A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about wildlife photography

Arusha National Park

Raining morning in the bush


View Baby Boomers - Tanzania 2020 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Despite the long journey, I was way too wired to sleep last night: I only managed one hour and 20 minutes in total and am really hanging this morning. Malisa didn't get much sleep either apparently, as sharing out the presents we brought for his family created a Christmas Day atmosphere.

It is still raining when we leave the hotel this morning, and I am amused to see a number of motorcycles with large umbrella attachments. This is not something I have seen before, but my attempt at photographing them through a wet windscreen is rather unsuccessful.

large_f3fbf2a0-55b8-11ea-ab00-1b34bde4b46d.jpg

Arusha National Park

Another change of plan this morning – as a result of recent heavy rains, large parts of Lake Manyara National Park is under water. The lake itself has swelled so much that some lodges – including Maramboi, which we have stayed at three times previously – are closed due to flooding. Tillya therefore suggested we go to Arusha National Park instead. Another reason for doing so is that the flamingos are largely still there, rather than having migrated to Lake Natron, where we were hoping to see them tomorrow.

It is still raining as we enter the park, but that does not deter the animals, of course.

large_dbd81340-530e-11ea-8786-b31102ea733a.jpg
Common Waterbuck

large_f7cf31a0-530e-11ea-8786-b31102ea733a.jpg
Cape Buffalo at an area known as Little Serengeti

large_1534ad10-530f-11ea-8786-b31102ea733a.jpg
A somewhat damp Olive Baboon

large_288dfbf0-530f-11ea-8786-b31102ea733a.jpg
One of the rarer species, which is not found in the other larger northern parks, is the Black and White Colobus Monkey

large_33b46030-5311-11ea-b2c9-73259a221175.jpg
Giraffe

large_7ca7a420-5328-11ea-a78a-e16b540bb979.jpg
I can't believe how small the Dik Dik looks next to the giraffe.

large_7a1705d0-5336-11ea-8762-8d3bf7183a26.jpg
The tiniest little Olive Baboon baby - probably no more than two hours old, still struggling to walk

Warthogs

A sounder of warthogs are startled by our approach, and make a run for it.

large_dd991230-53d4-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_e97e6b90-53d4-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_fc587850-53d4-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

Others join in, not realising why they are running. Warthogs are known for their stupidity and the way they blindly follow their leaders. These two, however, appear to be unsure about which way to run initially.

large_43601050-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_4c783ff0-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

They soon realise the errors of their ways

large_623bd810-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

They reach the road and cross right behind us, much to our delight.

large_ae971da0-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg
They might be ugly creatures, but they have such elegant legs!

large_c533d7b0-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

A little one gets left behind and makes a mad dash for it.

large_dd4ad5b0-53d5-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

This surely has to be one of the highlights of today: a warthog mother in her den with a two-week old baby suckling.

large_1e9b9180-53d6-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_29823f90-53d6-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

Hadada Ibis

I find it interesting how certain birds and animals are more prevalent at certain times of year - we've only had a couple of brief sightings of this bird on our previous six safaris in Tanzania, whereas here there are a number of them!

large_38ab2b30-53d6-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_5f67b400-53d6-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

Augur Buzzard

Trying to balance on a thorny bush, he has a bit of a flap on.

large_84bc2480-53da-11ea-b1de-af1ef474fba5.jpg

They are seriously impressive birds when they spread their wings.

large_978c4630-53da-11ea-b1de-af1ef474fba5.jpg

It is interesting how different cameras and lenses render colours differently. The previous images were taken with a Canon 1DXII with a Canon 100-400mm and a 1.4 extender; whereas the one below was a Canon 7DII with a Canon 600mm f/4. Both shot with a Cloudy White Balance, yet the green colour is very different.

large_7cdf7ef0-53d6-11ea-9a7a-61fa53d8c49c.jpg

large_71088b30-53db-11ea-800d-e5099a20b39d.jpg
A six-week old baby giraffe - look at those ears!

We stop for ages in this one place, as it seems to be all happening around us: birds aplenty, mongooses, giraffes, buffalo, warthogs.

large_168faf70-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
I always find it amazing how giraffes can eat around the thorns on the acacia trees

large_36b50e30-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
Ashy Starling on a giraffe

large_537521e0-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
Banded Mongoose

large_6042b860-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg

large_75e1d890-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
The Cape Buffalo attracts the flies and the flies attract the Red Billed Oxpecker

large_9820a170-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
Common Fiscal Shrike

large_a7ea60f0-549f-11ea-8592-f58a36d67109.jpg
Masked Weaver

large_93217fb0-54a3-11ea-80a0-29280ccdf525.jpg
Hammerkop

large_0c91ed10-54e7-11ea-9e9a-31e3d52d7fde.jpg
Red Billed Oxpeckers

Common Waterbuck

large_72ff59d0-54e6-11ea-9e9a-31e3d52d7fde.jpg

While photographing the backside of this antelope to demonstrate the difference between a Common Waterbuck (with the toilet seat shaped white marking on its rear), and the Defassa Waterbuck with its more solid markings (see inset), we notice that he is struggling to walk.

large_7e95cfe0-54e6-11ea-9e9a-31e3d52d7fde.jpg

On closer inspection, it seems he has a nasty flesh wound on his upper thigh, probably caused by a hyena. It is causing him a great deal of distress, and he appears very weak and painfully thin. Not long for this world I fear.

large_02180a90-54e7-11ea-9e9a-31e3d52d7fde.jpg

We move on to “see what else nature has to offer us”.

large_8616f280-54eb-11ea-b619-1feeb9fc1765.jpg
Hippo in Big Momella Lake

large_bd9c6bd0-556e-11ea-8d98-a5bb80afd958.jpg
Pale Flycatcher

African Scops Owl

Without warning, Malisa grinds the car to an abrupt halt and reverses back. What has he seen? There, skilfully camouflaged in a tree, is an owl. An African Scops Owl – one of the handful of birds / animals on my wish list this year. Good job Malisa!

large_6418bd30-557c-11ea-a509-f7d2f710b64c.jpg

He is well hidden, but we leave the vehicle and explore on foot to try and get a good viewpoint. Thankfully there are no big cats here in Arusha National Park, so it is reasonably safe to do so.

large_5771f320-557d-11ea-a509-f7d2f710b64c.jpg

He changes position, we follow.

large_65163a90-557d-11ea-a509-f7d2f710b64c.jpg

Owls looks seriously weird when they blink!

large_9e3c0cf0-557d-11ea-a509-f7d2f710b64c.jpg

large_a7ac6eb0-557d-11ea-a509-f7d2f710b64c.jpg

Eventually he flies off to another tree, and we move on.

large_2ad6da80-5580-11ea-a482-3dc29e485e4e.jpg
Common Sandpiper

large_37686f10-55a4-11ea-aff3-9dfff480a4b8.jpg
Juvenile Augur Buzzard

large_4a9a86e0-55a4-11ea-aff3-9dfff480a4b8.jpg
He is such a noisy bugger, squawking loudly

large_5915b410-55a9-11ea-87cd-87d2fab60eba.jpg
African Pied Wagtail

Big Momella Lake

As I said at the beginning of this blog entry, today's visit to Arusha National park is totally unscheduled, with a plan to see the flamingos. And see them we do!

large_77c68b80-55ba-11ea-ab00-1b34bde4b46d.jpg

large_85f2c7a0-55ba-11ea-ab00-1b34bde4b46d.jpg

large_8f20f040-55ba-11ea-ab00-1b34bde4b46d.jpg

large_9cb224e0-55ba-11ea-ab00-1b34bde4b46d.jpg
Lesser Flamingos are much smaller but brighter in colour than the Greater Flamingos.

And thus ends the first morning in the bush. Thank you once again to Calabash Adventures for arranging our latest safari.

large_3274b270-55bd-11ea-ad90-d97f3c3611fe.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 03:41 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds rain wildlife monkey africa safari tanzania birding african buffalo giraffe baboon flamingos ibis waterbuck starling owl warthog arusha bird_watching suckling buzzard calabash_adventures hammerkop dik_dik olive_baboon augur_buzzard black_and_white_colobus_monkey wildlife_photography arusha_national_park colobus_monkey wildlife_viewing baby_suckling warthog_suckling hadada_ibis ashy_starling fiscal_shrike oxpeckers african_scops_owl wagtail big_momella_lake Comments (2)

Lazy afternoon at Mandina Lodges

Taking it easy in the shade


View Galavanting in The Gambia 2019 on Grete Howard's travel map.

After lunch we retire to the room, and I notice to my horror that my legs have come up in a dreadful rash with red skin and little blisters. It is burning, stinging and itching so much that I jump straight in the shower, hoping the cold water will relieve it. It doesn't. Smothering it in antihistamine, I take myself off to a shady spot on the terrace while David goes on a boat trip with Nicola and AJ, our guide.

large_9b580060-977e-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg

large_a833ab30-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg

As a result of previous severe sunburn, I now have an area on my shins that suffer from photosensitive dermatitis, hence why I do not want to expose my legs to the sun this afternoon.

large_7339b270-ac6b-11e9-b47d-49499d08ff05.jpg

I spend the time with my long lens pointing at the sky, trying to catch flying birds while keeping out of the sun. The wind has dropped and it is blisteringly hot. Literally in my case.

large_d66a8790-977e-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Hooded Vulture

large_428712e0-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Long Tailed Cormorant

large_652d2910-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Oyster collectors

large_50a7b640-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Black Headed Heron

large_74840280-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Some strange, elongated fish in the river.

large_852e0fe0-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
White Throated Bee Eater

large_93fa3580-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Collecting firewood

large_b6eb8580-977f-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Black Kite

large_0613a6b0-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Western Plantain Eater

large_1788f350-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Pied Crows

large_3b507f10-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Bearded Barbet

large_46da4af0-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
They are funny looking birds when they fly

large_55e37990-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
A much bigger bird. Although we are fairly near the airport, the flights are so infrequent that they do not bother us.

large_7d27a8f0-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Whimbrel

large_92db6290-9780-11e9-9055-b9dff0e39a40.jpg
Common Swift

large_df34fa70-9780-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
Pied Crow

large_ca20dc30-9780-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
More oyster collectors returning home

large_a5edbd60-9780-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
Pied Crows into the setting sun

As soon as David returns, we have a shower and sit on our private deck with a drink before dinner. The chef came round to the room earlier to take our orders for this evening.

large_25e87f00-9781-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
Starter - Vegetable Spring Rolls

large_345ebc70-9781-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
Chicken and rice for main course

large_44790cf0-9781-11e9-8c65-4d7430b725eb.jpg
Dessert is Banana Fritter and Ice Cream

When we return to the room, we find that the mosquito net over the bed has been lowered while we were eating, and the room is thankfully very much cooler now, which will hopefully aid sleep tonight.

Posted by Grete Howard 16:41 Archived in Gambia Tagged birds boat wildlife airport crow kite birding plane canoe heron vulture whimbrel west_africa cormorant barbet gambia boat_trip blisters bird_watching rash firewood swift spring_rolls itching bee_eater wildlife_photography plantain_eater dermatitis red_skin mandina_lodges makasutu rive floatinf_lodge oyster_collectors collecting_firewood dug_out_canoe banana_fritter mosquito_net Comments (4)

Marakissa River Camp

Another Birdie Heaven


View Galavanting in The Gambia 2019 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Marakissa River Camp

Abdoulie takes us to this delightful camp for refreshments and bird watching. The camp is set on the riverside (there is a hint in the name), and features many different species. We spend a couple of delightful hours here, nipping between the covered terrace overlooking man made water pools, and the river below.

large_f02923a0-7cba-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Abyssinian Roller

large_0149c090-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Yellow Billed Shrike

large_1205a840-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Beautiful Sunbird, preening

large_2592d860-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Purple Glossy Starling

large_33165160-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Yellow Throated Leaflove

large_4163f830-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu

large_538dc7c0-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Lesser Honeyguide

large_613a4c90-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Piapiac (AKA Black Magpie)

large_70d50cd0-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Scruffy Looking Village Weaver

large_bed06dd0-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Western Plantain Eater

large_8c8d9b90-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Black Crake

large_a0309da0-7cbb-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg
Giant Kingfisher

Kingfisher Diving

While we are down at the river's edge, I spot a Pied Kingfisher in the corner of my eye, just about to dive into the water. I swing my camera around and manage to grab a quick shot as he carries his lunch away.

large_3163a2e0-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

Having devoured the fresh snack, he comes back, sitting on a nearby branch, contemplating his next move.

large_4efa1960-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

Feeling hungry again, he hovers over the river, hoping to spot a fish.

large_5bc083f0-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

Bingo! Not only did he manage to catch one (just – he is barely holding on to it by the tip of its head), but he also speared a dead leaf.

large_66269050-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

large_6fc8b070-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

Which is now stuck on his beak.

large_7a2a9e20-7cbc-11e9-ad19-2175bfbad4d2.jpg

large_61f2ea20-7dab-11e9-ae55-6b7dcc59b212.jpg
Speckled Pigeon

large_7eadf4c0-7dab-11e9-ae55-6b7dcc59b212.jpg
Palm Nut Vulture

large_90890810-7dab-11e9-ae55-6b7dcc59b212.jpg
Western Reef Heron

large_ac95b4d0-7dac-11e9-80c8-c9859bf198bb.jpg
African Black Kite

large_fd93a770-7dac-11e9-80c8-c9859bf198bb.jpg
Great White Egret

Back up at the terrace we are joined by the two Dutch ladies we met at Brufut and Tanji. It seems that we are all doing a very similar birding circuit.

large_1acdc7d0-7cd6-11e9-8391-23d1dd589dbb.jpg
African Thrush

large_cf112150-7cd7-11e9-8391-23d1dd589dbb.jpg
Blue Bellied Roller

large_32dc2fc0-7cd5-11e9-b558-932777b13c29.jpg
Beautiful Sunbird

large_b349b060-7cd5-11e9-8391-23d1dd589dbb.jpg
The female sunbird is nowhere near as colourful as the male

large_48cbb9e0-7cd5-11e9-b558-932777b13c29.jpg
Orange Cheeked Waxbill

large_54889c50-7cd8-11e9-a684-f7239b046cf9.jpg
Red Billed Firefinch

large_8a7c4f50-8912-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg
A squirrel joins in the fun

Having had our fill of birdies this morning, we head back to the lodge, getting stuck in a very hot car as we hit a traffic jam along the way.

Lunch

It is lovely to see lots of people have come for lunch here at Tanji today – a big birding party plus a few other couples. We get a very warm welcome from our favourite waitress Awa, who throws her arms out and shouts our names as soon as she sees us. She has drastically changed her appearance from yesterday by going from long, black hair to extremely short, pillarbox red! It suits her. Mind you, she is such a pretty girl she'd look good in anything.

large_b272dec0-8912-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg
Butter fish in a delicious spicy sauce, served with chips.

We are watched during lunch by a troupe of the local Green Vervet Monkeys, as well as a couple of birds

large_c8aba6e0-8912-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg

large_62e3c8f0-8913-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg
Red Billed Firefinch

large_7bae1160-8913-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg
Grey Backed Camaroptera

After a delightful siesta, we spend the rest of the afternoon chatting to Haddy, the owner of Tanji Eco Bird Lodge, hearing all about her plans for the property as well as solving all the world's problems. As you do.

Dinner

Dinner is a low key affair again as usual, with just the two of us and staff.

large_a1d0f240-8913-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg

large_b0575c50-8913-11e9-825d-9175a862e404.jpg
Chicken Yassa

After dinner we retire to our room to let the staff go home while David and I share a few drinks on the balcony, going over the delights of the day.

Posted by Grete Howard 03:45 Archived in Gambia Tagged birds monkeys wildlife kite wild africa birding squirrel roller heron vulture west_africa kingfisher starling shrike finch gambia bird_watching sunbird eco_lodge vervet_monkeys thrush cordon_bleu wildlife_photography the_gambia tanji the_gambia_experience cordon_blue piapiac crake plantain_eater firefinch waxbill tanji_bird_eco_lodge abdoulie marakissa leaflove marakissa_river_camp wild_birds kingfisher_diving camaroptera siest haddy chicken_yassa Comments (2)

Lobo - Ndutu Part 3 - elephants, warthogs, giraffes

...and a couple of 'almost' leopard sightings.


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

More Elephants

This time under the shade of a tree

large_1b226060-33ac-11e9-9ad8-5bba836903c6.jpg

Black Faced Vervet Monkey

This young lady is carrying the tiniest of babies, but she doesn't seem to want to show him off to us.

large_9671c8c0-33b4-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

For a moment it looks like the baby is losing his grip on mum's belly.

large_ba621230-33b4-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

Whirlwind

We've seen a lot of these mini-tornadoes on this trip, with more windy weather than we've ever experienced in the past.

large_d2595dc0-33b5-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

Another Leopard Tree

Just like before, the leopard has jumped down from the tree before we arrive, and could be absolutely anywhere by now.

large_d9536850-33b5-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

Kill in Tree

This is beginning to be the 'Story of Our Day' as we see the carcass of a reedbuck in a tree. The predator has deserted her kill to go off hunting again. Knowing that she is likely to return to move the kill to protect it from lions, we wait. And wait. And wait. “Just ten minutes more”. Eventually, after what seems to me like an eternity, we take a vote and decide to move on to “see what else nature has to offer us”.

large_44ac0760-33b6-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

large_6b4030e0-437e-11e9-b18c-9921e859dab3.jpg

Helmeted Guineafowl

I know they are birds, but it is still unusual to see the guineafowl in a tree.

large_196b3980-33b7-11e9-92c0-ff70d722893b.jpg

large_25b4abe0-33b7-11e9-92c0-ff70d722893b.jpg

Warthogs

Heading for the waterhole

large_090b1b80-33b9-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

Rolling around in the pond, the warthogs are essentially 'applying sunscreen' using the thick mud for protection.

large_0421ef20-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_189cb390-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_2a4ebb10-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_413eec50-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

Seeing warthogs walk makes me think that they look like ladies in stilettos.

large_57baff00-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

Thomson's Gazelles

Also at the waterhole are a few Thomson's gazelles.

large_9fe23270-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_8b115ec0-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_b69c3880-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_c399b8a0-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_d7fa8c70-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

Reedbucks

The shy reedbuck stay in the distance, hoping for the gazelles to vacate the waterhole so they can go down to drink in peace.

large_0c2a61a0-3692-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_17c321a0-3692-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

Elephants

large_b311d140-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_cf7211b0-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_38b6ebf0-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_ebc77cb0-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

This herd includes a couple of really young babies, just two and three months old.

large_16627830-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_16627830-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_79875430-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_9d1f4470-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Mum is very protective over her baby.

large_5229f780-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_66436210-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Note the dust devil in the background – as I said earlier, we saw more of these on this trip than we have on all the previous safaris put together.

large_b0348570-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Lioness

This young lady is having an afternoon siesta under a tree, all by herself.

large_a27d6760-36ec-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Topi

Surveying the landscape from the top of a small mound. As they do.

large_6f73bb50-36ef-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

White Bellied Bustard

large_a1ee49f0-36f0-11e9-8f47-53f620f4ef4e.jpg

Steenbok

Not sure what this steenbok has done with his ears – he looks rather odd.

large_bf0317e0-36f1-11e9-9118-95e694b83595.jpg

Short Grass Plains

Looking out over the area that they call Short Grass Plains, I can understand how Serengeti got its name: Endless Plains (the meaning of the name Serengeti in the local Maa language).

large_0b01a200-36f3-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

Dust

At this time of year, vehicles travelling on the dirt tracks of the Serengeti throw up huge clouds of dust, especially the large trucks.

large_a5057830-36f4-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

large_f3f460f0-36f4-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

Common Kestrel

He has a little lizard in his talons, but seems more interested in looking around than eating, but eventually bites its head off and flies off holding the rest of his lunch in his claws.

large_138d52a0-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_1dcc00e0-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_26ad6910-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_3f91f040-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Steppe Eagle

large_1c4d21b0-3702-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Chipped Windscreen

The problem with these dry gravel tracks is not just the dust, there are also little stones being thrown up. This started as a small chip less than an inch long a few days ago, but with the vibrations of the uneven surface and the vacuum effect caused by driving at speed, it is now almost a foot long. Every time we pass another vehicle, Malisa holds on to the windscreen with his spare hand to lessen the chance of it shattering. Fortunately there is very little traffic today.

large_e8ddc0e0-3702-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Naabi Gate

By the time we reach the gate to exit Serengeti, both David and I have the runs; thankfully the toilets here are clean and modern these days.

Ndutu

After completing the formalities and leaving Serengeti, we enter one of my favourite places in Tanzania: Ndutu. Part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ndutu encompasses a lake of the same name as well as Lake Masek.

Baby Golden Jackal

There is no sign of the rest of his family, I am guessing (hoping) they are hiding somewhere nearby.

large_cde5db50-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

large_e6af6070-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

large_f17455b0-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

Spotted Hyena

large_137636a0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

large_1f501e50-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

large_2c72b2a0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

Fireball Lily

Unlike our last two visits, which have been in May when the plains are turned into enormous, colourful meadows, at this time of year it is unusual to see any flowers, making this fireball lily all the more special.

large_b0415fa0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

Flamingos on Lake Ndutu

The way they move when they are feeding, tripping up and down, lifting one leg, then the other, always makes me think of little children needing the toilet. They are, of course, doing it to try and disturb algae.

large_7e202ce0-3750-11e9-9480-e7175e015ae0.jpg

large_8d9a45c0-3750-11e9-9480-e7175e015ae0.jpg

Yellow Necked Francolin

large_8c3f5430-3751-11e9-99e6-bb3465cbe2db.jpg

Giraffe

large_8a56d690-377c-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

As I said earlier, the dry soil means that the car kicks up a large amount of dust as we are driving along the dirt tracks. While we are moving, it is not so noticeable, as the dust is mostly behind us; but as soon as we stop, the fine powder seems to catch up with us, making photography impossible for a minute or so until it settles.

large_75adaf20-377c-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

large_b8ad36f0-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

large_cdcacb10-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

While I was complaining about the dust a minute ago, I love it when we get back-light from the setting sun and the animals themselves kick up the dust. It adds a magical atmosphere to the photographs.

large_deb515c0-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

Elephants

large_4cf50750-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_82c87a60-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Wait for me!

large_f94124a0-383c-11e9-aac6-9300e3336db5.jpg

The elephants are heading to the Big Marsh area to have a drink before bed time.

large_76e1f0b0-383d-11e9-aac6-9300e3336db5.jpg

Fork Tailed Drongo

large_a9bb5570-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

More Elephants

large_b241a550-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

We notice one of them has a broken tusk, probably destroyed it while trying to bring down a tree.

large_c6f13560-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

The light is really failing now as Malisa makes his way to our camp for the night.

Tawny Eagle

large_7b465ea0-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Black Backed Jackal

large_92a9eb20-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_9d2c3210-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Striped Hyena

I always travel to Tanzania with a wish list of some animals I would really like to see. While I am of course excited by whatever “nature has to offer us”, there are still some animals that we have yet to encounter in the wild. Striped Hyena is one of those. It has been on my wish lists every single one of the six times we have come to Tanzania on safari.

Just before we arrive at our night stop, Malisa abruptly stops the car as an animal crosses the track in front of us at the speed of light. “What was that” I ask as I instinctively grab my camera. Malisa is almost too excited to speak. “Striped Hyena”. Wow. Not only is the light so low by now (ISO 20,000 for my photography friends), the hyena is such a fast mover, that he is way into the bush by the time I press the shutter.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very excited to announce that this is a STRIPED HYENA. Honestly.

large_bf10cd00-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Lake Masek Tented Camp

This is the third time we have stayed at this charming camp, and it never fails to delight us.

large_f60eb650-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

After completing the usual formalities, we check out the new deck that has been built since we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary here in May last year.

large_04ab4070-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

The view from here has always been spectacular, overlooking the lake of the same name.

large_2ea9fbf0-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

This evening a welcoming camp fire is burning in the elevated fire pit, with director's chairs surrounding it, facing the stunning outlook.

large_4bea6330-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_5e6734c0-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_68b01c30-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

We also see there is new and a very inviting-looking swimming pool on a lower deck. It is a shame we never have time to enjoy the facilities of these lodges – it's a balance between making the most of the animals on safari or the accommodation and the wildlife wins every time.

large_c437cfd0-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Spacious tents on wooden platforms come complete with a four poster bed, large bathroom featuring a stand-alone bath, double basins, a separate toilet and an open air shower.

large_87591420-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_95a7f370-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

a051bf90-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_ae052230-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

The latter is a new experience for Lyn and Chris and causes much amazement and amusement. At dinner Chris regales us with an entertaining account of the conversation that occurred while they were getting ready:

Lyn: “The shower has no roof”
Chris, not taking a great deal of notice: “Oh yeah”
Lyn: “No, really, there is no roof.”
Chris, a little more interested now: “What do you mean 'no roof'?”
Lyn: “I can see the stars”
Chris, a little confused: “Really? Don't be silly”

large_d1b81480-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Unfortunately it is not raining this evening, as having a warm shower in the cool rain is an unforgettable experience. Mind you, so is star gazing while showering.

It is not until I take my watch off this evening that I realise just how much sun you can catch even though you are inside a vehicle and using a factor 20 sun tan lotion.

large_e89496b0-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

We just about have time to enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the mosquito-screened balcony in front of our tent.

large_fafde040-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_08b9f570-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_148955d0-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

One of the many things I like about this camp is that Malisa is permitted to eat with us, and we have a terrific evening with lots of raucous laughter, excellent food and free beer and wine. Thankfully the lodge is not full this evening, with only three other tables taken for dinner.

large_1ed4d550-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

All this was, of course, arranged by the ever-helpful Calabash Adventures, our favourite safari partner.

large_b56c02e0-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 14:31 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals monkeys sunset elephants africa safari tanzania pond eagle birding lion windy giraffe wind swimming_pool lioness lily flamingos serengeti dust hyena sunburn gazelle topi warthog waterhole cracked jackal drongo bird_watching bustard tented_camp ndutu camp_fire kestrel whirlwind windshield calabash_adventures vervet_monkeys black_faced_vervet_monkeys lake_masek short_grass_plains black_backed_jackal spotted_hyena tawny_eagle lake_masek_tented_camp endless_plains spurfowl guineafowl francolin game_viewing golden_jackal mini_tornado white_bellied_bustard reedbuck dust_devil naabi_gate wildlife_photography leopard_kill thomsons_gazelle common_kestrel steppe_eagle chipped_windscreen windscreen baby_golden_jackal striped_hyena fireball_lily yellow_necked_spurfowl yellow_necked_francolin broken_tusk fork_tailed_drongo pre_dinner_drinks outdoor_shower Comments (6)

(Entries 25 - 28 of 28) Previous « Page 1 2 [3]