It was a tremendous experience. Well planned and I thought ending the trip at the Crater was a good choice. Having the Day Room was wonderful. We really appreciated the welcome gifts and the cake on the last night. Anglebert worked tirelessly to make the trip perfect. He wanted to tell you about seeing the Aardwolf fighting with the family of cheetahs. It was late at night (if it was up to Anglebert, he would never go back to the camp) so the pictures are not great but I am sending the best one we took. We would normally be the first around an animal and in minutes the vultures would show up. It was great when we could get out away from everyone like at the Gol Kopjes and the open plains around Ndutu.
I awoke with a start this morning. I wondered what all the noise was. I realized it was sounds of the city. A couple of nights before my wife and I were kept awake by the roar of lions and the alarm “barking” of baboons seemingly from our front porch. It was a week of quiet nights with beautiful stars.
The days were filled with game drives that surpassed our expectations. We are used to open spaces in Texas but it is interrupted by fences, gates, and cattle guards. To be able to travel miles and see no one and not to have to get out and open gates is a grand experience. We viewed massive herds of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles. All set to backdrop of vast plains and far away mountains. There were lions and tigers and…no, not bears, but cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and cape buffalo. A couple of unexpected sightings were the Ardwolf and the honey badger (look up the video on Youtube).
The guides in all the letters are fondly remembered. Everyone believes he must have lucked out and got the best one from ADS. Unless they got Anglebert, they couldn’t have gotten the best. His ability to not only spot the animals but anticipation of what the animal would do next or where the animals next move would be is extraordinary. We saw some cheetahs late one night (Englebert will stay out from six in the morning to dark thirty), the next morning Englebert said “I think I know where they will be this morning”.
We drove out and as the sun made visibility possible, the three cheetahs were right beside us. Not only did he spot the animals, get the best viewing possible, but also put us where the sun would provide the best lighting for the camera. He was, as was everyone we met, unfailingly polite and patient. He truly became our rafiki yangu.
We stayed in three camps. Each was unique having its own architecture, style and views. All the camps were perfectly suited to the surrounding environment with as little intrusions as possible. What didn’t change from camp to camp was the quality of the meals. Each was served on white table cloths, complete complement of dinner ware and wonderful variety of food. The service was outstanding at each location at each meal. We were amazed that such dining could be found in the remotest of areas.
Lastly, I humbly suggest you learn a little Swahili. Your host will appreciate the effort and it will make the trip more fun. Also, stop by the FAME hospital. See the great work they are doing. They don’t have their hands out, they are just proud of what they are doing and want to share their excitement.
Richard and Mary Morgan
Safari Dates: January 3, 2013 to January 9, 2013