A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about permanent tented camp

Ngorongoro - Turner Springs - Ole Serai surprise

What an amazing surprise


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

Lunch

Last night Malisa asked us if we wanted to eat our lunch today as a picnic in the crater or go back to Ang'Ata camp for it. We chose the former. As it turns out, the timing means we end up going to back to Ang'Ata, to have our picnic lunch under a tree near the lounge. It works out well as we have to go back to collect something we forgot anyway, and thankfully the camp is not far out of the way.

large_594c5690-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg
It looks very different in the daylight

large_6a8dc1f0-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

large_75da0fa0-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

When we arrive a number of zebra are roaming around the grounds of the camp.

large_aca947d0-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

large_bdbb65d0-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

large_c84526d0-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

large_d7f39620-fe3f-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

Ngorongoro Headquarters Tourism Office

After lunch we continue to the Park HQ to pick up our permit for the next chapter in our adventure: Serengeti National park. Modern technology has simplified this process, and Malisa just pops into the office and comes back almost immediately with the all-important paperwork.

large_5b54f070-fe42-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

We make our way from the crater to the entrance gate to Serengeti National Park, through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

large_be12c5e0-fe45-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg
Greater Spotted Eagle

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area does not have the same protected status as national parks do, which means wildlife share the space with Maasai tribesmen and their cattle, goats and sheep. There are no boundaries around the parks, so the wild (and sometimes domestic) animals wander between them freely, at times causing conflict between man and beast.

large_9ded6d80-fe4d-11e8-81b9-7d931666d4d0.jpg

large_ab6574d0-fe4d-11e8-81b9-7d931666d4d0.jpg

large_eb4fcd60-fe4e-11e8-81b9-7d931666d4d0.jpg

large_6339bd40-fe4f-11e8-8ed3-2502ff13a095.jpg
Giraffe

Dust!

We are on a much faster main road, which means vehicles kick up a great deal more fine particles of sand and grit. Large trucks are sent out with water to dampen down the roads to try and control the amount of dust in the air. Unfortunately, in this heat the effect doesn't last long.

large_4cc0c260-fe50-11e8-8ed3-2502ff13a095.jpg

large_Serengeti.jpg

large_4068a2a0-fe53-11e8-81b9-7d931666d4d0.jpg
Black Breasted Snake Eagle

Secretary Bird

It's unusual to see one so close to the road and so bold even when we stop the car to photograph it.

large_e24b1ac0-fec7-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

Coke's Hartebeest

Also known as kongoni, the hartebeest is a sociable animal often found in small herds. Despite its clumsy-looking appearance, it is one of the fastest antelopes and most enduring runners, which is just as well as it is a popular animal among hunters. Hartebeest means 'tough ox'.

large_d536e8e0-fec8-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

large_df388e20-fec8-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

large_ea7f0f70-fec8-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

Bohor Reedbuck

large_72a5a4e0-fec9-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

large_8148e5c0-fec9-11e8-b6f6-49f9cb8d53c1.jpg

Seronera Hippo Pool

We stop at a small pond filled with hippos and a plethora of bird life.

large_66f9d100-ff98-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg

large_98465c60-ff98-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg

large_0af2faf0-ff9b-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg

large_7affdaa0-ff98-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg
Yellow Billed Stork

large_89df1310-ff98-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg
Greenshanks

large_b8b0da70-ff98-11e8-b7d1-3574be2560be.jpg
Terek's Sandpiper, Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper

large_ef2ebe50-ff98-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg
Black Winged Stilt

large_073c9490-ff99-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg
Black Headed Heron

large_8fb568b0-ff99-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg
Croaking Cisticola

large_9f580ca0-ffa3-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg
Fischer's Lovebirds

There are even a couple of Nile Crocodiles lurking in one corner.

large_3fb07c10-ff99-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg

A mother hippo with a young baby also discovers the crocs and immediately pushes her baby out of harms way and chases off the crocodiles.

large_584f95d0-ff99-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg

large_61122b60-ff99-11e8-be5e-bb3a89ae07ce.jpg

Time is moving on, it is now just after 18:00 and the light is fading fast. According to the park rules, driving is not permitted after dark and as we still have some distance to go to our camp for the night, we have to get a move-on.

large_74f23570-ffa4-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg
Cape Buffalo in the very insipid sunset

The sunset does get better, however.

large_d9b53ba0-ffa5-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg

large_45b9ab10-ffa6-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg

Ole Serai

When we arrive at the sign for the Ole Serai Luxury Camp, I can finally share the information that I had been sworn to secrecy about a few weeks ago: Tillya has yet again upgraded our accommodation.

large_86c4c7d0-ffa5-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg

We see a sprinkling of lights in the distance and can just about make out the outline of the tents.

large_90a1f520-ffa5-11e8-884d-eb395f2c53f1.jpg

We receive a very warm welcome when we pull up in the car, with drinks and wet flannels meeting us while the porters unload the car, and, like in Ang'Ata Nyeti, staff introduce themselves one by one and use our names thereafter. The atmosphere is upmarket but relaxed as we are given the customary security briefing, and while the reception area is very comfortable, all I want to do is get to my tent and have a shower.

large_b590fbc0-0067-11e9-a776-bb3854661435.jpg

As the askari (security escort) walks us to our home for the next three nights, we see lightning on the horizon and hear the roar of a lion, appearing to come from somewhere rather too close for comfort.

large_c3f7f6f0-0067-11e9-a776-bb3854661435.jpg

And then we arrive at the 'tent'. There is only one word to describe this accommodation made from canvas (tent is glaringly inadequate): "WOW". Wide steps lead on to a concrete platform where we find a couple of normal seats and an egg-shaped hanging wicker chair. As it is almost pitch black by now, photography outside is too challenging for me to want to contemplate (it would mean either setting up a tripod for a long exposure or using a flashgun; but both options would involve calling for the askari to return as venturing outside the tent after dark on your own can be dangerous with wild animals around - especially as we can still hear that lion!)

large_1e6854e0-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

Larger flaps are opened up to reveal the interior, and it is like stepping into an opulent city flat. Wow again. Immediately inside the 'door' is a seating area consisting of two large comfortable armchairs and a coffee table, behind which is the enormous double bed. While technically made of canvas, every single wall has 'curtains' that pull aside revealing insect-proof netting, allowing a 360° view during daylight hours. Tonight, however, the staff come along and make sure everything is geared to privacy.

large_2f5844e0-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

To the right as we enter is the toilet and dressing area, with antique mirrors, modern basin and a good selection of teas and coffees.

large_3dea95d0-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

large_5c694970-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

large_497b8da0-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

On the opposite side is the shower, fronted by an area with a writing desk, hanging space and a trouser press.

large_6c863200-006d-11e9-b09b-ebb8debfe328.jpg

The room, however, is dominated by a huge double bed, while lighting is provided by a number of lamps, including a safari-inspired chandelier. Obviously.

large_78ed6590-006d-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

large_85a4dc00-006d-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

large_90910850-006d-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

large_9b383c60-006d-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

Feeling suitably refreshed after removing a thick layer of Tanzanian dust from our bodies, we head for what turns out to be a fabulous dinner with incredible service. Ole Serai is only a small place, and tonight there is just one other couple staying. Once I get a glass or two of the local wine inside me, I forget all about taking any more photos of the evening. Sorry. All I can say is that the food is superb!

large_92306b00-006e-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

When we return to the room after dinner, we find the staff have been in to perform a turn-back-service, leaving a chocolate on each pillow.

I cannot thank Calabash Adventures enough for everything they have arranged for us on this trip and on others, including all the little details that make for such and unforgettable adventure.

large_9d259800-006e-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 13:43 Archived in Tanzania Tagged zebra lunch picnic photography ngorongoro tented_camp calabash_adventures nyati ang'ata_camp ang'ata permanent_tented_camp ang'ata_nyati nyati_special_cam_site picnic_lunch picnic_box Comments (2)

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