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Trip Report Tanzania June/july 07

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Returned last sunday from our safari in Northern Tanzania, with a few days in Zanzibat at the end.

The safari was booked before we found this forum. We booked through ATR, with whom we had previously booked a safari to Southern Tanzania in February 2007. Unfortunatley we had to cancel our safari three days before we were due to fly out due to injuries sustained in a hit and run car accident. After a number of weeks we received payment from our insurance company for the cost of the flights and safari, and as we had recovered enough form our injuries to rebook our safari, i contacted ATR to arrange a new safari. We were advised that late June / early July would not be the best time for a safari in southern Tanazania, and recommended northern Tanzania.
Having been to the Entabeni private reserve in South Africa and two camps in the Okavango delta last year , we knew we wanted to stay in small tented camps rather than large lodges and advised them of this. They sent three itineries, at varying costs. A lot of information was given about each camp and surrounding area, so we could make an informed decision. We settled for what, having found this forum,appears to be a variation of their standard safari itinerary.

Arusha : Moivaro Lodge
Tarangire : Mawe Ninga Camp
Tarangire : Mawe Ninga Camp
Southcentral Serengeti : Olduvai Tented Camp
Southcentral Serengeti : Olduvai Tented Camp
Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp
Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp
Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp
Karatu : Ngorongoro Farmhouse
Karatu : Ngorongoro Farmhouse
Zanzibar Island : Pongwe Beach
Zanzibar Island : Pongwe Beach
Zanzibar Island : Pongwe Beach
Zanzibar Stonetown : Dhow Palace
Zanzibar Stonetown : Dhow Palace

After booking the safari, we found this forum. Having read some negative reviews about ATR and the camps I was a bit concerned about the location of our chosen camps. I raised these with ATR, who replied to them promptly and put our minds at rest. I can't fault the information we were given by ATR, and found it be very accurate.

Anyway, now for the trip report:-

Our driver was Peter, who was an excellent driver and guide. More about him later.

We left the coffee lodge at about 9am, with our picnic box, the first of many, and headed off to Tarangire. The first animals to be spotted were Dik Diks. Other animals spotted on our first day were elephants, giraffe,zebra,baboons,cliff springers,ostrich,vultures and mongoose. We also saw numerous birds, the names of which escape me. I think we only saw other vehicles on our way to and from the picnic area.

We arrived at Mawe Ninga Camp at about 5pm and were advised we were the only guests that night. It was nice to have our own private camp! We had the honeymoon tent as well. After freshening up we enjoyed watching the sunset with a nice gin and tonic. The evening meal was very good.
Next morning, we left at about 8am with our picnic box, for a full day of game viewing. our first photo opportunity was of a couple of lions, obviously on their honey moon. After checking us out for about five minutes, they decided they wanted some privacy and disappered of into the long grass and bushes. A bit later we watched a black backed jackal approach a water hole and take a nice long drink and a loan buffalo approach the water hole, but get spooked before reaching the water. Having watched for about 15 minutes we moved off. Our next sighting was of a couple of lions near the swamp, and the a large herd of elephants , witha number of them crossing the road in front and behind us. One young male was happily playing in the water. whilst driving around after lunch we heard lots of baboons barking. We slowed down and were rewarded with a good sighing of a lioness. It is amazing how short an opportunity you have to see some of the animals before they disappear into the long grass. The zebras were the other sighting of the day. Our second night at camp was shared with other guests. We checked out at 8am the next morning, with another game drive in the park. THere were plenty of zebra, elephants and giraffe to be seen. We left Tarangire about 11am and headed off to the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.

Hopefully i haven't bored anyone so far, and will post more later, including photos.

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