Friday, June 29, 2012

Karibu Punda Milia!

It feels like months but has only been a few weeks without what feels like my third arm! I patiently wait for my computer to return from the repair shop and my mind is filling with stories and adventures to share with my readers. Sharing a computer between the two of us has been pole pole. Having lots of work to complete for my new website, booking clients on trips to Hawaii, Panama, South Padres Island, weddings to the Caribbean and of course to East Africa for Safari has been taking up my share of the computer time!

This morning I woke to lions moaning, most likely they had just found breakfast and were enjoying their catch.  Headed for the balloon launch site I was excited to see what animals would be around the corner as we left camp.  Being back in Tarangire with all the animals is wonderful.  The Zebra are starting to make their way back to the park and their offspring are right alongside of them.  The wildebeest are scattered with the Zebra and the many herds of elephants are also finding their way home.  After the flight we drove through an enormous group of Zebra. The younger ones gave us a little show and did a little playing around. I was able to capture this with my lens and as soon as the winds decide to blow the right way or I get into town for 3g connection (which ever comes first) I will be able to share the fun video with you.

When not working behind the computer I am out enjoying the wonders of this beautiful park.  Game drives to check out wildlife returning to the swamp and watching the birds who show up at our bird bath is how I often spend my afternoons. I see beauty every where I look; the people who teach me much more than Kiswahili, the landscape, trees, birds and animals- even the bats are cute here!




Designing plans for many great advenutres to see more of this beautiful country keeps me on my toes! In the near furture I will head to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara to spot more wildlife. I will also be visiting Peace Matunda Orphanage and School on the slopes of Mt. Meru.  It is important for me to help the locals in anyway I can while at the same time providing a trip of a life time for my clients. Working with PeaceMatunda allows me this opportunity in East Africa.

Living in a national park meeting travelers from all around the globe I have learned very quickly what those on safari are looking for. A common comment from travelers is how they are thankful that they booked with a travel agent!  There is a lot to coordinate for this amazing journey and you want to be sure you are booking with reputable suppliers that use reliable vehicles and have knowledgeable staff.  It is also a smart idea to visit at a time of year that fulfills your dreams for your African Safari.  Speaking to a specialist with first-hand knowledge is very helpful for you - the traveller!  I leave you with the lions that are hanging around the Tarangire Sand River this week....kwa heri

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tembo!

While I had hoped to be blogging about the Giraffe Manor and the Elephant Orphanage I gained more life experiences by not visiting on my most recent stop in Nairobi.  The pole pole way is to be sure to intersect your day.  Nairobi is a very busy city and just like any other growing city there is always construction being done.  The day’s adventure to visit the Giraffes and Elephants started out well, the traffic jam in construction was a surprise and put a twist in the plans.  To visit the Elephant Orphanage you want to arrive around 10am. The exhibit does close at noon as the elephants return to the park for play time, so be sure to get an early start on your day.   I will enjoy my time being surrounded by the Elephants in Tarangire and will patiently wait to visit the Orphanage and Giraffe Manor in November when I return to Nairobi, hakuna matata!

The Elephant population in Tarangire is one of the best known in Africa, thanks to the Tarangire Elephant project which began in 1993.  The project monitors the location, associations and life history of about 32 family groups and 250 bull elephants.

About 2500 elephants live in Tarangire ecosystem.  In the dry season they all depend on the water of the Tarangire river inside the park.  In the wet season many of them wander widely in the Maasai Steepe in search for better forage. Bulls range far, they may visit neighbouring populations in Lake Manyara and even in the Ngorongoro highlands.

Elephants prefer to eat grass but in dry times they turn to trees for food, especially baobob and acacia trees. They strip bark, break branches, smash ebony bushes and pluck seedlings of many kinds.   While causing some damage, they also “trim” and shape the trees. The seeds that pass through their gigantic bellies are left in convenient manure piles, ready to become new trees.

Whatever elephants are doing, they are fascinating to watch. Family groups forging, bathing, drinking, and playing will provide you with hours of pleasure.  My love for these amazing creatures inspires me to share ways you can help support the orphans and adopt an elephant at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust or even better book your safari to get up close and personal with the world’s largest animal.