Author: Emmanuel

Guide Report – Migration Crossings and Big Cats

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. I have just finished my most recent safari with two guests Katherine and Karen who are from Chicago Illinois, USA. While in the bush we had a wonderful time together with some spectacular wildlife viewing especially with great migration crossing the Mara River and for the predators including lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena.

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Guide Report – Spectacular Game Viewing

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. I have just finished my most recent safari with three guests William, Edward and Ed who are from Pesacola Florida, USA. While in the bush (January 26th to February 3rd) we had a wonderful time together with some spectacular wildlife viewing especially for the predators including lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena. Here are my three guests photographing hippos in the Central Serengeti.

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Guide Report – Fantastic Game Drives With Kathy and Bette

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. I have just finished my most recent safari with my guests Kathy and Bette who are from Maryland, USA. While in the bush (February 11th to February 21st) we had a wonderful time together with some spectacular wildlife viewing especially for the predators including lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and even the rare wild dog. We stayed 3 nights at at Sametu Camp in the Central Serengeti, 3 nights at Lake Masek Tented Camp in the South Serengeti, 1 night in Ngorongoro at Lion’s Paw Tented Camp, 1 night at The Ngorongoro Manor, and lastly 2 nights in Tarangire National Park at Kikoti Tented Camp. I took some photos which I would like to share with you below:

These are my friends Bette and Kathy. We had a wonderful time for these 12 days through the whole Northern Circuit of Tanzania. We explored all the main highlights in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. Here we are having a Bush Breakfast after an early morning game drive along Sametu Kopjes in the Central Serengeti.

The Sametu Kopje Pride devouring a buffalo kill in the Central Serengeti. We counted 30 lions hiding in the nearby shade and bushes. This kill happened the past night and we stayed with them until they completely devoured it.

After getting enough of the lions, we headed back to camp and along the way we spotted this beautiful leopard with three kills up in an acacia tree. She made our day!

The next day we were watching a beautiful family of elephants as they crossed the road right in front of our vehicle. All of sudden, we saw in the distance a pride of lions hunting zebras. It was amazing! We rushed off to see the lions taking down a zebra. We stopped in the middle of the road with action happening on both sides of us.

On the same day after having enjoyed a picnic lunch, we came across this lone lioness walking our way. We followed her as she was roaring loudly. Later on we discovered she was calling her pride mates as they started coming out of the bushes. We counted 35 lions. They turned heading back in the direction of the lone lioness. So we had to turn back, as well! We couldn’t believe what we saw. The lone lioness had made a kill and she went to call the other members of the pride to share in the food. It was an awesome moment. This was in the Seronera Valley of the Central Serengeti specifically in the Banagi area.

We stayed at the lovely Retima Hippo Pool long enough for Bette to get some really nice photos. Unfortunately, the hippos looked sad as the pool has been shrinking due to lack of rain. Kathy felt sad to see them like that. Thankfully, a few days later we had some brief showers, which were enough to fill most of the pool again.

Mother Cheetah with her three cubs on a morning game drive in the Lake Ndutu area of the South Serengeti.

Here is a beautiful shot of a herd of zebras drinking at a water hole in the Ndutu marsh area of the South Serengeti.

A spectacular Serengeti Sunset as we made our way to Lake Masek Camp in the South Serengeti.

A male lion resting very near Lake Masek Tented Camp.

A massive baboon troop at Lake Manyara National Park, which has the largest baboon troops in Africa!

Elephants in Tarangire National Park were enjoying wallowing in the mud. It also functions as a form of sun screen and helps to protect them from insects.

One of the little five – The leopard tortoise – in Tarangire National Park.

The highlight of our safari was this magnificent predator – The African wild dog. They topped our adventure as they are very rare and critically endagered. This large pack was near the Gursi Swamp in Tarangire National Park.


Emmanuel Kichao
ADS Driver-Guide

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Guide Report – Fantastic Game Drives With James and Connie

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. I have just finished my most recent safari with James and Connie who are from Florida, USA. While in the bush (March 13th to March 23rd) we had a wonderful time and nice accommodations too. We stayed 2 nights at at Sametu Camp in Seronera, 2 nights at Lake Masek Tented Camp, as well as 2 nights at Kusini Tented Camp, 1 night in Ngorongoro at Lion’s Paw Tented Camp, 1 night at The Manor, and lastly 2 nights in Tarangire National Park at Swala Tented Camp. I took some photos which I would like to share with you below:

– It was a beautiful morning down in the Ngorongoro Crater when we just arrived and found a whole pride of lions being chased by a huge herd of buffaloes. It was exciting to watch as the buffaloes keep pushing the lions down to road where we were waiting.

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Driver-Guide Report – Family Christmas Safari

Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. Follows is our driver guide report at the conclusion of our safari with the Hektor Family (December 24th to December 29th, 2013). This was an extended family group of 20 persons with three generations together. It was a wonderful experience to have such a diverse group from young children (ages 4, 6 and 9) to teenagers and all the way up to the parents and grandparents. The group had four vehicles and guides on this fantastic safari of six days. We had a lot of fun on their Christmas holiday.

We started from Ndutu on the southern end of the Serengeti National Park on December 24th, 2013 and drove northward through the Seronera valley (Central Serengeti) and overnighted at Serengeti Serena lodge. We had amazing sightings on this first day in the bush especially of a mother cheetah with her two cubs and a yearling wildebeest kill. Not only that but also a pride of 14 lions and countless groups of the migratory wildebeest herds.

We had another night at Kirawira Serena Lodge in the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park. On this side the main attraction was the gigantic Nile crocodiles in the Grumeti River and groups of Hippos with dominant males advertising their territories.

On the third day, the group flew on private charter planes from the Grumeti Airstrip to Ndutu Airstrip and from there they drove to Nasera Rock, an untouchable private area for a Maasai Cultural Tour and walking safari before spending the night at the Crater Serena Lodge. On the fourth day we had a full day game drive down into one of the eighth natural wonders of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater, to see the rare Black Rhino and to top the list of our Big Five.

On our last day we visited Lake Manyara National Park, a small but unique park as we drove in for a short period of time. We covered 4 different types of habitats including the underground natural water forest, acacia woodland, open grass plain, and the rift valley escarpment while viewing in Lake Manyara National Park, which was covered with pink flamingoes. On our list of animals we added a new species, which was the Blue Monkey.

Below are some of the pictures we managed to take during the safari.

– On our way to the Central Serengeti via the beautiful Maasai kopjes we came across this mother cheetah on her evening hunt. She seemed very hungry and was very busy scanning the area for prey to hunt.

– At the Grumeti River in the Western Serengeti, this was our highlight of the day as the clients were excited to see this massive reptile, the Nile crocodile. This big reptile was basking on the bank of the Grumeti River with her mouth open as a way of lowering its body temperature.

– This beautiful leopard cub was one of two cubs we were able to get close to around the Seronera valley of the Central Serengeti. She jumped down from the tree where all three of them were sleeping and walked close to us and posed for this nice picture.

– At Musabi plains heading to Kirawira in the West Serengeti, we saw these two male lion brothers and two females. It seemed like they were on their honeymoon but they were very skittish and they didn’t like our presence around them. We discovered these lions in this area are not used to vehicles and people around them.

-In the Ndutu area of the South Serengeti we came across a big pride of 12 lions, with this massive male, together with a few cubs. This was during the mid-day when everybody was hiding under the shade.

-A male agama lizard displaying his colorful body to attract the females around. This was at the beautiful Gol Kopjes in the East Serengeti. The clients loved how the lizard was doing a push up and looking in different ways for any females around.

– At Ngoitoktok Picnic Site in the Ngorongoro Crater, the group is having a breakfast picnic after an early morning game drive in the crater.

– At the view point in Ngorongoro crater, we stopped for an orientation and briefing of the crater formation. It was a successful trip for everyone.

– A mother cheetah with a wildebeest kill – Central Serengeti.

– Hippos in Retima Hippo Pool, Central Serengeti.

– Africa’s largest lizard, the Nile Monitor.

– A mother warthog wallowing.

– African elephant in Lerai Forest – Ngorongoro Crater.

– Olive baboon troop in Lake Manyara National Park.

Thanks again and Karibuni Sana.

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By Emmanuel Kichao – My Safari With Sergio and Lydia

Jambo! This is ADS driver-guide Emmanuel with my newest blog posting. I am here to report on my most recent safari with 2 guests that I had from Alberta, Cananda named Sergio and Lydia.  I would also like to share my pictures with the ADS family.

The expedition was a wonderful and great one. This time we started with the Ngorongoro Crater on November 6th, and then continued to the Central Serengeti and finally finished in the North Serengeti on November 14th.

Emmanuel Kichao
ADS Driver-Guide

It was amazing watching several lions playing with a leopard tortoise and lastly one lioness made it to be a nice pillow for her afternoon nap.

At Ngoitoktok picnic area in Ngorongoro crater – I enjoyed been with you my friends – Lydia & Sergio.

A pride of 14 members along Lobo Hill in the North Serengeti. They had a kill which was still fresh. It was during mid-day so everybody is hiding from the sun and taking a nap.

This young cub was busy eating and tempted to us have our lunch close to them.

Vultures devouring a buffalo kill left by lions just a few hours past.

A leopard and cub. We enjoyed watching these two as they were very playful and showing no fear from our presence.

This leopard cub was one of my guest’s favorite sightings.

A rock mouse  found in Ngorongoro Crater.

Lions mating. We found this couple in the Crater along the Munge River.

My clients loved the landscape and the storm up in the mountains. This was along the Malanja depression on our way to the Serengeti.

Cheetahs. Mother and Cub during the evening scanning the plains. This was in the Central Serengeti – Seronera Area.

A Nile crocodile having a sunbath after finishing a meal. This was in Seronera Valley of the Central Serengeti.

Serval cat. We spotted this elusive camp on the Lobo Valley circuit in the North Serengeti. We watched as the serval cat stalked and successfully captured a mouse.

The beautiful Lilac Braested Roller is posing for a picture.

The beautiful scenery of Bologonja Springs in the North Serengeti.

One of the last remaining herds of wildebeest in the Lamai Triangle, North Serengeti. This was very close to the Kenya – Tanzania Border.

A mother cheetah and cub. The mother cheetah was training her young cub to hunt. This was in the Lamai Triangle of the North Serengeti.

We spotted the endangered Black Rhino very close to our vehicle near Mara River in the North Serengeti.

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By Emmanuel Kichao with James and Kit from New York

Jambo! This is ADS driver-guide Emmanuel with my newest blog posting. I am here to report on my most recent safari with 2 guests that I had from New York named James and Kit.  I would also like to share my pictures with the ADS family.

My safari started on October 2nd when I picked up the guests at the Kogatende Airstrip, which is located only a few minutes from the Mara River in the Northern Serengeti National Park. The North Serengeti turned out to be one of the highlights of our safari. We had a wonderful close up encounter with large herds of the wildebeest migration crossing right in front of us. We also managed to spot the very endangered black rhino. My guests and I enjoyed a total of four nights in the North Serengeti with two nights at Serengeti Bushtops Camp and two nights at Migration Lodge.

Continuing on our safari to the Central Serengeti, we had three nights at the ADS private camp, where we encountered many different animals. Highlights include lions, cheetahs and leopards. The clients also enjoyed a hot air balloon ride in this area. We then departed the Serengeti for 3 nights in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area including stays at Crater Lodge and the Manor Lodge. We then concluded the trip with 2 nights at Swala Camp in Tarangire National Park, which I think made a nice ending to this safari. Overall, the safari was spectacular and the very comprehensive itinerary allowed for some amazing wildlife encounters. I hope you enjoy the photos below!

Emmanuel Kichao.
ADS Driver Guide

This was one of the last big groups of wildebeest to cross the Mara River. We were so lucky to witness this crossing as most of the wildebeest had already moved south towards the Central and West Serengeti as for now there was more rain in these areas.

-Black Rhino. This bull was the second sight on our counts of the big five as we made the number in just two nights on the northern part of the Serengeti.

Klipspringer. We saw them in the early morning as they were hiding from the predators. The kopjes are good spots to look out for danger.

These Cheetah cubs were very playful and healthy. We stayed with them for almost an hour as their mother was scanning around for prey. At this moment she needs to hunt almost every day as she is still nursing.

A leopard tortoise. The trip was very productive and after we were done with the big five, we started to look for the small 5! The little ones can be the toughest to find.

A herd of buffalo under the shade as it started getting warmer. This was our first sighting near Kogatende Airstrip just a few minutes after I picked up my clients from the airstrip.

Leopard at lobo valley. It was a beautiful sighting as my clients loved the scenery and the way she was posing for pictures. It actually made the day!

Bee eaters – As they like to be together, my clients liked them and James was pointing out every time he spotted them.

A leopard taking a nap on a Hammerkop nest. These nests are huge to be able to accommodate this big cat. It probably took at least six months to build. After they finish and lay their eggs, they leave the nest and it is taken over by different animals.

Sametu lion pride. We got there just in time as this pride had just killed a zebra. It was a pride of 5 lioness and 4 young ones.

A sunset at the ADS private camp.

My clients loved the balloon ride and suggested I should do it too sometimes. However, I am very afraid of heights! This was in the Central Serengeti.

This was at Simba Kopjes in the Central Serengeti. The pride was trying to get away from biting flies and climbed a tree. The giraffe was heading to the same tree, but it didn’t take long for the lions to be spotted. He was able to see them and they took about 15 minutes starring at each other before the giraffe changed direction and moved away.

Blue Sykes monkey – A very sincere looking monkey. This was at Lake Manyara National Park.

Vervet Monkeys with babies grooming each other. It’s a way of keeping friendship and bonding together among the troop.

A Rock Python – One of the things my clients wished to see was this huge snake. It looked like it had eaten recently. This was in Tarangire National Park.

Tawny Eagle. We were looking at the front of its head, eyes and beak and commented on how well designed they are for airborne hunting. This one was also Tarangire National Park, which is an excellent park for raptor viewing.

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By Emmanuel Kichao with William and Randi – First Time In Africa

This is ADS guide Emmanuel Kichao reporting from Tanzania. Having just completed my most recent safari dated September 2, 2013 to September 12, 2013 , I can say beyond a doubt that the game viewing in the Serengeti National Park whether it be in the North, Central or West Serengeti areas has been beyond spectacular this dry season. We have seen lots of amazing sights including huge herds of the wildebeest and zebra migration, big prides of lions hunting, families of cheetahs, large concentrations of elephants, giraffes and hippos, more then 10 species of antelopes, countless species of birds and we have even had several quality sightings of the elusive and solitary leopard.

Of my most recent safari with my two guests from Minnestota, USA named William and Randi we saw all of these things mentioned. It was a very wonderful experience for both myself and the clients, which this was their first time in Africa. After two nights resting in Arusha after their long plane ride from the USA, my guests arrived at the Kogatende Airstrip in the Northern Serengeti on September 2nd where I met them. From there we immediately started enjoying what nature has to offer!  Here are some of the pictures I would like to share from this trip with William and Randi.

Large male lion, Central Serengeti.

A leopard close to our vehicle, Serengeti.

A family of cheetahs, North Serengeti.

Zebras in Tarangire National Park.

My guests Randi and William overlooking the scenic vista of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Maasai dance during the visit to a Maasai village.

Beautiful giraffes near the bank of Mara river, North Serengeti.

Elephants at Silale Swamp, Tarangire National Park.

A pride of lions with cubs which we found after finishing an early breakfast near Lobo Hills in North Serengeti.

Sleeping lion around Lamai triangle, Noth Serengeti.

Huge group of elephants in Lamai Triangle, North Serengeti.

Lioness with a young gazelle kill.

Leopard in an accacia tree.

Lion pride in Seronera Valley, Central Serengeti.

Two brothers from the Sametu Pride, Central Serengeti.

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By Emmanuel Kichao and Francis Peter – Field Experience

Greetings from Tanzania. This is ADS Driver-Guide Francis and Emmanuel reporting in. We just finished our safari with a group of 11 people from Texas. The first destination was Ngorongoro Crater/towards Serengeti. We experienced an overwhelming amount of game viewing.

The climate was so welcoming as we found the animals all over the crater but the interesting sight for the first day was the resident pride of lions.  They were along Munge river and they were killing a full size of african cape buffalo. The incident  occurred down to the river which caused the lions to work hard to pull out the prey from the river. Not only that but also they were surrounded by a large group of hyenas.

We proceeded towards Serengeti as it was arranged. Weather was was dry, sunny, and dusty across the plains. We had a lot of different and unique sights. We came across a black rhinoceros which is unusual in the Central Serengeti, but it seemed that this was one which escaped from the rhino project area south of Seronera in the Moru Kopjes. As we were there we saw the rangers were coming and tried to chase him back to his original place.

We extended further north which is buffalo springs camp where by we shared cultural tourism with Maasai.  They organized traditional dancing and showing us how to milk the cows and drinking the blood from the cows.

Here with are some pictures to accompany the story above.

With Regards,

Emmanuel Kichao and Francis Peter,
ADS Guides

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By Emmanuel and Ellson – Maasai Wedding Ceremony

Greetings from Tanzania. My name is Emmanuel and I am a driver-guide with ADS. We just came back from this trip with a family of 14 including several children, which we started in the Serengeti National Park on June 25th and ended in the Ngorongoro Crater on July 2nd. There were three of us driver-guides on this safari including myself (Emmanuel) and also my colleagues Rafael and Ellson.

We had a wonderful time with this family from Iowa, USA and we got the chance to see the wildebeest migration which was heading towards Nyamalumbwa Hills together with some amazing cheetah and lion sightings.

One of the highlights of the safari was being invited to a Maasai wedding ceremony, which was located at a village just outside of the Northern Serengeti very close to the camp we were staying at called Buffalo Luxury Lodge.

We have included some pictures here of the Maasai warriors slaughtering a big cow for the wedding ceremony and the arrival of the bride and groom. The wedding ceremony concluded with dancing, eating and plenty of local drinks. My guests had a chance to meet the bride and groom as they arrived from the brides village and the best man is also pictured explaining to the guests how the whole wedding ritual is performed.

Below are a couple wildlife pictures we took while on safari. The picture of the cheetah resting on the termite mound (shown immediately below) is one of my favorites for the year. Also, the large male lion pictured next to the ADS vehicle and guests demonstrates just how closely you can get to some of the animals.

Best wishes from your guides Emmanuel, Rafael and Ellson. We hope to see you in the bush out on safari soon!

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By Guide Emmanuel Kichao – A Birthday Celebration To Remember

Jambo! My name is Emmanuel and I a driver-guide with ADS. I have just completed a very special safari with my two guests from California. There names are Joseph and Courtney. It was an extra special trip as the guest were celebrating their 75th and 74th birthdays. As pictured here we arranged for them to receive our traditional Maasai birthday gifts.

Thankfully the high expectations I had for this special safari were exceeded with the tremendous wildlife action we encountered.  We enjoyed a total of 8 nights on safari with 2 nights in the West Serengeti at Kirawira Tented Camp, 2 nights in the Central Serengeti at Four Seasons Bilila, 2 nights on and near the Ngorongoro Crater split between Lion’s Paw Camp and the Ngorongoro Manor and our final 2 nights in Tarangire National Park at Swala Tented Camp.

It turned out to be a spectacular program and we really got lucky with some tremendous wildlife encounters. Some of the highlights included watching a lion kill, close encounters with both cheetahs and leopards, witnessing the great migration, watching the large crocs in the Grumeti River, spending time with a hyena family at their den site and in general just enjoying the natural beauty of Tanzania’s national parks, which I am very proud to call my own.

Attached to my posting are some pictures from my safari. Asante Sana!

Emmanuel Kichao
ADS Guide
June 25, 2013

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By Emmanuel Kichao – Wildebeest Calving Season

Jambo! I’m Emmanuel Kichao, a driver-guide with ADS, and I have just returned from the bush with my nice clients Toni and Richard. The safari dates were February 20, 2013 to March 2, 2013. We had a wonderful experience and it was very fortunate timing to be in the Serengeti to witness the wildebeest calving season.

The wildebeest calving that takes place every year on the southern Serengeti plains has to be one of the top wonders of the natural world. Every year the majority of the adult female wildebeest population (estimated to be about 500,000 pregnant females) participate in a mass synchronized birthing in which they all drop their newborn calves within the same 2-week period. They do this to ‘flood the market’ so to speak with their defenseless babies so that the predators (lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena) will only be able to kill and eat so many in a short period.

The timing of this 2-week birth spike or calving window varies each year and is dependent upon grazing and weather conditions. In years with abundant rainfall at the beginning of the green season in December, which triggers fresh and nutritious grass growth, the wildebeest may calve as early as January. In drought years the female wildebeest can delay giving birth until March in hopes of more optimal conditions (i.e. better grazing and more standing water). This year mid-February was the lucky time to witness to the mass calving.

I have included a few pictures I took on my most recent safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

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