Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day 7 Ruaha

Wake up call at 530AM this morning again with juice and cookies delivered to our camp.  This is our last early morning wake up as tomorrow we will be heading off to a new camp. 

A little talk about the jeeps we are travelling in here.  While out in our safari jeep from our first camp we saw these posh looking jeeps from the more luxury camps that had bucket seats while we had benches.  So on we move to the posh camp, get in the fancy bucket seats and immediately miss the benches!  The fancy jeeps have pockets in front of you to put your “Stuff” in, but the benches worked so much better for us, we travel with lots of stuff I guess.  Andre has 3 cameras on the go so he always had his own bench, 2 bodies with lenses, and another little camera that he just bought recently from Tim Hortons (an ongoing joke as he always buys second hand online and meets people at Tim Hortons to do the money exchange).  I have binoculars, pen &paper to mark time of sightings especially of birds as I’m really going to try to get more right this time, a wildlife book to look things up, sunscreen, a wrap to hide from the sun etc, just too much stuff.  Plus these fancy jeeps have a cooler that is plugged in, you always get cold water, but you also hear the noise of it going on and off constantly.  These bucket seats were so much bumpier than the bench we first had, so again what you think looks better may not be so….Our first day in this camp Nancy also has a minor disaster as she drops her camera and the lens breaks right off, again this has to do with no bench.  Disaster averted as Andre has brought so many lenses he can easily spare one, and since they are both Nikon users it was an easy swap.  For these jeeps that are in camp in the South they are all open air, no doors, no windows, just wide open.  We loved these in comparison to the North where you must have doors and windows because you are travelling long distances outside of parks.  I was worried I would be nervous, but we all loved them.

 There is also one section in this park that we tend to go through every day that is full of hornbills, there are a few trees that they seem to love and we see them every day at this same place.
So many hornbills in one place, they were here every day in the morning

Ruahaensis Hornbill

White-browed Coucal

Rock Hyrax

Hang on tight!


Excitement this morning is we see our first hyena, I guess they are pretty rare to see here, or so our guide tells us. We believe everything the guides tell us, don’t we.  This one isn’t quite as ugly as I remember last time, we’ll see in Selous if they are worse, that is where we are off to next and I think they have more hyenas there, or at least we have the chance of seeing more


Lazaro has warned us this is going to be a hard day for us as we are the only jeep from Ikuka out here today.  The jeeps from camps keep in touch with each other, and word spreads quickly when something very exciting has been found so we can all get the opportunity to share. 

We notice that Lazaro looks at the animal tracks often on the road as well, at one point he stops the jeep to show us a very long line of red ants, certainly glad they are on the ground and not in the jeep.

Long line of ants along the road

So many ants!

We see 2 lions resting in the sandy river again, these are the same 2 females that we have seen a few times now.  We drove quite a while today to another part of the park that we have never been to.  We did come across 4 lions just off the side of the road, one was busy cleaning herself, so I m sure Andre got some good pictures.  First time we have seen this group of lions.

This girl was sitting right on the side of the road, she didn't even move when we stopped, she was too busy having a bath...

Onward to find somewhere for breakfast

Brown Parrot


Exchanging seeds
Mongoose are hard to catch still

Elephant traffic jam

We have breakfast under a beautiful baobab tree again, I am going to miss seeing these beautiful trees.  This one has a few blossoms that have fallen to the ground, very pretty. 

Onward to finish our morning safari.

Pearl-spotted owlet, is she yawning?

She's awake now


We stop at a part of the river with water, some hippos swimming and lots of water birds, as well as some crocs around.

Grey-crowned crane

Hippo money shot :)

We are back at camp a little early today for lunch, I think that Lazaro may have sensed we are all getting tired.  Time for a nap, some new arrivals today so we end up being 12 for lunch.  A young couple from Texas, and Mark the managers parents have arrived for the night.

Time for a swim to cool off after lunch, and now just getting caught up on the blog before our game drive at 4 this afternoon.   We have loved all of our spoiled time here, the views and service are beyond amazing, but it is time for us to move on. 

Dining table set for lunch

Saif working the bar

Marker to our tent, notice the hyena teeth marks!

View from our bed

Love the day shots when the tent is all opened up

"Loo with a view " - this is the bathroom off the dining room, notice no window, fantastic!

There are 3 residents bats, one of them has a baby under her wing!


A fantastic final afternoon safari here.  We start out at the usual 4PM time, take our time going down the hill as Lazaro is still hunting for a chameleon that we told him Mark has seen twice.  There is another new couple here, so there are now 3 jeeps from Ikuka out, which always increases your chances of finding elusive things as they keep in touch by radio.  First excitement happens when one of the jeeps spots a leopard in a tree.  So now the 3 jeeps all meet here, after we take another “shortcut”.  We are the only jeeps here, again we can’t believe the difference from here and the North circuit.  We wait around for it to come down as it is nearly 530 and should start hunting soon, but decide to head off as one of the jeeps has already left and found a dead elephant being eaten by what we were told by 2 male lions.It is a bit of a drive, but since we saw the leopard walking yesterday we decided it would be nice to see 2 male lions. 

Leopard in a tree, isn't coming down any time soon

Off we go to find the lions  with a couple of stops along the way, witness a pretty good baboon fight, and hopefully finally get a shot of a lesser kudu, which seem to be more shy here than the greater kudu. 

Baboon fight
Lesser Kudu

 We arrive at the dead elephant, very stinky, but the 2 male lions is actually 10 lions!  The big male and female are having a drink at a nearby water hole, and some older cubs and another large female are having their dinner.  The large male and female make their way to the kill and lots of growling over position for feeding.  We are extremely close, simply amazing.  One other jeep joins us and that is it.  We are now out quite late and we miss our last sundowner on the road as we are quite far from camp and need to start getting home. 



Thirsty male

1 elephant feeds a lot of hungry lions.  Guides told us they wouldn't have killed this elephant, it would have died of natural causese

Yes, we are this close

Cape buffalo on the road slow the drive home

We are not too far from the lions when we see camera flashes, another leopard being followed by a jeep, so one last look at a beautiful leopard walking through the grass, hopefully it is not too dark out for pictures.

Back to camp around 730, time for a quick shower before we are off to dinner for 8.   A good chicken tangier dinner, but I still think the soups are the absolute best.  We discovered lemoncello in the bar at noon today so asked them to put it in the fridge, so we have a nice after dinner drink tonight that brings back some great memories of Italy. 
Bar area at night time

This camp also has free wifi.  I made facebook and email off limits, but did allow a couple of posts today of some videos I had taken, but any other catching up was off limits.  On the videos comments we put that we would be off line for another 6 days.  What if someone needed us for something? We will deal with it when we get home...




  1. Can you please send your Tanzania safari itinerary to me at I would love to repeat exactly what you did. Looks amazing! I know you used EAfrica to book trip. You were happy with them? Anything you would do differently?

  2. We did 4 nights in each camps in this order

    Mdonya old river camp, Ikuka and Lake Manze


We appreciate any comments/questions you would have or any stories about the places we visited.