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Trip Report Just back from Tanzania

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I just returned last night from 10 nights on safari and 7 nights at Pongwe. Both were fabulous and better than last year's safari at this same time. The tourist numbers are down some on safari and definitely a LOT less Americans. The drivers and their behavior were MUCH improved from last year. No one cut in from of our vehicle or acted badly as was happening last year. Cars stayed on one side of a sighting and didn’t interfere with anyone’s photography.

The sightings of cheetahs in Ndutu and the Serengeti were awesome (28). Eleanor and her 5 nearly grown cubs (1 was frightened away and was adopted by another mom with only one cub so we were told) were found nearly where they were sighted last year at this time in the Ndutu-Serengeti border area. They had just made a kill when we found them and then they ran after a rabbit and got that too about 10-15 ft from our vehicle. Also found a cheetah mom and 4 nearly grown cubs on a new kill in the Serenera valley right by the road. Found a leopard in Tarangire, 1 in Ndutu and 3 in the Serengeti all moving. We saw wildebeests being born in the Crater an also 6 rhinos. It was much dustier this year from last year and the lion sightings were way off for us. All in all the experience was much better than last year and last year was “our best vacation ever”. I had concerns that I might be disappointed since we did have the same driver/guide as last year and visiting mostly the same places (we added Tarangire (I loved this one and the ellies were fantastic.) and dropped Manyara and Arusha Parks). Not the case and I can’t wait to go back. I do have 9000+ plus photos to sort through (though I did look through them from Pongwe on Zanzibar and I was closer to the sightings and the quality is better than last year) and my husband took about 12 hours of video.

Ndutu area is teaming with photo crews this year. Last year I had the biggest camera (Canon with 100-400) and was always first out and last back. Not this year. I think there were 4 movie crews there and some with spotter cars out too. The lodge which was full was probably half serious photographers and some were staying extended days. The crews were nice and willing to share info. Ask any questions but I do have to go to work today.

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