East Africa Bush Tails

Trip report from guide Mkenda in Tanzania

Stacy and Cynthia Smith – PREPARED BY – Mkenda

CLIENT’S OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

Stacy and Cynthia were recommended to book their safari with AAC by their friends who visited South Africa and Botswana with AAC. Their priority was to see the migration in the Northern Serengeti, rhinos and cats.mkenda-1CLIENT’S OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Client’s experience exceeded their expectations – in terms of sightings it was awesome as we saw incredible games wherever we went and especially in the early morning with the golden light it was fabulous.

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DAY ONE | 06TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We started our safari by meeting each other at Namanga border. After finishing the custom formalities, I did a thorough briefing on safety. On the way to Tarangire we discussed about the coffee that we grow both type of coffee that includes coffee Arabica and Robusta.

Also we talked about the formation of Rift Valley and its results including the formation of the Ngorongoro Highlands and Southern Serengeti and lakes.

As we went to the park, we saw some lions and lots elephants. After lunch we had a good leopard sighting who was on a nearby tree. Later that afternoon we continued to the lodge for overnight.

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DAY TWO | 07TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We started early morning where we saw two lionesses dragging a warthog to the valley. We enjoyed watching birds at Silalei Swamp especially the African open billed stork and lots of zebras and elephants in the swamp too. Then in the evening they walked and during night they had a night game drive. We also saw good elephants and a leopard on a tree.

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DAY THREE | 08TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Today we did a game drive in the park and saw a cheetah and a monitor lizard and then we drove to Lake Manyara National Park via the Southern end of the park. It was awesome to see flocks of birds flying – pelicans and flamingos; also we saw wildebeests in the Lake Manyara Park which are more reddish if you compare with those ones from Ngorongoro and Serengeti. We viewed some elephants and as well as giraffes.

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DAY FOUR | 09TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We started at six for a full day game drive with both picnics. Just after arriving in the crater floor, we saw a male lion walking on the road. It was awesome picture with the golden light and it was just great as it was close and personal.

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We enjoyed breakfast with the hippopotamus entertaining us at the Ngoitoktok spring.

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After the breakfast we had another close encounter of big bull elephant which was so close that I could take a picture from my side mirror. After lunch we saw lots of birds and a rhino from the distance, but it was great as we accomplished the big five.

DAY FIVE | 10TH SEPTEMBER 2016

We drove to the Serengeti via the archaeological site of Oldupai, on the way I gave a part of the introduction of this unique place where the first skull of the oldest human kind belonging to the australopithene type was discovered. I also mentioned that one day I was so fortunate to meet with the archeologist by the name professor Tobias from South Africa who did a scientific study of the skull and took to the US for dating by using potassium argon 40 techniques. It was revealed that it was dated to be 1.75 million years old. Also the site is unique as it was found four major human kinds in the same site that includes Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis, Australopithecus Boise and the footprints of the Australopithecus Affarencis. Then we visited a Maasai village and proceeded to Serengeti for lunch.

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Just after arriving in the Serengeti, we saw a leopard and two male cheetahs. Then after lunch we were very lucky to see a leopard eating his kill on the tree and also a pride of 13 lions hunting but they did not succeed.

DAY SIX | 11TH SEPTEMBER 2016

This morning we left with a picnic lunch after an early breakfast where we enjoyed watching a male lion walking and then followed by a pride of three lions and a huge male. Another male was spotted on a rock with a beautiful view. We arrived at the Mara River where we saw a rhino with her baby just very close.

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DAY SEVEN | 12TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Today after the balloon safari, we enjoyed wildebeests crossing the river but most of them had already crossed so it was just a game of chance but we were lucky to see three crossings. Later in the evening, we saw a rhino.

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DAY EIGHT | 13TH SEPTEMBER 2016

That day we started at six o’clock with both picnic and breakfast boxes. It was one of the best days as we got very special sighting early morning of a lioness killing a hartebeest and dragging it to the hidden cave in kopjes. After lunch, we saw wildebeests crossing in Mara River and then we saw again the same leopard.

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Then, in the evening, we saw a huge pride of lions finishing a kill. The evening light onto the lions was incredible also the cubs against a rainbow background was awesome and a leopard on the tree. We saw another leopard hunting and just missing a young wildebeest.

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DAY NINE | 14TH SEPTEMBER 2016

This was the last day but as the client’s flight was late in the afternoon, we planned to have very early game drive taking picnic breakfast with us. We found a lioness with tiny cubs just after a kill and she was dragging it and covering it with blood so that vultures and other predators could not see it.

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We also enjoyed seeing vultures landing on a carcass. Then we also saw another huge pride with two kills, one being dragged to the nearby kopjes so that the hungry vultures would not interfere. Some vultures can cover 1,000 km to feed on – it is a distance from Ngorongoro to Mara for instance.

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We then drove to the boundary between Kenya and Tanzania where we saw a coalition of two cheetahs. That was the end of one of the best photographic safari I have ever had – with Stacy and Cynthia.

 

Vikki Canfield and Thomas Adler – PREPARED BY – Mkenda

CLIENT’S BACKGROUND AND OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

Vikki Canfield has already traveled to Tanzania four times with AAC and myself. It started in 2009 and then 2011, 2014 and this year. The past trips she was accompanied by her friend, Lana Tyree but this year she came with her husband, Thomas Adler. She always has very high expectations with us and this time she was looking forward to proving her husband how safari could be with AAC and myself!

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CLIENT’S OVERALL EXPERIENCE

The clients experience exceeded their expectations as we saw a lot from the Arusha National Park where we saw great sightseeing including flamingoes, colobus monkeys and a brilliant picnic site with a great view. In Tarangire we saw lions hunting and very good leopard, lots of elephants and giraffes. In Manyara it was awesome with lots of flamingoes and pelicans flying. In Ngorongoro and Serengeti it was superb as we saw lots of great sightseeing.

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DAY ONE | 19TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Our safari started in Arusha Coffee Lodge for briefing and with our visit in Arusha National Park for walking and game drive. We started with walking and then we drove to the huge fig tree where you can drive through, then we went to the Mount Kilimanjaro view picnic site. The clients were very happy to be there as we were having a private picnic with an awesome view onto the mountain. It was a truly serene environment for them.

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Then after lunch we drove to the Momela Lakes where it was amazing to see the entire flamingoes eating and flying. It was just as lovely.

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DAY TWO | 20TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Today we drove to Tarangire National Park. On the way I talked about the Rift Valley formation which resulted in the formation of the Lake Manyara which is a soda lake or alkaline lake due to accumulation of bicarbonate of different salt brought by the rain water in a million year. The rift valley started forming about 20 million years ago according to geological findings. All the rain water evaporated leaving salt behind forming the soda lakes. These lakes attract a lot of flamingoes, as the soda in the water creates conducive environment for the blue and green algae to grow which is the favorite food for them.

As we were approaching the Minjingu fertilizer factory I gave an explanation of whereby these fertilizers came from. These fertilizers come from the droppings from the birds dwelling in the lake during million years. These dropping landed down the bottom of the lake and due to the ash from nearby volcanoes helped to press down and solidified as a cake. As a result, small volcanoes pushed up and now they mine as phosphorus in a form of phosphate.

Then we checked in to the park and just after arriving we saw zebras drinking at the pond followed by the lions under the tree. Following lunch we saw elephants in the river and a leopard on the tree.

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DAY THREE | 21ST SEPTEMBER 2016

Today we had a walking in the morning.  We took our picnic lunch with us and we were happy to see lions hunting warthog but they failed even though later one lioness killed a reed buck. We also saw a leopard and lots of elephants in the Silalei Swamp.

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DAY FOUR | 22ND SEPTEMBER 2016

This day before exiting Tarangire, we saw a lesser kudu and lions feasting on a young buffalo carcass. After that clients had a good time playing with children by blowing balloons visiting their school where we donated some books, pens and pencils.

The clients were happy to drive through the Southern end of the park where they enjoyed seeing the great view of the Rift Valley escarpment and remote villages.

In Manyara it was paradise as we saw lots of flamingoes and pelicans eating and flying. It was just awesome as we were the only vehicle there. We also set a table under the tree while watching spectacular sceneries of the lake and birds.

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DAY FIVE | 23RD SEPTEMBER 2016

As we were staying at Gibbs Farm, which is a little bit far from the Ngorongoro Crater, we decided to leave at 0530hrs so we could have the morning light and while the cats are active. It was great to enter the crater among the first ones. Just as we arrived on the crater floor, we found a pride of three lions with one couple mating. Then we continued with the game drive and we saw a pride of 13 lions eating a hippopotamus; it was incredible picture with the morning light. After that, we had a picnic breakfast at the Ngoitoktok picnic site while enjoying hippopotamus in the pond.

Later we saw another pride just finishing a wildebeest and lastly we were the first to see a rhino with her calf at a close distance.

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DAY SIX | 24TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Today we drove to the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sand. On the way, we visited a Maasai village where clients had time to play with the kindergarten kids and the balloons. I also gave an introduction of the archaeological site to Thomas as it was his first time to be there. Olduvai is unique as it was the first place to find the oldest skull of human kind and its well known as a cradle of human kind as three other major archaeological findings are there that includes Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis and Australopithecus Aphaeresis and Australopithecus Boise.

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We visited the site and then we went to the shifting sand, it was just a “wow factor” to them as I told them that this sands move at the rate of about 17m a year and that the Maasai are worshipping it therefore we have to treat with respect as someone visiting a church or a mosque. Also the sand can be attracted by a magnet.

Then we had picnic lunch right at the middle of nowhere just on our own under an acacia tree. It was very special for them. After that we went to Serengeti and managed to see a cheetah and some lions.

DAY SEVEN | 25TH SEPTEMBER 2016

At our camp, Namiri Plains, known as being a cheetah sanctuary, we were lucky to see 8 cheetahs including a single female, then a mother with her two cubs, and lastly, another female with three cubs hunting. But also we saw lots of hyenas at their den and some lions and elephants right at the camp drinking and wallowing. We also liked a stunning picture of a vulture on the rock perching on a wildebeest skull.

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DAY EGHT | 26TH SEPTEMBER 2016

This day we went to Migration Camp. Just when we were leaving the camp, we saw the mother cheetah with her three cubs hunting but with no luck. Then we saw a male leopard on the kopjes, he came and walk just behind us then we saw lots of lions and hippopotamus.

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DAY NINE | 27TH SEPTEMBER 2016

As we were having only two nights at the Mara River, we started early to increase chances of seeing the wildebeest crossing. And lucky us, as soon as we arrived, we saw a crossing! It was a perfect timing as most of the wildebeests had already crossed.

Then we continued with the game drive and we saw a coalition of two brother cheetahs under the tree.

DAY TEN | 28TH SEPTEMBER 2016

Today they enjoyed a morning balloon safari! After their flight, we went to see more wildebeest crossings and also we saw a huge crocodile in the river. In the afternoon we went to the boundary between Kenya and Tanzania. Clients were just happy to touch with the eyes the Kenya side. We also saw a newly born giraffe baby hidden in the croton trees.

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DAY ELEVEN | 29TH SEPTEMBER 2016

This was the end of our phenomenon and lucky safari with my best friends who will hopefully continue to come back to the beautiful and peaceful Tanzania.

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