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Some trips stop in Ndutu in the dry season. How come?

Some trips stop in Ndutu in the dry season. How come?

Old Feb 7th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Some trips stop in Ndutu in the dry season. How come?

I can understand to break up long drives and to have wide open spaces without a lot of people.

But are there other reasons? For example, in general how is the cheetah activity in the Ndutu area in the dry season?

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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Lynn, there are still many cheetahs in the Ndutu area druing the dry season. Check out their website/game reports. www.ndutu.com

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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Probably because
1) they are set itineraries that don't take into consideration seasonal movement of game;
2) that's where they can get space when those lodges/camps the Seronera area are booked;
3) to shorten long drives

Nothing wrong with a stop here, and yes there is still game in the area (not big numbers and you do have to search), but with many visitors wanting to take advantage of as much game in short periods of time.... move onto where the action can be found.

Even the seasonal camps that are down in Ndutu for the "calving" (Nov-Mar) move after the wet, reopening in Seronera come May/June.
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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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The Ndutu area is out of the way when going from Ngorongoro to the Seronera area. It's off the main road by about 25km, if I remember correctly. From Ndutu to Seronera its about 80km. In June 2007, we didn't see any cheetahs in the Serengeti. In June 2004, we saw lots... go figure!
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Old Feb 7th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the responses.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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It all depends what you want on a safari. In 2006 we spent two nights at Ndutu in the driest of seasons and loved it. It was a respite from all the relentless travelling. From our balcony we saw hyenas, dik-diks, steinboks, spring hares and loads of bright and noisy Fischer’s lovebirds. After a fascinating morning drive around the dried-up lake, with loads of interesting spottings including lions with cubs, we spent the afternoon on a bush walk with an armed Ranger called John. This was our only chance to get out and walk on our whole Northern Circuit trip. And it gave a new perspective on the area because we could properly see the animal tracks, their dung and the plants they eat.

The game kept its distance on our walk: we saw dik-dik, gazelles, hartebeest, spring hares, warthogs, a huge secretary bird and a hyena, which came quite close and then ran off when John clicked his rifle. It was thrilling to walk (fairly) close to the area which we’d toured by Landrover in the morning and seen lions. In celebration, we all sang Hakuna Matata together, from the Lion King and, looking back at our lone human footprints in the sand I thought of those older footprints uncovered by Mary Leakey so close by at Laitoli.

Dry season Ndutu is relaxed, and quiet and very well run. We loved the genets and the German visitors seemed to love the rhubarb crumble.

We did NOT see any cheetahs, although we did see a Tommy which had recently been killed by one. It was being eaten by vultures, who were driven off by a male hyena who was then driven off by a female hyena, who seemed to get the lot.

Dry season Ndutu gave us some of the best memories of our trip and we left refreshed
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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Wistman, what a lovely account. The rhubarb crumble has me intrigued as well.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Now I understand where the rhubarb reference on ST has come from!
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Interesting insight on dry season Ndutu. It's probably quiet from visitors too......
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