With the beginnings of the annual migration in East Africa taking shape this week I thought I would include an image of a lion with a kill. This photo was taken recently by one of my colleagues, Liesl in the Masai Mara. The migration has a massive predator following – there is no shortage of food for these big cats!
Photo of the Week – Lion Kill
By africansafarisblogadmin on June 3, 2011 in Africa, African Safaris, big 5 safari, Kenya, luxury safari, Tanzania
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Hello Sarah, I am back from Tanzania, and wanted to thank you for your help in preparing an amazing trip! I took over 3000 pictures, which I am now beginning to sort through, and saw as many other amazing things. I wanted to provide you some comments on the lodges, camps, and tour operator. Kitela Lodge was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, let alone stayed. Besides the spectacular scenery and gorgeous grounds, the amenities provided, including internet, pool, hot water, and satellite TV (for all of us interested in the Africa Cup final) made Kitela feel like a hotel any where else in the world. The staff were also wonderfully friendly and the food was delicious. The coffee, grown right on their grounds, was likely the best I have ever tasted. I would have sacrificed my entire trip to Zanzibar to have stayed at Kitela Lodge for a few more nights. I noticed that they were a bit under-booked, and would encourage you to send as many clients as possible. Ang'ata Camps provided the perfect mix of the bush experience with hotel-like amenities: hot water for showers, clean and comfortable beds, and great food. My guide, who was not a man to be surprised, was even impressed. The staff were also great...I could not walk anywhere without receiving a friendly greeting, offer for food or drink, and question as to how I enjoyed my game drive or sleep. Matambwe Beach Village forces people to relax by providing none of the amenities that could distract from the beach. I especially liked that the use of footwear and the single guest computer were generally discouraged in the gentlest of ways. Finally to Wild Frontiers and Onesmo Sanka, my guide, to whom I owe the biggest of thanks for my trip. The vehicle was sound, the trip well-planned, and they offer what I believe is most important in a game drive: unlimited kilometers per day. I would highly encourage you to request Onesmo for your future clients. First, he drove slow and careful, which I believe is unique! He grew up in the bush and would see things that other guides did not, for instance a pride of 6 lions laying in the grass just 200 meters from the road that four vehicles in front of us had just sped past. Onesmo not only knew the ecology of the animals, but their habits, which provided many instances where my vehicle was placed specifically in front of where something amazing was about to happen. For instance, we did not park in front of the tree in which a leopard and her two cubs had been seen before a rainfall, but in front of a nearby snag, for Onesmo knew that leopards do not like rain, had gone to hide in the grass, and would likely come up on the snag when the rain had stopped. I had front-row seats to two leopard cubs playing on the snag while their mother cleaned herself in the background. I noticed that many of the guides of oncoming vehicles, upon seeing Onesmo at the wheen of our vehicle, would flag him down for advice. Onesmo was also extremely attentive to my habits: by the second day, he would automatically stop the vehicle when I went for my camera, and then start again when he heard the lens cap snap back on. He also started to avoid the crowds, choosing instead to quiet back roads where we may see a bit less but were alone when we saw it. I could go on for hours, but instead will just again recommend Onesmo for your future clients, with one warning: he is a quiet person and may come off as uninterested at first. However, once the ice is broken, I found him to be truly passionate about the animals, their survival and life history, and how everything in the bush fits together. Again, by the second day, I knew not to worry about a single thing: I simply put my trust as to the perfect parking place, vantage point for photos, route, and time into Onesmo's hands, and he delivered perfectly each time. So there is my gushing post-safari email which I'm sure you receive from every client! I want to thank you again for everything, and please let me know if there is anything else I can provide in terms of feedback for you or any of the above. Ben
Hello Liesl, I am so pleased with this trip to Botswana. The country was beautiful and green. The weather was very comfortable. We saw many of the animal life, certainly a successful safari with lions; leopards; cheetah; painted dogs; elephants; hippos; giraffe; zebra; impala and much more. The lodges were marvelous, really. The food was great, no one became ill. Everything went exactly as planned, everything. I thank you so much for arranging this adventure for our family. I am so impressed that a trip of this sort with so many different arrangements to be made, that it can go as flawless as it did. We had a great time. Thank you so much, and thank you to all that did such a memorable and remarkable job in a service of providing a great safari. Happy New year! I will send a picture or two.
Dear Liesl, Thanks for your note. We did have a wonderful trip and thought you would be interested in the following comments. 1. The Westcliff Hotel was just adequate. But we did get a good nights sleep. 2. We found all of the lodges to be wonderful. The accommodations, the food, and most importantly the staff at each place were extraordinary. 3. One criticism. If we were to plan the trip again we would eliminate Jao and substitute Mambo. We would have liked to have seen far more big predators, which were scarce in the Delta. We were told over and over again that Mambo offered much better viewing of predators. We would love to return one day to Abu. We found it a very special place. We did have a memorable trip and we thank you for your arrangements. Lynne and Harold Handler
Hello Liesl Yes we have been home a week now. The holiday was a great success mainly due to you and your company. Everything worked like clock work; all flights were on time, all meet and greets worked well. All of the rangers who were our guides were pleasant and very knowledgeable. The game lodges were excellent and the rooming was ideal in most instances. We have absolutely nothing negative to say. The Children were enthralled by Africa, its people and of course the multitude of animals that they encountered. It will be an experienced that will last. You asked about Alfajiri and it was as perfect as it could be. The owners were out of town and there was no one else staying there, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The staff were absolutely great ...as you would expect for a place like this...again though, there was a lot of complimentary stuff that we were not aware of ( i.e all of the massages, the golf, day trips to other beaches)...but it was a perfect end to a great safari holiday. You don't handle driving holidays in Spain by any chance do you? Anne and I are off there next year. Best regards and many thanks for a job well done ! Bob and Anne Robinson
Hi Liesl, Sadly, our African journey has come to an end! Everything was flawless as far as arrangements. We loved absolutely everything we did. The apartment was great in Cape Town; loved the ostrich farm. African Perfection is worth recommending in Jeffrey's Bay. LOVED Bukela Lodge at Amakhala (very intimate experience, with easy access; though can't be compared to a Chobe, for example - two very different, but positive experiences). Zambezi Sun was great, although that was the only place Jim got violently ill one night from food we imagine, and Olivia had a scary high fever which came and went for 3 days. In Zambia we did the rhino walk and elephant back safari, both of which we loved. The kids and I did the village tour to Makuni Village which was far more authentic than I could've imagined. The guys had fun on their half day fishing. Olivia and I hired a driver and gave out more toys to an orphanage and kids on the streets. Wish we had time to pop into Zimbabwe for the day. LOVED Chobe Game Lodge... worth every penny to have splurged. Phenomenal animal sightings. Not many people were at the lodge (about 20 out of a capacity of 80) so once again it felt very intimate. Bush Tracks was an excellent company who showed up everywhere for every transfer on time and professional. Thanks for your superb planning with me. I wouldn't have changed a thing! Kim