North America, Africa · 12 Days · 23 Moments · August 2017

Safari in Kenya and Tanzania 2017

8 September 2017

We went out in the afternoon for a bonus game drive with our amazing driver La shangui (Mathew) and Susan, Margaret and Dela from A&K. We almost saw a zebra river crossing. There was a herd on the opposite side of the river with a croc hiding on our side ready to attack, but the zebras backed away. Margaret spotted an crocodile feeding frenzy with about 12 crocs feeding on a wildebeest. Incredible thrashing as the crocs twisted and tossed the Wildebeest. We also spotted a hyena family with 2 mothers and about 6 babies. We ended the day with beer at sunset on the Mara.
Safari Day 10 (last day 😢): On our morning game drive, we watched a leap of leopards up close and personal. I think Susan could have reached out and petted the cub! We then watched a pride of lions playing as Dad and Mom watched on. The kids had great fun and then they practiced their hunting skills on the herd of zebras nearby. They did great until one of the young male lions was spied in a very bad hiding spot and the zebras left the area. I think he will be getting a talking to from Momma!

7 September 2017

Safari Day 9 continued: After the balloon ride, we went for a game ride with the primary goal of seeing the Wildebeest Crossing of the Mara River. We watched as the Wildebeests tried several times to find a spot to cross while the crocodiles waited. They finally started crossing and all made it successfully without anyone falling victim to the crocs - not really sure why. The crossing was amazing to watch. After the crossing, we road some more and found a family of Cheetahs.
Safari Day 9 - Balloon Day: Today started with a 4:15 wake-up with coffee delivered to our tent and we left at 5:00 for the ride to the starting point for our balloon ride. The ride was awesome with great views of the sunrise and giraffes. It was a very peaceful and scenic ride with a very smooth landing.

6 September 2017

Our last safari accommodation is in the Mara Intrepids Camp. A unique place where we are staying in luxury tents that include a bathroom with shower, a full sized bed and a nice stone porch. We were welcomed with a great lunch in the outdoor restaurant.
Safari Day 8: today is transfer day from Tanzania back to Kenya. This time we traveled by plane on small planes flying off dirt strip runways. We flew from Serengeti to the Tanzania border where we went through customs and then took a short ride to the Kenya airstrip. After a little delay (schedules are just guidelines), we took a second flight to Maasai Mara where the airstrip is right next to our camp.

5 September 2017

Safari Day 7: we started the day with an early game drive in the Serengeti which started out slow, but ended with some great highlights. We saw our first cheetah who was posing for us on a termite mound and then went off after a gazelle. We also saw some more lions including a family with cubs that are about 3 weeks old! We also saw some new birds including an owl that only our driver could see (he took the picture for us).

4 September 2017

Serengeti Serena Lodge has a lot of character! Stone huts with three rooms in each one. Animals everywhere - you have to get an escort if you leave your room after dark.
Safari Day 6: Today we traveled from Ngorongoro Crater to Serengeti National Park. We stopped at a Maasai Village. They live in very small huts that they can build quickly as they move around to find water and good grazing. We next stopped at the Olduvai Gorge where fossils track the origins of mankind. Before going to the hotel, we did a short game ride and saw our first leopard! We also saw about 30 more lions, elephants, zebras and giraffes. Got some good pictures of the leopard. The hotel is very unique with rooms in stone huts covered in grass.

3 September 2017

Safari Day 5: we got a very early start and went on a game ride in Ngorongoro Crater. We saw lots of lions including a pack that had just finished breakfast and one of the young lions was carrying around a big bone. After riding for a couple hours, we stopped for breakfast about 100 yards from a couple lions. After breakfast, we rode some more, saw more lions, hyenas, civets, and other wildlife. Near the end of the day, we came up on about 12 lions that we thought were getting ready to attack some buffalo, but they ended up just playing instead.

2 September 2017

Very nice room at Ngorongoro Lodge.
An absolutely amazing day! We started out at Lake Manyara where we saw thousands of birds and wildlife including dik diks and blue monkeys. We then drove to lunch at Gibbs Farm and had the best meal of the trip. After lunch we toured the farm and the coffee plantation. We left the farm and drove to Ngorongoro Crater where we were greeted by a couple lions laying beside the road.

1 September 2017

Day 3 of our Safari was a transfer day from Kenya to Tanzania with most of the day spent on the road. On our way out of Amboseli National Park, we saw Lake Amboseli which is completely dry and barren. We also saw a dik dik (a small antelope), but it was moving too fast to get a picture. When we got to Tanzania, we switched to a new guide (Elias) and headed out to Lake Manyara with a stop for a Tuk-tuk ride in the village of Mto. We saw a local market, a banana Plantation, an art shop and a village shop. After we checked in at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, we went to the pool to watch African acrobatics. Overall a really nice transfer day.

31 August 2017

Our evening ride on our last night at Amboseli National Park was a bit windy and dusty. We went to a different area of the park hoping to see some different animals (rhinos, etc). No luck, but got some good pictures of hippos, elephants and some birds. We leave early tomorrow morning for Tanzania!
We started our second day in Amboseli National Park with an early morning game drive. The highlights were all the lions including a male and a baby lion. We also saw more of many of the animals we saw last night. It's really interesting how all the different animals graze together. After the morning drive, we had breakfast and then several hours of free time. Plenty of time to review pictures, update the journal and play a round of cribbage.

30 August 2017

Amazing first day of our Safari. Exceeded even our high expectations. We did a "game ride" this evening and animals were everywhere! We saw almost every animal we were hoping to see - all in one day! Hard to imagine what comes next, but our guide assures us that each day gets better. Animals today included zebras, giraffes, gazelle, ostrich, cattle, goats, elephants, impala, baboon, cape buffalo, wildebeest, hyena, jackal, fish eagle, African sacred ibis, warthog, Egyptian goose, Guinea foul, mongoose, black faced velvet monkey, hippopotamus, crowned crane and a Lion!
Checked in for two nights at the Amboseli Serena Lodge.
Today we met the rest of our group for the Abercrombie and Kent tour. Left Nairobi at about 8 for a 4 1/2 hour ride to Amboseli National Park. Animals along the way including zebras, giraffes, gazelle, ostrich, cattle, goats, elephants, impala, baboon, buffalo and wildebeest. Not a lot of good photo opportunities, but we were able to get a closeup of a hippo and I almost got an elephant, but with the zoom lense and the bouncing truck I only got part of it. Main road from the port of Mombasa to the rest of Africa was slow with lots of trucks. We passed a bunch of markets and lots of construction including a new "techno town" that they are building in the middle of nowhere. Last stretch was on a very rough dirt road.

29 August 2017

We had our A&K in-briefing from our guide Maurice this evening. In-briefing included new safari hats, a native necklace, and a native belt for Mark. We are ready to set off on our adventure early tomorrow morning.
We had lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant. We wisely decided to do Alacarte rather than the buffet. Still had too much to eat.
Second stop on our day in Nairobi was the giraffe center where you could feed the giraffes and we got a very interesting presentation on giraffes. They eat about 125 pounds of leaves every day!
Our first stop was the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and elephant orphanage. Very interesting how the rescue baby elephants and nurse them until they can be reintroduced in the wild and adopted by an elephant family. Most of the baby elephants were found stuck in wells and abandoned with only a couple due to poachers.

27 August 2017

Departed from Dulles with Susan, Kitty and Bob on the largest plane we've ever been on. Very nice flight and enjoyed the extra space and good service from Emerites Airline.