A Travellerspoint blog

January 2022

Tanzania Day 6: Hippo Fights and Hippo Sights

We were up at 4a for our drive to the airstrip. The camp started a campfire for us to keep warm while we waited to leave. We could hear, but not see, hyena right outside the perimeter. We knew it would be cold so we stole the blankets off the beds to use as wraps. We asked Jimmy to bring them back to camp for us after dropping us off. Nothing could prepare us for the brutal cold of that drive in the pitch black dark at full speed in an open air vehicle for 1.5 hours. Mostly we just closed our eyes and tried to get through it. I'm not sure I've ever been so grateful to arrive somewhere in my life as I was to arrive at that airstrip. Guess who else was there? Charles and Katie from England! They were going to Katavi as well but staying in a separate camp from us.

We had a two hour direct flight to Katavi and I'm pretty sure I passed out as soon as we were on board. Charles, sitting behind me, had the same idea.
20190619_235130.jpg

20190620_005134.jpg

We arrived in Katavi and were greeted by our guide, Romano, our driver, Kevin, and a local bull elephant.
IMG_6540.JPG

On the way to camp, we stopped off down at the river to stretch our legs and see the crocs and hippos.
IMG_6546.JPG

IMG_6547.JPG

This brave yellow-billed stork kept fishing all around this croc and hippo.
IMG_6553.JPG

IMG_6556.JPG

IMG_6555.JPG

IMG_6575.JPG

Then these two were on the other side and couldn't keep from mouthing each other.
IMG_6563.JPG

IMG_6570.JPG

IMG_6584.JPG

IMG_6585.JPG

IMG_6588.JPG

As we left the river, we saw a cute little warthog family that went tails up when they saw us.
IMG_6590.JPG

We arrived at Katavi Wildlife Camp around 1p and since we were the only guests in camp for a few days, they upgraded us to the family banda with a private pool.
20190620_121531.jpg

20190620_121939.jpg

20190620_121345.jpg

20190620_121407.jpg

20190620_121415.jpg

20190620_042248.jpg

After dropping off our bags, we walked to the dining area for lunch of sliders, potato salad, salad, and apple slaw with dessert of chocolate mousse.

Around 4p, we headed out for our late afternoon game drive. There were a few different animals hanging out in the savannah area outside of camp.

Waterbuck
IMG_6597.JPG

Reedbuck
IMG_6598.JPG

Tessebe
IMG_6600.JPG

IMG_6610.JPG

Zebra
IMG_6614.JPG

IMG_6616.JPG

IMG_6619.JPG

Snake in a tree
IMG_6627.JPG

We arrived at the hippo pool and were able to get out and walk around a bit. The stench was indescribable.
20190620_095632.jpg

IMG_6629.JPG

IMG_6634.JPG

The mud and poop all looked the same.
IMG_6636.JPG

I spent a long time poised with my finger on the shutter just trying to get the perfect open mouth pic.
IMG_6641.JPG

IMG_6644.JPG

The guides had some fun with a hippo skulll.
IMG_6650.JPG

Back in the vehicle, we were able to catch the sunset on the way back to camp.
20190620_102856.jpg

IMG_6652.JPG

We met the camp manager around the campfire for a pre-dinner drink then were seated in the dining area for dinner.
20190620_195853.jpg

Dinner was a starter of pumpkin soup (they are really big on soup starters in Tanzania). Then peri peri chicken, rice, potatoes, and veggies.
20190620_201515.jpg

Here a Maasai warrior with a spear walks you to your tent each night after dark. These guys usually speak very little English but are hilarious in their own right. After getting back to the banda, we tried out the shower which appeared to have two temps only - scalding hot and freezing cold. We kept having to turn it on and off to get thru it. After that experience, we were ready for bed.

Posted by zihuatcat 02:50 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania brenda katavi Comments (0)

Tanzania Day 5: Giraffe Kills (Still) and Giraffe Thrills

It was our last full day at Ruaha and we were hoping to see some different animals. Ruaha is known for its large elephant herds as well as having the second largest population of lions in Africa and those were our main reasons for coming there. I was itching for a little variety and we would get that today.

We were up and out at 630a (again) with Hennessy joining us (again) and we started out at the giraffe carcass (again). It was cold (again) so we were all wrapped up in our blankets.
IMG_6376.JPG

One of the male lions was having some 3-day old giraffe for breakfast.
IMG_6377.JPG

IMG_6385.JPG

He had his fill and sauntered off for a rest somewhere.
IMG_6390.JPG

A jackal was waiting in the wings to get in on that breakfast.
IMG_6388.JPG

IMG_6389.JPG

The baboons were having theirs as well, relatively calmly for baboons.
IMG_6396.JPG

Harrier Hawk on the lookout (our guide's favorite bird)
IMG_6397.JPG

When it was getting close to time to eat, we stopped off at a picnic site by the river.
IMG_6404.JPG

20190619_094947.jpg

IMG_6407.JPG

IMG_6409.JPG

IMG_6405.JPG

IMG_6406.JPG

IMG_6411.JPG

Our first crocs of the trip.
IMG_6414.JPG

IMG_6416.JPG

We hung out at the picnic tables for a while talking to our guides. Jimmy told us that when he goes home on leave, he has to take a bus and that it takes him several days. They have mandatory time off and then they come back for weeks at a time. His dream was to buy his own safari vehicle and be his own boss. He was young and playful, definitely giving off the vibes that he wasn't too interested in going the marriage/kids route any time soon. But for someone so young (early 20s), he was highly educated in the ways of a safari guide. We jokingly called him the Professor because he was a great teacher of information.

Before leaving the picnic site, we asked another guide to take a pic of all of us.
20190619_104413.jpg

We continued driving by the river and Jimmy found another place where it was safe for us to get out and explore a little.
IMG_6419.JPG

IMG_6420.JPG

IMG_6421.JPG

20190619_025814.jpg

The hippos looked like big, lumpy rocks in the river.
IMG_6423.JPG

IMG_6426.JPG

IMG_6427.JPG

IMG_6451.JPG

Fleeing female kudu
IMG_6442.JPG

A tree that looked like something with large teeth had eaten around the sides. I believe Jimmy said this was the damage that elephants do to the landscape.
IMG_6444.JPG

Lilac-breasted roller
IMG_6447.JPG

Some female lions were relaxing by the river.
IMG_6453.JPG

IMG_6455.JPG

IMG_6456.JPG

IMG_6458.JPG

IMG_6460.JPG

IMG_6461.JPG

We came upon a group of what we first thought were some innocent-looking giraffe.
IMG_6478.JPG

It soon became obvious that things were not so innocent. The male very obviously was trying to mate with one of the females.
IMG_6479.JPG

HIs first attempt failed. I guess she needed more courting.
IMG_6480.JPG

So he kept trying to woo her.
IMG_6482.JPG

IMG_6485.JPG

And trying.
IMG_6487.JPG

We were all waiting for what seemed like forever.
20190619_053202.jpg

Me with my finger poised on the shutter ready for action.
20190619_053149.jpg

The male was obviously ready.
IMG_6495.JPG

IMG_6496.JPG

Finally...success!
IMG_6501.JPG

Twenty seconds later we're all like...that was it?
IMG_6505.JPG

Even the warthog was unimpressed.
IMG_6506.JPG

Just down the road, our eagle eye guide spotted a serval cat hunting in the tall grass. It's pretty rare to see that during the daytime so we were pretty excited.
IMG_6512.JPG

IMG_6515.JPG

IMG_6519.JPG

IMG_6520.JPG

IMG_6525.JPG

Unfortunately, Hennessy encouraged our driver to go off road a bit and get too close which, in our opinion, interrupted the serval's hunting. This greatly upset us (especially Brenda) and we were both quiet the rest of the way back to camp.

This adorable baby zebra helped though.
IMG_6532.JPG

Back at camp in time for showers and dinner, I confirmed with the office our leave time for our 7a flight the next morning. They had us incorrectly listed as booked on the noon flight so it took some effort to get that straightened out. We had our last dinner here which included a pesto linguine starter, beef with tomato sauce, green beans, potatoes, and spongecake. As usual, none of it was very good but it got the job done. We spent the rest of the evening packing and getting ready for our early morning departure. Brenda made cards by flashlight to give to our guides with their tips.
20190620_044659.jpg

Just as she finished, the light went out.

Posted by zihuatcat 22:04 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania brenda ruaha Comments (0)

(Entries 21 - 22 of 22) Previous « Page 1 2 3 4 [5]