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Atravelynn

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View from Tarangire Safari Lodge

 

 

* bites lip *

 

THAT VIEW!

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My quandary: How to go to Mahale for 3 chimp visits as a solo traveler without breaking the bank.   The solution: One of Flycatcher’s several flying itineraries that utilize scheduled Air Excel

THE WINE LIST The one wine I had remains a mystery because there was no label on the bottle, but I was told by the Flycatchers Serengeti staff that it was South African.   I had planned to reques

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Atravelynn

That was the view much of the time from my tent at Tarangire Safari Lodge!

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Photos featuring the baobab tree

 

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Silale Swamp

 

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Silale Swamp

 

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Hanging on

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Atravelynn

Where did the river go?

 

In the dry season the river becomes invisible in many sections, yet there is still flowing water under the sands. Even though it appears to be a dry riverbed, the animals congregate to dig down a little and find water to drink.

 

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Riverbed of Tarangire River, water flows underneath, lead elephant carries branch

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Atravelynn

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Lilac Breasted Rollers, Brown Snake Eagle

 

 

 

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Red and Yellow Barbet, Crowned Francolin exhibiting his crown

 

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Go Away Bird

 

 

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Tawny Eagles

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Atravelynn

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Atravelynn

Benefits of 3-night stay in Tarangire

Of course more time in this action-packed place (especially late in dry season) is better than less time. But more specifically, 3 nights allows full appreciation of both the north part of the park, where the river is more prominent and the south part of the park where the Silale Swamp is more prominent.

 

If you stay in the north (like I did at Tarangire Safari Lodge) it takes a full day with a packed lunch to enjoy the Silale Swamps in the south. From Tarangire Lodge to the Silale Swamp is 35 km and we spent many hours driving along the huge swamp and surrounding areas. Three were surprisingly very few other vehicles around this most productive area.

 

On the other hand, if you stay at Sopa or another location in the south, it takes a full day with a packed lunch to enjoy the winding river terrain in the north.

 

I’ve stayed 3 nights before in Tarangire and it was not too long. I felt three nights allowed Tarangire to be a fitting and rewarding grand finale to a safari that had included some amazing destinations. If you had limited time, I think a Tarangire-only stay of 4 nights in the height of the dry season could be could be considered a successful safari, even if you went nowhere else. Especially for the elephant enthusiast.

 

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Above are Silale in the South & Below are along the Tarangire River in the North

 

 

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Atravelynn

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Waterbuck

 

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Pair of waterbuck and eland

 

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Impala

 

 

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Steenbok

 

 

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Dik dik

 

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The comparison shot I've always wanted. The dik dik is similar in size to the hyrax.

 

 

 

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3 Rock hyrax together and a lone tree hyrax

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Atravelynn

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Leopard near Silale Swamp did a good job of imitating a cheetah as it walked through tall grass

 

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Same leopard behaving more leopard-like

 

 

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2 cheetah brothers posing separately one morning

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Atravelynn

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Very tired warthogs

 

 

Vehicle miscues in Tarangire

In addition to listening for alarm calls, watching prey species, and scanning the trees and high grasses for wildlife, the behavior of other vehicles and their occupants is one more way of locating animals. George and I found it humorous how often we came upon stopped vehicles in Tarangire only to find they were focused on something we’d consider a false alarm--like two zebras in the middle of the park.

 

Tarangire is often the first stop of a safari. That meant many vehicles were encountering their first wild animals, so naturally the guests were excited and also unaware of the higher quality sightings that awaited them. I recall my own first safari that began in Tarangire. I wanted to drive across the park to get a better look at a single wildebeest. I kept that in mind when we’d see a vehicle stopped for a lone vulture at dusk in a very distant tree, or when we approached a vehicle and several people excitedly motioned for us to share their sighting of two obscured elephant butts in thick brush. Their enthusiasm was uplifting and contagious, even if I preferred to pass on what they were looking at.

 

 

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Atravelynn

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A pride with 7 cubs was active in the early morning when few vehicles were around

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Atravelynn

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George even found a tree climbing lion. They climb trees to get away from flies that have

trouble ascending that high in the breeze.

 

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Playing in the mud

 

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Bye bye

 

 

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madaboutcheetah

Two cheetah brothers posing seperately ....... still always a treat, right??? Great stuff, Lynn ......... Thanks for the report and pics.

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Atravelynn

You snuck in there Hari. Always a treat, right.

 

 

 

OMELET WITH CHEESE

I ordered an omelet one morning and the server eagerly asked, "Would you like omelet with cheese?” I agreed to the suggestion. Very promptly the server reappeared with a steaming omelet on one plate and sliced cheese on another plate. “Omelet,” he stated, smiling broadly as he served me the eggs. “With cheese,” he continued as the second plate was set in front of me.

 

I got exactly what I had requested, yet nothing like what I had expected. What a metaphor for travel in Africa. The breakfast was delicious and prepared me for whatever the day might bring.

 

 

THE END OF THE TRIP

Too soon my time with George in Tarangire ended and we were at the airport in Kilimanjaro, trading farewells and hugs, along with my parting gift--a bar of cranberry soap. Wisconsin produces enough cranberries to provide every person in the world with 26. Not sure how many cranberries were in George’s locally produced bar of soap, but it smelled good.

 

To pass the time as I waited for my delayed flight, I strolled through a little park next to the airport. Resting contentedly on the grass was a gray and white cat with eyes as captivating and blue as Lake Tanganyika.

 

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The End

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twaffle

You did well with the report and the trip. I must remember the sliced cheese on the side.

 

I love the two lilac breasted rollers in the foreground of the photo of the elephants ripping into the baobab, just like two little jewels in the dusty park.

 

So now it is onto the bat migration? That will be different but the report will be entertaining I'm sure. Brightened my day. :D

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Great trip report Lynn and stunning pictures. Seeing the chimps makes we want to go to Mahale more than ever, but I don't know if a fourth trip to Africa is in the cards. Good information about Flycatcher's as when I was researching Mahale it was hard to find much info about them. Did you find the price better using a US agent than someone in Tanzania?

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Super LEEDS

Thanks, Atravelynn. Always excellent and fascinating!!

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Atravelynn

Thanks for the comments. The Flycatcher price was the same using Kiliwarriors as going direct with Flycatchers. I was having trouble communicating with Flycatchers and Eben of Kiliwarriors knew Renate Jost, the owner of Flycatchers, so I worked through him and did Arusha and Tarangire with him.

 

I hope a 4th trip to S. Tanz or elsewhere works for you, Raelond. Feel free to scout out a new destination for me as has been the case in the past.

 

The little lilac breasted roller "light bulbs" in the foreground of the eles/baobab shot remind me of the Christmas bulbs I just strung along my mom's window boxes.

 

The bats are looking like 2013. Comrades welcome on that trip. We can share omelets with cheese.

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Hoorah, fab report, lovely photos, thanks Lady Lynn!

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Omelet with cheese. Gotta remember that metaphor. Fantastic!!

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Sangeeta

Yup, fabulous stuff, Lynn. Thanks. You have this wonderful ability to get a different "take" on each of your safaris, which makes each report a real standout and always so different from the last one.

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Canadian Robin

Wonderful photos and trip report - I am envious of your 13 snakes! Snakes seem to sense when I am around and disappear!

I especially liked your photos of the blue monkeys, and the baobab at sunset is stunning - such lovely colours.

 

You mention the bat migration - I assume you mean at Kasanka? We were there for a week just last month, and the migration was amazing. Roughly 8 million bats (we were a bit early [3rd to 10th Nov] - the guides were expecting more - 10 million and up) flying overhead at sunset is spectacular. It takes that many bats almost 30 minutes to leave their days roosts (which are concentrated in a very small area) and head out to feed. Each evening, we took lawn chairs and a bottle of wine and sat amongst the phragmites and papyrus and enjoyed the spectacle of sunset with the bats. Highly recommended! It equaled the wildebeest migration. I will be posting photos and highlights shortly. Robin

 

PS. There were tsetses in parts of Kasanka, but they weren't nearly as bad as those we encountered in SLNP, where they were brutal in the woodland areas around Mfuwe (thankfully, there were fewer further north). In Kasanka, we camped at Pontoon Campsite, and the tsetses didn't bother us there at all. Kasanka has a bit of a reputation regarding tsetses (unfairly in our [albeit brief] experience), so I thought I should mention this given that tsetses come up in your post.

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Atravelynn

Thanks for the bat info, Canadian Robin. Looking forward to your comments and pics.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lynn, I have had a very enjoyable lunch break reading that. You have become the true mistres of the trip report, I believe. I think you also just raised the bar on photo presentation too - the multiple related photos in the frames is bothe attractive and very practical. Many laugh out loud moments, and a lovely (Freudian??) reference to tsetses as "pets in Post #18 that only draws attention to the excellence of the proofreading otherwise.

 

You seem to have had a wonderful trip and I wish I had time to ask you questions about it - although of course you have already anticpated most of them.

 

Here are a few for now...

 

Would your really, honestly, hand-on-heart recommend Katavi for a first-time (or even second-time) safari? It looks harsh in every way.

 

How "hot" is your hot? We have to travel in October this year now, and I am wondering how much worse the south can be in October than in September (when it was tongue-hanging, hot, but not head-spinning hot).

 

Who is doing the modeling in post #31 and how was the swimming there? (Ignore the "who" question if it is you and you photoshopped in the extra hair - I do not want to pry :lol:) What could you see hanging around the camp at Mahale and (hypothetically) would you consider staying there if there were no chimps... and it was easier to get to?

 

Thanks for sharing all this and have a very happy new year.

 

Edit: And I really like your photos for themselves; not jsut for their presentation - the above looks like a "back-hand" compliment. :)

Edited by pault
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One more..... what is the single supplement for Flycatchers? Did you mention that somewhere?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Atravelynn

Sorry, I missed this over the last week. Not ignoring you Pault.

 

Would your really, honestly, hand-on-heart recommend Katavi for a first-time (or even second-time) safari? It looks harsh in every way.

 

 

Yes, IF it was accompanied by places like Ngorongoro or Serengeti. Also if remote and secluded is what somebody wanted. It was a harsh place for the inhabitants but not the visitors. We had nice tents that did not get too hot inside and great food. The long drive to Paradise was hot and had about 20 minutes of tse tse "pets." It would likely appear less harsh if it were not the worst draught since 1981. We saw lions each day, sometimes 2x per day, which would make first or second time visitors happy. I didn't post many of those photos but we probably had 16 sightings in 3 days. One leopard, one hyena I think. Couple of jackals.

How "hot" is your hot? We have to travel in October this year now, and I am wondering how much worse the south can be in October than in September (when it was tongue-hanging, hot, but not head-spinning hot). Probably 90 at the hottest point of the day with no humdidty. Maybe 93. Speaking Farenheit of course. My head never spun. I have thought I might collapse and had trouble breathing in late June or July in Asia when heat combined with humidity. Katavi was no hotter than Samburu at the same time of year. I'd go in Sept again without thinking twice about the heat. I'd think twice about China in July, definitely.

Who is doing the modeling in post #31 and how was the swimming there? (Ignore the "who" question if it is you and you photoshopped in the extra hair - I do not want to pry :lol:) IOh no! I'm worried about where you saw the extra hair since it was me in a bathing suit. I assume you are referring to the chimps with an abundance of hair. No photoshop needed for them. :o What could you see hanging around the camp at Mahale and (hypothetically) would you consider staying there if there were no chimps... and it was easier to get to? If it were local, I'd certainly go to Mahale. But I would not allot safari days to a location even as beautiful as that if it did not have wildlife. From camp I did not see animals, but sometimes there are monkeys, warthogs. Swimming was warm and no current, really nice.

Thanks for sharing all this and have a very happy new year.

 

Edit: And I really like your photos for themselves; not jsut for their presentation - the above looks like a "back-hand" compliment. :)

Thanks!

 

 

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I think I paid around $45 per day for SS. I did not get a private vehicle. The $40 was just for the tent. Now it's about $52.

 

 

SS info is at their website

 

http://www.flycat.co...itinerary2.html

 

 

 

Singletent supplement

 

§ perperson per day CHF 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

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