N’gorongoro Crater: A Lion Love Story

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When a lioness comes into estrus and is ready to mate, she and the pride’s dominant male will engage in a week-long love fest of sorts. Judging from the state of the royal couple we encountered, it just might have been Day 7 of their tryst. The two lovers looked exhausted, and the male had clearly let personal hygiene fall by the wayside. It was obvious that they weren’t enjoying each other’s company anymore, and they panted heavily as they rested between love sessions. (more…)

Serengeti: In Pictures

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We admit that our posts about our visit to the Serengeti so far have been a bit cat-centric, but there is a lot more to see in the Serengeti besides felines. We had some good luck with birds and elephants on our drives, but some of our best shots were produced while Mansour was dealing with a curse of his own—flat tires! (more…)

Serengeti: Cue the Cats!

IMG_6318So, our last post ended in the early afternoon of Day 4 of our 5-day Serengeti stint with this lioness carrying off a warthog she had just killed. Up to that point, we had seen lots of cats, but we just didn’t have any encounters that produced the great photos we hoped for. It seemed that our South African-induced “Curse of the Cat” was going to haunt us for our entire time in Tanzania, too.

But, just as we were headed back to camp that day, we witnessed the scene above, and suddenly things changed. It was if some offstage director in charge of the comings and goings of wildlife in the Serengeti yelled: “Cue the cats!” That’s right, our luck had finally changed. For our last 24 hours in the Serengeti, we saw cats everywhere. (more…)

Serengeti: In Search of Cats

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As you know from reading our last post, we were quite anxious to get some close-up views of the Serengeti’s world-renowned cat population. With five full days to explore the park, we assured ourselves it would be nearly impossible not to run into at least one or two of the estimated 3000 lions living in the park. That is, unless we hadn’t yet managed to shake off that dreaded curse. Only time would tell. (more…)

Serengeti: Our Campsite Roundup

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Our tent at Halisi Camp, a mobile-tented camp in the Serengeti

Safari on a “Budget”
As teachers with way more time than money, organizing a budget camping safari was the only way we could afford to see Tanzania’s national parks for the length of time we wanted. In total, we had booked a two week safari with five glorious nights to spend in the Serengeti, so we decided to take advantage of this opportunity to try out a few different locations and camping options in the park. In this post, we’ll share what we learned, because, at approximately $300/person/day, you want every night of your “budget” camping safari to be as good as it can be, right?

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Tarangire National Park

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Perhaps the best part of climbing Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro was being able to look forward to a celebratory safari in northern Tanzania after our trek. With two successful summits behind us, we happily traded in our hiking boots for our long lenses and hit the road.  (more…)

Kilimanjaro: Essential Items for Your Hike

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Before climbing Kilimanjaro, your outfitter will provide you with a packing list of all the necessary items you’ll need to bring with you on the mountain. In Tanzania, you will have a pre-trip briefing where your guide will go over the most important items with you again to make sure that you have not forgotten anything. But, if you are like us, you will want to ensure that you have everything you need before you arrive in Africa, so we have compiled a list of some of the gear that we found to be most useful and essential during our time on the mountain. (more…)