Jessica’s first safari turned out to be her favorite trip so far.  She loved having something fun to do each day and loves photography and animals.  We went with EastCo Safaris which I have used twice in the past.  They provided an excellent safari plan and guide with superior lodges.  We arrived on February 2 and had a rest day at Ahadi Lodge on the 3rd which was good because Jessica’s checked bag was lost by the airline and delivered to us the next day. 

We spent 3 days in Tarangire Park and stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge where we also had an art class.  There were tons of elephants in Tarangire.  On our way out through Tarangire Conservation Area we came upon an elephant that had recently died and was being dined on by vultures and hyenas.

After that we were in Ngornongoro Conservation Area at Tinga Tana Ndutu tented camp for 2 nights.  This area was filled with cheetahs.  I found the first pair and was quite proud since cheetahs are so hard to find.  This trip it was the leopard that was the hardest.

We went into the Serengeti and animals were more sparse this time.  We had one night at the beautiful Mbalageti Lodge, excellent food and there was even a pool, but we were too rushed getting our camera gear (and ourselves) cleaned to use it.

We proceeded through the park to Lake Victoria where we stayed a night at Speke’s Lodge and in the morning had a trip in a dug-out canoe to visit a local village.  Then back into the Serengeti for 2 nights in Seronera Valley staying at the Acacia tented camp.

Next we were headed out of the Serengeti and on to Ngorongoro Crater.  We arrived at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge completely covered with dirt.  We were at this lodge for 2 nights so we had another day to photograph in the crater.  We did find a rhino which was pretty far off and the dusty environment was too much to result in a decent picture.

The last day of safari we descended Ngorongoro Crater and the Great Rift Wall to Lake Manyara where there were many more primates.  We stayed overnight at Ahadi Lodge and departed Kilimanjaro airport the following evening.

Jessica was shooting with a Canon 7DII and the new 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II, but being a breathing zoom it ended up with some dirt on the inside elements.  We sent that lens in for cleaning, sold it and she now has a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II with a 2x III extender.  I had recently bought (used) a Canon 11-24mm f/4L.  I found it to be an awesome lens but not as useful for me as a 16-35mm f/2.8, so on return I sold that lens and my 16-35mm f/2.8 II and bought a 16-35mm f/2.8 III.  It didn’t end up costing anything to switch all these lenses.


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.

February 2-16, 2019