Out of Africa

Sep 3rd, 2018, 04:34 PM
  #41  
 
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Laurie: Your trip report is sensational, and especially so with your marvelous photos incorporated as part of it. On my iMac desktop they are very large and that makes your report really superb. Thanks for all the trouble to take sensational photos and then to write in such great detail about it all. It is a must read!
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Sep 3rd, 2018, 06:44 PM
  #42  
 
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Ahhh Bless your heart laurieco.

Thanks you for more reporting and those lovely pictures.
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Sep 4th, 2018, 11:10 AM
  #43  
 
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Glad you had a good weekend Laurieco. Thanks for more photos. Oh that beautiful E. Africa landscape!
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Sep 4th, 2018, 04:03 PM
  #44  
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The following morning I was sad to say goodbye to the Kitela Lodge, but we were on our way to the main event: the Serengeti. The drive took about 5 hours to get to our next lodge, the Kiota Camp, in the central Serengeti. It was difficult as we were thrown around quite a bit, but much of it was a game drive. Just before the entrance to the Serengeti, there were Masai children gathered. The Masai are not permitted in the Serengeti as no farming or cultivation of the land is allowed. The children wanted to have their pictures taken with the people entering the Serengeti, for a fee of course. I complied. After going through the gate and into the Serengeti, we drove for a few kilometers until we came to a small complex where Silas registered us and the vehicle and paid for the passes. We had time to use the rest rooms, look in the gift shop and then walk around a bit. I bought a t-shirt as a souvenir from the place that inspired the trip. We then climbed a hill that afforded a view of the Serengeti and its vastness. Of course we could only see a small portion of the park as the Serengeti is about 12,000 square miles.

The Serengeti is known for the largest mass movement of land animals on Earth, the Great Migration, which occurs from about June through October, when 1.5 million wildebeest, 500,000 zebras, and hundreds of thousands of other animals make their way north through the Serengeti and into Kenya to the Masai Mara. The animals must cross the crocodile infested Mara River in order to get there. Seeing the Great Migration and the Mara River crossing is the highlight of many peoples' trips to Tanzania. The migration also occurs from about January to March, in the opposite direction. The animals make a sort of loop from the Ngorongoro Region as they follow the rains, and the resulting food (grazing). Of course, as the wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other animals migrate, the predators are not far behind.

Within a few kilometers of leaving the area where we registered, we saw a female lion who appeared to be stalking zebra. She was no more than 15 feet from the road. We stopped to watch for a bit. We do not know if she was successful in her hunt. I did not particularly want to see a kill. I would not mind seeing a hunt, nor would I mind seeing the lions feasting on their kill immediately after, but I really do not want to see the actual kill because I don't think I could stand to see an animal suffer like that. I understand that the predators must kill in order to survive, I just wish it didn't have to be that way. On more than one occasion, I've wished aloud to DH that all animals, including humans, were vegetarians.

The amount and diversity of animals in the Serengeti is enormous. There were herds of animals everywhere. Herds of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, gazelle, impala, giraffe, buffalo, and prides of lions. I cannot even count how many lions we saw, some extremely close. We got to our camp in time for lunch, and were able to freshen up and rest a bit before going on a late afternoon drive. The Kiota Camp is a fairly new permanent camp in the central Serengeti, with large ensuite tents, and bucket showers. It was my first experience taking a bucket shower and I'm happy to report that I got through it unscathed. It really was fine. Staff heat water and stand outside, on the other side of the wall to the shower room and pour the hot water in a tub. In the shower room is a shower head with two pull chains, one to have the water flow, and one to stop the flow. As soon as you are wet, you stop the water in order to conserve it, soap up, start the water again to rinse off. I never made it through a shower with just one bucket of water. When the water runs out, you just call out "more water please" and the staff pours another bucket in. The Kiota does not include alcoholic beverages, but prior to leaving Karatu, we stopped at a store and picked up a bottle of wine to enjoy on our veranda and in the room.

Our late afternoon/evening game drive was fabulous, with the Serengeti delivering on my lofty expectations. That will come in the next segment.



Entrance to Serengeti


Giraffe in the Serengeti


Stalking lioness


Our tent at Kiota Camp


Giraffe grazing on the iconic Acacia tree of the Serengeti


Elephant in the Serengeti (can never have too many photos of these endearing creatures)


Serengeti water buffalo

Last edited by laurieco; Sep 4th, 2018 at 04:08 PM.
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Sep 5th, 2018, 11:15 AM
  #45  
 
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Out of africa

loving your detail as usual
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Sep 5th, 2018, 11:29 AM
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Out of africa

loving your detail as usual

sounds like you had a really great and smooth trip for once, once all the airline snafus were ,out of the way
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Sep 6th, 2018, 03:01 AM
  #47  
 
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Loving your photos - waiting to have time to actually read your report!
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Sep 6th, 2018, 06:14 AM
  #48  
 
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Thank You

I am following this along

laurieco that picture posting above of "Entrance to the Serengeti". does this not begin a long dusty, bumpy gravel road, or has to road improved somewhat ?
Percy is online now  
Sep 6th, 2018, 07:58 AM
  #49  
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No Percy, the road is still dirt and gravel. I think there was some controversy over paving roads within the Serengeti, but happily those plans have been shelved. This is a nature preserve, not an amusement park.
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Sep 6th, 2018, 08:59 AM
  #50  
 
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laurieco That is what I was told when I was there , that there was controversy over the paving of the road.

So I guess the Tanzania Government must had shelved the idea of paving the road.

I recall When I was on this road, there was not much traffic, but he road is spotted with dust clouds in the distance, signifying a vehicle at each cloud of dust.

Thank You
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Sep 7th, 2018, 08:02 AM
  #51  
 
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great start Laurie.... anxious to read more
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Sep 7th, 2018, 01:44 PM
  #52  
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Aww, thanks! Glad you are enjoying it! High praise coming from you Bob! I'm getting ready to write more, I need to do this before my memory starts to fade. I really wish I would have kept a diary. I think about doing that on trips, but never have.
laurieco is online now  
Sep 8th, 2018, 01:59 PM
  #53  
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After lunch and a bit of a rest, we set out for a game drive. Within a few minutes, Silas got word of a leopard sighting. Of course he headed right over. There were already quite a few vehicles there, but after a bit, we were able to get a good viewing spot. This was one of the few times where we had to contend with a lot of other vehicles. The leopard was in a tree, seemingly oblivious to all the people oohing and aahing over it. It was a stunning animal. We stayed there for quite a while, along with most everyone else. No one wanted to leave.

After we finally bid farewell to the leopard, we drove for a little while and came upon lions lying in the grass. There looked to be maybe two or three lions. All of a sudden, about 9 heads popped up in unison! I don't know what they heard that got all of their attention but it was quite a sight. It was like a bunch of jack-in-the-boxes all opened at once, but with lion heads. They were all females. There were very few vehicles there so we were able to get quite close. The Serengeti was fast becoming my favorite place, and we hadn't even gotten to the northern Serengeti to witness the Great Migration yet.

We drove around for awhile, watching gazelles and other animals. Silas taught us how to tell the difference between gazelles and impalas. Only male impalas have horns, and they are bent in the middle. Female impala do not have horns. Both male and female gazelles have horns, and the horns are straighter. Also, gazelles have a dark stripe on their sides, as well as on their behinds. Both are beautiful, graceful animals. We drove back to the Kiota during sunset, which was gorgeous, and took showers, then sat on the veranda with a glass of wine. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling all that great during dinner, feeling a bit bloated, so we didn't stay for desert. I felt a bit better later on, so we had some more wine, but were told not to sit outside on the veranda after dark because it could be dangerous with the animals roaming. We went to bed early since we had a big day the following day. We had another 5+ hour drive to the northern Serengeti, and it was not going to be any easier. Silas warned us that it would be another difficult drive, but we were anticipating it nonetheless as the entire drive was within the Serengeti, thus a game drive.



Leopard


Lions


Lioness


Lioness


Gazelle


Serengeti sunset


Serengeti sunset


Serengeti sunset


Serengeti sunset


Serengeti sunset
laurieco is online now  
Sep 8th, 2018, 02:09 PM
  #54  
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Eric's leopard photos are better than mine

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Sep 10th, 2018, 10:30 AM
  #55  
 
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Enjoying this report!
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Sep 10th, 2018, 11:10 AM
  #56  
 
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Serengeti sunset...wow!
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Sep 10th, 2018, 12:09 PM
  #57  
 
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Beautiful photos!
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Sep 11th, 2018, 04:07 AM
  #58  
 
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You certainly saw the animals. Waiting for more.
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Sep 12th, 2018, 07:41 AM
  #59  
 
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Loving your photos and trip report. Your landscape photos especially are making me want to go back!
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Sep 12th, 2018, 02:50 PM
  #60  
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Thanks everyone! I want to go back too! I promise I will be posting more of the report, and photos, I've just been busy the last few days, and too tired when I get home from work. But here are a few photos to make up for my laziness.



Water buffalo


Hippopotamus


Simba, king of the Serengeti
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