs and says “lessons during covid, no one coming along to help you”. 


The next day was more lions, a cheetah and lots of hyena.  






We pass the 3 lions with the two little cubs again right where we left them. Considerable mating going on today. You may have noticed in the previous photo the male is minus a tail.





Normally I tend to agree with I believe it's @Galana that lions are a bit of a bore, but it had been cool enough, and often overcast so there was a bit more activity, although no hunting.  If I misnamed you Galana, apologies.




Oh my god. I have a bird picture. Must have been a bit of a lull in the day.



I'm going to call it an African grey flycatcher, but I'm more than prepared to be corrected by all of you in the know. I'll even tolerate a bit of eye rolling. Don't get me wrong. I am super jealous of all the ST members with super birding skills and enthusiasm and I keep hoping that someday it will be me. I'm sure George is hoping that will happen as well, but so far not. I never tire of looking at pictures posted by the likes of @michael-ibk, @Galana, @janzin, just to name a few.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were a couple of days/nights with little to no rain so we made our way out to Gol Kopjes.  One of my favorite areas.  In January of 2020, we saw 8 cheetah out here. As we start the trip we come across these 2 on the rocks, then Mr. No Tail and wife still romancing. It was beautiful and sunny out. 





Link to comment
Share on other sites

We spend the morning in Gol Kopjes, but the cheetah action is a bit disappointing. We see a couple, but at quite a distance. The George says "oops, I missed my road" but then sees a lion's head up in some kopjes. As we get closer we see two females then several cubs come into view.












We are enjoying the cub action when George looks east and says, rain is coming, we need to go. I say, lets stay for a few more minutes but we are already leaving, a bit quickly, which seemed kind of odd. Then I look over and see two other cars driving as fast as possible and so are we. George says there is a section of black cotton soil and if there rain gets there first we will not get back. We are absolutely flying. Well, the rain gets there and we watch the cars ahead slide around like they are on ice, as are we as we hang on for dear life. We get through and the rain lets up and we continue looking for cheetah. Then George slams on the brakes and says 'RIGHT THERE, ON THE ROAD". And there she is. The most beautiful caracal right by the road and she is clearly hunting, not at all bothered by our presence. She continues hunting alongside the road and we periodically move forward to follow.










I am standing up in the back and all of a sudden she leaps up in the air after a bird she has flushed and I say "Oh my god, did you see that"! And George turns and says "did you not get a picture'? Uh, no. He just shook his head and said, that was your National Geographic moment. I laugh and tell him the likelihood that I would have gotten both the caracal and the bird in the picture with them in focus was zero. But lesson learned. Should I ever have the opportunity again to watch a caracal hunt only 10 feet away, for over an hour, I will be ready.

She missed the bird but then she sees about a dozen guinea fowl across the road heading in our direction. She positions herself in the ditch beside the road and waits. We are pretty excited. She is motionless as they all walk by and then we see the plan. They are head for one of those small trees/bushes that makes kind of a cave. As the fowl proceed she keeps following and they detect nothing. We are super excited now as we are sure there will be chicken for dinner.







Several of them enter the “cave” and just as she’s about to make her move, the last bird flies up and then everyone else scatters.  No dinner.




Edited by kilopascal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops. Sorry for the audio in the last. I thought I had trimmed that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So just a few more pictures from the last day and that finishes up the November trip. Hopefully I can stay focused and get the May trip to Ndutu posted as well.























Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, kilopascal said:

I'm going to call it an African grey flycatcher,

So would I. I sense rather than see some minor streaking on the crown which would clinch it over Pale.

I got migrated over here by your 'summons' about boring lions and plead guilty as charged. Well 95% boring. But I did find a very interesting report and some delicious Caracal portraits by way of a bonus..


Loved the Dwarf Mongoose. One of my firm favourites. If I was allowed that is one creature I would love as a household pet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucky you, to spend so much time with a caracal in daylight.

Please stay focused @kilopascal, I am looking forward to your Ndutu TR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes it is good to miss the road when lion cubs are the result.  What an exciting caracal sighting, including the mad dash prior to the cat.  You have a National Geographic memory if not photo from that event!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lovely report and great photos. The muscle definition of the caracal is impressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Galana said:

Loved the Dwarf Mongoose. One of my firm favourites.

Agreed! Right up there with otters for me. Thanks for the bird help. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not just a glimpse of a caracal but a very special sighting for one hour.

Great photos all round and that one of the dwarf mongoose looking straight ahead is really appealing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The May trip was to get my annual Ndutu fix. I’ve been there previously in January, March, April, and December. This trip was scheduled for May 14-24. Qatar airways this time and the plane arrives at Kilimanjaro airport early morning, which is nice. We will go all the way to Ndutu from the airport. The discussion about the entry requirements and Covid testing at the airport are at the very beginning of this report that was posted way back in June. Most of which has changed now so it’s not so relevant.


 I had asked George if I brought coats and sweat shirts for Masaai kids in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area if they would want them. He said absolutely. That would be nice. I had about 40 of them purchased from Goodwill for less than $30 all in a big duffle bag. Our first stop is for a group of women and kids selling honey by the road. They race up to the car with their honey and George tells them no, but that we have some clothes for children. Complete chaos at first but then George becomes the referee and we get them all fitted with coats.  










The little girl with the blue coat was trying to get her leg into the sleeve of this coat. The women are laughing and George tells her not to put her leg in it. So she just set it down, then George helps her put it on. The women start handing me bracelets and it’s a little unclear if this is a gift or trying to make a sale. Then one of them says ‘no money” and puts it on my wrist, as do several others. George says “they are very happy”. We next stop for a couple of woman and a man and two very small children. The man tells us there is more children in the village and he will go get them. He comes back with the village teacher and about 8 children. 


Our last donation is to these children herding their goats. The oldest speaks very good English. At the time he told me all their names but sadly I have forgotten.



As we make the turn from the main road to the Serengeti toward Ndutu we are immediately amongst a number of zebra and we think, ahhh, we are back!! Wildebeest have moved on of course, but there is still plenty to see.  




Many flamingo on Ndutu Lake as we drive in. The video below was taken by George and I asked him if it was okay to post it. It reminds me of the 1983 movie Flashdance with Jennifer Beals. If you are of my vintage you might recall the specific scene in that movie. If you play the song Maniac during the video it sort of works. My favorite part though is when one flamingo head butts another. 




Edited by kilopascal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's nearing the end of the day so we head to our lodge and are treated to a lion parade.



We are staying at Ndutu Safari Lodge this time. It has been several years since I have stayed here. The cottages are fairly basic but in a beautiful setting, a perfect location and without all the extra frills that I really don’t care for like big swimming pools. Many of the staff are still the same as they were when I was there about ten years ago. It is a perfect place to just wander about and bird or sit on your porch and enjoy what comes by. The first night we were there, we had our window open with the curtain pulled. We had gone to bed but it was only about 11 and a guard came up onto the porch and whispered “elephant”. And sure enough, about 20 yards away, an elephant. 




It had been under the same ownership for many years but was sold as of 3-4 years ago. The cottages are pretty much the same but the bathrooms have been upgraded a bit. We were warned that it might take some time to get hot water and to just let it run but this was never the case. The food this time was not the variety or quality that Ndutu Lodge has been known for. I don’t know if this has to do with the new ownership or because of Covid. It has to be difficult to stock food when you have limited guests coming in. We were also there in low season. I guess I will see when I return with friends in January. 


Anyone who has stayed there is probably aware they have some genets that frequent the dining area and bar. The not so great photos/video were taken at night with an older Iphone 8. There were two genet kittens that would frequent the bar area after people had left.







The first morning out we come across a mother cheetah and her cub at Big Marsh who are intently looking at something on the opposite side and we suspect there must be lions or a leopard there. We scan where they are looking and George says “yep”. Yep what? “ Leopard”. And then I see it too. Awesome start. We try to slowly move closer, but this one is very shy. 






Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the Flash Dance quick steps in your video!  There's the leopard.  George's prediction just had a long expiration date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoyed going down memory lane with you. I have memories of Ndutu Safari Lodge going back many years. Ihad to cancel 2019 & 2020 so it is time I went back. Those Genet kittens are darn cute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George got you all flying on the wet roads but he got you a caracal at the right time at the right place. Take me flying anytime if a caracal is at the end of that ferrari safari!!


have to agree that the genet kittens re so cute. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great sighting of the Caracal!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

George got you all flying on the wet roads but he got you a caracal at the right time at the right place.

It was like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (that's probably just a US reference?) but with a better ending. One of those safari days you never forget.


3 hours ago, Zim Girl said:

Great sighting of the Caracal!

Yep. Probably once in a lifetime I suspect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy