A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about lobo wildlife lodge

Lobo - Ndutu Part I - Lion Cubs on Togoro Kopjes

Our last full day in the bush


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Because we are moving on from Lobo to Ndutu today, we load up the car with all our luggage this morning. A troupe of Vervet Monkeys takes that as an opportunity to check out our car to see if we have any easily accessible food. We don't, and they are shooed away empty-handed.

Hartebeest

large_c0484fb0-2eba-11e9-805e-017f01ad9f76.jpg

large_cbff1f00-2eba-11e9-805e-017f01ad9f76.jpg

Elephant

I see an elephant close to the road in front of us, but find myself dismayed and terribly embarrassed when it turns out to be a tree. Doh. For the rest of the day I am teased mercilessly about it.

Zebra in the Sunrise

large_23273720-2ebd-11e9-805e-017f01ad9f76.jpg

large_3523dc30-2ebd-11e9-a880-b3dd4a18524f.jpg

Hyena in the Sunrise

large_16ba68d0-2ebe-11e9-805e-017f01ad9f76.jpg

Togoro Plains

Having had some good sightings here a couple of years ago, we take a detour to Togoro Plains to “see what nature has to offer us today” (one of Malisa's favourite sayings).

Lions

On the top of a rock at Togoro Kopjes, two mamas with their seven babies are sunning themselves.

large_012c02c0-2ec4-11e9-ac1b-6127ccc31541.jpg

large_0de8a950-2ec4-11e9-ac1b-6127ccc31541.jpg

They are a fair distance away, so we move to try and get a closer view, but that means the sun is in the wrong direction for good photos.

large_edac98d0-2ec4-11e9-b6b9-f3eceeda08aa.jpg

After a short while they leave their original rock and head to another. First one of the adult females, then the rest of them, one by one.

large_2db021e0-2eca-11e9-a036-4784b41745f3.jpg

large_b9aa8630-2ecb-11e9-a036-4784b41745f3.jpg

large_d6d6acb0-2ecc-11e9-a036-4784b41745f3.jpg

large_ae5525e0-2ecd-11e9-a036-4784b41745f3.jpg

large_5d4cee80-2ed7-11e9-8a03-a701ec84461a.jpg

large_0e7fa210-2ed8-11e9-8a03-a701ec84461a.jpg

large_ff73fb10-2eda-11e9-8a03-a701ec84461a.jpg

large_fc135900-2edc-11e9-8a03-a701ec84461a.jpg

Their destination is another kopje nearby, and while the mums easily make it to the top, many of the cubs are struggling to climb the rocks.

large_07861210-2eeb-11e9-a72f-11603f708763.jpg
"Are you coming kids?"

large_a9596b40-2eec-11e9-846f-5b66221fc749.jpg

large_eb8aea20-2eec-11e9-846f-5b66221fc749.jpg

large_9dbafd90-2efa-11e9-9202-a9ef2e1248f5.jpg

large_2b187780-2f00-11e9-a048-ef34c24b7170.jpg
"Mum? Where are you?"

large_0a866250-2f02-11e9-8b81-a95dafdb7c97.jpg
"I think she went this way guys"

large_b02733b0-2f02-11e9-8b81-a95dafdb7c97.jpg
"Wait for me!"

large_100b4720-2f04-11e9-8b81-a95dafdb7c97.jpg

large_1e297980-2f04-11e9-8b81-a95dafdb7c97.jpg

They get so far, then hang around exploring the rock while they try to work out their route from there to the top.

large_fa4611e0-3133-11e9-a2f7-b36fd2f5cf74.jpg

large_03495d20-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

large_2c3214c0-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Meanwhile, mum wonders where her babies are.

large_516342a0-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

“It's obviously not this way lads, I've had a look”.

large_678b9000-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Watching their different personalities as they try to follow their mamas up the steep slopes of the rocky outcrop is such a delight.

large_afa952f0-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Yay! The first cub has made it to the top to join his mum.

large_eb4a1060-3138-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

He is soon joined by the next little lion to brave it all the way. Mum doesn't look too pleased to see them, however.

large_04eb57e0-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg
"What took you so long boys?"

And then there were three.

large_21fb8760-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Meanwhile, back on the lower rock...

large_5f0e2450-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

One particularly timid little scaredycat is really unsure and has to be coaxed from the top by the adult female. It never ceases to amaze me how these cats communicate – we have seen it in so many ways and incidents now.

large_7f531900-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg
"But, but, it is slippery...?"

large_e989cd50-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg
"C'mon, you can do it. Be brave!"

large_982e7870-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

“I guess that just leaves us then, bruv”

large_ae589a90-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

large_c2d051c0-3139-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

As soon as all the little ones make it to the top of the second kopje, one of the lionesses goes off to see about getting the large brood some lunch. We surmise the hartebeest we see in the distance are on today's menu.

large_69ef9050-313b-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Meanwhile, the kids explore their new playground.

large_af184aa0-3145-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

large_bfbf98e0-3145-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

large_dac50440-3145-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

large_f0613e40-3145-11e9-9153-df1bdc3f94bd.jpg

Klipspringers

Spooked by the lions, these small antelopes prance from one rock to another. Their hooves have a rubber-like coating to give them a better grip on rocky surfaces.

large_87e23d50-314b-11e9-a76d-ed3fa199e26a.jpg

large_a9e535b0-314b-11e9-a76d-ed3fa199e26a.jpg

The lions seems to have spotted them too but appear too lazy to do anything about it. Not that they would stand much a chance of catching the fast-moving klipspringers, not would they provide much food for nine hungry lions.

large_e633bf50-314b-11e9-a76d-ed3fa199e26a.jpg

This has been such a heart-warming and entertaining encounter, one of the highlights of our trip so far.

Dark Chanting Goshawk

large_d8508060-31ca-11e9-8de4-71f780a26913.jpg

Pallid Flycatcher

large_8a1406d0-320e-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

Lappet Faced Vulture

large_f3eea950-31ca-11e9-8de4-71f780a26913.jpg

Cheetahs

These three cheetahs under a tree in the distance flatly refuse to do anything other than chilling in the shade, however long we hang around. Don't they know who we are?

large_4f9e3040-31cb-11e9-8de4-71f780a26913.jpg

Crocodile in the Orangi River

large_70907bf0-31cb-11e9-8de4-71f780a26913.jpg

Retima Hippo Pool

Retima Hippo Pool is a bend in the river where numerous hippo gather together for safety in protecting their young.

large_2f125e00-320c-11e9-b212-03c816ebce01.jpg

large_c5ee0ea0-320c-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

There is a lot of yawning, grunting, belching, farting, pooping, bickering and splashing going on. But mostly just sleeping.

large_e0df55c0-320c-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

large_ee3dba90-320c-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

large_fb2dcd30-320c-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

large_0ba16140-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

A crocodile does some sunbathing while he is waiting for the opportunity to grab a snack of baby hippo.

large_2b7c97a0-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

That is why the hippo snuggle close together around their youngststers.

large_44518e70-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

large_18173ad0-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

The spot has been created into a rudimentary but popular viewing area over the years, with picnic tables and a toilet block.

large_5bc43620-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

While we have visited here a few times in the past, this is the first time we have stopped here for a picnic.

large_6b85b840-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

large_7d54bda0-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

Blue Eared Glossy Starling

As is usual in an area where humans gather for food, a few opportunist birds hang around; this time the large and colourful Blue Eared Glossy Starling.

large_19a19970-320f-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

Thank you to Calabash for yet another amazing morning of safari.

large_998d51d0-320d-11e9-8305-870785a497cc.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:59 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals monkeys elephant sunrise breakfast cute africa safari tanzania crocodile zebra birding cheetah picnic lions hippo lion_cubs serengeti hyena vulture lobo starling bird_watching calabash_adventures vervet_monkeys black_faced_vervet_monkeys cuteness_overload hartebeest retima_hippo_pool lappet_faced_vulture hippo_pool kopjes game_viewing cuteness orangi_river togoro_plains lobo_wildlife_lodge the_best_safari_company togoro togoro_kopjes lionesses klipspringers dark_chanting_goshawk goshawk retima blue_eared_glossy_starling Comments (2)

Serengeti Day 5 Part 3 - baby eles, lion cubs, Lobo Lodge

A lion's share of animals


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Olive Baboons

Clusters of strongly scented white flowers of the Umbrella Thorn Acacia tree, as well as the associated seed pods, provide food for the baboons.

large_684d6990-2bcb-11e9-a500-819c93abb60a.jpg

large_79002980-2bcb-11e9-a500-819c93abb60a.jpg

large_86a35f80-2bcb-11e9-a500-819c93abb60a.jpg

The blooms also attract a number of insects, as we can see here.

large_95639e40-2bcb-11e9-a500-819c93abb60a.jpg

Elephants

large_c5989af0-2bd2-11e9-a222-ab06eec68412.jpg

large_ddae6070-2bd2-11e9-a222-ab06eec68412.jpg

large_f40a19e0-2bd2-11e9-a222-ab06eec68412.jpg

large_afe24ea0-2be5-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

Migration

The intention today was to look for cats rather than the migration, and although we did see a lone lion first thing and later a cheetah, we have also come across the migration – first the zebra leading the way just after breakfast, and now the wildebeest.

large_d87fe8f0-2be4-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

large_e72ffb10-2be4-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

large_f357dbb0-2be4-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

Reedbucks

large_549a6320-2be5-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

Tawny Eagle

large_17e3d370-2be6-11e9-b98d-9fca2993ae82.jpg

We are treated to a spectacular areal display by this impressive raptor.

large_284cce40-2be8-11e9-b7ec-2d06078dfa40.jpg

large_35f29c50-2be8-11e9-b7ec-2d06078dfa40.jpg

large_403716f0-2be8-11e9-b7ec-2d06078dfa40.jpg

Hooded Vulture

large_64eecf10-2be8-11e9-a98e-7fea4eb25d83.jpg

Elephants in Bologonja River

It is pure entertainment watching this little elephant (less than two months old) drinking, as the babies don't start using their trunks until they are around five months old.

large_8c8cf3f0-2c59-11e9-b2ca-5dfadec7caec.jpg

large_9db754e0-2c59-11e9-b2ca-5dfadec7caec.jpg

large_a9617a00-2c59-11e9-b2ca-5dfadec7caec.jpg

With a bit more practice it won't be long before he's got the hang of it.

large_c8522950-2c59-11e9-b2ca-5dfadec7caec.jpg

large_d33750c0-2c59-11e9-b2ca-5dfadec7caec.jpg

The eroded dry riverbank makes for a good scratching post.

large_99734d20-2c5a-11e9-8c97-f54de3e04123.jpg

Reedbucks

Also on the Bologonja riverbank, are three reedbucks. Normally solitary animals, it is unusual to see one male mating with two females.

large_c036eff0-2c5c-11e9-8b76-275a9b6a9d7d.jpg

large_cc832170-2c5c-11e9-8b76-275a9b6a9d7d.jpg

Lions

Under a tree, we see a male lion, with a female on heat.

large_e18e3b20-2d71-11e9-b4dc-f134d73582da.jpg

large_527bab30-2e3d-11e9-9c8f-81aa3f3948f9.jpg

Nearby we see another female with couple of two-week old cubs, suckling.

large_13de05b0-2d72-11e9-b4dc-f134d73582da.jpg

We drive nearer to get a better view, and they retreat into the bush partially hidden from us.

large_3a4d0ac0-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_4933e450-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

They finally settle down at the edge of a thicket.

large_88e966b0-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

The cubs attempt to come out occasionally before being called back into safety by their mum, where they spend their time suckling, cuddling and sleeping.

large_9b975a60-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_aaf62310-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_d13c4360-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_c1dfebb0-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_dc816520-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

Meanwhile, the male is completely crashed out after all the hard work of keeping his females happy.

large_e752dd80-2d72-11e9-8fee-a70518d0f5b4.jpg

large_097cfb00-2d75-11e9-b4dc-f134d73582da.jpg

Even though Malisa thinks the cubs will eventually brave it out into the open, we decide to move on to pastures new.

large_2bc22c80-2d75-11e9-b4dc-f134d73582da.jpg
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike

large_fad12a70-2d7b-11e9-95db-e705cba21405.jpg
Bare Faced Go Away Bird

Eland

large_02215960-2d7e-11e9-95db-e705cba21405.jpg

large_0de8a370-2d7e-11e9-95db-e705cba21405.jpg

Hyena

large_85f07b90-2d7e-11e9-95db-e705cba21405.jpg

Giraffe

We follow this gorgeous animal as he meanders along the ridge, beautifully backlit by the setting sun.

large_eb275d50-2def-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_ff26b030-2def-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_122f6e10-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_25a01580-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_8c757660-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_349fa730-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

I experiment with creating some silhouetted images too.

large_494dfec0-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_6a8a72d0-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

large_78800e90-2df0-11e9-b0de-ab02ac83d4ed.jpg

Lobo Wildlife Lodge

It must be so difficult for the safari guides to get the timing right on the daily game drives: yesterday we arrived late because we saw a leopard fairly close to the lodge; and today we see nothing as Malisa makes his way back to camp. The result is that for the first time on this trip, we arrive at the lodge in daylight.

large_914bf4f0-2e01-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_5dc0cec0-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_686da820-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg
Cute door handle to our room

Finding ourselves with some unexpected spare time, we go walkabout to check out the lodge and its surroundings. Whilst the accommodation itself is rather basic and in desperate need of refurbishment, its stunning position on the edge of a cliff with unrivalled views over the savannah below is breathtaking.

large_e91281e0-2e01-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_40f5cb80-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

large_605dcdb0-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

Set among the rocks of a kopje, surrounded by trees, the lodge features lots of different levels and angles, with wooden walkways and stone steps connecting them all.

large_cc12a610-2e01-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_f7387c70-2e01-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_2bb2a110-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_3e331c20-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_b45e03d0-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

As always, we wish we had more time in the lodge when we see the inviting swimming pool

large_8b86b150-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

large_9bf53c50-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

large_c8dd3510-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg
Look at that view!

large_de724320-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

The bar looks inviting too

large_f7b3de70-2e37-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

large_02809be0-2e38-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

The place is swarming with rock hyraxes – one even manages to slip in to the restaurant as soon as the door is opened.

large_81d764e0-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_8c5e8dd0-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

large_97b5ff10-2e02-11e9-a725-e9f9f5ddb338.jpg

After a quick shower we enjoy a pre-dinner drink, then wander up for dinner.

large_21237950-2e38-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

This evening we are the only guests staying, and Malisa is allowed to eat with us. Going by the table service and quality of food tonight, we'd be forgiven to think we are staying in a different hotel this evening.

That brings us to the end of yet another amazing day as arranged by Calabash Adventures - the best safari company by far.

large_3eb33910-2e38-11e9-89f0-57cbbb876c28.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 14:42 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals sunset elephants africa safari tanzania eagle lions giraffe baboons lion_cubs serengeti hyena vulture lobo wildebeest hyrax suckling game_drives eland calabash_adventures olive_baboons wildebeest_migration rock_hyrax tawny_eagle go_away_bird reedbuck lobo_wildlife_lodge hooded_vulture acacia_tree great_migration annual_migration bologonja_river Comments (6)

Serengeti Day 4 Part 3 to Lobo Lodge - leopard

Leaving the best until last


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Impala

This common antelope is affectionately known as McDonalds because of the black M marking on its rump.

large_d9f17db0-1d67-11e9-9c42-ad780143f14b.jpg

The black spots seen on the back of its hind legs are glands that emits a scent when the impala lands after a jump, thus marking its territory in the process. Isn't nature clever?

large_e57dba90-1d67-11e9-9c42-ad780143f14b.jpg

large_ef8ddec0-1d67-11e9-9c42-ad780143f14b.jpg

large_5e70fef0-1d7a-11e9-ae3c-d511534aa396.jpg
Martial eagle

Boma Pride

These are the cubs we saw last year, all grown up now.

large_fd0ce280-1e39-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

Fourteen lions in total are spread around this area, some near to the road, others much further away.

large_0cb86ba0-1e3a-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_1c181eb0-1e3a-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_2bb94790-1e3a-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_382b2980-1e3a-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_48304450-1e3a-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

Nile Crocodile

Unusually, we have seen a number of crocodiles on this trip, and not just sunning themselves on a bank, they have actually been doing things.

large_9ec27db0-1e3f-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_a8d5fd40-1e3f-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_b34901f0-1e3f-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

Other Animals at the Waterhole

With this elephant heading towards the water, Malisa positions the car so that we can get a better view.

large_5df585f0-1e41-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_749c2b10-1e41-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_17a47740-1e42-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_799dcb90-1e42-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

Constantly on the lookout for predators, a lone zebra nervously edges his way down to the pond.

large_2295de40-1e43-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_91421420-1e4e-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

large_a2325240-1e4e-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

He is still easily spooked though.

large_f884b5c0-1e4e-11e9-bb40-e5bf5984671b.jpg

Spotted Hyena

large_01987ef0-1e57-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

large_16128010-1e57-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

large_21e3b530-1e57-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

It's a hard life being a hyena.

large_2d2c3250-1e57-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

Eland

I'm not sure whether it is a coincidence or not, but previously we have generally only seen elands in any numbers the further north we go. Today is no exception - we are currently heading away from the central part of the park and towards the north-east area of Lobo.

large_17b84b60-1e58-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

Eland are the largest antelope in the Serengeti, and you can see just how large they are compared with the Thomson's Gazelles in this picture.

large_3281e640-1e58-11e9-a4f7-6faaa0bbb6f6.jpg

Orangi River

Traversing the Serengeti from north west to south east, the Orangi River is a huge draw for animals, especially now in the dry season when there is very little surface water in the park.

large_f559b150-1f0e-11e9-bac4-1bc0ece3e4aa.jpg
Cape Buffalo coming down to drink

large_05bc7c80-1f0f-11e9-bac4-1bc0ece3e4aa.jpg
A young Crocodile in a small pool created by the low water level

large_18c895c0-1f0f-11e9-bac4-1bc0ece3e4aa.jpg

large_229680d0-1f0f-11e9-bac4-1bc0ece3e4aa.jpg

large_2d5e3530-1f0f-11e9-bac4-1bc0ece3e4aa.jpg
Hippo

Cape Buffalo

The thick forest hides a huge herd – or obstinacy – of buffalo. The downside of the combination of trees and buffalo is that it also attracts tse tse flies. They are pesky little things, and although Avon Skin So Soft does help to keep them away, I still get bitten a few times. It hurts when they get you and stings like hell after.

large_22a2b5f0-1ff8-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

Southern Ground Hornbill

A large bird, usually found feeding on the ground as the name suggests.

large_7ce2bc70-1ffa-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

He is looking all around this tree trunk for termites.

large_a4cc2c80-1ffa-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

large_aed21780-1ffa-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

Eland

large_c6e78780-1ffd-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

Normally these large antelopes are very shy and timid – their meat is delicious and they are slower moving due to their size, making them a favourite prey of hunters and poachers. This guy, however, seems to be as curious about us as we are about him.

large_cecd78b0-1ffd-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

After giving us a cursory glance, he just carries on eating.

large_d7d22050-1ffd-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

large_122d1750-1ffe-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

Mbuzi Mawe

We pass the lovely lodge we stayed at a couple of years ago when we last came with Lyn and Chris.

large_72271930-1ffe-11e9-94cb-71228a6d245e.jpg

large_bc781300-2002-11e9-a688-dfedcad19dec.jpg
Pallid Flycatcher

Togoro Plains

Always a good place to see a range of animals, Togoro is no different today:

large_4d538cf0-2004-11e9-b4cd-23e1aacac794.jpg
Elephants

large_6aa6dff0-2004-11e9-b4cd-23e1aacac794.jpg
Zebra

large_798d1d40-2004-11e9-b4cd-23e1aacac794.jpg

large_915d2730-2004-11e9-b4cd-23e1aacac794.jpg
Female Steenbok

large_fb05cc50-2004-11e9-b4cd-23e1aacac794.jpg

Lobo

As time is getting on now, and we still have quite some way to go to reach our overnight lodge, we make our way towards Lobo where we are to spend the night. This part of Tanzania is new territory for us, we previously just briefly skirted past Lobo in 2014 on our way to Kogatende.

large_a80fe140-297b-11e9-bc99-dbabd40ea268.jpg

We see very little traffic on these tracks, but one vehicle travelling in the opposite direction stops and the driver has a very animated conversation with Malisa In Swahili. While I do not understand most of what is said, I get the gist that there is an exciting sighting ahead. Malisa drives on with increased purpose.

Suddenly he stops the vehicle. It is not easy to spot at first, but then we see it: a leopard in a tree.

large_82100090-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

She is restlessly moving from branch to branch and turning to look in every direction.

large_9868acc0-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_a7343620-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_c5ec2230-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_d41e78d0-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

As we can hear some laughing hyenas in the distance, Malisa surmises that they stole her kill. I guess that is why they are laughing.

For a brief moment in time – less than one minute - the low sun comes out, bathing the tree and cat in a beautiful golden light; before disappearing below the horizon for another day.

large_f3b88780-27ed-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_01376ca0-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_14381430-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

We really should be hitting the road to reach the lodge before dark, but Malisa is convinced that the leopard will leave the confines of the tree and head off to do some hunting now that the sun has gone down.

large_26c8e2f0-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg
"Are you waiting for me?"

She fidgets. A lot. Yawns, stretches and moves.

large_8cd8d0f0-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_98265720-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_acd1c880-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

large_be99f010-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

Has she seen something?

large_c987a300-27ee-11e9-befa-8f3000765546.jpg

We get ready with our cameras, just in case. And yes, Malisa is right. She makes her way along the branch to the centre of the tree, and not so much 'jumps' as 'runs' down the trunk and disappears behind it.

large_3a080b60-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

large_48076b20-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

large_53a55b40-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

large_64c3ae40-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

large_724b6d00-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

large_b3932820-27f4-11e9-8475-e9377ac5528b.jpg

Slowly, stopping regularly to look around, she makes her way across the grassy plains.

large_c05bea60-27f9-11e9-9843-05e991bc0dbc.jpg

large_d276ece0-27f9-11e9-9843-05e991bc0dbc.jpg

large_f61a4ed0-27f9-11e9-9843-05e991bc0dbc.jpg

large_04ca60f0-27fa-11e9-9843-05e991bc0dbc.jpg

She walks right past us, then sits down close to the car.

large_9e1b5750-27fa-11e9-aec2-3fe930f7a9d9.jpg

Finally she joins the dirt track behind us, sashaying along, looking here, then there, sniffing the air and taking a rest.

large_853e3840-27fc-11e9-9e73-457f20f0ecdf.jpg

large_95677ce0-27fc-11e9-9e73-457f20f0ecdf.jpg

Now what has she spotted?

large_82282930-27fd-11e9-9e73-457f20f0ecdf.jpg

large_8d142e70-27fd-11e9-9e73-457f20f0ecdf.jpg

Nothing exciting apparently. She continues on her way, crosses the road and lays down in the ditch rolling around like a kitten.

large_605863e0-27ff-11e9-9e73-457f20f0ecdf.jpg

Lobo Wildlife Lodge

Finally we tear ourselves away from this most amazing leopard sighting. We are late now, of course, and by the time we reach the lodge, it is pitch black. The approach is interesting, driving through a narrow, natural cutting between two towering rocks alive with vervet monkeys, olive baboons and rock hyraxes. The uninviting large metal gate is unlocked by a reluctant guard, revealing an open courtyard surrounded by a reasonably well lit two-storey building. The accommodation is much larger than we are used to, with 74 rooms.

large_77534bc0-2979-11e9-bc99-dbabd40ea268.jpg

large_864fa920-2979-11e9-bc99-dbabd40ea268.jpg

A warm welcome awaits us in the cosy natural stone and wood-pannelled reception, with a serious concern for our well-being when we didn't arrive at the expected time (ie before dark).

large_2dfe03b0-2c6d-11e9-b313-ff8b15cd0920.jpg

The lodge is reminiscent of an old fashioned ski cabin, with the basic rooms leading off outside walkways and every surface covered in dark wood: floor, walls, ceiling and furniture. The bath is interesting with a huge step into the tub. The floor creaks ominously. Lyn and Chris are particularly unimpressed with their accommodation and ask to be moved, but find that the second room is no better than the first.

When our luggage fails to arrive, we go to check out what is going on. The lock on the back door of the car is stuck and has drawn quite a crowd of helpers. Eventually Malisa manages to break it open and we can get to our change of clothes. Broken locks seem to be a theme of this trip.

In the restaurant we encounter the other guests, consisting of a large group of American birders, but the lodge is far from full. As is to be expected from such a large hotel, dinner is buffet style. Not feeling particularly hungry, nor a fan of buffets, I just have a bowl full of lentils for dinner. They are delicious. Since we left Central Serengeti we have not had any phone signal, but they do have wifi in the restaurant here, which means I can at least send an message to my dad and catch up on my emails.

Back in the room, the bed is very hard and before I even have a chance to fall asleep my back is hurting badly. This does not bode well. At this point I would like to mention that Lobo Wildlife Lodge was not our choice of accommodation, but the nearby mobile tented camp that we were initially booked to stay in, more than lived up to its name and moved on to a different location a couple of weeks ago. In this area it is Hobson's Choice when it comes to accommodation, with this being the only one, at least within our price range. Tillya was extremely apologetic when he told us, and offered us the option of staying here or changing the itinerary to spend time elsewhere. While I obviously have a preference when it comes to the style of accommodation, such a short amount of time spent in the lodge (especially this evening) means the accommodation it is of very low importance to me – exploring somewhere new takes preference.

As always, we thank Calabash African Adventures for all the work they do to ensure we have a fantastic time on every safari.

large_d79911c0-297b-11e9-bc99-dbabd40ea268.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 14:06 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds elephant river africa safari tanzania crocodile zebra eagle birding buffalo lions serengeti leopard hyena lobo impala waterhole bird_watching hornbill eland termites calabash_adventures mbuzi_mawe cape_buffalo martial_eagle southern_ground_hornbill steenbok orangi_river togoro_plains lobo_wildlife_lodge Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]