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Hippo  Pool

February 1, 2016

        

    
Can you spot the crocodile?

    
   
 
 These beasts eat 100 kilos of vegetation on lan every day. What?? I find this hard to believe. How do those little legs support that mass for however many hours that takes. Discussing fact:These animals seemed to have a communal toilet/Rock, they stand in front of it and their tail makes a helicopter motion and the poo goes flying everywhere. 

The BIG 5

January 24, 2016

“The relative menace of what hunters know as “the big 5″–elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard– is a popular topic of discussion in east Africa. J.A. Hunter, for example, ranked the leopard first, then lion, buffalo, elephant, and rhino in that order. C.P.J. Ionides also thought the leopard more dangerous than the lion. This prejudices not favor of the carnivores is the prejudice of hunters who have had to finish off wounded animals, and might not be shared, say, by a farmer or field zoologist, who is more likely to be attacked by a large herbivore…For people like myself who lack experience, it is purely a subjective business. I fear all five of the big five with all my heart…” Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born.   
    
  

 

Antelope Big and Small

January 23, 2016

“With its white rump and corse gray hair, the waterbuck looks like a deer, but deer do not occur in Africa south of the Sahara; like wildebeest, gazelles, and other deer-like ruminants, from the tiny dik-dik to the great cow like eland, the reedbuck and waterbuck are antelope, bearing not antlers but hollow horns: the family name, Antilopinae, means “bright-eyed.”” -Peter Matthiessen

  Eland 

 Topi 

  Waterbuck

 Hartebeest

  Impala

  grant’s gazelle

  thomson’s gazelle

   

 Dik dik (means “quick-quick” in Swahili)

“Dik-dik (so the Dorobo say) once tripped over the mighty dung pile of an elephant, and has tried ever since to reply in kind by collecting its tiny droppings in one place”.  -Peter Matthiessen

We watched them do this one afternoon as three dik-dik took turns going in the same spot. We think they look like the rabbit of the Serengeti, their body shape, tail, and nose that twitches lead us to those thoughts. 

The Great Migration

January 18, 2016

    The great Migration: I have been trying to think of a way to describe this. A zebra or wildabeast every 40 feet for miles and miles, really as far as you can see! All those little black dots behind me are ANIMALS. Then there are other animals capitalizing on the volume of animal density.  

We stayed at the County Lodge the first night, they put banana leaves on the ceiling it was great. We had a much needed good nights rest after a great start at Terengeri NP. There was hot showers, love how there are designers that make showers without a door.  We had a great dinner, awesome lentil soup, lamb and chicken with gravy, and breakfast. There were women running this place. The host/ reception person and the head server were female. We were in the car by 8:30 and got to our camp sight at around 5. We did a game drive in there also. Here are a few of the highlights.  

    The baboons greated us as we passed through the crater park on the way to the Serengeti. 
      The Land Cruizer packed and ready for the trip. Individuals included: Me, Ben, Harry our driver and guide,Innocent our cook. 
   

 

 Hyena: This one makes Ben’s top 5. And yes this one is pregnant and trying to cool off. They are as ugly as you expect them, even worse when they move. 

  
   
 
The first cat I spotted, civet cat, wasn’t hard it was in the middle of the road. I was so excited I thought it was a leopard. 

   
We sat and watched these Zebra males fight over a female for about 20min. It was fun to sit and become part of the landscape. 

   
   
 
The Mareb stork at 3 feet tall not the easiest on your eyes. 

   
  
Getting around was rally fun!

¬† AMAZING day at Tarangire National Park

January 15, 2016

Beginning our first full day in Africa, Nelson briefs us about the Safari and sends us off with “Arrial (sp?)”, who we would later call “Henry”, and then finally get right with “Herry”. He’s a pretty quiet guy, and since we’re still tired from our flights, we are slow to get to know each other.

Twenty minutes after entering Tarangire National Park, which is mostly open “pastureland” but occasionally shaded by groves of acacias and the solitary giant baobab trees, we see a single file of 14 skinny lions approach and the split up to cross the road between our Landcruiser on those in front and behind us. Herry turns to tell us what we already feel: we are very lucky to see them this close. That feeling is strengthened when he leans out the window to marvel in Swahili with an oncoming driver. The words come out fast and confusing to us, but they include “Serengeti” and “Ngorongoro”, and we know these experienced Africans are surprised at what they see. Among the 14, the lead lioness has a thick leather tracking collar and is followed by her pride of younger females and two or three juvenile males, the fur of their manes only just coming in along the spine of their neck and behind their ears. 

Moving on from the lions, we head down into a gentle river valley. There, under the shade of an acacia grove, we see our first “twiggas”–giraffes. They chew their cud and stare at us with their horizontal ears occasionally flicking as we click-click-click-away with our camera. Smiling, we drive on to see one of these awkward, peaceful giants ford the river. Up close, the characteristic long neck, fuzzy horns, and surprisingly knobby snout make this old male (bull?) look more like a fire-breathing dragon than the leaf-eating klutz we had been watching.

Tarangire, though, is not known for its lions or its giraffes. It is known for its elephants, and we caught our first sight of them shortly down the road. Off to our left and standing with their legs submerged in a grassy swamp, we could hear the “thwocking” sounds as three tusked “tembo” shifted their weight to reach more and more of the 300 kilograms of plants these dark gray beasts would eventually eat that day. Apparently bored, Herry says “those elephants are kinda far away” and asks us if we’d like to move on a bit. Shifting our eyes to each other in a shared “WTF”, we confusedly agree with our driver and prepare to complain about being rushed through our first experience with these amazing creatures which we didn’t at all think were “kinda far away”.  

We quickly learn just how wrong we were, when the Landcruiser crests the next rise. Here, in the hottest part of the day, countless elephants glisten with wet mud caked to their faces and backs. Again click-click-clicking-away, our jeep slowly rolls in the opposite direction of the approaching herd until we come to a rest in sight of the watering hole and source of the mud. We stop and watch as elephant after elephant either rolls in, kicks or uses its trunk to fling the chocolate-colored sunscreen on for their long afternoon graze. As one group leaves another arrives, and the stream of large dark bodies that come trotting over the nearby rise shows no sign of slowing down.  

As our camera clicks slow down and our bare feet stop shuffling between the vehicle’s two sides, our “on-safariness” really starts to sink in. Content, we give the “we are good” that Herry needs to restart the engine, and we head away to see more of the amazing park. We no doubt see other animals later that day, but they cannot compare to this giant herd of giants which continue to rumble through our dreams as we nap through Maasailand on the way to the Country Lodge in Karatu.

   

  
   

   
      
   

    
   

  

  

     

 Beginning our first full day in Africa, Nelson briefs us about the Safari and sends us off with “Arrial (sp?)”, who we would later call “Henry”, and then finally get right with “Herry”. He’s a pretty quiet guy, and since we’re still tired from our flights, we are slow to get to know each other.

Twenty minutes after entering Tarangire National Park, which is mostly open “pastureland” but occasionally shaded by groves of acacias and the solitary giant baobab trees, we see a single file of 14 skinny lions approach and the split up to cross the road between our Landcruiser on those in front and behind us. Herry turns to tell us what we already feel: we are very lucky to see them this close. That feeling is strengthened when he leans out the window to marvel in Swahili with an oncoming driver. The words come out fast and confusing to us, but they include “Serengeti” and “Ngorongoro”, and we know these experienced Africans are surprised at what they see. Among the 14, the lead lioness has a thick leather tracking collar and is followed by her pride of younger females and two or three juvenile males, the fur of their manes only just coming in along the spine of their neck and behind their ears. 

Moving on from the lions, we head down into a gentle river valley. There, under the shade of an acacia grove, we see our first “twiggas”–giraffes. They chew their cud and stare at us with their horizontal ears occasionally flicking as we click-click-click-away with our camera. Smiling, we drive on to see one of these awkward, peaceful giants ford the river. Up close, the characteristic long neck, fuzzy horns, and surprisingly knobby snout make this old male (bull?) look more like a fire-breathing dragon than the leaf-eating klutz we had been watching.

Tarangire, though, is not known for its lions or its giraffes. It is known for its elephants, and we caught our first sight of them shortly down the road. Off to our left and standing with their legs submerged in a grassy swamp, we could hear the “thwocking” sounds as three tusked “tembo” shifted their weight to reach more and more of the 300 kilograms of plants these dark gray beasts would eventually eat that day. Apparently bored, Herry says “those elephants are kinda far away” and asks us if we’d like to move on a bit. Shifting our eyes to each other in a shared “WTF”, we confusedly agree with our driver and prepare to complain about being rushed through our first experience with these amazing creatures which we didn’t at all think were “kinda far away”.  

We quickly learn just how wrong we were, when the Landcruiser crests the next rise. Here, in the hottest part of the day, countless elephants glisten with wet mud caked to their faces and backs. Again click-click-clicking-away, our jeep slowly rolls in the opposite direction of the approaching herd until we come to a rest in sight of the watering hole and source of the mud. We stop and watch as elephant after elephant either rolls in, kicks or uses its trunk to fling the chocolate-colored sunscreen on for their long afternoon graze. As one group leaves another arrives, and the stream of large dark bodies that come trotting over the nearby rise shows no sign of slowing down.  

As our camera clicks slow down and our bare feet stop shuffling between the vehicle’s two sides, our “on-safariness” really starts to sink in. Content, we give the “we are good” that Herry needs to restart the engine, and we head away to see more of the amazing park. We no doubt see other animals later that day, but they cannot compare to this giant herd of giants which continue to rumble through our dreams as we nap through Maasailand on the way to the Country Lodge in Karatu.

Arusha, Tanzania, Africa……. So good to be here

January 15, 2016

After 23 hours of travel time we are glad to be at the Outpost Lodge. Our travels have gone quite smoothly, it’s nice to say. Our safar company picked us up at the airport and we leave in the morning for Terengeri NP.  

   

Our $3,000 day on Delta

April 26, 2015

We volunteered to take a bump and never realized that it would turn out this well. We now have $1300.00 each toward our next flight. They also put us up at a swanky resort and we got to see how the other 1/2 live. Paid for our lunch dinner and breakfast. A few shots from our last 24 hours in Bermuda.

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Yes…. there was even a natural cave on the property.
20150426-112221.jpg The Bermudians are into these Chinese moon arches.

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The Adventures of PK

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