By Raphael Mollel – A Wonderful Safari in Tanzania
Jambo! My name is Raphael, a guide with ADS, and I have just finished my safari ending July 27, 2013 with 2 guests from California named Pamela and Vernon. It was a superb itinerary as we spent a total of 13 nights together out on safari including 3 nights in the North Serengeti at Lemala Camp, 2 nights in Northeastern Serengeti/Loliondo Game Reserve at Buffalo Camp, 3 nights in the Central Serengeti at the Four Seasons Bilila Lodge, 2 nights in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area at Lion’s Paw Camp, 1 night near Lake Manyara at the Manor Lodge and our final 2 nights at Swala Camp in Tarangire National Park.
The northern region of the Serengeti National Park was really amazing on this safari. We saw all the big five (rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard) in one day. It is very rare to see all these species of animals in a single day as their behavior and preferred habitats do not frequently overlap. Apart from the big five, we saw the wildebeest migration crossing the Sand River, three cheetahs together, antelopes, giraffes, eland, ostriches, hyrax etc.
While staying at Buffalo Camp in the Loliondo Game Reserve, we visited a Maasai Village and were lucky that it happened to be the day one warrior was getting married. We witnessed a Maasai wedding ceremony which was really beautiful. They sang several songs and the warriors were jumping very high as if they were competing, but it was Furaha tu.
The central part of the Serengeti was attractive because we saw a mother cheetah with two cubs hunting a baby Thomson Gazelle and she successful caught it. Amazingly, she didn’t kill the gazelle but brought it back to her cubs and then released it. We then realized that she was teaching her cubs hunting techniques. Also in the central Serengeti, we saw two male elephants fighting around Seronera Valley probably for females or rank. Retima hippo pool was amazing as well due to the many hippos we found there.
Our descent into the Ngorongoro crater early one morning at 6.00am paid off as we came across four lionesses killing a buffalo right in the middle of water (Munge river). This was another highlight of the safari.
Lake Manyara National Park was beautiful, as well. The underground water forest was very green and we spotted several species of primates including baboons and both blue and vervet monkeys.
Amonng the highlights in Tarangire National Park was spotting a leopard close by and watching a herd of elephants bathing in Silale Swamp. The Tarangire migration of wildebeest and zebra (separate to the more famous Serengeti migration) was located in the central areas of the Tarangire Ecosystem. I have included several pictures I took while on safari including:
A beautiful leopard with it’s kill (baby wildebeest) in a tree (North Serengeti).
This mark in the North Serengeti marks the border between Tanzania and Kenya.
This is a picture of a leopard yawning on top of a rock in north Serengeti.
This giraffe is licking salt in order to replace lacking minerals in his body.
A female lion urinating very close to a male trying to show him that she is in heat.
Wildebeest migration crossing sand river.
Maasai warrior at Loliondo jumping very high when one of them got married.
It was in the Central Serengeti (Seronera Valley) that these male elephants were fighting.
In the Munge river of the Ngorongoro Crater we saw these four lionesses kill a buffalo.
This male lion was marking his territory on our car (Ngorongoro Crater).
A beautiful picture of wildebeest horns.
This is the nest of a Hammerkop bird. It is a very tiny bird that builds unusually large nests with different raw materials like nails, metals, woods, nylons, plastics, etc. That’s why it is known a superstitious bird.