Monday, 13 December 2010

Weekend safari

So Grandfather arrived safely (though late) on Thursday night and we whisked him away at lunch on Friday for a weekend. We decided to do two trips with him - the first weekend to Lake Manyara National Park and Karatu, next weekend to Tarangire and Manyara Ranch. So after some last minute bookings and a big flood on the main road, we made it to our lodge for the first night on the escarpment over Lake Manyara, where Grandfather made friends for live with Kitty and the Mancub by providing early Christmas presents,

and spotting some wildlife among the lodge grounds (these are the usually rather shy bushbuck...)

before the braver among us took to the pool.

Some more bravely than others...
Saturday was a full day in Lake Manyara, where there were plenty of migrant birds to enjoy, but still no tree climbing lions. As usual the highlight was the hippo pool:
 But there was plenty of other wildlife to enjoy too.
And lots of fun to be had drawing in the sand at lunch time.

Of course, it was hard to stay awake after lunch

so we were glad to get to our next stop (and next cold swim) for the second night in Karatu. Sunday morning we'd decided to do something new, and go for a walk in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just above Karatu town. Something I'd be wanting to do for a while, since the forest there is very attractive and there are lots of special birds. We madea  rather slow start, and with the children on foot too didn't think we'd make it all the way to the elephant caves (where the elephants come and dig to get mineral rich soil)
 and waterfalls, but with a bit of tidying the path of elephant and buffalo dung,

as you can see, we made it! And I really enjoyed seeing some of the very pretty birds I've been on the look out for, for quite some time: White-tailed Blue Flycatcher definitely the highlight, but Purple-breasted Cuckoo-shrike another I've been hoping for in those forests too. And I finally caught up with Crested Guineafowl too - more new birds for me in one day there than for quite a long time! And next time we go out, maybe we'll even get some photos of them, since we've got an exciting new camera on it's way... After lunch we met a PhD student who's been in Serengeti the last few months and who I stopped with on my trip though last time - he's on his way back to the Netherlands and needed a place to stay in Arusha, so we met en route and he followed us home. We now have an even fuller house than before, but all very sociable. Hopefully more adventures to report in the next few days... It is so good to be able to enjoy these trips of a weekend!


  1. Glad to know you're all having a great time! The snoozing E.G. with the elephant in the background is my new favorite photo. I attempted to call you, E.G., but the nice Proximus lady told me to try later All is well here, things are a tad more organized, and we have a new light dusting of snow. Boris is keeping everything under control.

  2. Glad you've had a good time with Granddad.
    Anymore news on your friends baby?