Tag: Safari

The Kilimanjaro team is now deep into their multiday safari and having a great time.  Lead guide, Rob Smith, provides the details of their day in two of the most amazing game parks in the world:

This morning we visited the Ngorongoro Crater, an area more than 180 square miles bounded on all sides by steep crater walls of a former volcano. The fertile base of the crater provides a haven for wildlife, and today it did not disappoint. Despite a misty start limiting views at the top of the crater, conditions were much clearer when we reached the base after a rough, steep descent. Buffalos and ostrich were seen on the drive down. A pool was filled with hippos, most of their bulk underwater with their backs and snouts visible. They shared the pool with pelicans while egrets, sacred ibis, and Egyptian geese sat on the banks. Two elephants stood in foliage nearby.

 

In the dry season, many animals are attracted to water sources, and it can be a great place to view them. Along the trails secretary birds with their snake stamping legs strutted back and forth. A jackal paced in front of our vehicle for several hundred meters before it cut off the track. Hyenas slinked around in the long grass, looking menacing. We crested a rise, and two lionesses were just off the track, focussed on a group of buffalo. They blended in perfectly with the grass and moved stealthily. With more ground to cover, we left them to it.

 

Leaving the Ngorongoro, we bumped and shook along the road to Serengeti National Park. Wide-open plains had us wondering if we would see any wildlife, as the area is vast. But after 5 minutes of entering the park, we spotted two more lions. Two became three which became four, and when a half-eaten leg was seen sticking up through the grass, it was clear we had come across the site of a recent kill. A pile of feathers nearby told us an ostrich had been the unlucky catch. It is disconcerting when a lion with a bloody face stares at you from not so far away. Content with their meal, they all lay down in the sun and slept, and we moved on.

 

So our adventure continues. Tonight we are staying in a tented camp in the Serengeti amongst this amazing habitat. Tomorrow we have another full day of safari. Let’s see what is in store for us.

 

Today’s Swahili:  Lion – Simba — Buffalo – Nyati

A lioness blending into the landscape

A lioness blending into the landscape

A wildebeest poses for the camera

A wildebeest poses for the camera

Serengeti plains

Serengeti plains

Still celebrating their Kilimanjaro summit success, our team has completed day 1 of their safari of the big major game parks of Tanzania.  Lead guide, Rob Smith, give us the daily update:

We have left Arusha and driven South West to Tarangire National Park. Having descended Kilimanjaro yesterday, today we found ourselves in the midst of the Tanzanian plains, savannah grassland with stands of Acacia trees and lone Boabab trees studding the landscape. Our new ‘ride’ is a Toyota Landcruiser with a pop-up roof that allows great views of landscape and wildlife.

 

We saw too many animals and birds today to list, but the most popular were definitely the elephants and giraffes. No matter how many wildlife programs you have watched, there is no comparison with seeing these animals in the wild. Large numbers of zebra in their sharp coats, mixed with wildebeest making their way towards watering holes, or later in the afternoon, resting in the shade where available. A ‘dazzle’ of zebras mixing with a ‘confusion’ of wildebeest, to give them their correct collective terms.

 

This is the dry season here, and the Tarangire River that runs through the park is bone dry. Elephants stood in the middle of its dusty flats and dug their trunks deep down to reach water. It is hard not to become saturated with the sights and sounds here on Safari. Tonight we are in the fabulous Lake Manyara Safari Lodge overlooking Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley. Tomorrow we move on to the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. What a way to follow a Kilimanjaro climb!

 

Today’s Swahili:  Twiga – giraffe — Temba – elephant

A memory of elephants

A memory of elephants

Zebra and wildebeast at a watering hole

Zebra and wildebeast at a watering hole

Our new transport

Our new transport

Our Kilimanjaro climb concluded as we just arrived back in Arusha, Tanzania. We had a fantastic adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro, culminating in our summit of the peak on October 6th. All members of our team reached the top of the mountain, this was a magical moment as the sun rose over the plains below, and the weather was perfect! This was especially appreciated by our group as we had a couple of days of inclement earlier in the climb. We had the appropriate clothing and equipment to wear in the rain, hail, and snow, but it was still challenging weather conditions to climb in. Our climbers pulled together and supported one another as we climbed higher on the mountain throughout the week, and especially on summit day as we left our high camp at midnight and climbed through the dark, to reach the summit of Uhuru peak at 6 AM. All members are now on their way home now or spending a few days on safari here in Tanzania, savoring the experience of reaching the roof of Africa! –Garrett Madison

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To review our climbing team’s summit route you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Beautiful pictures by Madison Mountaineering adventure photographer Petr Jan Juracka from Charles University in Prague! Enjoy 🙂

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At 11:30pm last night our Kilimanjaro team departed for the Roof of Africa and made it to the summit at 6am for a beautiful sunrise. After a safe descent the team is now resting at lower elevation enjoying a well deserved hot-tub at the resort. Way to go team!

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To monitor our climbing team’s summit route you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

Processed with Snapseed.

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Audio dispatch by Dante (climber) after their successful summit!

Today is Wednesday, October 5th and we had a great day today, beautiful weather and sunny skies as we climbed from Karanga Camp up to our high camp at Kosovo on Kilimanjaro. It was wonderful after yesterday’s rain and clouds to have such a beautiful day today. We were able to see the cloud layer well below us and everybody on the team is doing great and feeling strong. We are very lucky to be able to go for the summit tonight when everyone is feeling well and the good weather and route conditions. We have our fingers crossed that the weather holds and we make it to the top tomorrow morning. We will be checking in tomorrow, stay tuned! -Garrett Madison
Start: Karanga Camp, 13,220’
Finish: Kosovo Camp, 15,700’
Distance Traveled: 3.5 miles

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To monitor our climbing team’s route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison:

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After breakfast we left Barranco Camp and began our ascent of the Great Barranco wall! This scramble provided us with a great acclimatization workout as we topped out at 14,500’ with spectacular views of the clouds below! Then we descend to the Karanga river and hiked up a short distance to Karanga camp. Team had some rain today but team is dry and excited for the ascent to high camp tomorrow.  – Garrett Madison

Start: Barranco Camp, 12,750’
Finish: Karanga Camp, 13,220’
Distance: 3 miles

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Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison.

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To monitor our climbing team’s route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Today we left Shira Camp and traversed the mountain, working our way up to the base of “Lava Tower” at approximately 14,800 ft. Lava Tower is a fun scramble up with great views from the top! After lunch we then descended down to Barranco Camp. The weather today was mostly cloudy with a few patches of sun. From our camp we have a great view of the Great Barranco wall, our challenge for tomorrow morning!
-Garrett Madison

Start: Shira Camp, 12,450’
Finish: Barranco Camp, 12,750’
Distance Traveled: 6 miles.

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Audio dispatch attached here by Garrett Madison.

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To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Lava Tower on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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Today our Kilimanjaro team left Machame Camp and trekked through a hail storm before reaching the warm shelter of their next camp. Garrett and team are now enjoying a beautiful night under the stars where they can see the impressive Milky Way Galaxy. Onward!

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Audio dispatch attached here by Garrett Madison.

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To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Team photo

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Today is Saturday October 1 and our team is currently preparing to leave Arusha, Tanzania where they will travel by car to the Machame entrance (5,900 feet) and begin the adventure through the lush forests. After a nice trek through the jungle our team will arrive at Machame Camp (9,950′). Our climbers will trek  alongside local Tanzanian guides and explore the rich culture of Tanzania.

Our team plans to summit the peak on October 6th. To the top!

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Garett Madison calling in for the Kilimanjaro team:

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To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Fred, Dante, Stefano, Ken, Joao, Braulio, Garrett, Jayme and Petr relaxing at their hotel in Arusha before departing toward Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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Climbers from around the world are in route for Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania! Our team’s route up Kilimanjaro, the Machame, will be a non technical adventure through five very distinctive climate zones, allowing ample time for acclimatization. Our team will ascend Kilimanjaro in style, enjoying the incredible views, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment in climbing one of the famed “7 Summits”  at an elevation of 5,895m / 19,341ft

On this great adventure we will have Fred, Dante, Stefano, Ken, Joao, Braulio, Jayme, Petr and Garrett joining us. To the top team!

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To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our RainOn mapping platform here!

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