The first scheduled photo safari of the year has just ended. The 4 day pre-tour extension took place at AMBOSELI National Park in Kenya and the focus was the largest land mammal - the African Elephant.
It is a superb location for elephant photography and this extension will certainly be available on next years safari.
We then passed through the Namanga Border Post into Tanzania and headed for Arusha for an overnight stay and to meet up with the other members of the safari.
This was followed by three nights in the central Serengeti searching for Leopards around Seronera and Lions amongst the Granite Kopjes. We were very lucky to see both as well as a Lioness bringing down a wildebeest and a young male leopard jumping out of a tree but missing his zebra foal target below.
6 nights were spent in the Ndutu area where we saw lots of newly born wildebeest calves but were unlucky this time to see an actual birth.
The highlight was a cheetah count of 20 different individuals, this did include a mother with 5 small cubs. We were also very lucky to see a mother cheetah with 3 subadult cubs bring down an abandoned baby wildebeest, sad to see but perhaps a quicker and better ending for the poor wildebeest.
We had a good deal of lion sightings and on our final morning we stayed with a pride near the Big Marsh, who offered great reflection shots as they lay next to some water.
On to the final two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater in search of the Black Rhino, we were very lucky to see 4 different individuals. A mating pair of Lions was another highlight along with a good variety of birds and lots of zebra, cape buffalo and wildebeest.
Many thanks to our guides, Silas, Mamai, Ole and Wilfred for all their hard work, long hours and excellent driving skills in the tricky conditions.
Many thanks also to Barbara, Marian, Ralph, Winnie, PO and Katrine, it was a pleasure to have had you all on safari.
Here are a few photos from the tour.
Next years safari will run at the same time and there are only 2 spaces left so please contact us if you are interested in joining us in 2015.
Iremito Entrance Gate to Amboseli in Kenya
We had great weather clear days everyday, and good views of Kilimanjaro
The Elephants tend to make their way to the swamp in the morning and then head back to the foothills in the afternoon.
Grey Crowned Cranes were everywhere in Amboseli
Elephant at sunset in Amboseli
We spent some time with this big tusker in Amboseli
Male Elephant in Amboseli
Elephant herd running - Amboseli
Amboseli is one of the few places to watch and photograph elephants in a very open environment
This female was resting her trunk on her tusks - Amboseli
There are a good number of Secretary Birds in Amboseli
One of the vehicles showing the two common shooting positions all beanbags are provided
Cattle Egrets follow the elephants as they disturb insects in the grass. A common vantage point is on the elephants back
The Amber eye of a female Elephant - Amboseli
Thompsons Gazelle - Amboseli
Sunrise near Seronera in the central SERENGETI
This female Leopard walked with us down the main road for about 2 km and then turned off, picked up her zebra kill and dragged it off to a drainage line
5km from Naabi Hill Gate, we came across this male lion on top of the aptly named "SIMBA" Kopjes. "Simba" is the swahili word for Lion
Male Lion on Kopje. These perfectly crafted Rocky outcrops are one of the things that make the Serengeti distinctly unique
A young male Leopard surveys the landscape after finishing his buffalo calf meal. Serengeti
We managed to get a bit closer to the leopard as he crossed the road in the Serengeti
Lioness bringing down a wildebeest - central Serengeti
Spotted Hyaena in the Serengeti
A Brown Snake Eagle warming up in the cool morning. Serengeti
Two Yellow Billed Oxpeckers - Serengeti
A Male Southern Ground Hornbill with a snake at the family nest site - Serengeti
The Hippo Pools in the Serengeti
A Grey-Backed Fiscal Shrike - Serengeti
A tower of Giraffes in central Serengeti
The young Male Leopard who tried to jump onto a Zebra Foal - Serengeti
Lioness with two small cubs - Ndutu
Secretary Bird nest building - Ndutu
The Pride of Lions near the Big Marsh watching a herd of Zebra - Ndutu
The open plains south of Ndutu Lake were occupied by the migration herds - Ndutu
The female Cheetah that had two small cubs - Ndutu
Lions drinking - Ndutu
Jumping Lioness - Ndutu
Zebra dustbathing - Ndutu
Female Cheetah near hidden Valley - Ndutu
Cheetah Cubs playing - Ndutu
Cheetah Cub - Ndutu
Running Cheetah Cub - Ndutu
Spotted Thick Knee - Ndutu
Giraffe and Zebra near Lake Ndutu
Lioness - Ndutu
Two Male Lions - Ndutu
A Lioness stretches - Ndutu
Sunrise near Ndutu Lake
Lioness in early morning - Ndutu
Lioness - Ndutu
Lioness running - Ndutu
Lioness and cub - Ndutu
Blacksmith Lapwing - Ndutu
Long Crested Eagle
Wildebeest with calf - Ndutu
European Roller Take Off - Ndutu
Fischer's Lovebird - Ndutu
Zebra with dark sky - Ndutu
Giraffe drinking - Ndutu
Male Grant's Gazelle scratching himself with his horn - Ndutu
Coke's Haartebeest - Ndutu
Lioness grooming her small cub - Ndutu
Young Lion Cub - Ndutu
Wildebeest at sunrise near Lake Ndutu
Lappet Faced Vulture - Ndutu
Marabou Stork - Ndutu
Secretary Bird - Ndutu
Wildebeest running - Ndutu
Zebra running through Lake Ndutu
Sunset near Lake Ndutu
Three sub adult Cheetah - Ndutu
Female Cheetah with her eyes locked on the abandoned wildebeest
The female Cheetah at the end of her chase - Ndutu
Female Cheetah with her kill - Ndutu
Cheetahs drinking - Ndutu
The female cheetah with her 3 sub adult cubs - Ndutu
Abdim's Stork - Ngorongoro Crater
Black Rhino with Egret - Ngorongoro Crater
Mating Pair of Lions - Ngorongoro Crater
Two Black Rhino, a Wildebeest and a Golden Jackal - Ngorongoro Crater
Kori Bustard in mating display - Ngorongoro Crater
Ayre's Hawk Eagle with Cattle Egret - Ngorongoro Crater
Mating Lions - Ngorongoro Crater
Male Thompsons Gazelle marking territory - Ngorongoro Crater
Arrival at Seneto gate - Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater from the main view point
Many thanks to our guides - Wilfred, Silas and Ole
Also many thanks to Mamai who guided us in Amboseli !!