Friday, 23 December 2016

Ruaha National Park - December 2016

Ruaha National Park
One year after we broke the timing belt en route to Ruaha which led to a string of expensive repairs and after fixing a new clutch and four new heavy duty shocks after our last Serengeti trip earlier this year, we were finally heading to Ruaha National Park in the Southwest of Tanzania.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Mikumi NP, December 2016

Hippo Pools was the only water for miles.
With no long weekends in November, two public holidays early in December was an opportunity to check out Mikumi for the last time of the year. The usual early morning start and we were on the road this time with 4 new heavy duty shocks a new clutch plate. The check in at the gate was surprisingly quick for a long weekend. The lion report was the Hippo pools pride was last seen near the water holes two days ago.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Mikumi NP, October 2016

Dry season at Jacana pool.
A long weekend a couple of weeks after returning from the Serengeti saw us packed up and on the road early morning to Mikumi. We were still driving on standard shocks which was a concern but given we had driven from Moshi to Dar on them, it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 6: A last gift on the long road back

Young male lion in morning light
This was our final morning in the Serengeti, and knowing how long the drive back would be, we were up again early with a plan to have a morning game drive before heading out to Naabi Hill gate.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 5: Chasing after cheetahs

Cheetah cubs in a row
While we’d had nice sighting of lions and fantastic sightings of leopard, our cheetah sightings had been limited to a few long range sightings, and we’d hardly taken a photo of one.  So it was back to chasing cheetahs again.  Along with the information about the cheetah family at Mawe Meupe, we also had a lead on a family between Maasai and Boma Kopjes, so the plan was to head out to that area.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 4: A day of spots

Up again at the crack of dawn, we were ready to go at 6am even though it was still dark.  But it was an hour’s drive to the leopard, so we left in the dark hoping to be one of the first at the leopard.  In the end, we were the second car to be on the scene, the other being a guided tour vehicle with one guy with a massive lens – he no doubt had the same idea as us.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 3: A day of wrong decisions

Just chilling...
Before we had come to the Serengeti, we’d contacted the Serengeti Cheetah Project team to see if they would give us any information on the location of a cheetah mom and 5 cubs that they’d been tracking.  They’d been very helpful and had given us 2 different areas to keep an eye out for cheetah cubs, which we were hoping to catch on this trip.  So the plan was to focus on cheetahs for the day. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 2: all about the lions

Lions devour a fresh wildebeest carcass
We were up at 5.45 am the next morning, and left the campsite at around 6.30 to go look for cats. We didn’t have to wait too long before getting our first sighting of the day – a cheetah, but again a bit too far away to shoot.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Serengeti NP Day 1: life’s a journey, enjoy the ride? Not when you’re doing the ride from NCA to Serengeti…

Side-striped jackal
There has been some confusion about the procedure of paying for the NCA, including an increase in fees.  We’d luckily been able to sort out our TANAPA cards for the Serengeti in Dar es Salaam, but the Ngorongoro Conservation Area has managed to make things a bit more complicated.  

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Serengeti NP: Finally back again after a 2 year absence

Kili and us back in the Serengeti after 2 years
It had been almost 2 years since we’d last been to the Serengeti.  Problems with our car had forced us to change our plans in December 2015, ending up in Tarangire instead.  This time we were determined to get to the Serengeti, although we were pretty worried about Kili (the car) as we’d suffered a broken timing belt and never-ending problems with the fuel pump over the last year and a half.  

But now all was fixed, and we were just hoping that Kili would survive the road from hell (a 100km stretch from the NCA gate to Serengeti gate) in one piece.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Mikumi NP - Easter 2016

Up close with ele's.
Easter weekend and it’s the traditional Mikumi run with an eye on the rain which starts this time of the year. With crowds expected the plan was to camp and we were informed at the gate of one other party at the Hippo pool camp site. News of the lions was positive with them being spotted in the area the previous day.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

January 2016 - Back to Mikumi NP

Lazy lions at Mikumi
After the car behaved from our last week’s trip and with a long weekend on offer, it was Mikumi again with a night at Udzungwa mountains planned. We were on the road early Saturday morning but there was swelling on my jaw which we decided to monitor and keep going. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

January 2016 - Mikumi National Park

Mikumi elephants are awfully chilled around cars
After a string of car trouble over Christmas we were back on the road but uncertain how the car was going to fare. It was probably the quietest drive with both of us on the edge listening intently to the car. The car itself, despite the odd sound after the engine had to be opened as a result of the broken timing belt, appeared to be cruising as normal. Passing the very spot we broke down the couple of weeks before was kind of strange but also relief that we had made some ground.