Northern Circuit Safari
07.14.2008 - 07.23.2008
We wanted to keep the post short and just show some pictures we took on the Northern Circuit. We had a driver/guide and a cook for the week-long trip, and covered several different national game parks in the northeast part of Tanzania: Arusha NP, Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP, and Ngorogoro Crater. We loved all of the parks and each one is quite different in terms of climate and animal populations.
The migration of wildebeest and zebra had happened a bit early this year, so we didn't see the vast hordes of animals we were expecting in Serengeti. Most of the animals were already near the Tanzania/Kenya border and working their way to the Masai Mara. We eventually decided to go there to have the experience of seeing the migration and weren't disappointed. Post to follow.
These shots were taken in Arusha NP. We had an armed park ranger, Rehema, take us on a game walk through a small section of the park. The only time she wielded her Kalashnikov was while approaching the water buffalo. These are apparently the most unpredictable and aggressive animals out there. She happily informed us that she had to shoot one in the head because it refused to stand down. Luckily, the herd was quite diffident.
This photo was taken at Tarangire NP. A little hotter and dryer, but still some vegetation.
These photos were all taken in the Serengetti. This lion was near the entrance of the park. Incredible to see it immediately like that:
We did a camping safari, which meant that we drove in Land Cruiser through the parks with our guide/driver, Robert, and then would return to various camps along the way to eat and sleep, then repeat the next day. This shot is of our camp in the Serengeti. We heard hyena and lion outside each night, ooooo:
We were informed by Robert that we were very lucky to have seen this leopard because of their stealthy nature. We spent some time watching him slowly move toward a group of distant gazelle. He seems vaguely interested in hunting, but he eventually dropped off his pursuit.
The reality of game drives is that they can be a circus of vehicles, especially when a leopard is spotted and "word gets out." We would often see game along or with one other car, but there were times when the hordes descended (especially when spotting black rhino...another prized sighting).
This is our guide/driver, Robert (in orange), and Deo, our cook. Both swell guys. Robert used to be a DJ, and Deo taught us a lot of Swahili...poa kama chizi kama ndizi,
cool and crazy like a banana, for instance.