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North & South Tanzania: Arusha, N. Serengeti, Mahale, Katavi, Tarangire

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Dec 6th, 2011, 10:55 AM
  #21
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MAHALE

62 photos--last 10 photos are of camp and surroundings.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...equestid=20464

8:00 am departure flight from Lobo to Tabora = 1 hour and 50 minutes. 20 minutes refueling stop at Tabora, which has a toilet. Flight from Tabora to Mahale = 1 hour and 15 minutes. Paperwork upon arrival at Mahale airstrip takes about 30 minutes. Bathroom available.

Dhow transport to Flycatcher camp on Lake Tanganyika was 110 minutes, which included a cargo stop at a village and some hilarious pantomime with the children who lined up along the shore, and a 30 minute wait at the ranger station for permits. Smooth sailing to Mahale, but the return trip was in dark, churning waters so I took a Bonine seasickness pill soon after departure and I needed it.

We could see the dhows of the other two Mahale camps as they sailed to their respective locations and I counted the occupants. Mbali Mbali (Nkungwe) had 4 guests and Nomad (Greystoke) had 14. We were 3, the Swiss couple and I. The max number of guests in the park is 40: 12 at Flycatchers, 12 at Mbali Mbali, 16 at Nomad.

The Flycatcher camp is a paradise. The pristine beach is spectacular. The clear, warm lake beckoned me in for a swim, something I have not done in pool, lake, or stream since 1988, unless snorkeling was involved. (Speaking of snorkeling, the camp did not have snorkel gear while I was there but was expecting to get some.) The hospitality of Juma and the rest of the staff make for an exceptional stay in Flycatcher Mahale, in every respect.

Flight schedules allow 3, 4, or 7 night stays. Both the Swiss couple and I had as our #1 goal of the trip to do 3 chimp walks, meaning a 4 night stay. It’s possible that the chimps can be just too high up to reach, which is what occurred the day before our arrival, therefore 3 visits increases the odds of seeing them.

As the season continues on from June, the chimps tend to be in lower elevations, allowing for easier viewing. The weather is coolest in June and hottest in October. For our walks mid-September I needed a wet bandana around my neck and frequent drinks. It was hot!

At Flycatchers there is a tree in front of the dining lounge that fruits in October and attracts chimps, but October can start to get rainy. June and Sept are generally the busiest months for Flycatchers. I think visiting in Jan or Feb is by request only, but not sure how those months work for Flycatchers. The other two camps are open then.

The basic plan is breakfast at 7:30, then wait around until word comes from Tracker Sameru, who has been on the trail since 6:30 am. Departure can be as early as 8:00 am or it can be hours later. Time with the chimps is one hour. The ranger clicks a stop watch on and off, as viewing time can be interrupted if the chimps move. Lunch is back at camp.

The guides, rangers, and trackers did a good job of distributing all three of the camps’ guests among the subgroups of chimps so we were not stumbling over each other. Six is the maximum group size and you stick with your campmates. That was nice for our group, which was only three. We did not absorb guests from the other camps. This is a different policy from gorilla visits where a visitor group is comprised of unrelated people from different lodgings and almost always totals the maximum number allowed.

Another difference from the gorillas is that there are no porters and there is no one to watch your stuff once the chimps are spotted. After the first day I packed far lighter than I did for the gorillas, wearing only an around-the-waist camera bag and taking a compact, folded garbage bag in case it rained. No hat is needed in the dense forest and I wore short sleeves after the first outing. Some people even wore shorts. I was glad I had my water bottle at my side in a holster (a second water bottle fit in my camera bag) so I could drink every 10 minutes to prevent dehydration.. The hardy Swiss couple stopped only a couple of times for water out of their backpacks.

Surgical masks are provided and must be worn anytime you are near the chimps. Eben encouraged me to bring some masks, which I did and the staff was very appreciative to receive them. But I used their masks because mine were thicker and less breathable.

In comparison with chimp trekking in Kibale, Chambura Gorge, Ngamba, Nyungwe, and Padabi Forest, the Mahale visits lived up to their reputation as providing an unsurpassed chimpanzee experience. Our three outings produced family interactions; grooming; eating; using a stick as a tool to get ants*; mating; wrestling; swinging on vines; sleeping; pant hooting; territorial maneuvering; and one juvenile throwing vines and rocks at us in play. (Those Nomad guests were a surprisingly lively bunch in the forest! Ha ha.) All of this occurred from several meters away to within inches when some of the chimps passed nearby. Each visit was different even though all three were in the same area of the forest. All three visits were magical.

*The tool use that Jane Goodall first observed in Gombe was chimps using a stick inserted into a knothole in a tree to gather termites. The Mahale chimps don’t eat termites, but they use the same technique to get ants. The Mahale chimp preference for ants over termites was defined by the staff as a“cultural” difference.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #22
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Chimp Trek #1
8:30 departure. Arrived at chimps 9:45 and glimpsed the first precious scene of about 8 sitting along the trail. Our one hour of viewing extended to several interrupted hours over very steep and difficult terrain because the chimps were on the move. At one point, I thought to myself, “Is it worth climbing these steep slopes for the last 5 minutes of viewing?” I’m glad we persevered because we were rewarded with a lazy group of 6 males who suddenly heard intruders in the distance and in the blink of an eye sprung into warrior stance, glaring into the direction of the sound that was inaudible to me. What a transformation and what a scene. These guys meant business! Back at camp at 1:10 pm.

After the first grueling trek, I asked Guide Juma how it compared to the typical trek, expecting a response of, “One of the toughest I’ve ever been on; we were a few steps away from summiting.” Instead he said it was relatively easy and that we had ascended 20% up the mountain. Even the avid mountaineering Swiss couple had felt challenged by the hike and they too were surprised at Juma’s response.

Chimp Trek #2
8:20 departure. Arrived at chimps 9:35. The chimps were on the move downhill to a stream and waterfalls so our hour of viewing time was start and stop continually, but going down is easier than going up. This environment provided unobstructed views in good light and the waterfall was on our agenda for that afternoon anyway. What good luck. Back at camp at 2:00 pm. A fairly easy hike, except for some slippery rocks we hopped along to cross the creek that caused me to take a tumble with my knee bearing the brunt of it.

Chimp Trek #3
8:15 departure. We had the luxury of the entire park to ourselves—no other guests--so we took time to enjoy some of the other creatures along the way. Standing outside the underground den of a family of warthogs, we watched them emerge, one at a time, and prepare for their day. Fascinating! Yellow baboons are unique to Mahale, and we spent time with a troop. More elusive were the red tailed and red colobus monkeys, but we saw some of each. A pair of trumpeter hornbills kept us company from above. Juma pointed out a couple of blue duikers skittering deep in the underbrush.

Arrived at chimps at 11:00 am. Most of our time was spent watching two youngsters climb from the ground into the trees, grab a vine, swing down, jump to the ground, and repeat. They never tired of this routine and we never tired watching them. Back to camp at 2:00 pm. An enjoyable, leisurely outing.

We have the Mahale males to thank for much of our good luck viewing chimps. Juma explained that when the males are around, the females and youngsters feel confident to descend from the trees. When the males are absent, the others prefer the comfort of the treetops.

At the end of our 3 visits, we said goodbye to the ranger and tracker for their hard work. That was the time to offer them any tip.

Our last afternoon we headed out--after waiting out a thunderstorm that gave way to surreal lighting conditions—on a dhow ride to see hippos in clear water. It was like snorkeling with them without getting wet.

Sameru and the boat captain then went fishing. I was surprised they caught their own bait on empty shiny hooks, which then was used to catch several bigger fish. We enjoyed a large Kuhe Fish for dinner that night. The chef prepared it expertly and served it along side several traditional African dishes, including ugali. I ate a Thanksgiving-sized amount because I knew I was feasting on one of the best African meals I had ever eaten!

I asked Juma if he could arrange an hour forest walk from 7 to 8 before breakfast for the last morning. The two of us saw baboons, duiker, and red tailed monkeys during our hour long walk, so brief in comparison to the half-days in the forest in pursuit of chimps. I really appreciated his extra effort of getting me out into the magical Mahale forest one last time.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 11:26 AM
  #23
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Guete Safari
Guete trip report
thanks
aby

PS is it ok to say guete, gueter, guetest ?
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Dec 6th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Outstanding report, thanks Lynn.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 04:02 PM
  #25
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Aby the linguist!


KATAVI

70 photos--#1-#13 are taken from the grounds of the Flycatcher camp

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...equestid=27588


Noontime Mahale to Katavi flight = 50 minutes
Airstrip to Flycatcher Katavi camp by vehicle = 10 minutes, although Manager Nazir likes to joke that it will take an hour and a half.

Katavi is huge at 4,471 sq km or 1,727 sq miles, 1.5 times the size of Yosemite, yet it receives under 1000 visitors each year.

Beat and Yvonne and I shared a vehicle, making up .3% of the annual visitor population during our stay in Katavi. We had a great time together and were a most compatible .3%.

During our stay we saw about .5% of the other visitors when we encountered another two vehicles on the road about 3 times. The only other vehicle at sightings was the other camp vehicle and we usually travelled in tandem. The Foxes camp was on the far side of the plains in front of the Flycatchers camp and sometimes their vehicle was visible on the Katisunga Plains.

Two things struck me upon our arrival in camp. One was the tremendous amount of animal activity in the plains in front of camp. Nazir was not joking when he said some guests just stay at camp instead of going on game drives because it is all happening right there.

The other was the constant presence of the rangers and their giant vehicle in camp.

When I inquired why we were being monitored, I was told it was the elephants that frequented the springs surrounding the camp that were being monitored, not Flycatcher guests. The current drought had produced unyielding mud and sometimes the elephants got stuck—especially the little ones—and they needed some help to extract themselves. That’s when the rangers would drive in with their massive vehicle and rig up some ropes to boost and drag the trapped ele out of the mud.

I asked what the other eles did during the extraction process and was told that it had happened often enough (and of course the elephants wouldn’t forget) that the rest of the herd had learned to just clear out and give the rangers room to work. Then they’d run in to comfort the rescued victim. It reminded me of Jessica in the well. I never got to observe the rangers performing a rescue, but I appreciated being filled in on their duties.

The extremely dry conditions were due to the worst drought since 1981. Our first sighting illustrated the severity of the situation as we observed a pair of male lions sucking water out a pool of mud. Their desperate efforts at hydration were unsettling. We had several other lion sightings, including a pride with cubs, in greener and more hospitable surroundings.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 04:05 PM
  #26
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Guide Nazir found us a python in a tree on more than one occasion. He explained that the pythons climbed up high to escape any potential fires that might start given the arid conditions. One of the pythons even left a recently shed skin on a nearby branch.

Nazir stated that his years of experience had taught him to recognize a snake by scent and he asked if we could smell it too. We could not.

We made several visits to phenomena that are unique to Katavi—croc pits and hippo pools, both with occupants numbering in the hundreds. The lack of water resulted in mud baths for the hippos and drying mud pits for the crocs, which forced some of the reptiles to seek shade under nearby trees. Nazir told us the crocs could live for weeks under the trees, but hippos needed water.

We were all hoping that within two weeks the rains would return. In the meantime, the focus of these species was solely on surviving the drought so they were less active than normal. The harsh conditions had taken a toll on baby hippos and we saw very few.

The crocs’ mud pits were shared by dying catfish, and that attracted hundreds of Pelicans, Marabou Storks, Yellow-Billed Storks, Palm Vultures, Fish Eagles, and Saddle-billed Storks. Such large fishing parties I’ve never seen!

Fortunately my vehicle mates Beat and Yvonne were as enthralled by the fishing parties as I was and we spent several long sessions observing the squabbles and thrashing around. At one point Yvonne excitedly called our attention to a croc that had plucked a bird (Marabou I think) straight from the air as a snack.

We went to Paradise, which was 120 kilometers away and required a full day’s outing. The route to Paradise had few sightings and some regions of tse tses. It also was where I spotted a fishing poacher and the rangers were alerted by radio. The other vehicle saw the poacher on the way back from Paradise and when he fled, the fishing gear he left behind was confiscated and dropped off with the rangers.

Near the wet Paradise Plains we happened upon three roan, a very lucky sight. Once we reached Paradise, where we rested and had our lunch, we looked out upon hippos, giraffe, zebra, a variety of antelope, ground hornbills, egrets, and other birds in the vast wetland that stretched before us.

Paradise served as the fighting grounds for a pair of hippos who made more noise and flashed more teeth than engaging in any real fighting. But it was quite a show and their lack of contact meant they both lived to fight again.

Closer to “home” there was always something happening and sometimes the action entered camp, such as hyenas at that were visible along the perimeter vegetation when we shone our flashlights as we gathered around the evening campfire. One afternoon we delayed our game drive by about 20 minutes when a large bull elephant came by to graze in front of Tent 4.

I liked my Tent 1 because it afforded views spanning 270 degrees.

On the last morning we stayed out until 30 minutes before our departure flight. A highlight of the morning drive was a photographable leopard in a tree. Beat and Yvonne had really wanted to see their first leopard in the wild so they were especially thrilled.

Katavi morning drives started later than most camps. We left at 8:00 or even 8:30 am for the all-day trip to Paradise. Nazir assured us that our schedule was in keeping with the natural rhythm of Katavi, which operated on a timetable that was not typical of other parks. He offered an earlier start on the last morning to show us that not much was happening at daybreak, but the consensus of those taking part on the final game drive was to stick with the normal 8:00 am departure. So I’ll never know for sure what lurks out there in Katavi in the early dawn.

Our last evening in Mahale Yvonne, Beat and I had a farewell Amarula toast. Saying good bye the next day at the Ruaha Airstrip, after sharing such exciting and memorable times, was a bit sad.

Flight from Katavi to Ruaha = 1.5 hours
Flight from Ruaha to Dodoma = 45 minutes, then 15 minutes to refuel
Flight from Dodoma to Arusha = 90 minutes
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Dec 6th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for the quick response, you've put my mind at ease about my upcoming trip. Now back to the report...
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Dec 6th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Enjoying your colourful report here just as much as I did on ST!

Your wonderfully detailed & humorous reports along with all the effort you put into providing advise from your vast experience is really so helpful and much much appreciated.

...ok now onto the next chapter...
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Dec 7th, 2011, 06:52 PM
  #29
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The next and final chapter-


TARANGIRE

48 photos of Elephants—the first 3 are views from Tarangire Safari Lodge
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A305709264



60 photos of Everything but Elephants in Tarangire—the last 3 are of lodging and vehicle
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A893552993


Tarangire Camp, Tarangire River Camp, Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire Lodge, Teri Garr, Tarangire Tented Safari Lodge, Tarangire Tented Lodge…so many similar sounding names. What’s the difference?

There are more Tarangire accommodations than this, but these are the ones that have similar names.

Tarangire Camp (No lodge, no river in the name; but there is a Tarangire Camp with the word Nomad in it that is an entirely different camp)

Arusha to Tarangire Camp = 90 minutes

This is a new place outside the park at the perimeter, which allows animals to roam into camp. I saw dik diks and warthogs. There were Ashy Starlings everywhere, a species that attracts serious birders to Tarangire. During the night there was a battle between lions and hyenas outside my tent that the Askari told me about the next day. He was concerned I might have been frightened by the ruckus, but unfortunately I had slept through it all.

The park gate is a 30-minute drive from camp though Maasai villages. Walking safaris, guided by a Maasai were offered. All meals were served on a plate under a shiny metal dome that was lifted with great suspense and fanfare to reveal the entree—a fun camp ritual. (So if you go there, don’t be peaking under your dome until it’s time.)

Tarangire Camp offered the perfect location for my first in case my flight was delayed. Indeed, my flight was delayed several hours.

I stayed in a lovely tent (#11, second from the last tent) on the ground but there were tents on raised cement platforms too.

Tarangire River Camp (outside the park, on the river)
Owned by Mbali Mbali, who also have a Mahale camp.

Teri Garr
Apologies to Mr. Mom and Tootsie fans.

All the rest of the names are ones I’ve heard or seen for the same place. Tarangire Lodge = Tarangire Safari Lodge = Tarangire Tented Lodge = Tarangire Tented Safari Lodge

Arusha to this lodge = 2 hours; Kilimanjaro to this lodge = 3 hours

For 25 years Tarangire Safari Lodge has been operating inside the northern part of the park. Their term “breathtaking panorama” is not an exaggeration to describe the view of a multitude of animals drawn to the river, surrounded by baobabs. Most of the units are luxury tents along with a few bungalows. The tents are fairly close to each other and it is a big, bustling lodge. But, oh that view! Plus there is an accommodating staff and a variety of good food.

I had tent #15, which had a great view. Between #10-#22 were all nice, unobstructed views, and so were #4-#7. For anyone who wanted to limit walking distances, #4-#7 would fit the bill and provide a wonderful view. #4 is closest to the lodge. The vegetation played a role in my rating the tents’ views, and that can change season to season. On the opposite side of the lodge are units #23 and up. The bungalows are on that side too. I think the views are superior on the side I was on, Tents #1-#22, with #22 farthest away from the lodge. Regardless of the tent, the veranda always offered a “breathtaking panorama.”

From dusk on, it was necessary to be escorted to/from the main lodge because of the wildlife that migrated through camp, especially elephants. I was commending one of the night guards on his bravery for facing wild animals with only a torch and a radio and for his toughness against cold temps during his night shift. He was appreciative of the compliments, but he was most proud of his job making the morning coffee and tea for the guests, his final duty before retiring in the early morning.

Tarangire Safari Lodge manager, Annette, does a marvelous job of knowing the many guests by name and taking a moment to visit with them each day.
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Dec 7th, 2011, 07:00 PM
  #30
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Sightings, with the emphasis on elephants
My guide George, from Kiliwarriors/Eben Schoeman Safaris, was outstanding and prompted me to declare at the end of our time together that no one saw more than we did during our time in Tarangire. I’d bet money on it!

We were out at 6:10 each morning for a couple of hours in search of predators (lion pride with 7 cubs, cheetah brothers, bat-eared fox) when no one was around, then back for breakfast about 8:30, leaving again until lunch or taking lunch with us. The herds at the river did not materialize from the surrounding forests until about 9:30 am, sometimes as late as 11:00 am if the temps were cool. The heat of the day was a good time to watch the wildlife at the river right from the lodge.

A few of the birds we saw:

Pearl-spotted Owl—always a cool bird
A Lilac-breasted Roller in its tree knothole home
Northern Pied Babbler
Spotted Morning Thrush
Cardinal Woodpecker
African Hoopoe--my fav
Wood Hoopoe
Pygmy Falcon—always a cool bird
Yellow Collared Lovebirds—beautiful en masse
Several hornbill species
Green Pigeon
Orange-fronted Parrot
Ashy Starling—sought after by birders because of its limited habitat that includes Tarangire

Instead of the standard vehicle, Eben had upgraded me to his photographer mobile that had more open space for the windows, so all that I saw was more easily photographed with the help of a bean bag or a monopod.

To put the abundance found Tarangire into perspective, I had as many photos from my 3 days here as from the rest of the trip. Lions, cheetahs, a leopard, eles in the mud, in the river, nursing, sparring, thundering herds of running buffalo, the elusive lesser kudu, huge flocks of water birds in the Silale Swamp, Egyptian Geese in the trees--Tarangire is one happening place!

Some of the sightings that escaped the camera included:
-Pair of bat eared fox, Black backed jackals
-Mother impala and a baby that was in its first hours of life, and already standing
-3 pythons in the trees near Silale Swamp
-Large herds of wildebeest
-A rare sighting of hippos—2 adults and a baby

Where did the river go?
In the dry season the river becomes invisible in many sections, yet there is still flowing water under the sands. Even though it appears to be a dry riverbed, the animals congregate to dig down a little and find water to drink.

Benefits of 3-night stay in Tarangire
Of course more time in this action-packed place (especially late in dry season) is better than less time. But more specifically, 3 nights allows full appreciation of both the north part of the park, where the river is more prominent and the south part of the park where the Silale Swamp is more prominent.

If you stay in the north (like I did at Tarangire Safari Lodge) it takes a full day with a packed lunch to enjoy the Silale Swamps in the south. From Tarangire Lodge to the Silale Swamp is 35 km and we spent many hours driving along the huge swamp and surrounding areas. Three were surprisingly very few other vehicles around this most productive area.

On the other hand, if you stay at Sopa or another location in the south, it takes a full day with a packed lunch to enjoy the winding river terrain in the north.

I’ve stayed 3 nights before in Tarangire and it was not too long. I felt three nights allowed Tarangire to be a fitting and rewarding grand finale to a safari that had included some amazing destinations. If you had limited time, I think a Tarangire-only stay of 4 nights in the height of the dry season could be could be considered a successful safari, even if you went nowhere else. Especially for the elephant enthusiast.


Vehicle miscues in Tarangire
In addition to listening for alarm calls, watching prey species, and scanning the trees and high grasses for wildlife, the behavior of other vehicles and their occupants is one more way of locating animals. George and I found it humorous how often we came upon stopped vehicles in Tarangire only to find they were focused on something we’d consider a false alarm--like two zebras in the middle of the park.

Tarangire is often the first stop of a safari. That meant many vehicles were encountering their first wild animals, so naturally the guests were excited and also unaware of the higher quality sightings that awaited them. I recall my own first safari that began in Tarangire. I wanted to drive across the park to get a better look at a single wildebeest. I kept that in mind when we saw vehicle stopped for a lone vulture at dusk in a very distant tree, or when we approached a vehicle and several people excitedly motioned for us to share their sighting of two obscured elephant butts in thick brush. Their enthusiasm was uplifting and contagious, even if I preferred to pass on what they were looking at.
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Dec 7th, 2011, 07:20 PM
  #31
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OMELET WITH CHEESE
I ordered an omelet one morning and the server eagerly asked, "Would you like omelet with cheese?” I agreed to the suggestion. Very promptly the server reappeared with a steaming omelet on one plate and sliced cheese on another plate. “Omelet,” he stated, smiling broadly as he served me the eggs. “With cheese,” he continued as the second plate was set in front of me.

I got exactly what I had requested, yet nothing like what I had expected. What a metaphor for travel in Africa. The breakfast was delicious and prepared me for whatever the day might bring.


THE END OF THE TRIP
Too soon my time with George in Tarangire ended and we were at the airport in Kilimanjaro, trading farewells and hugs, along with my parting gift--a bar of cranberry soap. Wisconsin produces enough cranberries to provide every person in the world with 26. Not sure how many cranberries were in George’s locally produced bar of soap, but it smelled good.

To pass the time as I waited for my delayed flight, I strolled through a little park next to the airport. Resting contentedly on the grass was a gray and white cat with eyes as captivating and blue as Lake Tanganyika.

The End

Due to some cookies problems and copy and paste trouble, I think the photo links are goofed up. So here they all are.

ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
24 photos, those taken on foot or canoe are labeled.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A156846000

BOLONGONJA IN NORTHERN SERENGETI
46 photos—predators are in first 4 shots; last 3 are of Flycatchers camp in Bolongonja Serengeti
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...9%3A1618638865

MAHALE
62 photos--last 10 photos are of camp and surroundings.
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...9%3A2131843922

KATAVI
70 photos--#1-#13 are taken from the grounds of the Flycatcher camp
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A995315417

TARANGIRE
48 photos of Elephants—the first 3 are views from Tarangire Safari Lodge
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A305709264

60 photos of Everything but Elephants in Tarangire—the last 3 are of lodging and vehicle
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...09%3A893552993
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Dec 7th, 2011, 08:04 PM
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Just as terrific reading it second time around as the first. I absolutely admire the way you take so much time into explaining and pointing out different aspects. Trip report Guru!
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Dec 7th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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I absolutely admire the way you take so much time into explaining and pointing out different aspects.

Agreed. And let's not forget the cheese omelet.
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Dec 7th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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Lynn I had to read your report once again as it is so informative and enjoyable. I really think I need to visit Tarangire as your sightings were amazing.
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Dec 8th, 2011, 05:11 AM
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More 'Wildebeest Chips' for me please! LOL!
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Dec 8th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the positive feedback. As I was baking some green and red M&M cookies for a party today I was thinking Wildebeest Chip cookies would be more interesting, but not as festive.

Raelond, Tarangire fits nicely with a Southern Tanzania itinerary, which I believe is in the works for you.
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Dec 8th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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I've been waiting eagerly for your report! Fabulous report and now, even more, I don't know how I can wait until 2013 for my trip! We only have two nights planned in Tarangire and now I'm thinking maybe we should have another...

I still need to look at ALL the photos--have only looked at Tarangire and Arusha so far...and I need to read this all again too. Sigh, I wish it were THIS February.
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Dec 9th, 2011, 06:46 AM
  #38
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Jczinn,
Two nts Tarangire in Feb is enough. If it were Sept, I'd urge you to try for 3. But if birds are a priority for you, Feb is a great time for them.

Did you have a sample itinerary posted someplace?


Clarification:
"We went to Paradise, which was 120 kilometers away and required a full day’s outing."

The 120 km is our round trip with detours, not as the crows flies.
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Dec 9th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,138
Just finished Mahale. Thrilling photographs as usual. You are much, MUCH, closer to the chimps than I'd ever imagined! Amazing that chimps facial features vary just as much as humans.
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Dec 9th, 2011, 08:16 PM
  #40
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 298
atravelynn, our itinerary--is here (the one on Sept 13th, from Roy's.) Its more or less final and actually booked but we could make changes if we wanted to, I'm sure, since we've paid no deposits and its so far in advance.
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...omment-7281980

In looking at it, we have 2 nights and two full days in Tarangire (since we'd arrive mid-morning), and if the viewing is great it looks like we could actually go out in Tarangire the last morning before heading to Manyara. I am not sure how long that drive is but they seem pretty close together.
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