S: On Safari in Tanzania - October 2011
FC: On Safari in Tanzania September 2011
1: In the Footsteps of the Great Explorers Until the middle of the Nineteenth Century, the center of the African continent was largely unexplored by Western Civilization. Only Arab slave traders ventured into the heart of Africa where native tribes and huge herds of exotic animals lived as they had for thousands of years. Just over 150 years ago, European explorers started a series of significant expeditions into central Africa often passing through what is now Tanzania. The trip from the East Coast to the area around Lake Victoria and back could take a year or more. Their exploits are remarkably well documented because the early explorers maintained detailed journals throughout their trips. For 11 days in September 2011, my wife, Joan, and I traveled through Tanzania, from Arusha to Tarangire National Park, to Lake Manyara, then to Ngorongoro Crater and finally deep into the Serengeti Plain, almost to the shores of Lake Victoria. I took over 2000 photographs that document our trip - a luxury the early African explorers did not have. This book is a photo journal of our 2011 safari through the National Parks and Conservation Areas of Tanzania. You will meet the other participants shortly. We owe special thanks to the people of Tanzania for sharing with us their beautiful country, their amazing wildlife, their fantastic scenery, their rich culture and most of all themselves.
2: Day 1: The Safari Gathers - Arusha Mountain Lodge, Tanzania | Joan & Brian - the reluctant traveler and the instigator | Brian & Tricia - "Indiana Jones" & our adventurous daughter | My brother Kevin & Mary Pat - Seasoned safari goers
3: "Doctor Livingston, I presume." | Babenga, Emmanuel, Susan, Abdullah, Masonda | Sisters in pink | Indy with camera | "I'm tired of Ireland, let's go to Africa."
4: Babenga, Susan, Nina, Adam, Armand, Tony, Thomas, Robert, Michael, Emmanuel Laurie, Kevin, Brian, Brian, Sharlene, Adam, Joshua, Donna, Les, Abdullah Mary Pat, Tricia, Joan, Joan, Deborah, Masonda
5: Fifteen friendly traveling companions, Six Barr clan members, Four amazing Tanzanian guides, A fantastic tour director, and One never to be forgotten safari. | "Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest Lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." Author Unknown
6: Days 2-4: Tarangire National Park | Tarangire National Park is alive with wildlife offering us our first sightings of 4 of the Big 5. There really is a Leopard in the tree. Look hard.
8: You see a few Elephants below but there are hundreds on the plain behind Tricia.
9: Lions sleep off a wildebeest feast while the cubs play at being "Big Lions." | Twenty-one tourists with at least 21 cameras and 21 sets of binoculars.
10: "Box lunches" and a close encounter with the big animals - what more could you want. A daytime sighting of a porcupine is a rare treat. Even our guides are surprised.
11: Kikoti Tented Camp | This is our home while visiting Tarangire - not exactly roughing it. With no fences, Elephants roam the grounds and Antelope graze under our tent at night. We can't leave the tent after dark without calling for an armed escort. We try our hand at the Masai spear and bow.
12: Days 4-5: Primate Paradise and a Village Tour - Lake Manyara National Park | Lake Manyara Serena Lodge is on the escarpmant above the Eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara.
13: Blue Monkeys and Baboons | One by one, five baby baboons climb onto our hood. Two more climb up the back and are within 3 feet of Brian before we scare them off.
14: At the Market in Mosquito Village, Brian tries the Banana Beer (warm and unfiltered) while Tricia poses with the banana sellers.
15: Local artists show off their work. Kids gather to see the fair-skinned visitors and local school children sing for us.
16: Day 6: Into the Crater - Ngorongoro Conservation Area | Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is built into the rim of the crater. We are treated to both traditional and modern African entertainment.
17: A Cheetah on the hunt | A magnificent Lion carries marks of a recent fight. | A rare Black Rhino sighting - the last of the Big 5. | This old Bull Elephant grazes the marsh to preserve his 7th and last set of teeth.
18: Wildebeest dominate the crater and the plains by their sheer numbers.
19: The ladies of the safari celebrate another gourmet picnic. | As does the Lion.
20: Day 7-8: Masai Village and Into the Serengeti Plain | Brian proves once again that "White Men Can't Jump" | Joanie, it's all in the shoulders.
21: This is our first home in the Serengeti. The pool is refreshing and with no fences, the Elephants like it too.
22: We see more animals, large and small, and great trees. This Elephant is in a small herd where most had only one tusk.
23: Jungle Joan
24: The pictures say it all. Every hour of every day there is another wonderful surprise.
25: Hippo Pool
26: Days 9-10: The Western Serengeti - Serengeti National Park | Second flat tire. No one said it would be easy. | "What would you like to see today?". He never fails us. | Lion lyin' in a tree.
27: Lion still lyin' still in a tree. | Who is watching whom? | Our final Serengeti home is a luxury tented camp.
28: Wildebeest complete a river crossing but someone is missing. | Surrounded and out of hope. | Crocodile take down. | The death roll. | Mercifully it ends quickly. | Crocs gather to feast | Survival on the Serengeti Plain
29: In the evening, God shines down on the earth below. | And in the morning, man tries to reach for the heavens. | While down on the Serengeti, life goes on.
30: Another day and another herd of Wildebeest race towards the river. | We take the safer ways across while the safari women watch.
31: With predators all around, life can be tough for the very young on the Serengeti. | But this baby Hippo is still willing to play with us.
32: The staff hoots it up for Mike's Serengeti Birthday Bash. | With so many great memories, it is time to unwind and prepare for the trip home.
33: Day 11: Flight Over Africa and Back to Arusha | One last Serengeti sunrise, but our planes to Arusha await us. We are treated to two last great animal sightings -- a sprinting Leopard and a Hippo late getting back to the pond.
34: Coffee Plantation | Cultural Heritage Center | Clean water for great kids provided by the Save the Rain water catchment project. | The Pied Piper shows school kids the pictures he took of them.
35: The Legend of the Baobab Dancing bare in the wind for most of the year...the result of a jealous eye. You see; the baobab was one of the first trees that appeared on this land, but soon the palm came along, standing tall and looking sleek. Upon seeing this new neighbor the young baobab begged the gods to grow. Next the flame tree arrived with its brilliant crimson blossoms giving the baobab a new eye for beauty and in a short time a white flower popped. But alas this wasn't enough. When the fig arrived displaying its luscious fruit, the prayers for a pod soon followed. The gods had heard enough. It was then that their anger erupted and they pulled the baobab up by the roots and flipped it upside down. Silence at last.