Kenya and Tanzania: Safari Adventures with OAT
About this blog
Visits to the Masai Mara, Sweetwaters, Amboseli, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti made this an unforgettable journey to East Africa.
Kenya and Tanzania were great! Although it was our 4th trip to Africa it was our first trip here. The wildlife is spectacular. We managed to see all of the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Rhino) plus lots of cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, ostriches...the works! I even got to hold a baby leopard, abandoned by her mother, in the Masai Mara. And we added "new" animals to our viewing list: the bat-earred fox, rock and tree hyraxes, dik-diks, oryxes, chimpanzees, and klipspringers among them.
We saw a baby Thompson gazelle being born and another being torn apart by a crocodile in the water; a cheetah with its fresh wildebeest kill; a leopard lounging in a tree and lions everywhere! We saw lion cubs suckling, adults mating, lions with their kill, walking next to our vehicle and in the trees at Lake Manyara and in the Serengeti. We traveled with Pat and Lani (George's brother and his wife), a couple we originally met on our India trip and 7 other really nice, fun and friendly folks. We stayed in tented camps as well as in several lodges. All were very comfortable and some of them open to wild game. We had cape buffalo about 20 yards from our tent at one place and at least one elephant that walked though our camp and tusked a nearby tree. There were also plenty of dik-diks, bush bucks and, hyraxes, and monkeys and baboons all around. The birdlife at Manyara was also spectacular.
George and I took a hot air balloon trip over the Masai Mara. It was one of the several highlights of our trip. Some of the photos we took are right above the animals. We traveled about 16 miles before we landed for a champagne breakfast on the plains. The trip was over one of the routes for the wildebeest migrations and we saw long lines of them along with zebra and other animals.
The weather was perfect for us. It was dry and not too hot. We saw few bugs (no mosquitoes) except for two places where we were inundated with tsetse flies. I got 13 bites and yes, they hurt! Fortunately I didn't get sleeping sickness.
The trip did have a low side, however. Our tour leader was a pompous, control freak who was often rude. Thus, he ruined a portion of the trip for us.
The dry and dusty Ngorongoro Crater gave us the opportunity to see a black rhino - although at a conservancy we actually were able to pet a "tame" one. Besides petting rhinos, we fed giraffes (I actually was kissed by one - it taking a pellet of food from my lips), and I got to hold a 4-day old leopard cub that was found in the Masai Mara having been abandoned by its mother. Back to the crater. It is impressive and with teeming animal life. We also had a chance to make a quick visit to Olduvai Gorge...perhaps the real Eden. There really is not much there to see as far as artifacts but looking out over the gorge all my college anthropology classes started to come back to me. I'm glad we had the time to see it.
The flight was long but it was broken up by short lay-overs in Amsterdam and Minneapolis/Detroit. I think we are finally over jet lag and are now looking forward to our trip to Borneo to see orangutans. Ah, retirement....
We took about 2000 photographs and had to whittle them down.