A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about pipit

Ngorongoro Crater Day 1 Part 2 - lion cubs and more

An afternoon in the caldera


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

Ngoitoktok Springs

Probably the most popular picnic area within the Ngorongororo Crater, there are always a lot of people here, but it is a large enough area to find a spot to get away from the crowds.

large_56b0e710-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Here you can see the crowds

large_64703090-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
And here we are away from them all

large_7887ed70-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg

Not only is this place popular with humans, but we also share our breakfast with a number of different birds, who come for the rich pickings where guests drop food on the ground. They have become quite tame and will perch on your car, or sit on the ground below your chair, looking up with pleading eyes.

large_cfcd3c70-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Helmeted Guineafowl

large_e12c6900-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Little Egret

large_f68a8890-f8a0-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Black Kite

large_0a2ffba0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Great White Pelicans

large_233e51f0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Rufous Tailed Weaver

large_39a296e0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Egyptian Geese

large_51da3c40-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Village Weaver

large_607343f0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Blacksmith Plover

large_894c6b30-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Superb Starling

large_9b05ecc0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Southern Masked Weaver

large_cebe6f10-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Little Egrets

large_ec4b6fb0-f8a1-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Southern Masked Weaver

large_a6908680-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Black Kite

large_0eacbf40-f8a3-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Litle Bee Eaters

I could stay here for ages, just watching life unfold around me – there is always something going on. We see zebra, elephants and wildebeest wandering through the outskirts of the site, and hippo frolic in the small lake, as well as numerous bird species as these pictures, all taken during our lunch stop, show.

large_10232810-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
An elephant saunters by

large_31357ee0-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Wildebeest and Zebra

large_4a350820-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Hippo in the lake

large_5be42970-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg

large_67159c20-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg
Hippo poo floats to the surface of the water

I love seeing pelicans flying

large_8636d150-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg

large_9441c9d0-f8a2-11e8-9225-d798be90741d.jpg

Eventually we have to tear ourselves away from this beautiful place to explore some other parts of the crater.

large_14ad08d0-f959-11e8-9d8f-ff51c14d4bd6.jpg
A lone wildebeest

Grey Crowned Cranes

large_5113e240-fa52-11e8-bfc8-290038ec6846.jpg

large_29fdd250-fa53-11e8-bfc8-290038ec6846.jpg

large_3dd6d880-fa53-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

large_fac0d5a0-f958-11e8-9d8f-ff51c14d4bd6.jpg

large_08bd0110-f959-11e8-9d8f-ff51c14d4bd6.jpg
Kori Bustard

large_9126fb90-f96e-11e8-962d-6b09cce23906.jpg
Common Fiscal Shrike

large_f6578e60-fa24-11e8-98f2-838e51f4de9c.jpg
Zebra

Secretary Bird

Malisa spots a few feathers sticking up from between the thorns on the top of the acacia tree and stops the car.

large_02ca0f90-fc75-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg
She looks like she has stuck her talons in an electric socket ~ or maybe she is just shocked to see us.

Initially there is not much to see, but we hang around just in case she decides she is going to fly away, or at least maybe stand up.

large_4657c010-fa25-11e8-98f2-838e51f4de9c.jpg

Our patience is rewarded as after a while she decides to rearrange her nest a little.

large_745e3640-fa27-11e8-98f2-838e51f4de9c.jpg

Hippos

large_c4657360-fa54-11e8-bfc8-290038ec6846.jpg

large_2e864700-fa5b-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

As well as the ones we see in the water, there are a few hippos out on land too.

large_23fef700-fa5b-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Eurasian Avocet

I have never before noticed avocets eating the same way as spoonbills – pushing their long beak from side to side in the water.

.

Lions

We come across a small dinner party, with two females and four cubs feasting on the carcass of a young zebra.

large_9ff26460-fa5f-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

We stay for a while (although not as invited guests, more like gatecrashers), watching their eating habits and interactions.

large_b2dc2890-fa5f-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

large_13b78cf0-fa64-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

This little lad may have bitten more than he can chew.

large_4ad87220-fa65-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

He's not really getting anywhere with the zebra's head.

large_5bd9f8e0-fa66-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

He tries a different tactic.

large_ac89f290-fa66-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

But eventually he gives up.

large_5d33d4d0-fa6c-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Gradually, one by one, they've had their fill of fresh meat and wander off for a siesta.

large_6ad10670-fa63-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

large_bc4bee10-fa5f-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

large_13006760-fa63-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Or maybe just a poo.

large_cedd8350-fa63-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Children are such messy eaters.

large_0c4c5af0-fa6d-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Mum needs cleaning too.

large_d04d17e0-fa6e-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

“Play with me mum!”

large_efa8be00-fa6e-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg

Time for us to move on and “see what else nature has to offer” (Malisa's favourite saying).

large_76d8bc40-fa60-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg
Blacksmith Lapwing

large_335b3ff0-fa61-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg
Hadada Ibis

large_beef0fb0-fa61-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg
Superb Starling

large_60b961d0-fa5b-11e8-a597-2d01e849041a.jpg
Tree Pipit

large_f3002990-fa72-11e8-b129-5b6d388d2ab2.jpg
Marabou Stork

large_ffe39200-fa72-11e8-b129-5b6d388d2ab2.jpg
Hildebrand Starling, often confused with the Superb Starling. The difference is that the Superb has a white line between the blue and the orange areas on the chest and a yellow eye against the Hildebrand's red.

large_f29c9050-fa73-11e8-b129-5b6d388d2ab2.jpg
Yellow Billed Stork

When we leave the crater by the usual Lerai Ascent Road, but at the top turn left down a private road rather than right towards the hotel on our planned itinerary, we realise that this is another one of Tillya's surprises. Tillya, the owner of Calabash Adventures, is constantly trying to exceed his customers' expectations and we often find ourselves upgraded to a different lodge than the one we thought we were staying in. Today is obviously going to be one of those occasions.

large_7b4f1210-fa74-11e8-b129-5b6d388d2ab2.jpg
View of the crater from near the top of the Lerai Ascent Road

Ang'Ata Nyati Camp

The whole team of staff appear to have come out to greet us as we arrive at a small clearing. One by one they introduce themselves by name, handing us a very welcome wet flannel and a soft drink. The complexities and rules of the camp are explained to us and we are shown to the tents. The camp is very similar to mobile camps we have stayed in previously, but I am told that this is a permanent tented camp (rather than a 'mobile' camp that moves every few months, following the annual migration of animals), having recently relocated to the Nyati Special Camp Site from the other side of the crater. A small and intimate affair, the camp has a mere eight tents and tonight we have the 'palace' to ourselves as we are the only guests staying.

large_b74d0410-fb0b-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

large_c3e3fa30-fb0b-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

large_cf0feea0-fb0b-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

A local 'askari' (security guard/escort) takes us to our 'room', a basic tent with a wooden floor, large double bed, hanging space and a rudimentary en suite bathroom. Hot water is brought to the shower by request, in a bucket. I understand from their website that you are given 25 litres of hot water plus the same amount of cold. Mixing the two, the water temperature is just right, and if used sparingly, ample for two people to shower. As always in an area where water is a scarce commodity, I wet my body, then turn off the water while I wash and apply shampoo. Water back on again, rinse and repeat with conditioner.

large_ee613480-fb0b-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

large_f9494220-fb0b-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

large_03849500-fb0c-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

We meet up with Malisa in the cosy and comfortable lounge/dining room for dinner. The food is superb and the staff is wonderful.

large_1ee9fab0-fb0c-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

40th wedding anniversary celebrations

There was no doubt in Lyn and Chris' mind where they wanted to celebrate their special milestone, and I feel very honoured that they asked us to share this celebration with them.

large_5cc7afd0-fb0c-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

When David's phone rings in the middle of dinner, he is surprised that he has a signal and worried that it may be bad news from home. The concern soon turns to indignation when he realises it is just an advert!

large_2852bb50-fb0c-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

The camp staff make such a fuss of us, and after dinner the whole crew come out, bringing a cake and a complimentary bottle of wine, while walking around the table singing and dancing. We don't have the heart to tell them that the anniversary is not for another couple of days.

large_ea579db0-fb0c-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

.

.

.

Originally released as a record back in 1982 by a Kenyan band called Them Mushrooms, the Jambo Bwana song is now adopted all over East Africa and sung to tourists at every celebration. Each lodge have their own version incorporating local details (such as the name of the camp) and I am sure they make up some of it as they go along, especially as I distinctly hear Malisa's name being mentioned in the words. These are the lyrics ~ and translation ~ to the main part of the song.

Jambo, jambo bwana (Hello, hello boss)
Habari gani (How are you)
Nzuri Sana (Very good)
Wageni, wakaribishwa (Welcome visitors)
Ang'Ata Nyeti (Ang'Ata Nyeti ~ name of camp)
Hakuna Matata (No worries)
Okenda Serengeti (Going to Serengeti)
Hakuna matata (No worries)
Okenda Ngorongoro (Going to Ngorongoro)
Hakuna matata (No worries)
Okenda Tarangire (Going to Tarangire)
Hakuna matata (No worries)
]Jambo, jambo bwana (Hello, hello boss)
Habari gani (How are you)
Nzuri Sana (Very good)
Wageni, wakaribishwa (Welcome visitors)
Ang'Ata Nyeti (Ang'Ata Nyeti ~ name of camp)
Hakuna Matata (No worries)

After dinner we gather around the 'Bush TV' (the local expression for a camp fire), where we have a sing song, introduce the locals to the joys of toasting marshmallows, and attempt (very unsuccessfully – I blame the Duty Free rum and four bottles of wine) to photograph the awesome night sky. After a fabulous day in the crater, we have a phenomenal evening in an extraordinary setting.

large_a9a32c70-fb0d-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

large_d1acceb0-fb0d-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

When we get back to our tent we find the staff have been in for 'turn-back service' and there are a couple of much appreciated hot water bottles in our bed. At an altitude of 2310 metres, this area can get bitterly cold overnight. Still on a high from the earlier revelry (not to mention the copious amount of alcohol), I slip into a deep sleep, oblivious to the cold and any noises from the surrounding jungle.

large_1ad1c870-fb0e-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

Yet another marvellous day organised by Calabash Adventures, the best safari company by far!

large_53a7a610-fb0e-11e8-b512-2bc7c450b6d8.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 09:47 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds travel elephant adventure kite tent camp africa safari tanzania camping zebra wine lions hippo drunk lion_cubs stars cranes egret stork ibis pelican avocet geese celebration glamping starling weaver wildebeest shrike astro east_africa ngorongoro_crater bird_watching bustard game_drive camp_fire plover secretary_bird lapwing guineafowl pipit ngrongoro ngoitoktok birdning bee_eaters game_viewing lions_eating ang@ata_nyati_camp mobile_tented_camp nyati jambo_bwana song_and_dance toasting_marshmallows bush_tv 40th_anniversary hot_water_bottle Comments (5)

Kanha National Park Part I - Kanha Zone

Talk about "Beginner's Luck"!


View Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright - India 2017 on Grete Howard's travel map.

After a restless night full of meflaquine dreams (nightmare-inducing malaria prophylaxis), I wake to a knock on the door. Thinking that Ahmed will leave our coffee on the table outside the door, I just shout out “thanks” to him. It is several minutes later that I realise he is still standing outside waiting for us to open the door, and I feel really guilty about leaving him there.

Kipling Camp has its own Gypsy (specially converted safari vehicle), driven by Rahim, who is not just an excellent driver, spotter and identifier, he speaks good English too and is a thoroughly nice person. This morning we are also accompanied by Jeswin, the resident naturalist at Kipling Camp, whose enthusiasm is highly contagious.

Rahim ensures we arrive first at the gate, in the pitch black, some 50 minutes before they open. As time goes on, a huge queue forms (but unusually for India, it remains orderly), and by the time we are allowed in (after having passports checked and tickets issued), there are dozens of Gypsies behind us.

large_Kanha_Nati..ance_Gate_2.jpg
Drivers queuing for tickets

large_Kanha_Nati..ance_Gate_6.jpg
Long line of Gypsies behind us

large_Kanha_Nati..ance_Gate_7.jpg
We are finally let through the gate

Kanha National Park is divided into four zones, and visitors must drive the circuit stipulated on their tickets. This morning we have been allocated Kanha Zone, The first animals we spot, just inside the gate, are a pack of jackals and some cheetal (Indian spotted deer). It is still very dark, so the pictures are extremely grainy as a result of the high ISO (ISO 32,000 for my photography friends).

large_E84E0958BA3A07B7E6F6E798C6B4A39C.jpg

large_Jackal_2.jpg

large_Jackal_3.jpg

large_Cheetal_1.jpg

Sunrise

And then the sun comes up, and what a sunrise it is, culminating in an elephant and mahout appearing out of the mist. Such a magical moment.

large_Sunrise_12.jpg

large_Sunrise_13.jpg

large_Sunrise_15.jpg

large_Sunrise_31.jpg

large_Sunrise_32.jpg

large_Sunrise_36.jpg

large_Sunrise_43.jpg

large_Sunrise_16.jpg

large_Sunrise_18.jpg

large_Sunrise_19.jpg

large_Sunrise_20.jpg

We continue driving, seeing more animals and birds along the way.

large_Cheetal_12.jpg
Cheetal (Indian Spotted Deer)

large_Oriole__Eurasian_Golden_1.jpg
Eurasian Golden Oriole

large_Hanuman_Langur_1.jpg
Hanuman Langur

large_Cheetal_11.jpg
Cheetal

Tiger

Before leaving the UK, I had warned Lyn and Chris that seeing tiger is not easy, and to expect maybe one tiger sighting for every five game drives. And here we are, before 07:30 on our very first drive when we spot a tiger in the undergrowth. Wow!

large_0F597732D35B331FA98DF99FAC8C3BE7.jpg

The tigress strolls along, taking no notice of us whatsoever.

large_0F5CC51E92EC806A339316EE8938799B.jpg

large_0F89682907C3CF22F144EB2B58EC12A6.jpg

large_0FC53E1897A0CDE40700AEEA62783B88.jpg

She heads straight for us initially, then veers off to her left, pausing briefly to turn towards the elephant that has appeared behind her.

large_10248E60EE6D63C862391D4AF0692E12.jpg

large_Tiger_9.jpg

large_Tiger_10.jpg

large_Tiger_11.jpg

large_Tiger_14.jpg

large_Tiger_15.jpg

large_Elephant_and_Mahout_1.jpg

As the tigress saunters down the path, Rahim manoeuvres the Gypsy to a better position, anticipating the she will cross the road right in front of us.

large_Tiger_17.jpg

He is right, of course.

large_Tiger_18.jpg

You can see from the fact that I have caught part of the car in the bottom corner of the photo, just how close she is.

large_Tiger_19.jpg

And then she's gone. After nearly four minutes of sheer adrenalin and excitement, we are left with just one word on our lips: “Wow!” “We can go home now” says Chris, “we've seen what we came to see.” What an amazing experience and such a clear and close encounter. What a beautiful animal!

How can you top that?

We continue on our game drive to see what else the park has to offer. At least the pressure is off now as far as finding tigers go.

We get quite excited seeing these Blackbucks, as they are a new species to us in the wild.

large_Blackbuck_1.jpg

large_Blackbuck_3.jpg

The male is black, while the females are a more neutral fawn colour. Here seen with a male cheetal.

large_Blackbuck_..e_Cheetal_1.jpg

Hanuman Langurs

large_Hanuman_Langurs_11.jpg

large_Hanuman_Langurs_12.jpg

large_Red_Wattled_Lapwing_11.jpg
Red Wattled Lapwing

large_Gaur__Indian_Bison__1.jpg
Gaur (Indian Bison) sticking his head above the long grass

large_Gaur__Indian_Bison__2.jpg
At up to ten feet long and seven feet tall, the gaur is the world's biggest wild cow. They are HUUUUGE

large_Gaur__Indian_Bison__3.jpg

large_Gaur__Indian_Bison__4.jpg

large_Gaur__Indian_Bison__7.jpg

large_Scaly_Breasted_Munia_1.jpg
Scaly Breasted Munia

large_Wild_Boar_1.jpg
Wild boar

large_Indian_Peafowl_1.jpg
Indian Peafowl

large_1CF1E23FEAB9347AA991A51626B0916D.jpg
Jackal

large_1D12D2BA960441802E9172F66EA389BE.jpg
Jackal

large_Cheetal_21.jpg
Cheetal - apparently there are some 22,000 of these spotted deer in the park

large_Cattle_Egrets__flying_2.jpg
Cattle egrets flying

large_Stonechat_2.jpg
Stonechat

large_Stonechat_5.jpg
Stonechat

large_White_Rumped_Vulture_1.jpg
White Rumped Vulture

large_Scaly_Breasted_Munia_2.jpg
Scaly Breasted Munia

large_Paddyfield_Pipit_3.jpg
Paddyfield Pipit

large_Indian_Roller_1.jpg
Indian Roller

large_Common_Kestrel_2.jpg
Common Kestrel

large_1EA9A483EA49388ED2F5B35DAEB4EC23.jpg
Green Bee Eater

large_Stonechat__Female__1.jpg
Female Stonechat - very much more dull than her husband

large_White_Fron..ingfisher_2.jpg
White Fronted Kingfisher

Breakfast picnic

At the Visitors Centre, we stop for a picnic. Kipling Camp made us some lovely scrambled egg wraps, plus fruit and juice - the best packed picnic on the whole trip.

large_Picnic_Area_at_Kanha_3.jpg

large_Picnic_Area_at_Kanha_2.jpg

large_Breakfast_..ed_egg_wrap.jpg

The monumental arch is made from antlers from cheetal, sambar and barashinga deer. Very impressive.

large_Picnic_Area_at_Kanha_1.jpg

Back on the road again for a little bit more game viewing before returning to the lodge for lunch. Unlike African safaris, Indian national parks only allow visitors to enter for a few hours in the morning and again late afternoon.

large_Kanha_National_Park_3.jpg

large_Stork__Black_1.jpg
Black Storks

large_White_Rumped_Vulture_2.jpg
White Rumped Vulture

large_Indian_Roller_11.jpg
Indian Roller

large_Sambar_2.jpg
Sambar

large_25985E3BFF94A2F9F5261734EFD1FCD0.jpg
Changeable Hawk Eagle

What an amazing morning's game viewing, not just a tiger, but also quite a few lifers (new birds to us) to add to our bird list. Well done Rahim and Kipling Camp.

large_Animal_Tracks_1.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:31 Archived in India Tagged india elephant sunrise safari mist birding tiger peacock bison stork vulture peafowl egrets langur gypsy kingfisher oriole jackal gaur indian_roller chital sambar blackbuck stonechat kestrel wild_boar lapwing kipling_camp kanha_national_park tiger_park breakfast_picnic cheetal pipit munia wild_cow Comments (8)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]