S: Africa Dream Safari May 2011
1: This Photo Book is dedicated to Barbara Johns. I would not have had this experience had she not agreed to come to Africa with me. We will forever share memories of the awe and beauty of Africa. Asante my dear friend. Jambo
2: ITINERARY Private Safari: Denise Burchill and Barbara Johns Deluxe Lodges - May 2011 8 Days (Northward Migration Season) Private Vehicle: 1 X 4WD Stretched Land Rover May 18 Region:Kilimanjaro/Arusha Accommodations: Arusha Coffee Lodge Events: Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), ADS to issue VIP Tanzania Visa May 19 Region: Arusha/West Serengeti (Ruwana Plains) Accommodations: Mbalegeti Tented Lodge (Tented Chalet) Events: Regional Air - Arusha to West Serengeti (Grumeti Airstrip) May 20 Region: West Serengeti-Lower Grumeti River Woodlands Accommodations: Mbalegeti Tented Lodge (Tented Chalet) May 21 Region: Central Serengeti-Musabi Plains, Seronera Valley, Makoma Hill, Moru Kopjes, Lake Magadi Accommodations: Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge Events: Maasai Village Tour
3: May 22 Region: Central Serengeti-Simba Maasai Kopjes, Sametu Kopjes, Barafu Kopjes Accommodations: Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge Events: Serengeti Balloon Ride May 23 Region: Central Serengeti, Simba Kopjes, Long Grass Plains, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater Accommodations: Serena Sopa Lodge May 24 Region: Ngorongoro Crater, Lerai Forest, Lake Magadi & Rumbe Hills, Tarangire Accomodations: Tarangire River Camp May 25 Region: Tarangire River, Silale Swamp, Matete Woodlands, Arusha, Kilimanjaro Accomodations: Arusha Coffee Lodge Events: Depart Kilimanjaro
4: May 18, 2011 Arrive Tanzania Arusha Coffee Lodge | I am writing this several hours into our flight to Amsterdam. Highlight so far was Barb getting all body cavities searched at PGH airport. Amsterdam airport should be avoided at all cost. No organization-chaotic at gate - full of Drake football players and an all star team from Mexico to play in the Mt. Kilimanjaro Global Bowl. The first organized football game to be played in the continent of Africa. Kudos to KLM for great service. We were fed at least 5 times during the 8 hour flight.
5: We were greeted at the airport by a group of Maasai singing and dancing in tribal costumes. Can't say enough about the ADS service and accommodations. We were never alone from the moment we got to the airport. Our first night in Africa ended with a tip of the wine glasses. Gotta go. We need to look for the cell phone that they gave us. P.S. We walked back through the complex looking for the cell phone. Those two glasses of wine caught up with Barb. Stumbling all | over the place. Thank God one of the natives helped me get her back to the room. I found the phone behind some pillows! P.P.S. Barb's stumbling was due to taking a sleeping pill on top of the wine.
6: May 19, 2011 Arusha/West Serengeti Mbalageti Tented Lodge | First day of game driving. Simon is a great guide - he sees animals from a mile away (without using the binoculars!). Today's sightings: Cape Buffalo, Wart Hogs, Impala, Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeast, Lions, Thomson's Gazelle, Hippos, Crocs, Ostrich, Topi, Monitor Lizard and lots of birds.
13: Mbalageti Tented Lodge
14: May 20, 2011 North Serengeti (Lower Grumeti River Woodlands) Mbalageti Tented Lodge | Too much food. I never eat this much food! Another great game drive. Thousands of zebras in the migration. Wildebeast everywhere - had to drive right through them in the road. AMAZING!! Three hyenas and more giraffes. Jeep broke down right by a herd of bull elephants. Corroded terminals cleaned with Diet Coke. Going out again for evening game drive at 4pm.
15: On evening game drive, saw more giraffes/cape buffalo/pygmy mongoose and monitor lizard sacking out in a tree. Lots of baboons. We tried Kilamanjaro beer with dinner. It was good, but going to try two others before picking a favorite local brew. Maasai that escorted us tonight spotted a Dic dic in the dark. How do they see these animals? Lots of laughs about how we lock our door.. zipper with a pad lock! The Maasai wear shoes made out of old tires.
25: Mbalageti Tented Lodge
26: May 21, 2011 Central Serengeti Musabi Plains, Seronera Valley, Makoma Hill Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge | It can't get any better than this. First thing this morning we saw 30-some baboons at the river. Then wildebeast in the river. Zebra in the river. More wildebeast and zebra. Will never be able to desribe what I saw to others. Leopard in tree. Hundreds of vultures in trees. Dead wildebeast in river.. crocs will come back to eat. Best of all... cheetah kill of a baby Thomson's Gazelle. 4 cheetahs - Mom and 3 cubs. Did not kill at first; Mom cheetah played with the gazelle and let her cubs each take a turn chasing and capturing it. Saw an impala killed by a
27: leopard in a tree. The leopard was not there. We waited for the leopard, but it did not come back. Prey was gone the next morning. Our new tent is nice. No locks..just close it by a zipper on canvas door. They say there are baboons here, and again, we are escorted whenever we leave the tent. We love Safari Beer.
37: Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge
38: May 22, 2011 Central Serengeti Seronera Valley, Maasai Kopjes, Sametu Kopjes Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge | First a note about last night. Slept for three hours until midnight. Had my usual problems sleeping away from home. Many animal noises outside and very close. Something large tearing down branches. Something large rubbing against or near the tent. Something else running across the roof. Escort for morning walk to catch our ride for the balloon had to shoo a Cape Buffalo from our campsite, and he noted that an elephant had been near-by, and then we walked right past a giraffe munching on a tree. The creature on the roof was most likely a Rock Hyrex, a rodent about the size of a large guinea pig.
39: The morning started with a 4:30AM drive to the hot air balloon center. Finally got to check this off my bucket list. Only the pictures tell the story. Then more game driving...2 leopards..lions..hippos.. and all the other usual suspects. Took the afternoon off to catch up on sleep. Had a surprise birthday party at dinner. All staff came out to sing and give me a birthday cake. Shared with all others at dinner. | Had to use the Go Girl today. Was not very successful, but Barb did great.
49: Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge
50: Monday May 23, 2011 Central Serengeti,Simba Kopjes, Long Grass Plains, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongo Crater Serena Sopa Lodge | Drove to Ngorongoro Crater. On the way, saw a lioness with a fresh wildebeast kill. Went to a Maasai camp and an archiological site. Maasai boys must kill a lion to become a man in their culture. Once he presents a lion tooth to his mother, he is a warrior and may take a wife. With each kill, he may take another wife. Our guide had 3 wives and 4 children - all lived in a hut that was no bigger than my kitchen. Other sightings today included rhinos and lion cubs. Have now seen all of the Big Five.
60: Serena Sopa Lodge
61: May 24, 2011 Ngorongo Crater, Lerai Forest, Lake Magadi, Rumbe Hills, Tarangire Tarangire River Camp | Spent the day at the Tarangire River Park. There were elephants everywhere..walking, rolling in mud, rubbing against trees and very close to the jeep. Took lots of videos. Saw a wounded cheetah that was limping and not long for this world. We forded a river to get to our camp. Had several Safari beers and popcorn while sitting on the deck overlooking the river. ADS presented us with a cake for dessert. Tomorrow will head for home. Will miss Africa, but so happy to see Ray.
65: Tarangire River Camp
66: May 25, 2011 Tarangire River, Silale Swamp, Matete Woodlands, Arusha, Kilimanjaro Arusha Coffee Lodge | We started the day watching a herd of elephants right outside our tent, down in the riverbed. On our drive to Arusha, we stopped at a local market to pick up souvenirs. I found a tanzanite bracelet, and Barb bought lots of stuff for her kids, and a nice wooden bowl for me for my birthday. Simon stopped at an overlook where we saw what we thought was a pink lake, but it was thousands of flamigos in the lake. Said goodbye the the BEST guide in Africa. Asante Simon.
69: Asante Tanzania
70: Kirafu | Simba | Chui | Nyati | Tembo
71: Mamba | Nyamera | Ngiri | Kenge | Fisi | Swala Pala
72: Colobus | Bweha | Pimbi | Swala Tomi | Vervet Monkey
73: Twiga | Kiboko | Punda Milia | Nyumbu
74: Kongoni | Ngurchiro | Nyani | Vulture
75: Egyptian Goose | Mbuni | Ndge Nuru | Superb Starling