A Travellerspoint blog

March 2017

Tanzania Safari Highlights 2016

A round-up of the amazing experiences we had on our 2016 safari


View The Gowler African Adventure - Kenya & Tanzania 2016 on Grete Howard's travel map.

By popular demand, and to remind ourselves of things to come for our next safari, I have created this résumé of everything we experienced on this safari of a lifetime in 2016!

We started the trip as it was to carry on - in luxury - at the No 1 Executive Lounge at Birmingham Airport.

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The flights were a pleasure, with room to spread out.

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~~NAIROBI~~

The hotel in Nairobi - especially picked out by Tillya - was amazing.

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Some serious snogging going on at the Giraffe Centre

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Followed by a very interesting nature trail

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The baby elephants being fed at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage were beyond cute.

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At Utamaduni Craft Centre we had lunch, photographed some beautiful birds and browsed handicrafts.

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We saw flip flops being turned into beautiful works of art at Marula Studios

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Followed by a guided tour of Karen Blixen's House.

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This very exciting first day was finished with a Feast of the Beast at Carnivore Restaurant.

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A 'special' mention must go to our new culinary experience: bulls' testicles!

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~~TANZANIA~~

Fantastic view of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru from the flight to Kilimanjaro Airport

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David's highlight: buying Savanna Cider!

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~~MARAMBOI~~

We could have spent all day just watching the animals from our balcony at Maramboi Tented Lodge

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But we had sunsets to see and beers to drink - Sundowners by Lake Manyara

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Lyn, with a little help from Tillya, arranged for a cake to celebrate our wedding anniversary

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The next morning saw our first big cat sightings within yards of the lodge, long before sunrise or hitting the national park.

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~~TARANGIRE~~

The large herds of elephants who walked right by our car

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The little baby elephant hiding behind his mummy's legs and then triumphantly emerging

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The Savannah Monitor - a new species to us

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Tillya arranging for us to have lunch at Tarangire River Lodge as a surprise for our wedding anniversary

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The angry elephant who blocked our road

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And finally the beautiful sunset

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Leaving Tarangire behind and heading for Ngorongoro, an honourable mention has to go to Chris' Zebra.

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Trying red bananas at Mto Wa Mbu

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The breeding site for storks and pelicans

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The view back out over Lake Manyara

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Another special mention: Malisa's sandals, made from recycled motorbike tyres.

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The information Centre at Loduare Gate, the entrance to Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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The view from the rim over the Ngorongoro Crater, and more importantly, Chris' reaction when he first saw it!

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The beautiful flower-covered hillsides of the Malanja Depression

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~~NGORONGORO CRATER~~

The crater floor in the Green Season was stunning with carpets of flowers

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Zebra dust bath

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The one-tusked elephant and his family

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The tree full of baby starlings

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The suckling lion cubs who entertained us for the best part of an hour

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Malisa finally finding his Rasta Lion

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Maasai dancing at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

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The sunrise over Ngorongoro Crater

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~~Ngorongoro Conservation Area~~

Walking safari with Yohana

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Maasai boys with traditional painted faces following their circumcision

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The enormous tower of giraffes, which even beat Malisa's previous record

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Visiting Elerai Maasai Boma, and Chris participating in the 'jumping dance'.

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The children in the kindergarten

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Oldupai Gorge

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And the Cradle of Civilisation Museum dedicated to Louis Leakey's anthropological finds

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The mysterious Shifting Sands

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The battle of wits between vultures and a jackal

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Kori Bustard

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The jumpy Spotted Hyena

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Golden Jackal

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The Dung Beetles who rolled their treasure across the savannah for us

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The majestic Eland

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The pregnant hyena who was just about to give birth

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Golden Jackal

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Ostriches

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Zebra

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Grant's Gazelle

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Tawny Eagle

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~~NDUTU~~

The pride of nine lions

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Feasting on a zebra carcass

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Sunset over Lake Ndutu

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Small Spotted Genet in the rafters of Ndutu Lodge

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Dik Dik in the grounds of the lodge

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Sunrise over Lake Ndutu the following morning

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Bat Eared Fox

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Verreaux's Eagle Owl

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Black Backed Jackal kicking up the dust in the early morning light

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Pale Tawny Eagle

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Giraffe

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Coqui Francolin - a new species for us

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Grey Breasted Spurfowl

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The cheetah mum with her four cubs who we followed for ages

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Lappet Faced Vulture

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Black Shouldered Kite

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Yellow Throated Sandgrouse

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Two male lions down at the flats by the lake

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Coke's Hartebeest, one of whom had lost a horn in a fight

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Fischer's Lovebirds

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Dark Chanting Goshawk

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Grey Headed Kingfisher

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Picnic Breakfast

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David made friends with a hairy caterpillar, which thankfully did not give him a rash as Malisa predicted

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Two Banded Plover

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Two more male lions

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Hooded Vulture

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A lazy spotted hyena who briefly got up from the puddle before lying down again

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Ostriches

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Hidden Valley with hundreds of thousands of zebra and wildebeest

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Female lions resting in the shade

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Bird Watching back at Ndutu Safari Lodge at lunchtime

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Lesser Flamingo at Lake Ndutu

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Spotted Thick Knee

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More lions

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Last night's zebra carcass eaten clean by the lions and later vultures, and now the flies had moved in

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Caracal - a very rare sighting, and only Malisa's third!

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Giraffe

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Lesser Flamingo at lake Masek

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African Hoopoe

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Speckled Mousebird

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Common Stilt

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Hippo

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Elephants

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A crested eagle silhouetted against the orange sky

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Sunset at Ndutu

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More bird watching at Ndutu Lodge the following morning

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Followed by another nice sunrise

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Giraffe

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Playing host to an Oxpecker

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Black Faced Vervet Monkeys frolicking in the trees

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Dik Dik

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Secretary Bird

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Spotted Hyena

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A very close lion encounter

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Woolly Necked Vultures

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Tawny Eagle

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A broken wire in the car engine was fixed in no time by our driver-guide Malisa who is also a trained mechanic

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~~SHORT GRASS PLAINS~~

Grant's Gazelles

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Zebra

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Panicked ostriches running around like headless chickens

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Lappet Faced Vulture

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Giraffe Drinking

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~~NAABI HILL~~

Great views over the Serengeti

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Here we find a number of lizards

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And some great birds

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~~SERENGETI~~

Giraffe

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Warthogs

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Steppe Eagle picking up what we initially thought was a snake, which turned out to be 'just' a stick

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Gabar Goshawk

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~~THE BEAUTIFUL GOL KOPJES (rocky outcrops)~~

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Marabou Stork

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The kopjes are home to a number of lions

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Thomson's Gazelle

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Golden Jackal

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Topi

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Tawny Eagle

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Coke's Hartebeest

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More Lions

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Gabar Goshawk

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Steppe Eagle

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Picnic Lunch at Gol Kopjes - are there any lions hiding at this one?

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Topi

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Migratory White Stork

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~~CENTRAL SERENGETI~~

A lost and emancipated baby wildebeest

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4WD required on the muddy tracks!

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Cape Buffalo

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Wildebeest

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Bateleur Eagle

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White Bellied Bustard

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Maasai Kopjes

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More Lions

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Dik Dik

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The rarely seen White Headed Vulture

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Hippo in the river

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Pin Tailed Swallow

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Greater Blue Eared Starling

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Defassa Waterbuck

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Zebra

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Tawny Eagle

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Lappet Faced Vulture

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Coqui Francolin

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Giraffe under stormy clouds

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White Rumped Helmetshrike

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Klipspringer

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Rainbow

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Mbuzi Mawe - the very luxurious tented camp which Tillya surprised us with

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Cape Buffalo right outside our tent the following morning

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~~TOGORO PLAINS~~

Sunrise

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The pride of nine lions on Togoro Plains, squabbling over a kill and mock stalking the passing wildebeest

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Almost a chase

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A Hooded Vulture waiting and hoping for a kill

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The jackal who finally managed to grab a piece of meat from the vultures, and was successful in chasing them off

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Topi

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Wildebeest Rutting - fighting over a female

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Picnic breakfast on Togoro Plains

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Klipspringer

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Red Duiker

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Cape Buffalo

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Impala

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Giraffe

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Black Faced Vervet Monkeys

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~~CENTRAL SERENGETI~~

Hippos in the Orangi River

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Olive Baboons

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African Fish Eagle

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Warthogs

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Nile Crocodile

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Bare Faced Go Away Bird

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Helmeted Guineafowl

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Magpie Shrike

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Tree Python

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Black Chested Snake Eagle

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Little Bee Eater

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Black Headed Heron

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Serval

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Elephants - lots of them

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Lunch at Mawe Mupe Picnic Site

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Birds at Mawe Meupe Picnic Site

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Giraffe

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A leopard mum and son in a tree

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Olive Baboons

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Elephants

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Giraffe

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A yawning hippo on land - it's unusual to see them out of the water

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Brown Snake Eagle

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Retima Hippo Pool

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'White' Giraffe with Leucism

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Sunset over Kimasi Kopje

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Wildebeest Migration

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Balloon over Serengeti - we just watched from the ground

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Grey Headed Kingfisher

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Lappet Faced Vulture

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Zebra

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Cheetah

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Olive Baboon

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Giraffe

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~~SERENGETI VISITORS CENTRE~~

Banded Mongoose

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Tree Hyrax

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Grey Capped Social Weaver

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Team Photo

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Guided tour of the centre

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Rock Hyrax

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~~HEADING SOUTH~~

Black Faced Vervet Monkeys

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Hippos

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Black Headed Heron

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Wire Tailed Swallow

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Spotted Flycatcher

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Giraffes

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A large herd of 31 elephants walked right by our car

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White Browed Coucal

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Impala

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Lions in a tree

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Rueppel's Long Tailed Starling

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Grey Backed Shrike

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Lake Magadi

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White Winged Black and Whiskered Terns

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Banded Mongoose

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Cape Buffalo

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~~MORU KOPJES~~

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Masai Ostrich

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Gong Rock

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Ancient Maasai Rock Art

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Rhino Project Information Centre

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Dark Chanting Goshawk

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Nile Crocodile

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Hamerkop Nest

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~~HEADING NORTH AGAIN~~

Giraffe

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Black Backed Jackal

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Rain

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Lions in the rain

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Rainbow

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I wanted a giraffe as a foreground for the rainbow, but all Malisa could manage was this elephant

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Spotted Hyena

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Stunning Sunset

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Bush Baby in a tree at Serengeti Serena Lodge

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Brown Snake Eagle

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Spotted Hyenas

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Sunrise

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Topi

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Wildebeest waiting to cross Seronera River

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Vultures waiting for the crocodiles to attack the wildebeest crossing Seronera River

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Martial Eagle

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Grey Heron

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Goliath Heron

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Hot Air Balloon

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Hippo

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White Browed Coucal

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Olive Baboons

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Lions - she was on heat, he wasn't interested

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Tawny Eagle

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Elephants

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Lion at the appropriately named Simba Kopjes

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Zebra

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Rock Martin at Naabi Hill

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~~LEAVING THE SERENGETI FOR THE NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA~~

Kori Bustard

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White Stork

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Vultures feasting on a zebra

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~~BACK IN ARUSHA~~

Lake Duluti Lodge - another one of Tillya's luxury surprises

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Cultural Heritage Centre Art Exhibition

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And shopping opportunities

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An informative demonstration of the Tanzanite gems unique to Tanzania

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More shopping opportunities at Mount Meru Market

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A guided tour of Shanga Shangaa workshop for disabled people

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Followed by a traditional African buffet lunch

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Accompanied by African music

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We took a tour of the coffee estate with a very informative guide

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And were able to taste the produce

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~~THE END~~

That marked the end of our African Adventure, as arranged by Calabash African Adventures, a small, locally owned and run company based in Arusha. They come highly recommended for their professionalism, calibre of their driver-guides, reliability, trustworthiness, passion for the environment and last but not least, their very competitive pricing. This was the fourth time we used their services for arranging our Tanzania safaris, and as soon as we returned to the UK we booked the next one for the following year. And I can guarantee that won't be the last!

For those of you who are interested in a similar trip, below is a copy of our itinerary.

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Thank you for reading and have a nice day!

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Posted by Grete Howard 05:47 Archived in Tanzania Comments (3)

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