After the Kilimanjaro climb I went on safari.  October 4th we were picked up by our guide Innocent with East African Safaris.  We were headed to Tarangire, but were delayed by tire repairs and an expired registration.  We used the time to buy some wine and beans for my camera bean bag support.  We finally arrived at Boundary Hill Lodge and took a nature hike until sunset and had a very nice dinner.

On October 5, we went into Tarangire National Park and almost immediately found a leopard in a tree.  I thought I got some wonderful shots and didn’t realize there was a branch in my shots the whole time.  We saw a lot of other wonderful animals including the African Harrier-Hawk and then headed back where we cam upon the same leopard.  The light was perfect, the leopard did not disappoint and there were no branches in the shots.  He got up and climbed down the tree and walked away at the end of the day, all wonderful shots that make all my previous leopard shots look very amateurish.  Sunset was spent in a hot tub on the deck overlooking the savannah with a bottle of wine.  Then we headed to dinner which was served outside with a fire.  Beautiful night, highly recommend Boundary Hill Lodge.

October 6, 2015

This was a travel day heading to the Serengeti.  I was hoping to go through Tarangire but they want an additional fee.  We had to stop in a town to try to fix the transmission or exchange cars but neither happened, but we did buy wine/beer for the next few days.  It is election time here and the police had to set off a bit of tear gas to disperse some “troublemakers”.  We did manage to get a little photography in when we arrived in the Serengeti.  We had a huge tent for the next 3 nights.  Beautiful sunset which I photograph from the tent as I had just gotten out of the shower.

October 7, 2015

Today in the Serengeti it seems that we were able to find an awful lot of lions to photograph.  We came across some elephant ripping apart a tree and I try to get a little artsy getting as many trunks in a closeup as possible.  Due to our bad transmission we get stuck photographing hippo and through some awesome driving by Innocent manage to power our way out.  We had a nice lunch by another huge hippo bog.  At the end of the day I still have not found any cheetah from either of my safaris and I mention this to Innocent.  Another beautiful sunset, but his time we are prepared, fully showered and with wine and camera in hand.

October 8, 2015

On this morning we leave very early, Innocent is determined to find cheetah for me.  We are in a section of park with very little wildlife, but we continue to search and search and search.  Finally we happen upon a family of cheetah feeding on a kill.  They are 80-100m away, I put on the 500mm lens and 2x extender for 1000mm and get some ok shots.  As the cheetah finish and lay down in the grass for a nap, Innocent tells us that if we had paid $1000 each, we could have gotten photographers license and been able to drive closer.  He also tells us that the penalty for driving closer without the license is $200, I wonder if I had known earlier if I would have risked it.  Today we lunch in camp and siesta through the heat of the day.  Later in the day we come across a young leopard hiding in the tall grass waiting for his mommy.  We wait patiently but there is no action.  I suggest that we go over to the tree line and see what is over there and then return after a bit.  At the tree line we find 2 cheetahs in the grass and get a few closer shots and I’m pretty pleased.  When we return to the young leopard his mommy has returned and they are on the move, towards us with several Land Rovers trailing them.  As they move too close for the 500 I switch cameras but fail at getting a decent shot, then they pass further and I switch back to the 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter making 700mm and end up with a fantastic shot which is probably my favorite from the trip, the baby leopard and mommy blending in the grass with semi-clear sight lines to their eyes.  The sunset is lacking tonight but we join a new group of clients around a campfire for a well deserved before dinner drink.

October 9, 2015

Today we head off early in the morning for Ngorongoro Crater and find a pride of lion traveling the road on the way so close to the Land Rover I could have reached out the window and touched it.  We also saw a family of hyena.  We need to meet another Land Rover to switch cars because this one will probably not be able to drive out the steep wall of the crater.  But they are late, really late.  We have lunch at the crater rim while we wait.  Finally we change cars and head into the crater.  Here we get nice shots of wild boar and grey crowned crane, but what we are really looking for is Rhino.  We see a couple but they are well over 100m away, the heat distortion and crop makes these more artistic than realistic.  Finally at the end of the day on the way out in the woods we find a Rhino about 100m away and get something, though still not optimal.  Innocent tells us that they are tracked and when they approach roads the rangers block off 100m away from the animals anyway, except for scientists and pro photographers.  By my mistake we stay at the Rhino Lodge, which was not great, thin walls and no view, so do not stay here.  The Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge I stayed at last time is much better.  

October 10, 2015

In the morning we head to Lake Manyara for a few last hours of shooting monkeys and birds before heading to the airport and going home. 

Sorry that it takes me so long to edit and select my photos.  Also I must apologize for including many similar photos, but I simply could not decide which was best.  If I have named something incorrectly please let me know.

Tanzania Safari

The value of our life is not solely measured by its length, but also by the depth of our hearts.

And breadth of our experiences.  And indeed the heights that we achieve.

October 4, 2015