Archive for the 'Tanzania Travel Company' Category

08
Nov
10

Landscapes of Africa – Best Photos

Nothing is as evocative of Africa as the  landscape: the physical territory with lots of long shots, sunsets, sunrises, oceans and deserts. Why it should be so, evocative that is, is a bit of a mystery. But when  I  look at these photos, they cry out, “Africa!” and no other place on earth that I’ve been.

Red soil, red sand, champagne glass shaped trees form the setting for the furry creatures most people go there for: but the most evocative, single thing about the continent for me is the land, ancient and worn, new and untested, puzzling and yet strangely familiar. Hope you enjoy them!

Sunset over Serengeti waterhole

 

To be included in this “best-of” there should not be animals or people or at least not the focus of the shot. Getting hoards of people, usually kids, out of the photo is an issue for  being included in this post but not for taking pictures.  In Africa,taking photos, I hardly ever thought, “wait till that kid gets out of the shot”.

On the other hand, if there were a tubby tourist with a blue and cream flowered Hawaiian shirt and skin tight, orange Bermuda shorts wearing new silvered Nike’s on the feet, I’d have no trouble waiting. Anybody wearing cameras and/or snapping photos (yes, like I was) also meant I waited or pointed the lens in another direction.

Here’s  what I found in the photo folder one year later thinking “landscapes, yes, they were striking”.

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08
Nov
10

Birds of Africa – Best Photos

From the hoopoe in Namibia to the crested cranes in Tanzania Africa was a place of marvelous birds and birds very different that the ones we are used to seeing in North America. Only the greater and lesser egrets, gulls (though different ones) and the great blue heron come to mind as birds we are used to seeing here that crossed our path somewhere in the nearly 2 months in southern Africa.

From the Okavango delta to the plains of Serengeti to the Chobe river banks Africa was chock-a-block with peeping, flapping, chirping, kindom animalia, phylum chordata, class aves.

In Africa it’s easy to focus on the big, furry, nursing mammalians but when we got back, there were a surprising number of photos of our avian friends: Africa is a great place for birding. Birders (the real honest-to-goodness fanatical types like Harry and Ted) know this, of course but we novitiates thought only of the hairy things like lions and tigers and bears. Here are the feathered creatures that stayed still long enough to clap a lens on during our seven week trip between Oct. and Nov. of 2009. Hope you enjoy them!

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08
Nov
10

Reptiles, Plants & Miscellaneous of Africa – Best Photos

This is a catchall post from our Oct. to Nov. 2009 southern Africa trip:  those photos that didn’t belong in one of the big 4 categories.  Where do you put a spitting cobra, e.g.?  Or a tse-tse fly or a termite mound or Mr. and Mrs. Dung Beetle? Well, they just don’t belong with mammals or bird or landscapes, I can tell you that!

Still these are pictures worth looking at (IMO). Hope you enjoy them.

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08
Nov
10

People of Africa – Best Photos

Aside from the furry, nursing, large and small mammals, we went to Africa to meet and see Africans at home and at work. With varying degrees of success, we did just that between Oct. and Nov. of 2009. Here are the (IMO) best photos of the people we traveled with and the people we encountered. Enjoy!

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08
Nov
10

Mammals of Africa – Best Photos

Mammals: big and small, furry and nurse their young, our close relatives in the animal kingdom. Unless I miss my guess, mammals are the reason people travel to Africa. Here are the best (IMO) of the previously blogged mammals of Africa taken between October and November of 2009. Hope you enjoy them!

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14
Sep
10

Lake Manyara National Park – Tanzania

Our last day with Tanzania Travel and John Timothy (pictured below), guide extraordinaire, was spent traveling from the very deluxe digs at Endoro Lodge. Half a day to drive the lakeside not seeing the famous lions that like to climb trees. We did see a nice collection of shorebirds and giraffes plus one type of monkey that we hadn’t seen before. In fact, I think the vervet monkey was the only type of monkey that we’d seen on our trip. Certainly they all looked alike, but this one, possibly a sykes monkey, the only other one in my guide to southern African mammals.

Blue monkey or Sykes? Definitely not your usual vervet


Additionally there’s the ebony craft shop with huge amounts of the black wood that won’t float. We came back with two small pieces (a man who’s awfully good looking and a woman) that sit in our kitchen. The requisite Obama badges were laid upon the eager Tanzanians and we were asked to pay outside so the shopkeeper didn’t get the usual rake-off. John wasn’t there to guide us, so we caved and gave them their $20 (or Tanzanian shilling equivalent).

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05
Sep
10

Serengeti National Park Day 2 – Tanzania

Two game drives a day plus three meals is de riguer in Serengeti safari life. The cooking and eating is done in a chicken wire enclosure. No refrigeration, no electricity but a small table and candles for dinner. In between are glorious game drives with our expert guide, John Timothy who is a Masai part-time and father of three: bush pilot, doctor and other college educated professional.

John lives near Arusha and can be requested as a guide from Tanzania Travel Company.

This morning we find a leopard 40 yards off the track (well it was John really who could spot a leopard in the deep grass). Neither Chiyemi nor I saw it and when asked, could not point it out. John was happy to show that he could find game that we couldn’t see with a searchlight and an arrow pointing the way. This one was at the base of a large acacia tree, near a stream (that should have been a clue) and had something.

Leopard by tree - Serengeti

Leopard on the move - Serengeti

Check the full size pic out by clicking!

Leopard in acacia - Serengeti

Keeps looking off to our left - something coming?

The something was a reedbuck kill – reedbuck which are the favorite food of leopards and live next to the small stream running parallel to our “road”. Roads in Serengeti are dirt, unimproved, cross streams where needed and wander aimlessly (to us) here and there.

Set amidst the grass plains and roads are geologic features called kopjes (pron. copies) or head. Small rocky outcrops that often provide a lookout for lions, home to lizards and snakes. Small ranges of mountains run along the horizon providing, as far as I could see, the only landmarks that a reasonable person could use to navigate the nearly endless plain.

Fourth row down in the middle is a tsetse fly. They used to harbor the trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness. There are deep blue and black flags planted along the roadways to attract them to the poison contained. The tsetse flies are pretty common and stab one with the little nose-piece that you can see in the photograph.

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