East Africa Bush Tails

AAC Guide Sightings June 2014

George was with Wilberg Family and reported amazing sightings during their adventures.
Wilberg Party George on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport where they had short briefing and started drive to Coffee lodge for lunch. After lunch we headed towards Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge and enjoyed our scenic drive as we climbed the Great Rift Valley escarpment.

After a good night’s rest we headed off to explore the Ngorongoro for our first game drive which we all were really looking forward to.  We spotted lions and this was a great experience. The Wilberg were expressing to me that at home their favorite program on Nat Geo was the big cat diary! Seeing the lions close by was great to see and we spent time watching their behaviour as they interacted with one another. Our crater game drive was very successful as we continued to sight baboons, buffalo, elephants, hyenas, rhinos, male lions, wildebeest, zebras, and hippos. Our highlight was a baby being born and the jackals and Hyenas taking the baby, what a spectacle to see as the drama unfolded in front of us. After our game drive we had visit to the Maasai village then we went to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

The following morning we opted for a morning game drive in Lake Manayara National Park and had a late lunch at Manyara Serena. In the park we saw lots of baboons, blue monkeys, giraffe, monitor lizard, flamingoes. Our highlight in Manyara Park was the lions we saw with cubs and on top of that they were hunting a porcupine, we all watched as the cubs practiced their hunting skills until they disappeared in the bush. After a successful game drive we headed to the lodge for lunch.

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The following morning we continued our journey towards Tarangire National Park. On our way we saw the Maasai bomas en route and traditional markets where all would gather. We entered Tarangire National Park and our first sighting was a cheetah followed by banded mongoose, waterbuck, and elephants. We then stopped for lunch at Tarangire safari lodge enjoying the fantastic views. After lunch we continued with our game drive heading to Oliver’s camp and we saw More Elephants, Giraffe, Impalas . We continued to explore an area where we had heard Lions who had hunted earlier but did not manage to spot them.  The highlight of the day was a Leopard perched on a tree.  We were very lucky with the spotting  as we observed the magnificent creature as he posed for us!  We were the only ones there and this made it a very unique moment for us.  We all were extremely happy with the days finds and head back towards camp.
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The following morning Wilberg had the opportunity to go for a bush walk and Susanne had asked me to check on the lions who we had missed out on our evening game drive yesterday.  After their walk we set out and drove to the site and found seven lions as they were playing with the cubs and the cubs nursing from their mother. That was the highlight of the day!

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Our last day and we left early in the morning at six as the Wilbergs had to catch a flight from Kilimanjaro airport. We were lucky in the morning as we had good unique sighting of giraffe sitting down, we also saw dik diks but the icing on the cake was a male lion sitting on the side of the road! A Great Farewell!

Elibariki was with the Bornhoeft and reported
We began our safari adventure and departed to Lake Manyara National Park for morning game drive, on our game drive we saw troop of blue monkey, troop of baboons, troop of vervet monkey, harem of impala, superb starling one male hippo outside of the pool trying to enter the little pool where water was too shallow. We saw four giraffes almost together, big family of warthogs, elephants and more troops of baboons. After a successful game drive we head off to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, which is perched on the escarpment and overlooks the lake . After lunch late afternoon we departed to Gibb’s Farm for dinner and overnight.

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The following day we had an early morning as we departed at 0530 hrs with picnic breakfast to explore the great Ngorongoro Crater. As we drove thru the morning mist and began to descend to the crater floor.  On our game drive we spotted African hare, big herd of buffalos on the rim crossing the road on our game drive in the crater we saw big bachelor herd of buffalos spotted hyena walking in the middle of the road, zebras, Thompson and grants gazelles.  We spotted plenty of Birds species from the big flock of abdim’s storks, grey crowned cranes, white storks, black bellied bustard, male kori bustard displaying himself with a puffed out chest,  As we continued we spotted lioness with two cubs of about two months old. We also saw big herd of wildebeest, warthogs family. We had a magnificent pink background as the lake was almost full with  greater and lesser Flamingos everywhere. We were very lucky and saw about ten rhinos in different areas, some far away and some near the road, two of them were lying down and stood up for short time and laid down again.
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We managed to spot plenty of elephants bulls around the plain and a family herd in the Lerai forest.  we saw hippos, one Male lion far away from the road, two rhinos showing fighting behavior but didn’t witness any action. With a successful time game viewing we decided it was time to head back to Gibbs farm for our lunch and spend a relaxing afternoon in the tranquil environment of Gibbs farm enjoying the wonderful views

The next morning after an early breakfast it was time to bid farewell as we drove to lake Manyara airstrip, they had a flight to catch to Serengeti.

Mkenda and Wilfred were with Santora family and reported some exciting game viewing
Mrs. Santora had been on a Tanzania Safari before, and was looking forward to a private safari Experience. Manyara Ranch was a perfect start for them.

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Overall we had a wonderful safari experience which exceeded their expectation and also managed to spot some great sightings.

We started our safari adventure by driving straight to Manyara Ranch where we had lunch and then went for an afternoon game drive and visited Maasai Open Market. They loved the market experience.  We headed back to camp to relax as they had planned for a night game drive later on. The Night game drive was quite interesting as they managed to spot various nocturnal animals including a very rare striped hyena.

The following morning we had an early start with an early morning walking safari at 0600hrs we saw elephant and zebra,, After breakfast we then drove to Manyara National Park for game drive where we saw another rare animal known as Kudu that was a great sighting. In the afternoon we saw cheetahs and another rare animal, the Gerenuk part of antelope family.

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The next day we continued our journey and drove to Gibbs farm and on the way we stopped at the town of Mtowabu “ Mosquito creek Town” . Having a magnificent view of the Rift Valley Escarpment I talked about the formation of the Great Rift Valley, which caused the formation of the Ngorongoro highlands and in turn resulted the flat plains of the Southern Serengeti. However the Ngorongoro Highland is in itself a very important area with its biodiversity, as it collects and absorbs rain water like a sponge and percolates under the rocks and released down at the foot of rift Valley wall of the escarpment. The water is very clear as the rocks underneath rich in lime stone. The creeks created from these springs used by local people for irrigation purposes, where they produce lots of vegetables, banana and rice, the town has grown from a village and continues to attract various tribes to have benefits of selling their produce and now we have over 120 different tribes in the area.

We headed to Gibbs Farm for lunch which was great and after lunch we had a walk to the waterfalls and elephants’ cave. At the elephant cave I had an opportunity to talk about the importance of minerals.  Elephants take mineral for two reasons; firstly due to the facts that their tusks contents made out of phosphorous and calcium so they need minerals for such requirements; secondly they need iron supplement as the iron in the body become depleted as it used to get rid of harmful chemicals.  We returned back to Gibbs Farm for dinner and overnight.

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The next day we left early in the morning at 0600hrs driving towards the Ngorongoro crater, we enjoyed a picnic breakfast in the crater entertained by hippopotamus. Then we saw rhino, hyena and lions and other general game before we went to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge for lunch, on the way we saw a coalition of male lions on the tree. This was interest sighting as normally female lions tend to be sighted on trees and are the ones that climb trees.

The next day we continued our journey as we drove to the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge and shifting sand. We talked about the importance of visiting the Gorge as it was the first place to excavate the skull of human kind scientifically known as Australopithecus Boise. In July 17, 1959 and that shifted the origin of human kind from Asia to Africa as it was dated to 1.75 million.

Then we drove to the shifting sand area where I demonstrated by using a magnet that the black sands are small Iron fillings that can be attracted by a magnet. Iron lava pushed out by a powerful volcano nearby in 1966. This volcano is known by Maasai as Oldonyo Lengai ( mountain of God).

The next day we had the opportunity to explore the Serengeti Plains,  we started by an amazing sight of a leopard just close by right in front of our vehicle and a lion on the tree. Then we went to the Moru Kopjes (rock outcrops) where we saw Maasai Paintings and Gong Rock where Maasai used to knock the rock. We also saw migration coming to Moru.

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The next morning was an early start as they had a Balloon Flight in the early morning. After the balloon and celebratory champagne breakfast we continued with a game drive and then lunch at the camp. In the afternoon we went to Moru Kopjes and saw three rhinoceros.

We continued exploring the Serengeti Plains and went towards Gol Kopjes where we saw cheetah hunting in tall grass and lions on the kopjes, what a brilliant sight, truly magnificent.

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Then as we were driving back we saw a big male leopard walking along the road that was the finale to our amazing trip.
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We had a wonderful safari filled with unique and interesting sightings
Elibariki was with the Williams and reported:
Arriving into Kilimanjaro Airport after introductions and short safari briefing, we departed and started our journey towards Tarangire and stopped at Maromboi tented Lodge for lunch. After lunch we headed out on an afternoon game drive.  On our game drive, we saw, several territorial male impalas, Zebras, lilac breasted roller, superb starling, warthogs, ostrich, black backed jackal, different families of elephants, herd of waterbuck, about seven giraffe  in the river some walking along the river and some feeding on the acacia tree bushes, pride  of three lioness  with one cub of about  three months on the river bank. Back to Maramboi tented camp for dinner and overnight.
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The next day we had an early start after early breakfast at 0600 hrs we departed with picnic lunch at 0630hrs for full day game drive. On our game drive we saw a lot of giraffes, zebras, different troops of baboons, vervet monkey, different bachelor herd of impalas, Pair of black backed jackal caring half of baby impala carcass each, big herd of different elephant families, some wallowing in the river, big several herum of  impalas, buffalos herd different warthogs families, ostrich, lilac breasted roller Tawny eagle, African fish eagle, southern ground hornbill, African grey hornbill. We had Lunch under the tree along the river whilst watching the elephants. What an amazing sight!  After lunch afternoon game drive where we saw two almost grown up leopard juveniles in one tree, red and yellow barbet, more elephants and warthogs almost everywhere common water bucks very big flock of about eighty ostrich chicks Including adults walking towards and eventually crossed the road in front of our car, With a successful day we headed back to Maromboi for dinner and overnight.
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After early breakfast we departed with picnic lunch for full day game drive. On our  game drive we saw different warthogs families, ostrich, three brothers of cheetahs on the little termite mound, herd  of zebra, several wildebeest, lonely hartebeest troops of baboons, vervet monkey, pair of black backed jackals etc. picnic lunch. After our picnic lunch we continued exploring the park with an afternoon game drive where we saw a lot of elephant families wallowing in the mud, drinking and crossing the river. After a successful day we headed back the lodge early to spend the evening at leisure admiring the African sunset.

The following day we drove back to Arusha and had to bid farewell. We had a great adventure and were lucky with the incredible sightings we saw.

Mkenda was with Trippie and Baldwin party  and reported
Melinda and Richard had visited before and I was lucky to have the opportunity to be their guide once again on their safari adventure. The expectation would certainly be much more as they brought their friends with them this time around. Having a big challenge ahead of me to promise and deliver we set out on our journey. We set out on the hunt for game looking forward to catching some unique and memorable sightings.

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We started our safari adventure and we drove to Tarangire National Park with picnic lunch. This gave me an ideal opportunity to give a brief of the Tarangire Park, having a river meandering in the Park which is the only source of water during dry season. This means that most of the animals are attracted inside the park during the dry season. Research has shown that over 6000 elephant are congregated in the park and large numbers of wildebeests and zebras. As opposed to wet season where animals are scattered around the park and on the outskirts the park as many water sources are easily accessible.  As we entered the park we were welcomed by giraffe as we continued our game drive we spotted plenty of elephant and giraffe and baobab trees scattered across the horizon.  We continued to our lodge for some rest.

The following day we left early at 0600hrs and enjoyed the morning golden light. We departed with a picnic breakfast and had our breakfast overlooking the view of the swamp, after breakfast we saw a python on the tree, then we saw a leopard from a distance and was a great sighting as it was the first leopard.

We continued our journey the next morning as we drove to Ngorongoro via Mtowambu “Mosquito Creek” Town where we enjoyed a walk, a nice chance to stretch our legs. We then continued our scenic drive climbing the rift valley escarpment and circled the crater rim as we went to Ngorongoro Lemala camp for lunch. After we visited the Maasai village and this was  an awesome experience to see local tribesman and given the chance to interact with them and learning their way of life, we also had the chance to see a few in action as they were taking cattle back to their village.

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As we woke up early this morning and all very excited as we descended down into the majestic crater floor for a full day game drive with our picnic lunches. We enjoyed sighting rhino with the morning light and having breakfast with hippopotamus at the picnic site. As we continued on game drive we spotted a pride of 9 lions with very young cubs who were feeding from their mother. We watched on as the family interacted with one another. This very unique sight and certainly turned out to be the highlight of the day.

We continued our journey towards the Serengeti plains. We drove to the Ndutu area via Olduvai Gorge and shifting sand.  This was a welcomed experience and they got a chance to learn and gather interesting facts on our early hominids. The shifting sands were an enjoyable and learning experience. I demonstrated what the sand contain by using a magnet as it is formed by Nitro-Carbonic Iron fillings can be attracted by a magnet perhaps the reason of being pulled together and moving in such form.

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As we headed towards the Ndutu area , we continued exploring and spotted a pride of 13 lions and a cheetah. Also a colorful sight of flamingo in Lake Ndutu.

Our next day turned out very interesting. We spotted a lioness with very tiny cubs during morning light which was awesome. We continued on exploring and spotted Cheetah. We spent time tracking and following the cheetah as she perused to hunt. A very dramatic experience as we saw the cheetah hunt and catch a two months wildebeest!

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The following day our luck spotting Cheetah continued as we saw a mother cheetah with two very little cubs who had just killed a gazelle, it was a fascinating sight to watch as the little cubs shared the meal with their mother.
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As we continued to explore the plains we saw a hyena chasing a mother wildebeest with her young calf. We watched on as eventually the Hyena managed to catch the young wildebeest. According to research findings made in Serengeti and Ngorongoro about 30% to 50% of newly born wildebeest under two months are taken by predators.
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The following day we headed off exploring on game drive and we spotted many lions on trees. A unique sight to see tree climbing lions, perhaps they were climbing as the grasses were very long and needed better visibility. Cats either go up the tree or kopjes. We spotted a beautiful sighting of a leopard on a tree, very close sighting and this allowed us to get some great photos!

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Our great luck with the Cheetah continued as we saw three coalition male cheetah marking their territory on the kopjes.
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That was an amazing trip! We saw 9 leopards, many cheetahs and so many lions. The clients were very happy and they promised to be back.  We had  big farewell as we drove to the airstrip!

We had a thrilling Experience and surely exceeded their high expectations.  Melinda and Richard had visited before and they said this trip was even better than their first trip, they are planning to be back and will visit during a different part of the year to continue to explore the Northern circuit and perhaps to see the wildebeest river crossings in northern Serengeti. Actually we saw exceptional sightings that including a cheetah kill, lots of rhino, tree climbing lions, cheetah with tiny cubs and lions with their cubs too.

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