Photos & Mini-Report - Tanzania Safari, August 2009

Jan 31st, 2010, 07:51 PM
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Photos & Mini-Report - Tanzania Safari, August 2009

Hello all:
I had visited this forum a few times prior to our trip and found it very helpful so I wanted to share our photos with you. Finally I was able to whittle down over a thousand photos from three cameras to about 800 but as you can see, it took me over 4 months. Putting the photos in the right sequence and identifying all the birds and animals was very time consuming. There might still be a few shots out of order. I took copious notes during our safari - I wrote down the name of every animal & bird we saw - but I still have some birds with no names and some names (on my log) with no birds. So, if there are any birding experts on this forum, I welcome your input! We went with Good Earth Tours and were very happy with them. Hope you enjoy our album and thank you so so much for all your comments and insights!

http://vaz.smugmug.com/
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:43 AM
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Some excellent photos! What cameras were used? Given time will try to get back to you regarding a few identification suggestions.
Your series certainly were nostalgic.
Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:21 PM
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Thanks for the link to your photos! 4 months, but worth the effort. I'll be traveling the same route as you this coming June so it was fun to see what you saw!
Cateyes555 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Dick: Thank you! As for the cameras, we used a DSLR and 2 point and shoot digitals. The DSLR was a Canon EOS RebelXti with 2 lenses, a 28-105mm and a 18-200mm zoom. I'm 100% certain that the best wildlife photos came from this camera. The two point and shoot were a Casio EXZ70 and a Canon PowerShot A410 which I mostly used for indoor shots.

Cateyes555: Have a great trip! So exciting. I can't wait to go back to Africa.
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:07 PM
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Aloha! And thank you so much for sharing your amazing photos---I looked at all of them, and some even more than once, and am now even more inspired and ready to make my travel plans. I traveled to Kenya about 20+ years ago and loved it, and was thinking of doing a Kenya-Tanzania combo, but after viewing your photos am thinking I might just focus on Tanzania. How was the weather/temperature/rainfall? Would you use Good Earth Tours again? Anything you would do differently? Were there any single women on the tour (not sure I can get a friend to go with me). Appreciate any advise you can offer!
Thanks, Jan
live_aloha is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Great photos. Really liked the buffalo in the mist and the hippos in the foam.

Glad your trip went well.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Hi elisabethj:
The weather was perfect in August, pleasant temperatures all around. We were comfortable in our long sleeve shirts/tops and long pants. It was cooler at higher altitudes like at the Ngorongoro Crater, but a fleece sweatshirt over layers was more than adequate. Since in August it is both winter and the dry season in Tanzania, it only rained one night. The advantage of it being cooler is that animals were out and about at all times of day - rather than hiding in the shade in the afternoon as it happens in the summer. They also congregated around the water holes. Another advantage: less mosquitoes! As a matter of fact, we didn't see a single one. So there went my malaria paranoia- so glad! I would definitely use Good Earth Tours again. They're reliable, easy to work with and very reasonable in price. You get a great safari for a fraction of the cost of other companies (while staying at the same exact places). I did see a couple of women solo travelers during our trip, and that didn't seem unusual at all. I know that if there are at least two people you can start your safari with Good Earth on any day of the week. Most likely they can arrange to do the same for one person. As to what I would do different... hmmm. Two things come to mind: I would substitute a couple of the lodges for permanent camps & I also would vary our daily schedule a bit. That is, for at least one day in Central Serengeti and for one day at Migration Camp we would leave on safari at dawn, eat breakfast in the bush, come back to camp for lunch, and then go out again at about 2 pm until dusk.
Hope this helps!
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Thanks, atravelynn! "Hippos in the Foam." I like that. Can I plagiarize you and add that title to the hippo shot?
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:32 PM
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Aloha Roissy, Thank you so much for your response. Hmmm, I like the idea of no mosquitos and the other advantages you mentioned with the cooler weather....but one of the reasons I live in Hawaii is the warm weather! Was it cool everywhere you traveled, or just in the Ngorogoro Crater? I checked out the web site for Good Earth Tours, and was impressed with their prices and itinerary, so glad to hear your positive feedback. Any other tips/suggestions?
Mahalo!
Jan
live_aloha is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:55 AM
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All of your shots are lovely.

I especially love the ones of the lions napping, the baby elephant photos and the funny faces of the giraffes!

Your photos make me very excited for my upcoming trip!
silleb is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 06:44 PM
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I agree, very impressive photos. I enjoyed viewing them! Thanks for sharing your trip here.
Leely2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Elizabethj:
Hello Jan - sorry for misspelling your name previously.
No, it was chilly only in the Ngorongoro Crater area at night and in the early morning. Maybe in the mid 50s F? Just a guesstimate. It got warmer in the crater after the sun came up. As for the rest of our trip, I would say the temperature remained in the 70s all day and into the evening. Very comfortable. I can't think of any other tips except that I hope you will be able to arrange a private safari if that is feasible for you - it's so great to see Africa on your own timetable and be able to get to know your guide. It was an enriching experience for us in every way. We learned a lot.

Thank you, Silleb. Yeah, giraffes are so funny. They stare you down. It's like they are on sentry duty 24/7. Have fun planning your safari but above all, have a fantastic trip!
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 11:53 PM
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Aloha Roissy,
Mahalo for your response and great news about the weather---70's I can do, as well as some dips into the 50's! So, when you did your safari through Good Earth Tours, was it one of the preplanned itineraries or were you able to choose your own schedule? Do you feel comfortable mentioning the places you stayed that you liked more than the others? If so---I'd love to know! I like rustic, but comfortable.
Can you (or any other readers) tell me if Tanzania is much like Kenya with regards to animal viewing and low-mid range accomodations? I am wondering if much has changed since I was there in 1990? I think (if I am remembering correctly) my favorite spot was the ?Mara River Camp.
I agree with you about the giraffes---they were one of my favorites when I visited Kenya---just the way they look at you with those eyes!
This web site is terrific! I truly appreciate all the info that you have shared with me, as well as all the other conversations---thank you all so much!!!!
live_aloha is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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Hello elizabethj:
We booked the Classic Safari with Good Earth Tours and then made some changes to the itinerary and the lodgings. We added a day in Arusha so that we could visit Arusha Park and we also went up to Northern Serengeti and stayed at Migration Camp for a couple of days. Since it was late August, we were hoping to catch the tail end of the migration at that time but we were too late - by about a week. These changes increased the cost of our trip (Migration Camp is expensive!) but we still got a private safari at a great price.
I agree with you: rustic but comfortable! I liked the Arumeru River Lodge because it was beautiful and peaceful: just a perfect place to recuperate from jet lag after a long trip. My other two favorites were Maramboi Tented Camp and Migration Camp. I checked the rankings & reviews of all the lodgings at tripadvisor.com.
I don't know a thing about Kenya so I cannot compare the two. Sorry! Hopefully you'll get answers from someone else in this forum.
What fun.. planning a trip. Let me know if I can be of further help.

Leely2: Thank you!
roissy17 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 09:29 PM
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Aloha Roissy,
Thanks so much for all of the info you have provided. I am learning so much from this web site and truly appreciate your help/feedback and offer for further assistance. I will take you up on your kind offer in the very near future (once I digest all of the information I am absorbing from the Kenya/Tanzania entries).
Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much in Hawaiian),
E. Jan
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