Return to Index Page

The Game Park Safari part of our trip.

Our first night was to be in the Tarangire National Park at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge. But even before we got to the lodge we started to see animals including a large number of elephants.
We saw elephant in many locations and parks, but more in Tarangire than anywhere else.
Here I am standing up in the back of the vehicle with some of the many elephants bathing and drinking in the river. We stayed here for quite a while. it was just wonderful to see.
One young elephant was chasing birds just like young children sometimes chase seagulls or pigeons. Here  he is trumpeting, charging and having fun.

Oscar took quite a few photos with the camera shown. 

The next few photos are his and there are a few more I inserted into the story.

Wherever I have taken a photo from Oscars portfolio I have marked it OP.




We found two baby leopards playing on a tree trunk but it was quite a way from where we were parked. Oscar managed to get this photo at extreme range.


Paul who organized the game safari and managed to get us into the right area of the parks when the wildebeest were calving.


George who kindly invited me to join the Psychas family safari.

I think it was an absolutely fabulous thing for the Psychases to do and I am sure all will remember this event for the rest of their lives.


Certainly a trip to remember for Oscar!

In part this safari results from George and Liz taking the family on safari to the game parks when they were still young.


New born wildebeest calf.


Rhino are hard to find and these were quite a way away from our vehicle, hence the hazy outlines at this magnification, but we did see rhino!



Nice pussy!


In Ngorongoro. Calf so newly born you can see the umbilical cord.

We saw some young wildebeest get separated from their mothers and also one bullied by zebra. That one hid behind a landrover full of tourists and then adopted the vehicle as a substitute mother.   Not a good prognosis for the poor creature when we had to leave.


In Ngorongoro. 

Zebra in foreground and flamingo in the lake.


Zebra and ostrich

The Tarangire Sopa Lodge was very comfortable, with pleasant views and good dining.
Our driver, Michael, was just great. He spoke English well. He had 17 years experience guiding tours in the game parks. He was interested in both the animals and birds. He had a good network of information. He asked other drivers about where they had found game and also talked to other guides on his cell phone. So we were guided to where most animals could be found. We were demanding in what we wanted to do and he went along with us until we asked for something he knew was not wise (such as going into a soft ground area when rain was predicted). So we completed a safari without breakdown, accident or getting stuck in mud.
Not everybody was so lucky.  We saw numerous breakdowns on the punishing roads.  Mostly punctured tires.  But the group in this vehicle had been stuck in the mud in an out of way part of the game parks for three hours and had to remove a wheel and lever the vehicle back onto firmer ground.  They emerged somewhat exhausted and mud spattered.  They were in Ndutu same nights we were and strangely one couple came from Concord MA just up the road from us and the lady told me her boss lives in Winchester.  She works on Wild and Scenic Rivers program.
Next few photos are of various animals we saw.


Leopards resting in a tree can be difficult to see. George tells a story (I'm not sure I believe it) that on an earlier safari he stopped to relieve himself under a tree and looking up to see a leopard looking down at him.

This "holy" baobob tree was an interesting sight.
After one night and a day in Tarangire we moved on to Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. The Lodge is perched on the edge of the crater and there are wonderful views from the terrace bar and restaurant. Our binoculars were quite well used and after nightfall we enjoyed seeing the brilliant stars as there is not a single light in the crater (or should not be but we think one car had broken down and stayed the night in the crater). Next morning we drove along the rim and then down into the crater seeing a vast array of wildlife including our first wildebeest with calves.
Wildebeest and zebra.

Hyena. This chap is in good condition

But .......

We also saw some sorry looking animals lying in the road with bites and flies and one very pregnant and tired looking animal.  OP.
After Ngorongoro we traveled on to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge. Imaginatively located in the natural rocks.This is from the evening we arrived.
We stayed at Seronera for two nights and enjoyed the opportunity to rest a little.
Seronera has a wonderful high observation platform from where you can get a 360 degree view. Here the three Psychas generations get an evening view.


Oscar stayed up to watch the moon and loved seeing the setting sun and the crescent moon, planets milky way and stars. He told me something I did not know that the horns of the crescent moon at sunset if projected to the horizon point due North. Similarly at sunrise I suppose the horns point to the South.

Of course no photograph can do full justice to the full extent of the heavens on a dark night in Africa with very little background illumination.

From the breakfast room several hot air balloons drifted across our view. For an extortionate price one can ride in a balloon including champagne during the flight and breakfast on landing. No guarantee is made that the balloons will fly over any large herds of animals as the journey depends on the winds; and the animals move around on the plains. But anyway it was very nice to see these balloons from the lodge.
We saw a lot of baboon. Some sitting on the grass. Some high up in trees picking and eating the flowers or fruit and, most intriguingly, a very large troop making their way up the Ngorongoro Crater walls, looking very much like a tribe of humans on the march.
We saw many giraffe including some fighting.

George and I as septuagenarians took our breaks whenever we could.  Here we are in our insect proof safari shirts, courtesy of Paul Shaw cross' Christmas present.   The headlamp Paul gave me also came in handy since most game park lodges and tented locations turned off all power at midnight. (oh yes and I was given some socks which were supposed to protect me against sweaty feet!)

Back in 1967-9 Kilimanjaro and Tusker were the two beer brands available.  We also found Serengeti beer quite nice and appropriate for our location.

These hippos were a bit late getting back from their night of foraging to join their herd in the water, mud and fecal matter. 
But they got into the hole as soon as possible. Ah!  Mud, mud glorious mud!


Oscar shot this great close up!

Each day we were provided with a lunch pack.  Sometimes we stopped in a designated picnic area with washrooms and tables and other days we just stopped where there was a bunch of animals to watch.  Like here.  As we ate our lunch the elephant herd moved through.

In one location where we stopped for lunch the local monkeys had figured out that if they waited until somebody was not paying attention they could come down and steal our food.

Our guide, Michael, warned us but.....

guess who was twice in the process of telling a story with back turned as the monkey made a fast invasion or our picnic table.

Those who know George will figure that one out!


This giraffe showed us how he gets down to drink.

Quite often we could see several species of animal in one frame of binocular vision.  I think Oscar held the record with six significant species in one view. 

Here we have warthog, zebra and ostrich together near a water  hole.

After a successful hunt and meal the lions rest.
A picked clean meal near the two lions shown above. (OP)

We saw a secretary bird stomp through the grass with its long claws until it found a snake.  Then it bent down and snipped the snake.  Let it go, stomped it again and bit it again until the snake was dead.


We watched this beautiful cheetah for quite some time.
Another photo of the same cheetah
Sometimes the wildebeest stirred up some dust.

We stayed two nights in the Andata Ndutu Tented Camp. Here is the view from my bed.

Animals walked through the campsite.

Next picture is an extract from the instructions left in out tent.

Yes, it was luxurious camping but the last two paragraphs from the card left in our tent were quite sobering!


The afternoon I stayed in the campsite and shot the two photos above Oscar, Paul and George went out in the vehicle and near the end of the day came across several beautiful cheetahs that walked right up to the vehicle.

George and I got on well considering we were sharing a room and most of the time shoulder to shoulder in the Landcruiser. (And on Valentines Day had to share a bed; King size bed, thank goodness!)

There are so many more photos I could include in this story but I have probably already shown far too many.

Just a couple more on our return trip to Arusha and the Masai village we stopped at.

So we left the game parks.
Oscar with a little encouragement joined the Masai dancers.  I think they were pleased to find a Mzungu (white man) boy who was as tall as they were.
These ladies were OK with having their photo taken.
This was our guide in the Masai village.  He took us into this hut and also was the principal negotiator regarding buying Masai art works.


We hated to say goodbye to Ngorongoro Crater.

  One last view through the Landcruiser window on what was

a spectacular game safari.

  So that is the end of the Game Safari part of out trip; to move to other pages click on the appropriate image below.




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































First, Kilimanjaro and Moshi

The Game Parks

This page

Arusha and Nungwi Zanzibar
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Lastly, Dar es Salaam.