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Day 12 - Serengeti/Ndutu

Migration, rhino observation office, Maasai painting

sunny 90 °F

Today we headed to the southwestern area of the Serengeti looking for the migration. And find it, we did! Sometimes, the animals are urgently searching for water, and they are running, running, running, and you just have to try to stay out of their way. Today, however, they were not in such a big hurry. Hundreds or even thousands of wildebeest and zebras just out for their daily walk.

Every year, 1-2 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras migrate in a big circle clockwise between the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area following the rains. In February, the wildebeest give birth to their young all in about a three week period. From there, they head west and then north until they reach the northern area in July-August. By November, they start to head back south and do it all over again.

Of course, the migration depends on the rains and is not predictable. If the rains do not come in the spring, they may skip the Western Corridor altogether. Typically in January, the migration is southeast of the Serengeti, but we found it in the southwest region of the Serengeti and in Ndutu.

In this area of the Serengeti, you can visit the rhino observation office, and there is some old Maasai rock painting.

In the afternoon, we head to Ndutu, which is outside the Serengeti in the northwestern area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This area gets far fewer visitors than the more famous areas surrounding it. Ndutu is nice for getting away from the crowds and also you can drive off road here and get closer to the animals.

There is only one lodge in the area -- the Ndutu Safari Lodge, which is very nice with amazing views. Other than that, you will only find mobile tented camps, which are in this area when the animals are here.

We stayed at the Ahsanti mobile tented camp. It was a little rough around the edges, but I just love the mobile tented camp experience. Yes, we heard the lions at night, and it sounds like they are right outside your door!

Posted by bolderwork 13:50 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Day 13 - Zanzibar

Flying from Ndutu to Zanzibar

sunny 90 °F

Regional Air is one of the few airlines where you can fly all the way from the Serengeti to Zanzibar. The exact route of the flight depends on where the clients are flying that day. They will stop at Klein, Grumeti, Seronera, Ndutu, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and/or Kilimanjaro before finally landing in Arusha and then on to Zanzibar.

Especially with kids, it's nice to not have to drive all the way back. Besides -- it's a fun trip with lots of great views of the landscape and countless Maasai villages.

Landing in Zanzibar is often a bit of a shock after spending time on the mainland. It's hot, tropical, and has strong Muslim influence. Even the Maasai wear purple robes instead of red.

Our first stop is to get a coconut for the 6-year-old. We stop on the side of the road where they open up a fresh coconut with a machete. Fresh coconuts are just not the same as the grated, sweetened coconut we are used to :-)

It's 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to get to any hotel on the beach. We stayed at the Amaan Bungalows in the Nungwi area on the north end of the island. Typically, I recommend that people do a spice tour en route to their beach hotel, but we are eager to get to the beach!

The village of Nungwi looks very poor and uninviting, but it is does offer some services and is fairly safe for walking. The hotel area up here is pretty big and offers a large, safe area for walking, swimming, dining, and shopping.

There are about 20 hotels hotels right in Nungwi, and another half dozen in Kendwa just to the west. Ras Nungwi and a couple of others are east of Nungwi and are set off by themselves. Amaan Bungalows is tucked in with the long line of hotels in the area. There are 2 restaurants at the hotel and many more in the area.

The beach in Nungwi is beautiful, soft, white sand. There are many little beaches separated by coral outcroppings. At high tide, some of the beaches disappear.

Kendwa has a longer, wider beach, so there is plenty of beach even at low tide.

Posted by bolderwork 11:07 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Day 7 - Moshi

Things to see and do in Moshi, Tanzania

sunny 95 °F

There are a few day tours you can do from Moshi that are quite nice -- besides just walking around town, shopping, and relaxing by the pool, of course!

A real highlight in the area is skydiving. With Kilimanjaro as the backdrop, what an amazing and fantastic experience! It's safe and professional and just a short drive to the Moshi Airport.

One nice tour is to the local waterfalls. It's about a 45-minute drive to the area, and another 45 minutes of walking one-way. The walk takes you through small villages and has some great views of Kilimanjaro. Take a lunch, and it's a lovely way to spend half a day.

An excursion of a lifetime is skydiving from the Moshi Airport. It's about $300 for the dive and another $200 for the photos and videos, but very well worth it!

Believe it or not, there are two golf courses in the area. The Moshi Club is a bargain at $8 for 9 holes, but be prepared for a very "rough" course. The golf course in the PTC area is further out, but much nicer.

If you aren't doing a safari, a day trip to the Arusha National Park is the perfect option. Besides seeing some great animals, you can also drive through a giant fig tree, do some hiking, and even try canoing on Momela Lake.

Posted by bolderwork 05:55 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Day 3 - Amboseli

Loving life on safari in Kenya!

sunny 85 °F

Safari in Amboseli is similar to other parks in Kenya -- morning game drive from 6:30-9:00am, breakfast, relax at the pool, lunch, afternoon massage, evening game drive 4:00-6:30pm. Not a bad life!

With the jet lag, our son would get grumpy about 4:30pm and fall asleep on the back seat of the safari van about 5:00pm.

All the more elephants for us! The herds are in the hundreds, and when they cross the road right in front of you, pull out the wide angle camera lens if you want to get anything more than the elephant's eyeball.

Posted by bolderwork 04:30 Archived in Kenya Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Day 2 - Drive to Amboseli

Start of Kenya safari, first glimpses of Kilimanjaro

sunny 85 °F

We are heading to Amboseli National Park today! There are three main reasons to go to Amboseli: large herds of elephants, amazing views of Kilimanjaro, and an easy stop on the way to Tanzania. Indeed after Amboseli, the elephants in other parks pale by comparison!

It is a good 3 hours drive to Namanga, the border town of Kenya and Tanzania. Then it's about another 1-1/2 hours to any hotel in Amboseli.

We stayed at Ol Tukai Lodge. The rooms are divided into two parts: mountain view and elephant view, and they both deliver as advertised!

From the gorgeous blue swimming pool, you view out on elephants, ostriches, and buffaloes grazing peacefully at the base of Kilimanjaro.

Posted by bolderwork 04:24 Archived in Kenya Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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