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Trip Report: Rwanda,Uganda,Kenya,Tanzania,Dec 05-Mar 06

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Mar 17th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #101
 
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on that car ignoring the no offroad rule:

When I was in the Serengeti. While we were driving, we saw two LandRovers off the road taking a picture of something.

My guide told us it was probably a cheetah and that the people were with National Geographic. You can pay tthousands for a special permit to let you go off road if you are with certain organizations.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 06:42 AM
  #102
 
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Dlo,
I had a look at your Tanzania safari pictures and saw the cheetah cub crossing the road. I also think I saw the back of a serval. The lioness clawing the tree reminds me of my cat. The birth of the baby wildebeest was really impressing, though the pictures arenít in the right order in the album. The suckling baby ele is so perfect, as is the baby buffalo. Thanks again.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 09:24 AM
  #103
dlo
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We drove out early the next morning and our leopard had moved up the tree with its kill and was now more visable.There were 2 lions staring at the leopard and as they moved away 1 was limping quite badly.We moved along and had another Cheetah cross right in front of us and maybe 15 minutes later we ran into another Cheetah.It was stalking some Thompson's Gazelle but its opportunity was ruined by some noisy babboons.After the Cheetah layed undera tree we moved on and saw plenty more lions lying on the kopjies and plenty more Giraffe and wildebeest.

After lunch we drove in a different direction and saw another wildebeest hanging from a tree.It would be our second Leopard and we were considerably closer this time.A storm was building so we decided to stick around a while to see if it would come down from the tree.After about 25 minutes though we had a dozen vehicles crowding around se we decided to move on.We drove into a wooded area towards the Serena and saw plenty of Buffalo,Elephant,and Giraffe.I managed to get a much needed book from the Serena and we drove on to the Hippo pool.The water was fairly low and it may have been the most foul smell i have ever been around!We got back to camp as it was just getting dark.We had another storm during the night and would be on the road by 6:15 the next day.

Our morning drive was quite quiet but we did see a lot more lions and some very skittish Elephant. We checked out the Masai rock paintings and went to visitors centre before getting ready to drive to Ndutu.

On the drive to Ndutu we saw another huge pride of Lions and about 12 Hyenas eating another unfortunate Wildebeest.We then came upon some Bat Eared Foxes(our first)and plenty more Hyenas.We saw a few smaller herds of Wildebeest but no mass migration.We then checked into Ndutu Lodge and i would get my first shower in a few days before setting off on our afternoon game drive.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 09:31 AM
  #104
 
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Okay, so maybe Kili isn't so bad after all; those photos are incredibly beautiful.

What's going on with that giraffe? It worries me, but I guess we aren't there yet in the report?
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Mar 19th, 2006, 09:42 AM
  #105
dlo
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Sorry Leely,the picture are not in order as i was lazy.The Giraffe was an amazing event in Mikumi.It was the largest pride of Lions i have ever seen,at least 6 cubs and someone thought there were 16-20 Lions!

You'll have to wait for the rest.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 10:31 AM
  #106
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Thanks dlo--I really liked the bat eared foxes when we saw them.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 02:22 PM
  #107
dlo
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We were supposed to spend 2 nights at Ndutu but because we booked too late the campsites and lodge were both sold out.Fortunatly an opening occured for 1 night and we would have to spend 2 nights at the Crater.

After a short drive our driver spotted a Serval off in the distance.As you can off road at Ndutu we were able to get quite close before he bolted.This was another first for us and an unexpected one at that.We did not follow as we saw some Lions off in the distance and decided to check it out.A male and female were walking off and layed down a short distance from 2 males.They kept there eyes on each other for a while untill the 2 males got up and moved away a bit.There had been a battle as they looked beaten up and 1 of the males could not put any weight on one of its legs.

We returned to the lodge and got to check our email and saw that DHL had already delivered our package home.It is unbelievable how expensive it is to ship stuff home but we were so far overweight we would never make it on our small planes.Our dinner was marked by our first Genet which was cool although he was in the lodge for the free meal provided by the staff.We again had the farthest room from the lodge but this time we did not even have a flashlight weilding guard to escort us back to our room.I don't think i have ever moved so quickly as the Hyenas sounded sooooo close!

We saw quite a few Wildebeest and Zebra in the morning and watched the Gazelle battle for a while.We then saw another Cheetah,with many more to come our cat drought was over.The Cheetah stalked some gazelle for a bit before deciding she had no chance and layed down.The game was pretty thin this morning and we headed back for lunch and then drove on to Ngorongoro Crater.

As we had totally destroyed our budget we would camp the first night and stay at the Sopa for the second.We arrived at Simba Camp and after setting up camp we received a large visitor.A huge male Elephant decided to get his water from the water tank in the camp.He ended up staying for a half hour at least and caused quite the ruckus.He sprayed our cook with water when he got to close but all the assembled tourists thought this was a great photo-op and a few people got within 10 feet before a guide told people to get further away.This is a disaster waiting to happen as someone will get killed which will be followed by the offending Elephant being killed as well.We had a cold noisy night at the worst campsite i have ever used but no matter as we get to go into the crater in the morning.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 05:17 PM
  #108
 
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Quite the elephant encounter. Wonder if this is a routine of his. 10 feet is too darn close to an elephant! How lucky to see a such a fascinating creature as the serval.
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Mar 20th, 2006, 08:43 AM
  #109
 
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Is that the same elephant in your pic #98? I'd been wondering where that was taken.
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Mar 20th, 2006, 02:13 PM
  #110
dlo
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Pic #98 is our campsite in Tarangire.I can't believe it but we don't have any pics ot that,it is all on video.I may put some video on Imagestation if anyone is interested.I can only upload 40mb so let me know what you would want to see.

atravelynn
It is apparently his routine.They started coming up because of the garbage nearby and it has carried on from there.BTW we saw another Serval in the Crater.
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Mar 20th, 2006, 02:47 PM
  #111
 
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The crater is apparently a very good place to see servals.
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Mar 21st, 2006, 07:07 AM
  #112
 
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Just got around to taking the time to look at ALL of the photos. Some amazing stuff from Tanzania - I loved the vertical leaopard and the cheetah cub crossing the road brought a squeal from behind me. It's actually nice to see plenty of scenery too - both with and without animals. Do the Tanzania photos cover all of your time there - including further south with Foxes? (just ignore me if this has already been asked).

Anyway, please keep it coming... loooking forward to the next installment and still enjoying it all.

No photos of the wedding
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Mar 21st, 2006, 04:25 PM
  #113
dlo
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The Tanzania photos cover Mikumi in the south but not the highlands lodge which was an activity destination.

Hmmmmm no wedding photos you say.Lets just say we have some pretty embarrassing photos there and if i value my life they will not be posted.

Bat
Do not give up on Kili.Bostongal gives a great description of the climb and it is hard,but not 1 person i met regretted doing it even if they did not summit.I had never done high altitude before and i had no problems with it.You just have no idea how it will affect you.I am torn on returning to Africa or trying to go even higher and doing a volcano in Ecuador.It is a irreplaceable rush.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 03:13 AM
  #114
dlo
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We headed down to the Crater in the morning and while there seemed to me to be fewer animals than 4 years ago,especially Lions the sightings were spectacular.Also beacause of our problems at Ndutu we would have 2 drives in the Crater.While i originally thought this was overkill it would work to our advantage.

It amazes me how tame the Wildebeest and Zebra in the Crater are.Driving past them they sometimes don't even move off the road and after some time with them we looked on and saw a Cheetah in the distance.A tiny little speck turned out to be a very young baby Cheetah.They gradually moved closer and our patience paid off as we had the scene to ourselves for about 10 minutes which is a minor miracle in the Crater.They eventually passed right in front of us and the cub may have been the cutest thing i have ever seen.Not 5 minutes later we spot a couple of cars watching a shrub and we see 2 male Cheetahs looking very fed under the shrub.We spent some more time here before being overwhelmed bu all the vehicles and moved on.A short while later we see ANOTHER Cheetah way off in the distance.This 1 was too far away but i think we have seen every Cheetah in the Crater and we are at about a dozen for our trip.We head over to the Hippo pool for lunch and watch people test there luck with the Kites.Right after lunch we spot 5 Lions heading down for water and after watching them we say goodbye to our Wildebeest friends who have survived another day and make the drive to the Sopa.

Our game drive tomorrow would be great but the evening at the Sopa would be a disaster and would be our worst night of the trip.In desperate need of some battery charging i transfer our photos to my ipod and then charge my ipod.I accidently deleted the photos of of the memory card and of course my ipod is zapped in a power surge and it is dead.I have 800 pictures on my ipod and while we have 40 rolls of film all our Kili photos were digital and are irreplaceable.The manager tries to help us but it is dead so we overreact and call someone at home.They charge us 4 minutes for a 1 minute phone call($24!) but we have no answers and it is still a month till we're home.

We get up and go on our game drive without much enthusiasm but the beauty of Africa quickly changes that.We watched the Wildebeest,Zebra,Buffalo,and Gazelle for awhile when we spotted our second Serval.I had never even thought of seeing them as i was still obsessed with the big cats but seeing some of the smaller things has opened my eyes to many different things and i am already looking forward to my next safari.We then moved along and saw a tiny Grant's Gazelle that had just been born.We watched it struggle to learn to walk for awhile.We watched for along time before moving on and seeing another Cheetah of course and a bunch of Hyena.We went back to the Hippo pool as i can't get enough of them.This proved fortunate as a Hippo got out of the water and was promptly followed by another which then chased the lead Hippo.How can something that big be that fast!After lunch we watched a pregnant looking Wildebeest for awhile but when she refused to cooperate we moved on.

We drove just a short while and then we saw it.A wildebeest laying on the ground giving birth.This was absolutly awesome and a complete surprise.The front feet and head started poking through and she got up and shifted a couple of times.Eventually it came about half way out and she got up again and eventually it splashed out! The whole time this was going on there were probably 8-12 Zebras watching very intently.When it popped out about 4 Zebras moved in close and then they seemed to geta little worked up and did a little playful wrestling,great video.I love Zebras for there curiosity and this just further endeared them to me.Sorry for saying this again but my favorites list just keeps growing.It struggled to get up but it did not take long.The mom basically stood around but eventually cleaned it a bit and after about 15 minutes it was moving pretty well.It tried to feed from mom but this did not go to well but eventually she allowed it before she started moving on.

Another great day in the Crater.I know some people don't like the Crater because it is so crowded but for me it is a wonder of the world and a can't miss.From here we would drive to Olmoti Crater to begin our Crater Highlands Trek.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #115
 
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dlo,
I'm still enjoying your report.
I felt the same about zebra - they are just the coolest beasts around - never got sick of looking at them and watching their intelligent and sometimes silly antics.
Topping my to do list, is to try to capture their essence in an oil painting.

The vehicles: Our guide B was such a good cat spotter that we were usually the first to spot cats. B would only radio the others after we said that it was ok and we were ready to move on. Wish the other would do the same.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:49 AM
  #116
 
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Dlo,
As Iíve seen the photo I donít doubt the cheetah cub may have been the cutest thing youíve ever seen. How lucky you were to see two servals and what a nice surprise to see a wildebeest birth! I agree about the zebras.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:53 AM
  #117
bat
 
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dlo:
We saw a wildebeest give birth in the crater also-certainly a highlight. So sorry about the Ipod disaster.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:20 AM
  #118
 
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dlo=
Just wanted to say thanks for this great report, I check back every day to see if more is added - I love it! Also wanted to let you know that I haven't ignored you in the index, I am just waiting until the end so that I can include all of the names of your lodges/camps/hotels, etc!
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:46 AM
  #119
 
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That is wonderful that you saw the wildebeest giving birth. The zebras' reactions are also very interesting. You had some excellent cheetah activity in the crater. I saw two at a distance and felt lucky but you had big and small, male and female, close and far.
I am so sorry about the loss of your photos. I don't know that I could even have included that detail in my report because it would have been so upsetting. It's good that your next outing lifted your spirits and you continued to enjoy the beauty of Africa.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 01:56 PM
  #120
dlo
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Cybor

Our driver was an amazing spotter as well and he gave us the same courtesy.As far as the ipod it has a happy ending and if any of you reading this live in London,the APPLE STORE ROCKS.

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