Author: Ellison Mkonyi

Herbivore Species are Currently Giving Birth

Jambo and good morning from a warm and sunny Arusha! I’ve just completed guiding my most recent safari with 2 couples from California and Oregon, USA. We enjoyed 7 nights together in the bush with 5 nights in the Serengeti National Park at Lake Masek Tented Lodge along with 2 nights in the Ngorongoro Crater at the spectacular Ngorongoro Manor Lodge.

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Driver-Guide Report – Welcome 2014.

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. Follows is our driver guide report at the conclusion of our safari with the Organ and Chiarandini Families (December 30th, 2013 to January 7th, 2014). This was a family of six including two young children. It was a fantastic experience for the guests with 8 nights on safari split between the Central Serengeti, East Serengeti, South Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. We enjoyed 2 nights at Seronera Sametu Camp, 2 nights at Lemala Ndutu Camp, 2 nights at Mbuzi Mawe Lodge and 1 night at Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp. Therefore, it is my pleasure to share with you some pictures I took during this safari.

– This was around Kibumbu Kopje near Sametu Kopje, where we saw one of the Sametu pride. It seemed her belly was full as it can be well seen on this particular picture.

– Thanks for the migration because many of the lions in the South and East Serengeti are well fed at the moment.

– This was near Sametu Kopjes where we saw lions that were going around the Kopjes and trees.

– We saw a cheetah kill near lobo kopjes, it was two brothers killed a baby gnu and a number of vultures were there for almost three hours. After this we kept driving around the lobo kopje and thereafter we saw two wonderful lion cubs of about three months old.

– This was early in the morning where we saw a mother leopard and her cub walking around the ndutu woodlands near lake ndutu. The cub was playing with her mother while walking. The cub was about six or seven months old.

– This was in between the Kibumbu Kopje and Sametu Kopjes. We saw these two vultures which I make sure I get the nice view of them from there as the plain was green and real encouraging. I am sure they were waiting for lions and hyenas to do something for them.

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By Ellison, Pokea and Francis – The Last Wildebeest Crossing

Jambo! This is ADS driver-guides Ellison, Pokea and Francis reporting from Tanzania with our bush report. This time there were 3 of us guides joining together since we were with a large family from Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were a total of 17 adults and children in the family group. It was a wonderful experience to be with such a large and happy family group over the course of the safari. Our adventure started on November 19th and ended on November 30th and we enjoyed visiting many different areas including the North, Central and South Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. Overall, the trip was fantastic through all the areas we visited. We had an opportunity to take a few wonderful photos, which we would like to share with you. Kindly enjoy.

Ellison, Pokea, and Francis.
ADS Guides

– We could not believe we saw such a large migration crossing so late in the season. This is because all the reports had indicated that the wildebeest and zebra herds had headed south early this year. To our surprise, there had been some rain showers to the North which caused the migration to head back North in November and recross the Mara River.

– We saw this large lion pride around Simba Kopjes in the Central Serengeti. There were about 25 lions with some on the Kopjes and some down in the tall grass. It was depressing that they killed just a small warthog. We didn’t know how they could share such a small meal as the food intake of just one mature lion is 20kgs of meat per kill.

– This is what we found around Lobo Hills in the North Serengeti. Lobo Hills has been a nice site for the big cats and other animals but also the scenery and vegetation area awesome. We saw a mother cheetah and five cubs. The five cubs were very active. Some were climbing trees and some were moving very close to our vehicles.

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By Ellison Mkonyi with Mark S. Family

Here I am again to display the photos during my most recent safari with a very nice family of four from Massachusetts named Mark, Theodore, Donna and Pam. Our safari began on September 24, 2013 with two nights at Serengeti Bushtops Camp and two nights at Migration Camp, which are both located in the North Serengeti.

We then proceeded to explore the Central Serengeti areas with two nights at Four Seasons Bilila Lodge before finally concluding our trip with two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater split between one night at Crater Lodge and one night at Manor Lodge. The trip ended on October 2, 2013 when the guests departed back home to Massachusetts on the evening KLM flight leaving from Kilimanjaro Airport.

The guests and I had a good time together and they really enjoyed the beauty of the wild. One of the highlights of the trip was seeing a mother rhino with a young baby near the Mara River in the North Serengeti. Thus below are the photos to share with you:

We do hope that the number of lions will increase in the Ngorongoro Crater if we have this kind of male around! We witnessed these lions copulating about every 9 nine minutes. The gestation period for lions is about three months and they can have up to four cubs at a time. Hopefully, we will have some new cubs in the Crater at the beginning of the year.

We saw this lioness that killed a wildebeest around Wogakuria Kopjes, North Serengeti.

When I was driving through the Fort Ikoma area on the way to pick up the guests, I saw large herds of wildebeests and was beginning to think that most of the migration had already crossed the Mara River. However, upon arriving to the Mara River area the story was different and it became clear that most of the migration is still located up in the North Serengeti, which is good news for clients with October safaris. We saw thousands of wildebeests on both sides of the Mara River and even a nice crossing that lasted 30 minutes.

We saw this huge male leopard around Lobo Hills in the North Serengeti. He was eating a Grant’s gazelle. I can say that I have never seen a big male like since I have been a safari guide. My clients were even comparing this male’s size with some of lions we have seen. It was an extraordinary sight!

I was very happy with the game viewing on the safari and especially the situation around Lobo Kopjes and Lobo Hills in the North Serengeti including the Grumeti Game Circuit. The vegetation was green and there were large numbers of animals.


Elisson Mkonyi
ADS Guide

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By Ellison Mkonyi with Sam and Keith – Wondeful Bush Experience

Jambo! This is your ADS driver-guide Ellison Mkonyi wishing all the ADS guests a warm greetings from the Serengeti National Park. I had the pleasure of having 2 guests on my most recent safari named Sam and Keith. They were from Missouri, USA. We enjoyed a very comprehensive safari itinerary together that took in all the wildlife highlights that can be found in the dry season.

The itinerary (September 5th to September 16th, 2013) was 11 nights in duration with 2 nights at Lemala Mara River Camp in the Northwest Serengeti, 2 nights at Buffalo Camp in the Northeast Serengeti / Loliondo Game Reserve, 2 nights in the Central Serengeti at Sametu Camp, 2 nights on the rim of the Crater at Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp, 1 night at Lake Manyara at Escarpment Luxury Lodge and 2 nights in Tarnagire at Swala Tented Camp. It was a superb itinerary and an excellent safari experience. I would like to share with you some highlights from the trip and also some snapshots I took with my pocket camera that all the ADS guides are issued in order that we post pictures on this blog. It’s a great idea but I keep saying that I am a better guide then a photographer!

My guests and I enjoying a picnic in the middle of the Serengeti wilderness. It doesn’t get any better then this!

We saw this mother lioness and her cubs during a game drive in the long Grumeti circuit road in the North Serengeti. It was early in the morning and they were really active. We spent almost 2 hours enjoying the lions.

The wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River about 3 kilometers from Kogatende in the North Serengeti.

We found these lions as they were finishing their breakfast and others were drinking water after eating their full. We took beautiful pictures of one of the male lions with its reflection in the water. We also found a mother lioness and cubs near Wogakuria Kopjes and they were relaxing and very healthy.


Ellison Mkonyi
ADS Guide

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By Godson Mbonye – An Expedition In Tanzania.

This is ADS Driver-Guide Godson with another safari report. My two guests named David and Eric H. arrived at Kogatende airstrip in northern Serengeti at 16th of August 2013 where we enjoyed two nights and two days in the Mara River circuit. On this day the weather was a little bit cool and the clouds were seen in a pattered sky travelling through low speed winds heading. This is the time of the short rainy season, which brings back home all the wildebeest that traveled to the Maasai Mara for a short visit.

Our game viewing took us straight to the crossing site called number seven along the Mara river’s bank. We enjoyed the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River heading southward. Here my clients were surprised for their first time to see the big herds of wildebeest crossing. We were lucky to see two separate crossings.

The second day we went hunting for the big cats at my client’s suggestion and we were found some unbelievable action. We observed male and female leopards mating on a big rock, which was out in the open and close to where we were parking our vehicle. This was an unusual sighting for the normally very secretive and elusive leopard. With much surprise David said Oooh Waoooo!!!!

Afterwards we decided to conduct a cultural tour in the Loliondo Controlled Area where we observed Maasai dancing, milking their cows, and also we we enjoyed a night game drive. This was on August 18th and 19th. On August 20th we departed to the Central Serengeti and Sametu Camp for 2 nights and believe it or not we witnessed another mating of cats not 5 meters from my vehicle. This time it involved lions, the king and queen of the jungle.

On August 22nd we departed the Central Serengeti and headed for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, for 2 nights at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. Here were saw a big pride of lions with lots of lion cubs of about 2 weeks oldplaying with their mom. Also we saw the Caracal, a VERY rare cat.

Our last National Park was Tarangire after completing what I call the Primate Park or Lake Manyara National Park. Here we had 2 nights and ended our adventure with huge herds of elephants among the mighty Baobab trees. On August 26th after having our breakfast we went back to Arusha Town and the Mount Meru Hotel for a day room. After an early dinner my guests David and Erick were driven to Kilimanjaro Airport for their flight back home.

I have wonderful photos to share with the ADS community as follow:

– Mating leopards in North Serengeti.
– First day – big herds of wildebeest migration crossing Mara river.
– Second day – pride of lions with 3 males and seven females seen hunting.
– Klipspringer on a big rock at Kogatende.
– A laped faced vulture posing, waiting to scavenge.
– Male Agama lizard at buffalo spring.
– Crossing again on the first day.
–  Wildebeest were hesitating to cross because of the crocodiles.
– The lion cubs of about 2 weeks old while on morning game drive
– 2 bulls buffalo brothers in Ngorongoro.
– Type of Comodo species of agama lizard at Oldupai gorge.
– Lake magadi, down the crater seen with crowend cranes and flamingos.
– Very rare small cat, called the Caracal at Ngorongoro crater.
– Martial Eagle on top of a balanite tree at central Serengeti.
– A baboon holding her young.
– King and Queen on their honeymoon in the central Serengeti at Utafiti rock.
– Male Ostrich in the Serengeti.
– Cheetah scanning for antelopes in the Serengeti.
– Hippos seen out of the water.
– A young girl Maasai under the Maasai Boma at Loliondo area.


Godson Mbonye.
ADS Guide.

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By Ellison Mkonyi – A Perfect New Year Safari

Jambo! My name is Ellison Mkonyi and I am a driver-guide with Africa Dream Safaris. I have just returned from the Serengeti having finished my first safari for the new year 2013. My safari was from January 10 to January 16 and it was the perfect safari to start the new year. We saw many animals. The variety of wildlife in the Serengeti always amazes me and the green season is one of my favorite seasons to enjoy watching the migration on the Serengeti plains. One of the highlights form my safari was seeing these adorable lion cubs (first picture) at the Gol Kopjes in the East Serengeti and also the great migration, cheetahs, baby lions nursing and very close experiences with the big Serengeti elephants.

Myself and many of the guides at Africa Dream Safaris have been given small size cameras that fit in our shirt pockets. We use them to take a couple pictures during the safari. I hope you enjoy my pictures.

By ADS Guide Ellison Mkonyi

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