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Why You Should Be Wild for East Africa


Looking for a safari experience that combines extraordinary wildlife viewing and traditional culture? Incredible natural background scenery with environmental stewardship and conservancy? An East Africa safari to Kenya and Tanzania for 10 days is enough time to blend incredible local cultural encounters with unparalleled experiences with the migration of hundred of thousands of wildebeest and zebras.

 

 

Companies like Asilia Africa are at the forefront of the conservation movement, and they had recently made the exciting announcement that they've joined with Encounter Mara to expand their stellar property offerings throughout East Africa, with special attention to Kenya. 

 

Bas Hochstenbach, co-founder of Asilia Africa says on their blog: 

"Asilia has been instrumental in setting up the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association. This is an important contributor to the long-term success of the conservancies through its presence in all three major Maasai Mara Conservancies: Mara North, Olare Orok / Motorogi, and Mara Naboisho. Asilia also provides major stability and a role in driving good governance in the conservancies...I am convinced that the unmatched quality of Kenyan safaris, with their great game, excellent guiding, diversity and range of experiences will inevitably bring Kenya back to the forefront of safaris!" 

 

One of our favorite East Africa trips combines both the Serengeti and the Mara. This is big cat country and undoubtedly offers East Africa’s best cheetah, leopard and lion viewing opportunities.

 

 


To make visiting East Africa as easy as adjusting your binoculars, we've created an immersive adventure to Tanzania and Kenya that will enthrall both experienced and novice safari goers alike with all the wonders the two countries have to offer: The 14-Day Migration Safari to Tanzania and Kenya.

 

 

First, you'll experience the beauty of iconic Ngorongoro Crater National Park for early morning and late afternoon photography, you'll stay right on the rim of the crater. Travelers will of course have the services of AAC's highest level of private guide and vehicle for this portion of the safari.

 

 

 

Next, you'll continue on a flying safari to the Serengeti and stay in a premier tented camp, such as exclusive mobile seasonal camp Olakira, ideally located to view the "Great Migration" depending on the time of year you travel.

 

 

 

Finish in the Maasai Mara, at two camps; Rekero, at the confluence at the Mara and Talek rivers, and Naibosho, a new luxury tented camp on a 50,000 acre private game concession.

 

 

 

These camp resident guides possess an in depth knowledge of the areas you will visit and have built up an excellent camaraderie with our clients over the years. You'll spend several days with the same guide, allowing you to maximize seeing and doing “everything.” 


Migration Update - Tanzania


I am with clients between Lobo and Bologonja and we bumped into the eastern herds, they should be heading across the Sand River soon into the Mara, they are moving slowly because of all the grass and water which is great for the lion in the area.

Emmanual Mkenda, Ranger Safaris Guide


Guests came back reporting that they had enjoyed huge numbers of wildebeest not too far from Four Seasons on the way to Lobo - I assume near Mbuzi Mawe. They said the had also see quite alot of males preparing for the rut and butting heads. 

Oli, Four Seasons Lodge




Drivers coming in today report huge zebra numbers out on the plains around Naabi hill, and large (several hundred at a time) groups dotted around Triangle between Naabi and here, and out on Caracal Plateau, Olduvai and Twin Hills plains so still many around.

Ndutu Safari Lodge


We have an update this week from in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. The guides took a drive to the central Serengeti to see the migration which was a remarkable sighting for our clients.

Asilia Ubuntu Camp



​5 Solo Safaris for Single Travelers


African Adventure explorations aren’t limited to couples and groups; single travelers can join in the safari excitement and have an equally astounding trip, plus the luxury of stretching out in spacious accommodations, while having the camaraderie of dinner and safari companions on one of our group adventures. While any trip can became a solo journey with a “singles supplement,” the following safaris are especially good fits for those who want to see amazing Africa on their own, in the comfort of a small group with 5 to 9 other people: 

 

1. Group Primate and Plains Safari to Uganda and Rwanda

“My trip to Uganda and Rwanda was wonderful. It was everything I expected and more. Everything was 5-star and I couldn't be happier!” says client Amanda Bush about this unique AAC trip.

This group adventure encompasses the thrill of gorilla treks and wildlife safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Volcanoes National Park, chimp trekking in Kibale Forest, and game viewing in Uganda the "The Pearl of Africa---all areas where the pristine natural areas and incredible wildlife encounters are some of the best in Africa. As for the gorilla treks, here’s what client Jeff Skinner says: “IT WAS GREAT! THANK YOU!!!! Uganda was absolutely unbelievably wonderful, exciting, awesome. We had a short drive (45 minutes), a short trek (no more than 45 minutes) and an hour surrounded by the H Group of gorillas, 18 members walking around us. We saw all 18! The silverback was one of the first to come out of the bush and he sat down across from us. Then one by one all the others paraded in front of us… I don't know how this visit could have been any better!!!”

 

  

 

2. South Africa Luxury Safari and Cape Getaway

A trip for travelers who want a journey to combine a Top Safari Lodge and Top hotel in the Cape. Solo travelers will experience the incredible wildlife of a Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands including luxe Rattrays, exclusive Singita, or boutique Londolozi. After a full immersion in the bush, head to glorious Cape Town and a stay at elegant Cape Grace or jewel box Ellerman House hotels in Cape Town. Then venture into the winelands near Franschoek and Paarl to toast to your amazing South African adventure.

 

 

3. Explorer Group Safari to Tanzania

This is not only our most affordable group safaris in Tanzania, but also hits the exciting Migration. The special price is based on the unique variety of accommodations, including comfortable tented camps, and small country hotels. Highlights include Tarangire National Park where activities include game drives, guided walking safaris, and cultural interaction with the Maasai; the Great Rift Valley; spectacular Ngorongoro Crater; and the “endless plains” of the Serengeti. AAC client John Munro reminisces: "The trip to Tanzania went great was able to see lots of game. Shaukat was very easy to work with and he made suggestions to the group which bettered every ones experience. Enclosed is a picture that got me recognized for the rest of the trip, it was sure an interesting experience since I did not know what I was getting my self into, which was a Massai dance."

 



4. Ultimate Namibian Group Safari

Visit the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia on this small group trip (maximum 8 people) which includes Sossusvlei (Sossus Dune Lodge), Walvis Bay-Swakopmund, Damaraland (Camp Kipwe), Etosha and Onguma, and finishes with time at the very special Okonjima's AfriCat Day Center. Accommodations include Classic level permanent tented camps and lodges. AAC client Paulo Ortega raves about this special safari:  "...Everything was fantastic. 'Fantastic', however, is too little to say how much I loved the adventure...I can't thank you enough. I was spoiled in so many levels...To sum up, my best vacation ever!" 

 


 

5. Botswana Wing Safari to Desert and Delta 

A  flying safari into the most beautiful natural areas of Botswana, including six nights at two different camps in both the unique Central Kalahari and the rich wilderness areas of either Linyanti or the Okavango Delta. AAC client Merrilee Shipman experienced the wonder of Botswana on this group trip and says: "The trip of a lifetime was indeed this spectacular adventure to Botswana, the Kalahari Desert and Moremi / Delta...There was so much to see that I hardly know where to begin. Some of the highlights were: Seeing a live Wildebeest birth in the wild...the time the "Elephants Came to Tea". Ban had just set the Landrover "table" for afternoon tea when a herd of Elephant decided to join us. Well, we hurried into the vehicle and just watched. Elephant after Elephant passed by and it was amazing to watch. Such huge creatures...And we saw lions, fabulous birds, and oh so much! Thank you for putting together such a seamless trip which was totally AMAZING! Looking forward to more Safaris," Merrilee Shipman

 


 

 



Where is the Migration this week?


The Great Migration is one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet and one of our favorite safari adventures to plan.

 

We have been following the HerdTracker twitter updates that are tracking the herds from four different expert sources: bush pilots sending in reports from the sky, Tanzania National Park rangers, lodges like Four Seasons, and safari guides on the ground in safari camps and mobile camps. 

 


 

For example, here are a few recent posts:

 

Over the past three or four days we have been seeing larger and larger herds of zebra and wildebeest around Four Seasons, and this morning the lines of wildebeest that have been feeding around the lodge and running past our villas, started congregating in large numbers at our waterhole, quite a site for our guests to enjoy the migration from the comfort of the lodge - and pool! - from Four Seasons

 

An update of the migration from yesterday morning. Huge herd of wildebeest. At least 10,000 strong, 15 mins south of Serengeti Pioneer Camp, they have passed Moru and are heading towards Lake Magadi. Very dry, still no rain, and the herds are on the move. – from Serengeti Pioneer Camp

 

Just an update from Moru area, the situation is getting a little desperate, it is extremely dry and the wildebeest and zebra are in desperate need of both water and grazing, we are all hoping for rain soon. – from Mkenda @ Ranger Safaris


Yesterday evening there was some thunderstorm activity to the south of us. On Sasakwa Plains this morning there is a strong movement of wildebeest heading west towards Nyasirori as seen from Sasakwa Lodge. – from Singita Grumeti



 

Pretty amazing stuff!  For a front row seat to the Migration, consider a private safari like our 14 Day Private Safari with Great Guides to Tanzania.



Up Close: Gorilla Trekking at Rwanda's Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge


What does it feel like to track gorillas in Rwanda's incredible Volcanoes National Park? Here’s a very special look at AAC client Kathy Paraking’s notes from her Gorilla Safari journal written from the spectacular lodge location:   

 

“Felecia arrived at 0515 with our coffee and hot chocolate and cookies; Sammie drove us to the park HQ where we were assigned the Hirwa gorilla family and we met our fellow trackers who seemed older and less fit than ourselves except for a lovely couple from Ireland. Our guide discussed the Hirwa family and what to expect on our visit. We then got back in our vehicles and went to the starting point. It was a 3-minute drive from the Sabyinyo. We all arrived and hired our porters who carried our packs and assisted us on the slippery trail.

 


 


 

As we headed up the trail we went through eucalyptus trees and field after field of potato plants in various stages of growth from just being put in the ground to flowering. There were cattle grazing and goats and sheep. People working the fields. We arrived at the park wall and were informed that the family was just 10 minutes ahead. We all needed assistance from the porters getting over as there was a 6 foot crevice that was 3 feet wide to traverse. The porters were great.

 

The four trackers, I think they should be called caretakers, were great at getting us all in good spots to see the gorillas and they frequently made low grunting sounds to communicate with them. We saw many juveniles, babies (those under 4) and females as well as the Silverback nicknamed Lucky. In the last few minutes of our hour, one of the females came over to sit by Lucky and several juveniles and babies with her own 2 week old. The baby was completely adorable. All the while there were gorillas walking around us getting within inches. One female climbed a bamboo tree and came crashing down. One of the babies tried to climb on Lucky but was unceremoniously pushed off. Lucky was initially lying down with a bundle of babies and juveniles and I did not recognize that he was there. When he lifted his massive arm to scratch himself I was shocked at its size. He did eventually sit up and he is a very big boy. I never at any time felt fear, only admiration and joy with several chuckles at the various behaviors like accidentally rolling down the hill.

Like everyone had told us, the hour was up all too quickly.”

 

Join in a gorilla safari adventure on one of our  Primate Safaris to Rwanda and Uganda.

 



6 Secret Highlights of a Tanzania Safari


Tanzania is one of the top wildlife viewing destinations in Africa, known, of course, for the migration of millions of wildebeest and zebras (and the predators who follow them) across the vast Serengeti. But beyond the justifiably famous migration, the country is also a place of unique landscapes, wondrous wildlife, and incredible people that are often only witnessed by those in the safari know. 


Now you can get in on all the secret highlights of our Under Tanzania Skies Safari safari for yourself: Available departures Jun 13: Jul 11: Jul 25: Aug 08: Aug 22: Sep 12: Oct 10; Dec 19:


1. Spotting Elephants by the Thousands in Tarangire – If it’s Elephant you’re after, Tarangire National Park is a must visit. Herds here reach numbers up to 6,000 strong! Sylvia Hegyi, a senior consultant at AAC, calls this little known park her favorite spot in East Africa for its “immense herds of elephants, huge number of baobab, incredibly beautiful landscape, and vast open spaces.”


                                                                                                                                 

2. Tree Climbing Lions!  What’s that you say, lions don’t climb trees? Maybe the ones in southern Africa haven’t taken to the treetops, but in Manyara Lake National Park, the lions not only climb Acacia trees, but also sleep in the branches (perhaps, it’s thought, to escape the tsetse flies that bother them on the ground). It’s a unique site, and this corner of the Great Rift Valley is one of the only places to witness it.                                                                                                                                                                                         

3. Descending into a Volcanic Crater – Some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa is in a 2 million year old crater filled with lush, green, prehistoric-looking vegetation. Ngorngoro Crater is known for its fabulous wildlife sightings, but it’s also the largest intact, inactive, unfilled volcanic crater in the world (it’s estimated that if this volcano hadn’t imploded, it would have grown as big as Kilimanjaro). Covering more than 100-square-miles, the crater acts as a natural safety barrier to the 30,000 mammals who call it home, including a large group of Black Rhino.



4. Crowd Free Serengeti – What’s the secret to beating the crowds and having the most intimate wildlife experience in the popular Serengeti National Park? Safari camps that move when the animals do! Serengeti Seasonal Camp moves three or four times a year to maximize wildlife viewing for its guest. With just 8 (very comfortable) tents, and a separate safari guide and jeep for each, there’s no better way to view the sensational Serengeti migration and seasons.



5. Philanthropy in Every Stay – At intimate Ndarakwai Ranch, at the foot of magnificent Kilimanjaro, guests have the opportunity to visit local Maasai villages and a portion of every guest’s stay is donated to The Kilimanjaro Conservancy which works in the local communities, often where staff at the ranch is from. The local non-profit organization undertakes community anti-poaching activities on and around Ndarakwai, supports local schools, and promotes initiatives to reduce human/wildlife conflict. AAC clients Liz and Mike Lang add that, at Ndarakwai “the opportunity to visit the Maasai, with their beautiful, innocent children, was special, particularly since our guide from the ranch knew this particular village."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

6. Multiple Life-Changing Experiences in One Trip – Astounding elephant herds, tree climbing lions, a volcanic crater filled with wildlife, cultural outreach. For other places in the world, an itinerary with this many unique elements would be impossible in one trip, but on the Under Tanzanian Skies, it can all comprise one unforgettable trip.  14 Day - Group Safari Under Tanzanian Skies



Photographic Safaris


Get those cameras ready to photograph some stunning landscapes and once in a lifetime viewing of African wildlife on these five departures.


We feature four “Signature Safaris” to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda & Uganda, and Botswana. Top quality guides lead these trips to Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries!



         

15-Day Zimbabwe “Eyes on Elephant”

Priced - $10,995.00
This safari highlights the extraordinary guides in Zimbabwe who will lead you on this signature trip. Experience Northern and Southeastern  Hwange with Dave Carson and Nic Polenakis, and in Mana Pools you will take walking and canoeing safaris with Nick Murray.

2015 Departures: Jun 07, Jul 12, Aug 02, Aug 15, Aug 28*, Sep 20


      

14-Day Under Tanzanian Skies

Priced - $6,995.00
An Africa Adventure Company Signature Safari that highlights one of the top wildlife destinations in Africa! With only 8-10 guests traveling in a small exclusive departure; the areas you visit include the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Big cat and migration photography!

2015 Departures: Jan 17, Feb 07, Mar 07*, Jun 13, Jul 11, Jul 25, Aug 08, Aug 22, Sep 12, Oct 10, Dec 19


     

14-Day Primate and Plains Safari to Uganda and Rwanda

Priced - $9,595.00
We designed our Primate and Plains Group Safari to include two gorilla treks, one in each country, anticipating that guests would like to visit both!

2015 Departures: Feb 03, Jul 04 & Sep 06


     
Priced - $10,995.00
Visit the prime areas of Linyanti, Okavango Delta and Moremi periphery. Accommodations are in classic permanent tented camps.

2015 Departures: May 29, Jun 09, Jun 27, Jul 12, Jul 29, Aug 15, Aug 29, Sep 16


      
Priced - $6,595.00
Your itinerary focuses on a luxury getaway to South Africa. Enjoy a best of Africa wildlife experience on a Private Game Reserve.

2015 Departures: Oct 17



AAC Guide Field Sightings from Tanzania on August and September 2014 safari trips


 AAC Guide sightings from Tanzania on November and December 2014 Safari trips

 

Mkenda was with Ayres Party and reported interesting sightings:

 

Clients Expectations


The clients had very high expectations as one of them had been and visited Africa three times prior but had not yet been lucky enough to sight a leopard with a kill. We set out with high expectations but no promises to see what the African Savannahs had in store for us.


  

 

Clients Experience 

 

Client's experiences exceeded their expectations! We were extremely lucky seeing five leopard and seeing very rare and special sightings of the wild dogs (also known as "African hunting dogs") We even managed to witness the Wildebeest migration which really added to our wow factor! We had an awesome Safari filled with many highlights from our adventurous safari.

 

  

 

We began our journey from KIA and overnighting in Arusha for the night. The following morning we had a safari briefing where we highlighted several key points on safari and reviewed our upcoming days to come. We drove towards Tarangire and had lunch at Maramboi camp and thereafter explored Tarangire National Park. During  our game drive we saw some cheetah and lots of elephants and the baobab trees were in the background were a stunning sight during Sundown.

 

The following morning on game drive we saw a cheetah from a distance then later we saw two cheetahs much closer. We enjoyed watching birds at silalei swamp especially the African open billed stork and lots of zebra and elephants in the swamp too.

 

In the late evening we saw a leopard from a distance, we were lucky to have the evening light behind us which resulted in great photo opportunities.

 

  

 

We continued our adventure and we drove to Lake Manyara National Park, where we saw hippopotamus and flamingo. We visited a new featured recently built, where we were able to get out of the vehicle and walk onto a wooden deck where the clients could the watch flamingo in the lake. We also enjoyed bird watching and spotted blue monkey overlooking the forest in the northern part of the park. We headed out of the Park and spent the night at Kitela Lodge where the clients enjoyed the garden and fish farming as they have a fish pond there.

 

The next day we started early by having breakfast at the lodge and we went to explore the Ngorongoro Crater. Upon reaching the crater floor we saw a big pride of lions with three big males and females and cubs hiding. There after we saw a rhino in close range and then another pride of lions with two males very close and one lioness under the vehicle and the other four lionesses with very tiny two cub on the road.

 

 

 

We continued our journey the next day we drove to Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge. The site was much appreciated as they had studied the history of the area in School. In the Serengeti just after arriving we saw a leopard on the log and two in two different trees also we saw some migratory animals. After lunch we enjoy a show by the elephant as they smelled the lions and they were furious and agitated running and trumpeting here and there it was awesome. Then we saw a male lion and two females, then we saw the male showing a sort of behavior which we thought that it was a new comer and a stranger to the pride and it was finding and looking for cubs to kill them.

 

  

 

Our adventure in the Serengeti plains continued. Today was an awesome day as we saw all the big cats and very rare 13 African hunting dogs and later we saw lions with a kill and eating in a hidden place and some lions on the road. Then after lunch we drove to the Moru Kopjes to see the Maasai painting and gong rock. The clients were very happy to see these rocks and the painting. By this time the clients said we have seen everything now we want to witness a live kill!

 

   

 

  

 

The day for the hunt started well as we drove and find three lionesses waiting for zebras and wildebeests going to drink but their positions were not good cover for killing. So we drove to another site, where there was only a single female and we anticipated that she might be having her cubs in hiding.

 

  

 

The first attempt failed as a warthog came to drink and leave as the lioness was not in good cover. The second attempt failed too as the cover was not good and she did not like to break the cover. Then the lioness decided to come to the other side where there was a good cover so she went all that way along the river to wait and the warthog came and she started to hunt. It was awesome to follow up the whole episode of the hunt and our wait and patience paid off as we spent almost two hours watching the drama unfold and lucky enough to witness a successful chase and kill.

 

  

 

So the lioness started to hunt from an angle just close by as the lioness was between us and the warthog. Just when it was about 30 feet away she ambushed and caught the warthog wow it was breathtaking sight!

 

  

 

We were at a right time at the right place as we had some excellent footage of the whole episode.

 

   

 

We saw the lioness drag the warthog carcass towards her cubs across the muddy stream as she decided to hide under the tree and went to call the cubs to join.

 

  

 

That was the end of an incredible, action packed trip!! As the “wishes” came true! they said that they have to be very careful on what they have to ask for !!!! We drove to the airstrip and they went to Arusha for lunch and day room.

 

Elibariki was with Rockmore Party and reported

 

After spending a night in Arusha resting from our travels, we began our safari adventure as we drove to Manyara Range for lunch. On our way we saw big herds of impala family, gerunuk, wathorgs and kirk's dik dik. We also saw big herum of impalas, dizzle of zebras, big herd of buffalo, , two brothers of cheatah, three bull elephant, scattered herd of wildebeest. We had the wonderful experience of a sundowner close to camp and thereafter back to the camp for dinner and overnight.

 

After breakfast our morning game drive was interesting where we spotted resident game as we had females lesser kudu, herd eland reedbuck female, so many giraffes, bachelor elephants, as we drove back to the camp for lunch. Our Afternoon game drive we saw more elephant, eland and other resident game. We visited a Masai village which was a nice experience. After that we continued with our game drive, and treated ourselves to a sundowner enjoying the great African sunset as we headed back to camp for dinner and overnight.

 


 

The day started with Morning walking safaris which was great and fun. After the walking, a nice breakfast at the camp. After breakfast we drove towards Ngorongoro enjoying the scenic drive climbing the escarpment and towards the Ngorongoro highlands. We stopped at the crater view point, and then circled the rim to Ngorongoro Sopa for lunch and enjoyed the afternoon at leisure with a great view of the Ngorongoro crater!

 

Our day’s adventure in the Crater was thrilling! Breakfast at 0600 o’clock, thereafter we departed with picnic lunch for full day game drive. On our game drive we saw big herd of buffalo, herd of wildebeest, Thompson and grant's gazelles, four black rhinos two of them far away from the road, two closer to the road! We spotted pride of lion together with big male lion with a dark blackish manes. We spotted plenty of zebras, ostriches, bachelor of elephants, school of hippos, white pelicans, black smith plovers to name a few birds we spotted. We enjoyed our picnic lunch on the crater floor. We continued afternoon game drive we saw big herd of eland and other resident game we had spotted earlier in the morning. After a successful day of game viewing we headed back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.


The next day our journey continued towards the mighty Serengeti plains. After breakfast we departed to Ndutu with a pit stop at Oldupai gorge which was very interesting. We continued our game drive en route where we saw twenty four giraffe, many zebra, scattered wildebeest migration, grants and Thompsons, gazelle etc. We stopped for lunch at the camp. After lunch afternoon game drive where we saw big flock of vultures and marabou storks eating carcass with three tiny cheetah cubs and mother. After short time we saw another mother cheetah with four cubs of about two months old. We managed to spot many birds secretary birds, , starling fischers love birds. We headed back to the camp for dinner and overnight.

The following morning we decided to have an early start. After early breakfast we headed out for game drives where we saw giraffes, zebra, mother cheetah with three cubs, pride of six lion with two young males of about two years old also two young females of two years old. We witnessed the great Wildebeest migration scattered in the plains. We were lucky to spot another mother cheetah with four cubs and one cheetah eating carcass of male Thompson gazelle. We also spotted during our game drive ostriches many grant gazelle on the Serengeti plains. Later on we saw spotted hyena, bat eared foxes, four lonely black backed jackals. We spotted a huge flock of vultures eating left over carcass from the lion. Our adventure continued as spotted a leopard with a kill of black tailed mongoose. We headed back to come for a late lunch and decided to go out later for a short afternoon game drive. We saw two lionesses and spent time watching them. We continued to spot resident game that we had seen earlier during the day and then decided to call it a day and head back to the camp for dinner and overnight.

We had an early morning with breakfast and ventured out on our morning game drive where we saw pride of six lions, giraffe, big herd of impala, wildebeest herd. We spotted wildebeest herd crossing the river and spent time watching them as they crossed, we continued and spotted another pride of nine lions on the plain after they had just eaten a wildebeest! We were lucky to spot a leopard pausing for us. During the afternoon we saw mother cheetah with three cubs eating Thompson gazelle, two lionesses, and two elephant bulls! Later we spotted the big herds of wildebeest which were part of the scattered migration. We returned back to camp for dinner and overnight.

 

The following day we departed for game viewing after breakfast we decided to take a packed lunch with us we drove to explore another area of the Serengeti plains. On our game drive we saw witnessed the huge herds of wildebeest migration which was a spectacular site as the plains were filled with them! As we continued with spotted mother cheetah with one cub of about six months old, plenty of zebra herd, big herd of about forty elephants around the marsh area. We enjoyed our picnic lunch with a great view of the Serengeti plains! After lunch we continued with our afternoon game drive en route where we spotted male lion, big herd of topi, big family of warthog, three lionesses, , big herd of about hundred elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many other resident game gazelles and zebra. After a very successful day of game viewing we then decided to head back to camp for dinner and overnight.

Our adventure in the Serengeti Plains continued as we decided to depart early after breakfast for morning game drives. We spotted a big herd of bachelor impalas, two pride of lions lazing around, big herd of bachelor herd of buffalo, hippos, crocodile. We headed back to camp for lunch. After lunch our afternoon game drive we saw territorial male impala and some resident game. We experienced too many tsetse flies and thus decided to return back to the camp earlier to enjoy the view and sunset from the camp.

The following day we headed out after breakfast with a short en route game drive as we headed towards the airstrip. We spotted herd of about hundred elephant, several giraffes, troop of baboon, crocodile, then we crossed the Grumeti through hanging bridge to Grumeti airstrip where they boarded their flight back to Arusha. We had an excellent trip with great sightings that created memorable moments.

 

Mkenda was with Stern Party


 


Clients Experience

 

Client’s experiences were incredible and fulfilling! They did not believe how lucky we were and by far the game viewing we spotted exceeded their expectation. We enjoyed few vehicles as we explored areas during the early morning hours, and the early starts paid off as we managed to captures some great images during the early mornings and late afternoon.


 


We began with our safari adventure visiting Arusha National Park where we enjoyed the scenery and spotted flamingo in the lake and the black and white Colobus monkey, buffalos, giraffes.

 

  

 

The next day we drove to Shumata Camp and they spend two days there.

 

They enjoyed Shumata as they met a real remote Maasai and they saw a gerenuk and other general game, but they did not see elephants. Having the opportunity of visiting Lake Manyara Park next on our itinerary we had the chance to spot Elephants. We saw Elephants up close and that made everyone very happy.

 

The following day we left at six with a packed breakfast and packed lunch we were one of the first to enter crater floor as we were staying at Lemala very close to the crater floor gate.

 

Wow the early morning paid off as we found a pride of 16 lions eating a zebra carcass. Then we drove further and found two lionesses and a cub with the best morning light they came close by and drinking from the water puddle on the road in front of our vehicle. It was awesome sight. Then we saw a rhino! We were lucky to see all this before breakfast and so we decided to enjoy the stunning views while we enjoyed our packed breakfast. We had a table and chairs at the picnic site and enjoyed breakfast in front of hippopotamus playing.

 

 

 

The following day we drove to Serengeti NP via Olduvai Gorge the clients were very happy to see the Gorge especially the Zinji site. On the way I briefed them about the site that is very important and unique place due to the fact that it was the first place to find the oldest skull of human kind in 1959 and that shifted the origins of human kind from Asia to Africa.. Also the orderly formation of the layers of ash and lava landing from the Ngorongoro high land volcanic eruption also made this place to be unique. We drove down to the Gorge where Jeffry was so happy to see the site and viewing some fossilized bones of ancestors’ of various animals kinds including but not limited to historical elephants.

Just after arriving in the Serengeti we saw a pride of four lions with a male and then later we saw a cheetah with her two cubs.

 

 

 

Our Adventure continued as we drove and spotted tree climbing lions! Then we saw a leopard pausing for us. Later we spotted a pride of 23 lions crossing the road and few of them went up on the tree. We decided to break for lunch and enjoyed our picnic lunch admiring the Serengeti Plains. Then after lunch we spotted two lionesses and four cubs in the evening light it was so fortunate to see them playing at such close distance.

 

 

 

 

 

We drove to the Serengeti explorer camp and en route saw the wildebeest migration across the plains best us and Naabi hill. This was a spectacular site as the plains were full of the migratory herds. In the afternoon we spotted a cheetah hunting gazelles we were lucky to witness the chase but unfortunately it failed to kill the first attempt as she chosen a grant instead of a Thomson gazelle.

 

 

 

We continued our adventure in the Serengeti Plains. It was a great day we followed several cheetah hunting but they didn’t manage to be successful. We spotted three mother cheetahs with cubs: one with three month old and second one with five cubs and the third with only one cub.

 

 

 

  

 

We spotted great leopard sightings! , One with a kill on the tree and the other one was a male on a close look tree branch, and then the leopard with a kill walked and was playing just close by to our Vehicle! It was a fantastic experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spotted a pride of 20 lions with lots of cubs drinking just in front of our truck.

 

  

 

As our safari adventure came to its end, Our last day in the Serengeti, we drove to Seronera airstrip and on the way we saw lots of hyenas and migration of wildebeest herds and very close to the airstrip we spotted a pride of 16 lions with one dominant male! It was the perfect way to celebrate an amazing safari with great unique sightings!

 

  

 

THEY SAID SHALOM!

 

That was the end of an incredible safari and that’s how we celebrated both Christmas and New Year! 

 

AAC Guide Field Sightings from Tanzania on August and September 2014 safari trips

 

Lioness and cub
Mkenda was with Trissel Party and reported great sightings on their adventures:

My clients had very high expectations due to the fact that they specialized in birding and they had put in a request for a birding expert. I had to be at my very best and needed to put on my “birding hat”. 


     Mkenda in Tanzania great sightings
     Lilac-breasted roller   Lion in the field
 

Even though they love birds, especially Mr. David, they also enjoyed and loved the nature scenery and larger game too. The client’s had a wonderful experience and their expectations were exceeded. We were able to identify 252 birds, an achievement and a record for me. We were very lucky especially as it was the dry season when most birds have migrated.


Verreaux’s eagle owl   Tanzania bird

Our safari adventure started as we headed towards Lake Burunge Camp. On the way we identified fifty birds including some that were identified earlier on a walk on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.


On the way I explained the geology of the Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire biodiversity, which was formed as the result of the formation of the rift valley about 20 million years ago and that the rift valley resulted in the formation of the alkaline lake or Soda Lake due to the precipitations of bicarbonate of different salts. These lakes attract lot of water birds including but not limited to flamingos, pelicans and storks. The droppings of these water birds especially the flamingos, precipitated at the bottom of the lake and then these droppings were pressed by the ash that landed on the top of the lake from the volcanic eruption of the near-by volcano. This resulted in the fertilizer being mined at the junction to the Tarangire Park.

 

Throughout lunch and thereafter we kept birding as we went into the park where I explained all about the Tarangire National Park as being one of my favourite parks in the dry season! The Park is about 3000 square Kilometers which is inside a huge game reserve region of almost 35,000 square Kilometers. This is where all the animals in that 35,000 square Kilometers converge and take refuge due to the hydrological regime and the only place where water can be found is in the Tarangire River, which flows through the park. 


Animal researcher’s statistics show that the park having more than 6000 elephants making it the park with the highest density of elephants in the world, almost 3 elephants per square Kilometer. In the park we saw plenty of wildebeest and zebras and elephants.


  Elephant in Tarangire National Park   Big snake on the tree

The following day we had a full day game drive including a trip to the Selalei swamp for birding. We also saw a leopard and a tree climbing python on an acacia tree which was an awesome experience!  It was great to identify lots of birds with some of them endemic to the park like the orange belled parrot and yellow collared lovebird. We were also lucky to see red and yellow barbet, and open billed storks just to mention a few highlights


We continued our adventure as we used a back road access from The Lake Burunge Camp to Lake Manyara Park. We were lucky to identify very rare birds like Peter’s Twinspot, red headed weaver, and many water birds keeping in mind that this park has more than 460 bird’s species.


The next morning we had the opportunity to explore Manyara National Park as we began our drive at drive at 6:00am. We saw some birds such as the beautiful woodland king fisher and later on we spotted a pride of lions with very young cubs along the Munge River and a handsome male lion and lots elephant in Relay Forest. We also saw a rhino from the distance and plenty of wildebeests, zebra and other general game.  


Pride of lions with cubs   Beautiful woodland king fisher on Mayara Park

Our adventure continued as we drove to Serengeti Explorer Camp, along the way we drove thru Olduvai Gorge where we saw a lot of birds including red bishop, Rufous Chatterer and canaries.


We spent the day exploring the Serengeti plains. In the morning we shared exciting stories as during the night Karen and her daughter Sara had head the deep sounds of the Lions roaring! It felt like they were extremely close to Camp! It was certainly going to be an exciting story for them to tell their friends back home. 


We had another special game drive as we saw a leopard on the tree, which eventually came down and walked close by our vehicle. We eagerly watched as the leopard tried to scan for food, given there wasn’t a good chance close by, it went back up the tree. We also saw lots of birds including an owl the verreaux’s eagle owl.


Leopard on the tree  King fisher woodland


The following day, we had a full day game drive to the Mara River where we saw lots of migratory animals including wildebeest and zebra. We also saw crocodiles and two male cheetahs. We also saw lots of new birds including northern black flycatcher, northern throated tit, and the goliath heron.


As our adventure was nearing the end and we drove towards the Seronera air strip, we acknowledged that we had some great sightings with many different species of birds. David, Karen, Joshua and Sarah were very happy with the record bird sightings for them, and for me it was a record of 252 birds during the dry season!  It was awesome.


George Mollel and Ephata Lotashu were with The Eig & Swain Party and reported: 

We began on our safari adventure, venturing from Arusha town to Gibb’s farm in Karatu for lunch. As it was dry season we saw a large number of Maasai women and boys at the water pools fetching water. We got to Gibb’s farm at around twelve thirty just in time for lunch.  After lunch we visited Shalom orphanage which was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. The guest received a brief from the matrons about the orphanage and the children. Later the kids had the chance to interact with the orphanage children and share with them some gifts that they had brought with them. In the evening we drove to the Crater lodge for dinner and overnight.


The following day was an exciting one. This was our first day with the opportunity for game viewing so we left the lodge early at 6:00am with our breakfast. We saw good sightings of lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, zebras, and wildebeest. Some of the guest had been to South Africa and they said that they saw a lot more here within one day compared to a day in South Africa. The Lunch setup was spectacular as a special lunch was arranged on the crater floor by the lodge and this was a fantastic experience! After lunch we did a short drive and we headed back to lodge as they had pre planned activities, the boys had a spear contest with the Maasai guards at the lodge and the girls were going to learn to do some bead work from the Maasai women.


Tanzania guide Ephata Lotashu   Tanzania guide George Mollel


The following day, we left the lodge early in the morning at 7:00am and drove to the Manyara airstrip. The guests boarded their plane and flew to the Serengeti to continue their adventures. 


Mkenda was with the Masterson Party and reported some incredible adventures stories:

The clients experience exceeded their expectation and we were very lucky with our sightings which we were able to enjoy all alone with few vehicles or no vehicles. In Tarangire National Park we were able to see lesser and greater Kudu. We had game drives in the crater late evening and in the early morning and managed to have some great sightings.


Lions with a kill   Hyenas on the field

After a nights rest at the Lake Duluti Lodge, our safari began as we drove towards Tarangire National Park heading towards Oliver’s camp for lunch. On the way we spotted great game including lions and leopard. After lunch we headed out for an Afternoon game drive and were lucky to spot another leopard which made the highlight of the day.


The following day we had a very early start, we left at 6:00am and saw a python and two cheetah hunting but unfortunately they were unsuccessful. As we continued our game drive we saw a pride of 4 lionesses and plenty of elephants. In the evening my guests had a walk conducted by the camp guide and later on they experienced a night game drive and were able to spot some nocturnal game.


Python on the tree  Two cheetah hunting


The following day we continued to explore and we drove in remote area where we saw greater and lesser kudu. It was an incredible adventure as we were alone for almost the whole day, and everyone enjoyed the scenery around us, happy to be in the presence of wildlife.  


One great kudu   Young kudu

After Breakfast we departed and headed towards Ngorongoro, and as we drove through Mto wa Mbu I gave a talk about the formation of the Great rift Valley, which caused the formation of the Ngorongoro highland and in turn resulted in the flat plains of the Southern Serengeti.


The Ngorongoro Highland is a very important biodiversity in the area, as it collects and absorbs rain water like a sponge which percolates under the rocks and is released down at the foot of the rift valley wall of the escarpment. The water is very clear as the rocks beneath are rich in lime stone. The creeks created from these springs are used by local people for irrigation purposes where they produce lots of vegetables, banana and rice. The produce got good prices as tourism increased back in the 1960s and that attracted various tribes. With over 120 different tribes in the area this has become one of the tourist attractions.


On the rim of the crater we enjoyed the view, then after lunch we went to the crater for an afternoon game drive. In the evening we enjoyed we saw two lionesses with three cubs. We were very lucky as they were on the road. We couldn’t stay longer as we had to make our way back up the crater rim.


Lioness and cub on the road  Lioness on the field


We had a very early morning start at 6:00am and as we were inside the gate it was easy to be in the crater floor first. We were lucky to see a lioness with her two tiny cubs on the road. Then we started to follow lion’s tracks which took us to the whole pride of lions eating a kill we watched it for over an hour! It was an awesome experience tracking lions and then finding the pride with the kill. This pride was unique as it had 4 big males, a couple of lionesses, and several cubs all eating together.


Lioness with her cubs on the road  Hippos in the water


We continued on our game drive to the picnic site and en route we saw hippopotamus outside the water. We enjoyed our breakfast overlooking the hippos in the water.  After breakfast we saw a serval cat hunting and then we saw an elephant from far away, we stopped and waited for half an hour for the elephant to come. It was such a breath taking site as a huge elephant with massive tasks crossed just in front of our vehicle.


Serval cat hunting  Huge elephant with massive tasks


The next day we left at 06:30am for Manyara Airstrip where the guests were flying on a plane to Lamai in Mara River and to explore the Serengeti plains. We had a fantastic Safari with some incredible sightings.

 

Jabshir was with Zollner Party and reported interesting sightings:


Tanzania guide Jabshir


After arriving from Namanga we began our safari journey by heading to Maramboi Camp for an overnight.


The following day we started our tour to Tarangire National Park where we saw plenty of animals as this is usually a very good park especially during the dry season. Here we saw a lion kill on wildebeest.

 

After Tarangire we went to Manyara were we saw more birds, giraffes, and other general wildlife including hippos which was a new sighting for the clients. We went on to Ngorongoro Farm House for an overnight.

 
The next day, as planned we departed early heading down to the crater floor for the whole day. We spotted even more lions, flamingoes, and two rhinos at a distance which was one of the highlights.


Lion waiting for a kill   Hers of zebras

After the crater we went back to our lodge getting ready for the following day where we planned to continue our journey to the mighty Serengeti plains.


On our way we visited Oldupai Gorge and then continued to Serengeti where we managed to spot a large pride of lions and a cheetah.


Serengeti was really good as it had received a small amount of rain which settled the dust and brought the new shoots of grass turning areas on the plains into a nice greenish color!  We saw a lot of animals all over the Serengeti and it continued to rain a little almost every day in the afternoon.  The sightings we encountered were great. The guests flew to Tarime then Migori to continue their adventure in Maasai Mara.


George Mollel was with Herman party and reported:

After spending their first night in Arusha and relaxing from the long flights to Tanzania, we started our journey and drove towards Tarangire Natonal Park, stopping at Tengeru primary school for a short visit.


After the School visit, we drove to Maromboi camp for lunch and then into Tarangire Park for an afternoon game drive. We were lucky to spot some interesting wildlife such as lions, elephant, zebras, wildebeest, giraffe, Impalas, and warthog.  A highlight was the sighting of an albino baboon which is a very rare sighting! 


  Rare sighting of Albino Baboons  Rare sighting of Albino Baboons


The following day we departed with a picnic lunch for full day’s game viewing. We saw elephants, cheetah, ostrich, waterbuck, and birds. A highlight was seeing four male lions on top of the tree! This was certainly a surprise to see lions on trees in Tarangire National Park. The guests were looking forward to seeing tree climbing lions in Manyara.  


We started early and left the camp after breakfast and drove to Lake Manyara Park for more game viewing and here we saw hippo, baboons, monkeys, klipspringers, and lions feeding on a giraffe. Another highlight for the guests was seeing the flocks of flamingoes.


Departing Kitela lodge early in the morning, we had a short drive to the Ngorongoro crater for our crater tour.  During our game drive we saw lions with cubs, jackals, hyenas, buffaloes, gazelles, and hippo. After lunch we went to the Maasai for a cultural visit which was of great interest to our guests. Our highlight was seeing lion cubs and the lioness carrying her cub with her mouth. What a spectacular sight!


We departed early in the morning for Manyara airstrip. The guests were flying to Serengeti to continue their safari adventures in the mighty Serengeti Plains.


Elephant on Serengeti plains  Pride of lions resting on the bush

 

Wilfred Mollel was with the Lang Party and reported: 

We began our safari adventure at Ndarakwai Ranch for two nights. We arrived there in time for lunch. After lunch they planned out their activities for their stay including a walking safari, a night game drive, and a visit to the Maasai village.     

Giraffe and other animals on the field.   Beautiful camp on the forest

Early in the morning we started our drive to Tarangire National Park. En route we visited an orphanage as the guests had brought along with them some gifts in the form of school supplies and stationary. They also made an additional a monetary contribution to buy three dairy cows for the orphanage.


We arrived at Tarangire safari lodge for lunch. After lunch we ventured out for our afternoon game drive and spotted wildebeest, zebras, impalas, water buck, giraffe and three cheetah in the distance. Before arriving at the lodge we saw a big herd of elephant moving away into the woods.  We arrived at Oliver’s Camp where we would spend three nights. 


Hers of elephants coming down to drink.

The following morning the guests started with a walking safari. We then headed out for a game drive with our packed picnic lunch. We spotted general game including different herds of elephant coming down to the swamp for drinking, wallowing and feeding. We saw a leopard resting on an acacia tree, a lilac breasted roller, superb starling, hornbills, and many vultures. We watched a lioness killing a wildebeest although this was quite far away from us. After that we drove to the camp for dinner and an overnight.

 

We started the last day in Tarangire by leaving camp very early in the morning with a packed breakfast box and picnic lunch. We saw nightjars, scrub hare, impalas, a few grant gazelles, and two male cheetahs walking along the road. We then saw a lot of elephants and buffalo, giraffes, dik-diks, elands and some lions.  As we were heading home we came across a male buff bellied bustard putting on a display for three females. We ended up the day game drive by spotting some lesser kudu close to the camp. Later during the evening the clients had the opportunity to go on a night game drive to see some nocturnal wildlife.


Two male cheetahs walking on the road

After breakfast we drove towards Kuro airstrip seeing many animals along the way. An exciting experience was watching a lioness move her three cubs to a new hiding place. From Kuro airstrip the guests caught a flight to Kogatende air strip in the Northern Serengeti to continue their Safari adventure.  


George Mollel was with Bhatnagar party and reported:

After an overnight and morning at leisure at the Lake Duluti Serena, we departed after lunch on a scenic drive towards the Ngorongoro Highlands and to Ngorongoro Farm House. On the way we saw giraffe, baboons, and marabou stork on their nesting site around Lake Manyara.


The following day we left the lodge at around 6:30am and went to the crater floor for our game drive. En route while still on the rim we came across Hyena’s eating a carcass! Down on the crater floor we had good sighting of lions mating, buffalo, hyena, rhino, ostrich, flamingoes, kori bustard, and many other birds. Our highlight of the crater was seeing the hippos rolling in the mud at the pool and a pair of ostrich mating.


We decided to head out to Manyara Park for a morning game drive and to have lunch at Manyara Serena.  As the guests were keen birders, we took the opportunity to explore the parks diverse habitats viewing many birds including the rare palm-nut vulture and the martial eagle the biggest eagle in Africa.  We saw elephants, flamingoes, baboons, giraffe, and monkeys but the highlight was seeing a cheetah in Lake Manyara. What a special and rare sighting!


We decided to leave the hotel at around 8:00am for Tarangire stopping on the way to visit a Maasai Village and get an experience of their culture which the guests were looking forward to. After an enriching time spent with the Masaai we proceeded to explore Tarangire National Park.


In the park the guest were looking forward to seeing an owl and we were rewarded with two great sighting of Verreaux’s eagle-owl, and Africa barred owl. We also enjoyed other sightings of lion, elephants, baboons, jackal, Impala, zebras, and wildebeest. 


   Leopard spotted on the tree


The following day we left the lodge with both packed breakfast and packed lunch as we spent the entire day exploring the park enjoying great sightings of leopard, lion, bat eared foxes, python, monitor lizard, and lots of birds with a great sun set. We were fascinated at the large number of elephant at the Silalei swamp and the high concentration of animals in the park.


Our last day in the park we had a short morning game drive and were rewarded by  good sightings of leopard spotted by Nick, giraffe , ostrich, and bat eared fox that was close up. This was the perfect way to bid farewell to the guests as they continued their great adventure by leaving for the Maasai Mara.


Herds of beest on the plains  One young elephant  Lioness on the field


Willfred Mollel was with Hudson Party and reported:

We started our journey and headed towards Tarangire National Park, entering the park gate and then continuing to the lodge for lunch. After lunch we went for an afternoon game drive and we saw plenty of birds and animals including herds of elephants, cheetah, and a pride of about ten lion.  We drove back to the safari lodge for dinner and overnight.


The following day we started early at 6:00am taking a packed breakfast and a picnic lunch then heading to the south part of the park. It was a beautiful morning with many birds chirping away and we spotted the ring necked dove, colored love bird, martial eagle and tawny eagle. We spotted Impala, grant gazelles, zebras, wildebeest, common water buck, vervet monkey and ostrich. Around the swamp we saw a lioness trying to hunt as her cubs watched from a hiding spot in the tree, we also saw a cheetah and a leopard. We drove back to the lodge for dinner viewing a heard of buffalo and a troop of baboons along the way.


Departing from Tarangire and continuing our adventure, with our picnic lunch we preceded towards Lake Manyara National Park, hoping to find blue monkey, troops of baboons and vervet monkey which we did. We managed to find lot of birds especial the pink flamingoes, pelicans, yellow billed storks and egyptian goose. We found animals such as elephant, buffalo, Impala, warthog, and a male lion before continuing on to escarpment lodge for dinner and overnight.


The next morning we went back to the park and saw the same kind of animals including giraffe and a cheetah lying down in the distance. We saw birds like vitalline masked weaver, morning thrush, African harrier hawk, superb sterling and the tropical boubou before driving back to the lodge for the night.


Lodge on the park

We had an early start as we left Escarpment Lodge heading to Ngorongoro Crater. On arrival we saw a lot of animals but the most active ones were the hippos flipping around and splashing the water on their body with their tail, we then saw three male lions walking along the road. We drove to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge for a late lunch and to spend the afternoon at leisure relaxing with the magnificent views of the Ngorongoro Crater.


The following morning we started very early with breakfast and a packed picnic lunch. Among the beautiful animal sightings that we saw was a lioness playing with and nursing a little cub, a serval cat walking along the swamp, five lionesses walking across the grass plain, a rhino  walking and sleeping, male hippos chasing one another. We saw birds such as crown cranes, cattle egret, rufous tailed weaver, and we treated with a male ostrich dancing. We drove back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.


We left Ngorongoro and started our journey towards the Serengeti, along the way we stopped at the Oldupai Gorge and then at a maasai village. In the park we spotted two male lions resting under the tree, a dazzle of zebras, and herds of both Thomsons and Grants gazelles before arriving at the camp for lunch.


Later that day we went for an afternoon  game drive and came across spotted hyenas, giraffe, and three lioness under the tree with a cheetah walking on the plains.


We also witnessed white bellies bustard doing a courtship display, a pair of secretary bird fixing the nest, and elephants wallowing.   


We continued further north to Kogatende, along the way we came across herds of wildebeest moving towards the central area. We spotted a lone male lion and plenty of hartebeest, waterbuck, warthog, eland, elephants and buffalo before arriving at Ubuntu Camp for the night.


We spent three full days searching for river crossings, more action from the large cats, and just exploring other parts of the area. Among our many sightings we saw was two lionesses with eight cubs enjoying two wildebeest carcasses, one of the carcasses was almost gone and vultures and jackals were present as well. The cubs were having good time chasing the vultures off the carcass. We were lucky to find a leopard with a baby wildebeest carcass hidden in the bush and lions enjoying lying on top of the rocky out crops. There was an amazing number of oribi, klipspringer, agama lizard, and hyrax on the rock as well. We were finally lucky enough to witness herd of wildebeest crossing the Mara River on the last day of the game drive which made it even more special and the best sighting for the end of the trip.


Herd of wildbeest crossing Mara River


The following day we drove to Kogatende airstrip as the guests were flying back to Arusha and would connect to their international flight later on.  




Beyond the Migration - Tanzania Year Round at Singita


Giraffes under a huge tree
Visiting Tanzania is about much more than the annual wildebeest migration that traverses the Serengeti. At any time of year, the region offers travellers diverse game viewing, from big predators to prolific prey, on its vast open plains and along its river banks.

Be captured by the awe of the many seasons this area has to offe


Herds of zebras on the field

January to March

Warm and fairly dry, this is a great time to visit the region with large herds of topi, zebra, eland, giraffe and Thompson’s gazelle starting to gather on the open plains. It is also the calving season. Read more »

Large elephants

April to May

Known as the season of the long rains, this period transforms the landscape as lush, longer grasses grow and rivers, lakes and pans start to fill up with water again. Large herds of elephant are common  sightings. Read more »
A pleasant warm day for game viewing

June to October

The dry season commences in June and continues until the end of October. Considered high season in Tanzania, it is characterised by pleasantly warm, sunny days and easy game viewing. Read more » 

 Lodge with a great view of the park

November to December

Short rains and brief, spectacular thunderstorms give way to clear skies and amazing colour contrasts for photography. Awesome cheetah and lion sightings are common, there are a large number of babies, and migratory birds return. Read more »


Be captured by the awe of the many seasons this area has to offe r - watch this short video »



Ol Donyo Lodge


Guide James and Lion Tracker Lenka discussing the route through the  Chyulu Hills to the collared lion Nemasi
Guide James and Lion Tracker Lenka discussing the route 
through the  Chyulu Hills to the collared lion Nemasi

April’s word has to be lions! The sightings have been amazing with so much Lion activity……… Nemesi has been consistently seen with her 3 cubs who are growing rapidly and seem to be doing extremely well and absolutely loving their home in the Chyulus. We are able to track the prides movements using our Maasai tracker Lenka and a special tracking antenna which responds to Nemasi’s collar when she is near. The guests get to experience tracking in the vehicle but also on foot and see first-hand what is involved with protecting and observing these magnificent creatures.



A unique look at Nemasi’s collar on a lion use for tracking the pride
A unique look at Nemasi’s collar.  This is how we are able to track this pride and are able to share this incredibly raw and unique experience with our guests.  

Easter was fantastic, and what could be a better way to spend the morning then to spoil our guests with a Bush Breaksfast.  Now a bush breakfast is already an amazing experience under the umbrella of an acacia tree with Kilimanjaro as a back drop but just as one of our guests was riding in after a morning horse ride, Annie, the stables manager spotted 2 cheetahs just lazily lounging under a tree within viewing distance of the breakfast table! They were so relaxed and were seemingly just as interested in the horse riders as the horse riders were in them. It was a great start to Bush Breakfast.

Breakfast on the bush

Our waiters Douglas and Isaac waiting patiently to surprise the guests with Mimosa’s ….. little did they know as the picture was being taken there were 2 cheetah just a stone’s throw away wanting to be a part of the celebration, too.

Finally towards the end of April we had some heavy and well needed rains across the plains which is not only a spectacular sight from the lodge but also a huge help to the animals that roam the plains. The rains allow the animals to traverse the area without worry of going thirsty, many of our animals can be seen in large groupings slowly making their way to Tsavo or Amboseli national parks in order to breed or graze in green pastures.

An elephant enjoys one of lush lakes and green pastures of Amboseli over the rainy season.
An elephant enjoys one of lush lakes and green pastures of Amboseli over the rainy season.

This for us is an excellent time for our guests to explore a little further afield as well and we can treat our guests to longer game drives into the areas where the animals are enjoying themselves. One of the most beautiful areas this time of year is Amboseli and it is under a 2 hour game drive from the lodge to the main gate.

Although the park covers only 392 sq km, despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem the park supports a wide range of mammals, well over 50 of the larger species and over 400 species of birds.


 A beautiful Grey Crown Crain
 A beautiful Grey Crown Crain can be one of the many species of birds found in this area.

Amboseli National Park is one of the best areas near the lodge for photography thanks to the abundant wildlife all under the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro and at this time of year it has a decent dusting of snow, and the mountain is consistently clear making any photo with an animal in the foreground that much more dramatic. Amboseli has a large number of elephants and some of the biggest breeding herds around, it is breath-taking to watch the elephants, water buffalo and hippos just go about their day as if you didn’t exist, wallowing in the mug or lazily wandering through one of the many swamps. These swamps and springs are fed by underground rivers which are fed by the melting snows of Kilimanjaro and they form permanent watering places for the wildlife through times of drought. The park’s best game drives are around these swamps and there is a fantastic lookout on Observation Hill which offers views over the whole of the park and beyond, one of our favourite spots to serve up a delicious picnic lunch consisting of ever changing items, this month we had items such as individual fennel and butternut squash quiche, grilled brie and eggplant chutney sandwiches, Tikka chicken skewers with Harissa yogurt dip and for dessert spiced Jamaican Banana bread with dark rum buttercream!

Hippos on the plains
Imagine, picnicking whilst watching the hippos on the plains! 

Amboseli and the Imbirikani group ranch on which the lodge is situated conjur up images from the words written by Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark Manyatta, rolling hills which at this time of year are a lush emerald green, easing out onto golden savannahs of waving grass and wildlife.

Bride Veronica with our ol Donyo staff members
Bride Veronica with our ol Donyo staff members (left) Mwangi and (right) Jackson to help celebrate their special day.

Once again we were privileged enough to be invited to a traditional Maasai wedding this past month by one of our staff members, Veronica.  All of us at ol Donyo would like to end our April newsletter by congratulating her and her new husband Dan- who just happens to be a guide at our sister camp, Mara Plains in the Masai Mara.  …..What a perfect match, indeed!

Traditional Maasai wedding held on Ol Donyo
Congratulations Veronica and Dan!


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