Rob and Dee Overland in Africa 2014 – 10,000 miles – 4 months – 10 countries

wildebeest

You’re Welcome! The ubiquitous greeting in Tanzania. I first was startled but then realized it was more “We welcome you here” and I respond with Thank you. When I proceed with “How are You?” it breaks their practiced tourist pattern and we may have an actual conversation as I want to focus on them rather than avoid their approach. Ah perspective, intent. We are here to blend in with the scene in Africa. Experience life in their way. Glad to have the time to stop in villages, shop at street stalls, camp at Overlander places. Just coming out of Serengeti National Park and entering Ngoronogo Crater area.

Our entry was a difficult day with roads of corrugated dirt, speeding trucks and buses, a blown tire and though we changed that on the road found another flat tire the next morning. We now know vehicles race down these washboard roads doing at least 60 km/ hr to “smooth” out the bumps and everyone wants the best part of the road no matter what lane it happens to be in. Also found a fuel station at the Park HQ and they had tire repair so we adjusted and got on with focus at hand. We did find the wildebeest migration heading north to Kenya following the rains and good grasses. With effort and perseverance we found a ridge line and valley covered with wildebeest, zebra and some impalas all restless and moving NE. Weather patterns had been mixed and guides were saying animals appear confused and not sure about best pastures. Single large wildebeests would grunt, run at another often near a group lying down. They appeared to be herding the troops: come on guys, time to move! Wonderful to pause and get into the behavior. Many photos, videos and Rob exclaimed “Now we are having fun again”. Tomorrow we go down into Ngoronogo crater, a protected area full of wildlife because pickings are good there and quite barren in surrounding plains in they make the trip up and out. Then we will move on from Tanzania. We have found it more expensive and less friendly than other countries. Focus on individuals and create good experiences. On we go.


Selfie with lion

Selfie with lion

We spent today exploring Ngorongoro crater.  The light was pretty overcast so the big scenic vistas were not very photogenic.   Fortunately that type of lighting is excellent for portraits so I concentrated my camera on close-ups of some of the regulars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dee and I are just learning how to spot the game.  Our first park was Tana reserve which we visited with our friend Tina and her kids, Maya and Noah- much of it was open country and we could easily see the game- though at one point we initially missed a giraffe that was 15 feet away.  Our second game park was the combined park of Hluhluwe/umFolozi.  Here the thickets were very dense and as you drive the backroads of the park at 10-15 mph you have to try to spot the game.  Other times they wander across the road in front of you or in the case of a herd of Cape Buffalo they stand on the road and challenge you to try to get by.

One afternoon some lions killed a huge Cape Buffalo right next to a road – those that stopped by that afternoon saw the lions only feet from their cars.  We did not find this spot until the next morning – by then the vultures had moved in for their feed until the hyenas seeing the vultures in the air- found the spot and the hyenas chased them away and guarded the kill ferociously.

Here are some photos from our first few days in the parks.

Rob