Monthly Archives: December 2015

Up Up and Away

For many years this has been my desire.

A balloon flight, over the Serengeti!

On Saturday I realised my desires, in celebration of my upcoming 50th birthday.

We were already in the Serengeti for a safari with our visiting mums. Staying on a campsite in the middle of the Serenera. 

 We were up early before dawn, for the drive from our campsite to the balloon launch site. As we travelled we were able to witness life in the dark of the Serengeti. 

  A white mongoose  A pride of lions.

We arrived just before sunrise. 

    
    
 Our balloon was still to be inflated as we received our briefing. 

    
 We clambered onboard and hooked up while the basket lay horizontally, then as the balloon filled it suddenly righted.
    
The hats were a vital part of the kit to prevent hair being singed. 

Then suddenly we were rising up into the dawn skies. 

    
    
  
 Sadly the effects of El Niño have meant that the teeming herds of Zebra and Wildebeest had already moved south, and so were not where they were supposed to be, but you can’t have wild animals on cue. 

From above the plains of the Serengeti were different, revealing the tracks of beasts which had wandered through. 

    
 
Below we found scattered herds of topi and hartebeest, elephants and impala; hyena, jackets, even a pride of lions. 

    
    
    
    
    
   

  

  

All too soon we were back on the ground and off on a mini-safari to see a cheetah we had viewed from above.

The cheetah turned out to be a leopard and what an encounter we had.    

  

The leopard suddenly sprung from its hiding place and rushed our vehicles …..

  

  
   

…. before turning and running away

   

We left the great beast alone and returned for a Champagne toast – a long way from the leopard.  

Then a cooked breakfast under the open skies of the Serengeti.    

All in all a fabulous start to the day.
  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serengeti Gatherings

A second reponse to this weeks WPC :Gathering

We have just returned from the Serengeti from safari. There are many gatherings of animals there for different reasons.   Baboons gather on a branch.    A mixed gathering of Zebra and Impala on the plains.  Vultures gathering for the kill.  Elephants gathering at the water hole.  Oxpeckers gather on the backs of giraffe.   Masked weavers gather in certain trees to nest.    Wildebeest gathering on the plains for their annual migration.

  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

For the first offering In the weekly photo challenge: Gathering I am going for the obvious. 

The arrival of our mother’s for Christmas has brought us a gathering for the first time since 2013.  

    
   
Though other members of the family remain at home it’s good to gather for Christmas. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops! (Where’s Kilimanjaro?)

I really have struggled with this weeks photo challenge. It’s not that I don’t take bad pictures or that something doesn’t ruin an otherwise good photo. It’s just that I delete them immediately or edit them appropriately.

Finally today I got the chance – I was taking a picture of Mount Kilimanjaro here in Moshi, Tanzania where we are on holiday. It was our last morning here and on our travels we got an amazing cloud free view of the peak so I got the camera out for a picture.

Here it is…..  

 Photo-bombed by a bus – the mountain is there behind – honest!  Cropped and straightened… 

 

 

Moshi Mums

We’ve been in Tanzania, just under 16 months, and the today is the day when we receive family into our new home for the first time. 

We have travelled from Mwanza to Moshi on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and here we have met up with both mine and Anita’s Mums, traveling out from the UK. 
We will stay here for a few days and then head out on Safari before returning home together for Christmas in Mwanza.  

    
          
We are staying at Tembo Tamu, an excellent B&B which offers so much more, including organizing our Safari. 

    
    
    
    
 

   

Kilimanjaro Revealed

We waited all afternoon, but finally the elusive mountain revealed itself at about 6pm.    

     
 

    
    
  

The Elusive Mountain

Today we have flown to Moshi in Northern Tanzania. We’ve been here before as part of our trip from Lake Victoria to Victoria Falls and back again last summer. On that occasion our three days in Moshi were set between two  12+ hour bus trips, this time it has been an hour flight from Mwanza.

We’re here at the start of our safari through the Serengeti and also to meet our visitors from the UK, returning with them to Mwanza for Christmas.

A bonus would be a sight of Kilimanjaro – the elusive mountain. Last summer we saw nothing of Kilimanjaro in our three days here. Although we had hoped for a view of the mountain from the air cloud cover made this impossible even at height. 

Moshi is the Kiswahili word for smoke and the town is aptly named as it’s clouds shroud the town. El Niño hasn’t helped with a more intense rainy season is n 2015.

A colleague visited Moshi on this very day last year and saw this ….

 Our view today is this ….

 
We are here for a couple of days so we hope that at some point the elusive mount will reveal itself.