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Kitsafari

congrats on the vulture 5! and a lovely shot of the white headed too. 

 

so wonderful to be surrounded by those wildebeests and all that sounds of gnuuuu, gnuuuu. 

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gatoratlarge
On 12/13/2021 at 7:54 AM, Kitsafari said:

congrats on the vulture 5! and a lovely shot of the white headed too. 

 

so wonderful to be surrounded by those wildebeests and all that sounds of gnuuuu, gnuuuu. 

Thank you @Kitsafari!  If I remember correctly the guide said there were a total of five species of vultures in the Serengeti --at one kill there were four of the five hanging around with a Marabou stork and we added the white headed vulture toward the end (I think a pair were nesting)...

 

I just located the short video of the leopard cub skulking after its mum as the baboon troop approached:

 

I'm not sure how interested folks are in our last stop in Zanzibar (or for the whole safari for that matter :lol:) but I'll include it just to cover the whole thing --- my OCD won't allow anything else :D

 

We ended our safari on the Island of Zanzibar and stayed our time in the heart of Stone Town rather than a beautiful beach resort.  I had been to Zanzibar 20 years ago and we did the beach thing only venturing in to Stone Town for a short tour and visit which may be enough for some but I was intrigued with staying in the midst of it all and I can't speak for the entire group but I was glad we did...of course, I live in Florida which is surrounded by beaches and the Caribbean is very accessible so a nice beach is not ever far away.  We had a short walking tour of Stone Town and dinner on the roof top Tea House of the Emerson on Hurumzi which serves a multi-course meal accompanied by local Taraab music...Zanzibar was hot but it was breezy and felt great at sunset atop the hotel...we really loved it!

 

 

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gatoratlarge

Walking around Stone Town:

3D12A9B6-F259-48BD-849C-22ECBDD50BEA.jpeg.007d1767b60261c1c5567b2cd38a91f1.jpeg657B5855-201C-4CFC-98B2-D284DA6F788D.jpeg.eadc643a23afa90f579e739f2ec98fce.jpeg587A438F-DA37-473E-B1A9-D1FC6FF30174.jpeg.bee9374d725236a8faa29e3f6c2dfdb9.jpeg6CD5B169-0630-4062-901E-D413027158AA.jpeg.9b95d4b78749106551687eb675a4a686.jpegB648BA6B-2D49-43B5-B574-FFE2465EBE3C.jpeg.7219a00fa11ea6bee95f52834e66a16a.jpeg876F70B9-F4B8-4768-83F8-9467BFCF4E39.jpeg.552cf39f17d3197e5ffbc6749ddcdd41.jpegCC4EB82F-078F-417F-9330-2D5EF8ED6649.jpeg.1b7d3accccd1bfcdcb67455cab7e5f23.jpegD450F939-A36C-47E7-9F9E-8F7F557720C4.jpeg.a11fb71b2cae3f4e0f492386791d6460.jpeg61818F83-49CA-4B11-8023-575CEC6ADC73.jpeg.ead19a77605cae2b2d1ef51d0e916565.jpeg

The church sits atop the old slave market. There’s a moving museum adjacent that gives the history of enslavement/human trafficking and it’s existence even today (by the millions!)

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Childhood home of Freddie Mercury:

02F57B9A-7AD1-4193-9676-C608261BAFED.jpeg.77bb88e3b09e98ef5ecbe88cfc2507bb.jpeg9E910F3B-BAE6-4118-8F05-192483C9C0AC.jpeg.aadf40f49275b06f3d421c4830b0e235.jpeg

I love an African market!

6BA288AB-1A5D-4FE0-93B3-90AA5628C888.jpeg.29c4892635a99e31eb44d0a530e77547.jpegE226D697-54D5-4BD5-922F-B6B585E3954A.jpeg.d7eb11f6736a3e5bcc7ab0a56859b94d.jpegB78086C5-E1B3-4CB9-AEB1-2214BEE27049.jpeg.6bc971cb0774c659aee99ac4d4ec90db.jpeg4E656598-18B9-4CDC-A2A5-3F7049A22C62.jpeg.7c7bb253a3597f9de416adaf5054fa8d.jpeg1063E64F-E49D-44CB-A4DA-AFB024BF1C03.jpeg.a70f72aa5b20cb6f29a904052f2e0c49.jpeg9457CB75-9F84-4626-B76D-74C523DDAD6E.jpeg.ae9d50f3d9bd18f75bcb16b0278f4259.jpegDA837D09-93EC-4C76-B460-DDCE03A5AC91.jpeg.c83bb892496fdf4e361b83a436af2c69.jpegFew more:

 

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Edited by gatoratlarge
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gatoratlarge

I mentioned we stayed at Emerson on Hurumzi and Emerson Spice. They are sister properties founded by Emerson Skeen who is now deceased. The staff was incredible and I loved our stay. The call to prayer at 4:30A caught some off guard but it was good for them :D

 

The hotels were like something out of the Arabian Nights:

23B2B86A-F6F0-48C5-B3F8-E82FE6AC0C69.jpeg.d95e65236a2e8ed760385bf1fa866d44.jpeg21304467-B82E-4753-817B-28075A08B3A2.jpeg.dabd7725670b863577d443012acba9cf.jpeg59CF4566-7891-4D9B-9949-F2396F30E94A.jpeg.1367b34864f6e1f34ca72082ebba45cb.jpeg0AC6CC18-6978-4575-A2AD-DBCD866AAEE3.jpeg.8efd7007069be5286bd5e0d978b56471.jpeg8F942419-2F56-47A2-A2F0-CFDAA8959797.jpeg.33208a887de4a70efba5262ebf80fd35.jpegCFD45DB4-0028-4416-AA59-9384A2F269F7.jpeg.b2264b24eaf88cd44a6746fc31e5e61b.jpegFFD65497-6B78-4B6C-882B-4F265ABFA0FF.jpeg.17d4764edc214490105878eb8de797d7.jpegD34A8E6D-4839-42E6-BD0E-EF863E91ABC7.jpeg.25446d6268d9cb673921d4055a3e2ad9.jpeg3BA14E33-D600-4510-B5D2-29B1238FFB3E.jpeg.05ccfebdf8c8bc29db94dd9717cd7a27.jpeg2113F7A3-CD93-4096-AC58-E647CE104818.jpeg.c68322ab1b75a549fd4baceed1e21c55.jpegE0A9647F-11FA-4BF8-9D27-3ACB6AAFE481.jpeg.4e2875929588e7eb213e0f9618631895.jpeg

The rooftop was an amazing vantage point with sunset views and live music and delicious food 👍🏻
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I mentioned the staff — super attentive and accommodating:

 

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Kitsafari

Love that shot of the two ginger cats sleeping. the Emerson rooms look lovely - harking back to those days of romanticism. and thanks for sharing those slices  of life in Zanzibar. 

 

You got a grand slam of the vultures then!

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gatoratlarge

oops I posted twice so hopefully I’ve fixed it. 
 

the next day we needed to get our Covid tests done which was a bit of an ordeal (systems slow, systems down) luckily we had a guide to help navigate the process. Afterwards we visited a spice farm which was fun — certainly more fun than I thought it would be 😁

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gatoratlarge

That afternoon we returned to Stone Town, stopped in for a look at the Secret Garden which is another restaurant and a live music venue for Emerson Spice and the drive across the island to check out The Rock restaurant which at high tide you have to take a boat to but we were able to walk out to it since it was low tide. The Seafood was excellent and I enjoyed the hour and fifteen (give or take) drive to see more island life. 
 

A peek at The Secret Garden:

I guess these YouTube shorts don’t embed the same way 😆 you’ll have to hit the link — sorry!

https://youtube.com/shorts/9tRklvgkBOE?feature=share
 

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some pics from The Rock:

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Atravelynn

How very exotic in Zanzibar, and colorful!  I saw the comment about the ginger cats, but did not find them.  Could you post that one again.  Did I read Twobitgators on the t-shirts?  Do explain.

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wow, I always just dismissed the idea of going to Zanzibar as just a beach destination, but it really looks fascinating, and picturesque. Reminds me a bit of Morocco. I may have to consider it if/when we return to Tanzania.

 

I love the B&W shot with the cats in the street.

 

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gatoratlarge
On 12/15/2021 at 10:08 PM, Atravelynn said:

How very exotic in Zanzibar, and colorful!  I saw the comment about the ginger cats, but did not find them.  Could you post that one again.  Did I read Twobitgators on the t-shirts?  Do explain.

You did!  My sister in law was along and made those t-shirts for our group. Twobitgator is my handle on Instagram so she used that name :D

 The cats photo is still there laid out and napping on these big benches near Forodhani Gardens — there was a place they called cat corner — lots and lots of cats!

 

@janzini really thought it added a lot to our trip as far as culture goes. Another idea might be the far less visited Mafia Island but there are not as many cultural attractions there like Zanzibar. You'll find snorkeling, diving, whale sharks and certainly authentic Swahili culture but not the cultural attractions of Zanzibar and Stone Town. More untouched, less disturbed I'd say...

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Kitsafari
On 12/15/2021 at 11:34 AM, gatoratlarge said:

Walking around Stone Town:

3D12A9B6-F259-48BD-849C-22ECBDD50BEA.jpeg.007d1767b60261c1c5567b2cd38a91f1.jpeg657B5855-201C-4CFC-98B2-D284DA6F788D.jpeg.eadc643a23afa90f579e739f2ec98fce.jpeg

 

@Atravelynn  here they are.... ginger loungers

 

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gatoratlarge

After returning from the other side of the island the staff had reserved us seats in the Secret Garden for live music. It was such a cool venue and the group was talented. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re spending time in Stone Town:

The last night some of our group departed for home, I moved over to the Emerson Spice—room tour:

 


 

The next morning we rose early for a charter flight to Mafia Island about 100 miles to the south. Mafia has a year round population of whale sharks and we booked a snorkeling trip to try to see them. As we flew in I thought I saw a couple boats and a couple whale sharks offshore so I was anxious to get out there. 
 

We tried on our gear and made our way to the boat as quickly as we could. Stingless jellyfish floated in the shallow waters around our boat. The behavior of the whale sharks likely determines the quality of your experience. A spotter scoured the surface of the water for signs of a shark. When we’d spot a fin, a marine researcher would enter the water to determine the shark’s behavior (feeding near surface or going deep), the direction it was swimming to position the boat so the snorkelers have the best opportunity to see it.  
 

As luck would have it the sharks were feeding deeper and we had three attempts to see them but fleeting looks at best. They took us out further just to swim around a buoy and see the colorful fish. The whale shark excursion was shaping up to be a bit of a bust!

 

Finally we intersected a whale shark and I entered the water along with the marine biologist thinking I was ahead of the game—-she was a strong swimmer and I paddled my flippers like mad trying to keep up!  If I saw it at all (and I’m not sure I did) it was a disappearing tail into the abyss— luckily for the rest of the group, the boat was able to maneuver a distance in front of the shark and those with patience got a nice view of the whale shark including the golden fish swimming in front of its gaping mouth!

 

I was happy that everyone had gotten a decent look and resigned myself to the fact that it’s nature and it can’t be predicted. Perhaps there’d be another opportunity in the future for me. We had been out for a number of hours by now and it was about time to head back. As the pseudo “leader” more like cat herder of the trip they asked if we should head back to shore. 
 

One person in our group spoke up and said “Joel is the trip leader and he really needs to see one” which was a nice sentiment but the marine biologists said we may not see another. I glanced back toward the island and clouds obscured it — it was pouring rain!

 

I said “let’s give it 20 more minutes” which might should be every safari goers mantra!  Between 15 and the requested 20 minutes the spotter saw fins ahead!  The biologist (Bless her) grabbed my arm and pulled me along — in a moment we were literally surrounded by whale shark!  Four of them! One below, one to my left, one to my right and one swirling ahead of me!  I had to avoid the massive tail as I was mesmerized by its size nearly thirty feet!  There’s something very non- threatening about a whale shark, gentle giants with very sweet eyes if a fish can be described as sweet 😁

So that “let’s give it 20” was the best suggestion of the trip!  It turned out to be one of the moments of wonder we all hope for on these safaris…so that experience capped off a safari that had a quite a few of those special moments:  the alpha male Teddy and much of his chimp group, mothers and babies filing past in the Mahale jungle, the river crossings including croc attacks, floating over pods of hippos in a hot air balloon, intersecting the great migration, tree climbing lions, cheetah in the morning light, sunsets over the Serengeti and lake Tanganyika, anytime spent in the midst of elephants, rooftop in Zanzibar, and finally whale sharks…there was plenty of magic. My GoPro fizzled out so the whale shark scene underwater will have to live in memory alone 😊👍🏻

Edited by gatoratlarge
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Kitsafari

wow that's not a room - that's deluxe suite! ahhh what a shame - i was looking forward to seeing the whale shark, but very very pleased your "20 minutes" was so productive. 

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Atravelynn
15 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

here they are.... ginger loungers

Now I see them.  I had a ginger lounger when I was little.  Thanks!

 

I think the mad paddling with whale sharks is par for the course.  If they think of us at all, I bet they find the floundering flapping snorkelers to be funny.

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  • 2 weeks later...
michael-ibk

Sorry Joe, somehow managed to miss your report. Wow, what an epic trip you had, your friends must have loved it! I remember that waterfall in Arusha, and many of the Stonetown activities. Proudly wore that plant tie myself! Very cool the Whale Sharks did show up for you! When I was in Mafia last year nobody saw them. Promise me one thing - don‘t return to Mahale without Andreas and me, we really need to go there!

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gatoratlarge
On 1/8/2022 at 3:42 PM, michael-ibk said:

 Promise me one thing - don‘t return to Mahale without Andreas and me, we really need to go there!

 

Thanks!  I promise!  I wouldn't mind going as often as they let me :D can't imagine it ever gets old...

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AKR1

@gatoratlargeAgree this was an Epic safari you pulled off with a large group and covering long distances. Great trip report and pictures. Thanks again. 

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campsafari2015

I thought I recognized your group! We crossed paths out there, first at Rivertrees and then Nanyukie. Glad you had such a wonderful adventure!

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gatoratlarge
On 1/12/2022 at 2:07 PM, campsafari2015 said:

I thought I recognized your group! We crossed paths out there, first at Rivertrees and then Nanyukie. Glad you had such a wonderful adventure!

 

No kidding!  Such a small world!  SafariTalkers are everywhere!  :D  

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