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Tanzania Trip Report

Tanzania Trip Report: Tanzania Safari

Subject: Tanzania Trip Report
Date: March 31, 2011

Tanzania Trip Report

Scoping out the territory

THIS could easily be the best season, the best National Geographic moments of any safari that I have ever done. At times I had to remind myself that I was in Africa. From the hustle and bustle of the city of Arusha, the pink flamingoes of Lake Manyara, the geologic wonder of Ngorongoro Crater, the ubiquitous drama of the Serengeti, to the magic of Zanzibar, this trip provided all the flavor, the colors, the cuisine, and excitement that is Tanzania.
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> In one day, we spotted the Big Five, (buffalo, rhino, elephant, lion and leopard, including what must have easily been over a million migrating wildebeest and zebra. It was my first time to see wild dog, not on the plains of the Serengeti, but in Tarangire National Park, known more for it’s elephant population than wild dog. But this trip was filled with unexpected and unbelievable sights, so, why not, wild dog in Tarangire.
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> Uniquely rare moments, included spotted hyenas mating, vultures taking advantage of the moment, to mate, while waiting for their turn at a kill, the not so rare lions mating, lion kills, leopard kills, all serving as proof of ‘survival of the fittest and proving that only the strong survive. The Serengeti plays out these ‘laws’ of nature day after day, pitting the strong against the weak, the injured, and the aged; the more seasoned against those just beginning life. It is all too often a picture framed with tragic results, of life and death in the bush.
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> There just isn’t any way to describe what 2,000,000 wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra looks like, as far as the eye can see. Seeing this is believing. Of course, animals are never predictable, nor is the migration, but chances are, going at this time of year, will give you a glimpse of what this great migration looks like. You must first set your sights and venture out for a new and exciting experience.
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> Our first stop, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, where Malley, our ranger gave us some up close and personal moments with some of the animals and we visited hot springs, where no one could keep their finger in the water longer than four seconds. Next, we visited Serengeti Under Canvas, the mobile tented camp that will get you up close and personal in a way that will amaze you. For years I resisted staying at a mobile tented camp, just wasn’t in the cards, probably for the same reasons many resist traveling to Africa. Those who know me know I am not the camping type, AT ALL, but one day I went on a fam and stayed at one, and I was hooked. Since that time I have included it in every one of my groups, and it has always been the highlight of the trip.
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> It is a tent, with no running water, but with a hot shower and a flush toilet, a comfortable bed with a down comforter, and the services of a butler or attendant to attend to your every need. The food is divine, the service impeccable and the staff warm, welcoming and friendly. I know what you are thinking and let me say, I, personally, have never experienced anything more than a moth in my tent in any of my many stays there.
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> Our ranger Paul, who grew up in Tanzania was conscious of every aspect of protecting and preserving this precious resource. He shared his vast knowledge of the bush, the animal behavior, and the customs of the people. It made for a very special and memorable experience. Mussa, the camp manager, was always keenly aware of what guests might need, even when they don’t always know. And that goes for all the staff – always attentive, always. It is a well run camp. On one occasion, I was sitting using my iPad and it started raining just for a few minutes. In those few short minutes, it became extremely muddy and I had to walk back to my tent. The thought of traipsing in inch deep mud in flip flops didn’t thrill me. Suddenly, Mussa showed up with a pair of rubber boots – exactly what I needed. Talk about anticipating your needs. At &Beyond they have taking care of you down to an art.
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> The remainder of our trip was with another company called Asilia, where we stayed at several of their properties. Jackson, aka Babu (grandfather in Swahili) was our driver and guide for six days. Camera shots just can’t tell the full picture (pun intended), of this incredible experience. For instance, you may see a looooonnnngggg row of what looks like trees, and then suddenly the ‘trees’ start running and you know you are witnessing part of the wildly popular migration.
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> This was such an amazing trip I wish everyone could and would experience it! This is why I made Africa my specialty, and why I have studied to become a Tanzania, a South Africa, and a Kenya specialist, along with many other African countries. And this is why I try to get those I know who are interested in traveling, to try something new, something adventurous, and something exciting. You won’t find anything like this anywhere else in the world. Sadly, humans continue to destroy it, with poaching, and political agendas, yet, ironically we must depend on Human intervention to continue to try to preserve and protect it, so we can enjoy it for years to come.
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> So enjoy the photos and if it is something you think might interest you, please join me next year March. if March is too soon for you, I will consider any other time, just name it.
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> Sent from Kay’s Travelin’ iPad

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