Tanzania
Mara

Here you’ll find travel reports about Mara. Discover travel destinations in Tanzania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

40 travelers at this place:

  • Day88

    Seronera, Serengeti

    August 2, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅

    Because of the terrible, corrugated roads, we barely made it out of the conservation area on time - despite leaving at the crack of dawn. We arrived at the Serengeti gate and waited a few hours to enter so we would have time to exit the park (again on a 24 hour fee system) the morning of our departure.
    Serengeti is iconic and exactly what most of us picture when we think of Africa…endless grassy plains, acacia trees, abundant wildlife and beautiful rock formations. The wildlife here has not disappointed. We’ve had 4 separate cheetah sightings – one of a mother and 3 cubs (the cubs may just be the cutest animals we’ve ever seen?), 2 leopard sightings, lots of lions (including young cubs!), hyena, elephant and other grazers.
    We camped one night and then splurged for four nights in celebration of John’s birthday (we needed an excuse not to feel guilty) so we could experience staying in a tented camp. Yes, we’re paying several hundred dollars per night to sleep in a different tent. But, this one has a bathroom, a comfy bed, and includes all of our meals. We’ve also enjoyed a few lunches and a dinner outside. Christy was skeptical given all of our meals while camping are already outside, but it was a great experience with tablecloths, multi-course meals and no dishes afterwards.
    On John’s birthday, we were enjoying dinner outside when a male lion was seen lurking around in the shadows - which was quite surprising given there was a big fire, lanterns and ~12 other diners nearby. Fearless! For John’s birthday the staff made a cake and showered him and the other guests with lots of drumming, singing and dancing. We weren’t quite sure of the tradition, but enjoyed how they sang “happy birthday to Johnny” and invited everyone to come and shake his hand.
    The best thing about staying at the tented camp has been it’s outside of the busy area of Seronera, so we have had very good game drives where we only see half a dozen, instead of uncountable, safari vehicles. We’ve only come across one other self-driver since entering Tanzania and while we’d heard the safari drivers may not be friendly to our kind, we’ve found them to be fantastic and willing to share information about great sightings (they’re all connected by radio so they’re able to basically guarantee their clients see everything in a day or two). On our last day at the tented camp it absolutely poured with rain for hours and hours. We were so happy to be comfortably warm and dry inside a large tent versus in our small rooftop tent.
    Read more

  • Day182

    Masai Mara National Reserve II/II

    September 13, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅

    Maggi fluchte zwar noch öfter über die Situation und den unzurechenbaren Ranger. Trotzdem liessen wir uns den Tag nicht vermiesen. Unsere Tickets waren 24 Stunden lang gültig, d.h. bis 10 Uhr morgens des nächsten Tages. Wir cruisten lässig durch den Park, denn hier brauchte man keine Sorge zu haben, keine Tiere zu Gesicht zu bekommen. Die „große Wanderung“ der Tiere fand vor Kurzem von Tansanias trockener Serengeti in Richtung Kenias üppigerer Masai Mara statt. Das bedeutete hier aktuell Tiere aller Art soweit das Auge reichte. Unsere Ausbeute in der Mara war der Knüller: furchteinflößende und sich so unheimlich leise anschleichende Löwen (nicht nur die, die uns in Schwierigkeiten brachten) und Löwinnen in Gruppen beim Fressen ihrer Beuten (wobei man sich nochmal besonders glücklich schätzen darf, wenn man Wildtiere auf ihren Raubzügen zu sehen bekommt), majestätische Geparden (die ebenfalls immer im Fresskoma unter schattigen Bäumen wie für uns auf dem Präsentierteller lagen), immer wieder Familien von Elefanten mit ihren verspielten Babyelefanten (Big Five #4 ✅), ständig mampfende Giraffen, tollpatschige Pumbas, in Wasserpools „röhrende“ und neckisch kämpfende Nilpferde, lustige Erdmännchen, schüchterne Hyänen, listige Affen, unzählige Vogelarten wie u.a. Strausse, Adler und Geier, sowie hunderte von Gnus, Topis, Gazellen und Antilopen in riesigen Scharen. Stundenlang beobachteten wir eine Gruppe hunderter tapferer Zebras wie sie sich zu überwinden versuchten einen Fluss zu überqueren, in dem zig harmlose Nilpferde badeten. Doch an den Ufern lauerten immer mehr Krokodile, die geduldig auf einen dummen Schachzug der Zebras warteten. Immer wieder traute sich ein Zebra ans Ufer, checkte die Lage, schaute einem Krokodil tief in die Augen und drehte wieder um. Und so ging es über Stunden zu. Wir fühlten uns wie im Autokino.
    🦁🐒🦅🐗🦗🐊🐆🦓🐘🦛🦒🐃🦌🐾🌾☀

    Gegen Dämmerung steuerten wir den Seiteneingang von heute Morgen an, um in unser Camp zurückzukehren. Doch der Ausgang blieb uns verwehrt. Ein netter Wächter an der Schranke gab uns zu verstehen, dass hier etwas faul sei. Schnell kam der „Hiwi Wachhund“ von Davis angefahren, der uns in unsere Unterkunft begleiteten solle (nur einen Steinwurf entfernt), weil man befürchtete wir könnten den Park ohne Begleichung unserer Strafe verlassen. Nun setzte man noch den Manager unserer Unterkunft unter Druck, er solle uns das Bargeld aus der Kasse zahlen, was wir via Kreditkarte begleichen würden. Doch er weigerte sich, weil auch ihm das Verhalten der Ranger dubios schien. Der „Anstandswauwau“ rief ratlos den Bad Cop Davis an. Er kam mit folgendem Deal um die Ecke: Wir haben bis 10h morgens Zeit (Ablauffrist unseres Tagestickets) uns an einem ca. 3-Sunden entfernten Stützpunkt am südlichsten Punkt des NP zu melden (unser Camp war im Nordwesten). Dort würde man uns einen Freifahrtschein erteilen, um den Nationalpark auf direktem Wege (d.h. ohne Game Drive) zu einem wiederum 2 Std. entfernten Ausgang am nordöstlichsten Punkt des Parks zu kreuzen. Dort, im Dorf namens Talek, gäbe es den einzigen Geldautomaten weit und breit. So könnten wir unsere Schulden endlich begleichen und wären die Ranger los. Die Wächter an allen Stützpunkten seien über unseren Fall instruiert und würden kooperieren.

    Mit diesem Deal verabschiedeten wir uns, und gingen mit einem guten Bauchgefühl ins Bett. Was für eine Gefühlsachterbahn dieser Tag doch war! Doch der Thriller sollte sich am nächsten Tag verschärfen. Bonnie & Clyde on the run.. to be continued...! 😎👸🏼
    Read more

  • Day186

    Serengeti Game Drive (1/2)

    September 17, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅

    Lange haben wir mit uns gerungen, ob wir noch einen „Abstecher“ in die Serengeti machen sollen. Wir vermuteten, dass wir dort nicht mehr zu sehen kriegen würden als in der Masai Mara, wo sich ja aktuell die meisten Tiere nach ihrer „grossen Migration“ aufhielten. Der Grenzübergang kostete uns ja ein wenig Zeit. Für die Nutzung unseres Jeeps im benachbarten Feindesland zahlten wir auch einen nicht unerheblichen Aufpreis, da hier u.a. auch die Strassenverhältnisse deutlich schlimmer waren und dem Wagen einiges mehr abverlangten als in Kenia. Doch wir hatten uns entschieden auch einen Eindruck von Tanzania mitnehmen zu wollen, bevor wir dies evtl. später bereuen könnten. Und rückblickend betrachtet, schenkte uns Tanzania tatsächlich viele der emotionalsten Momente auf der ganzen Reise!

    Zwei Tage erkundeten wir den Serengeti NP. Hauptsächlich auf der Suche nach dem letzten Tier der Big Five, das sich bisher noch nicht vor unsere Kameralinse verirrt hatte: dem Leoparden. 🐆 Doch stattdessen liefen uns erstmalig z.B. Dingo- und Wüstenfuchs-artige Streuner vor‘s Objektiv sowie dicke Nilpferde, die ausserhalb ihrer Komfortzone, dem Wasser, an Land an uns vorbei spazierten. Ein recht seltener Anblick zur Mittagshitze. Doch noch mehr Glück hatten wir als wir eine Baumkatze/ -löwen entdeckten, der auf Samtpfoten von Ast zu Ast sprang und ungeniert in den unterschiedlichsten Positionen Rast fand und für uns posierte.

    Das ultimative Highlight war jedoch ein ganzes Löwenrudel inkl. 3 noch sehr junger und verspielter Babies. 🦁 Papa Löwe beobachtete immer alles aus sicherer Entfernung zu den Jeeps, um den Überblick zu bewahren und einspringen zu können, falls ein dummer Touri zu nah kommen sollte. Die Löwinnen begleiteten ihre Kleinen - wohin auch immer sie gerade ausbüchsten - beschützend, wie Muttertiere halt so sind. Von den Babies konnten wir unsere Augen kaum lassen. Sie spielten mit allem, was ihnen in die Quere kam - ob Bäume, Äste, Wasserlöcher, sogar ein Affe musste dran glauben als sie ihn neckten. Der traute sich aber unter den Augen der Raubtiereltern nicht zurück zu „hauen“. Man hätte noch stundenlang beobachten können wie die Kleinen miteinander spielten und konnte sich beim Anblick dieser Wollknolle kaum vorstellen, dass sie mal so gefährlich und angsteinflößend werden würden, wie ihre ausgewachsenen Rudelkollegen.

    Ein kleines „Bambi“, das mit gebrochenem Beinchen an uns vorbei humpelte, brach Maggi das Herz. Es würde sicher nicht schaffen sich vor den Raubkatzen in Sicherheit zu bringen. An den Kreislauf des Lebens wollte man gar nicht denken. 🦌😪
    Read more

  • Day187

    Serengeti Game Drive (2/2)

    September 18, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅

    Die einzige Nacht, die wir gestern im Park verbracht hatten, war kurz doch angenehm. Anders als das Abendessen. 🙈 Leider hatte ja durch das gestrige Gerüttel auf den Serengeti Schotterwegen unser Feuerzeugadapter im Auto seinen Geist aufgegeben, wodurch wir weder Strom für‘s Aufladen unserer Handys hatten, noch - und viel wichtiger - um den Kühlschrank zu betreiben. 😱 Somit gab‘s zum Abendessen Resteverwertung der verderblichen, angebrochenen Lebensmittel. Maggi versuchte aus diesem wirren Allerlei etwas Leckeres zu zaubern, doch letztlich schmeckte es eher wie Hexenbräu. 🥴🤢

    Nun, auf unseren Leoparden trafen wir dennoch nicht. Séb macht dies nun wohl zu seiner Lebensaufgabe. Er verließ heute den NP nur schweren Herzens ohne diese Katze mal live gesehen zu haben. Aber wir kommen ja eh mal wieder in diese Ecke der Erde zurück, so Gott will, und dann kann die Big Five Sammlung hoffentlich komplettiert werden. 🦁🐘🐃🦏❓✅

    Die Serengeti war landschaftlich jedenfalls ganz anders als die Masai Mara, viiiel weitläufiger. Und die wenigen Tiere (auch wenn man immer noch von grossen Herden spricht), die hier verblieben waren und nicht die grosse Wanderung ins angrenzende Kenia auf sich genommen hatten, bewunderten wir bei ihrem Anblick irgendwie immer, wie sie es bei dieser Dürre und folglich nahrungskargen Landschaft hier aushielten.

    Wir hatten zuvor ja schon mal „benachbartes Feindesland“ erwähnt. Wir erfuhren, dass die Länder Kenia und Tanzania sich gegenseitig das Leben schwer machen aufgrund der benachbarten Nationalparks Masai Mara und Serengeti. Wenn man ein Tier ist, ist es einfach, ja sogar höchst willkommen, die Grenze zu passieren. Doch den Touristen wird dies erschwert. Und um um die Gunst der Parkbesucher zu kämpfen, legen die Länder sogar manchmal Feuer im anderen Gebiet bzw. direkt an der Grenze, damit die Tiere nicht ’rüberwandern können und somit auch die Touris dort bleiben, wo die Tiere feststecken. Die Leidtragenden sind Flora und Fauna. Wir haben solche verbrannten, kargen Landstriche leider auch mit eigenen Augen sehen müssen. Ein Armutszeugnis der beiden beteiligten Staaten!!
    Read more

  • Day11

    Serengeti National Park

    July 23, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅

    We spent the morning driving around and found the same pride from the previous evening and spent along time following them as they walked along the river bed. Thankfully they didn't try to get the baby elephant that we saw at sunrise. Later we saw another huge pride with some playful young ones. Our time in the park was over all too quickly but we have seen alot of wildlife up close. It took about six hours to get back to our truck, thankfully we were passing through some Masai villages and beautiful landscape on the way. Back at snake park they had fed the snakes there once a week live meal. It was quite weird seeing large chickens crowing while sat next to a big snake. We were rooting fir the little white mice who survived the night!Read more

  • Day8

    Western Serengeti, where are the animals

    August 4, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅

    We now realise just how lucky we were in Masai Mara. It was like the opening scene in the Lion King with all the animals out in the Savannah. It is much more barren here ( hence the migration of the wildebeest and zebra North). However we have enjoyed seeing many many hippos ( I don't know the collective name for them), baboons and lots of very pretty African birds.Too hot for the animals to be out between 1130am and 4pm so good time for a rest and catching up on the blog.
    P.S. Emily gets credit for 90% of the animal photos. She has this amazing technique where she focuses the binoculars on an animal and then takes a photo through the binoculars with my iPhone. Better quality than the fancy cameras and a lot lighter !
    Read more

  • Day7

    Road to the Serengeti

    August 3, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅

    A long day travelling - Kenyan roads are not for the faint of heart as shown in the video. The border crossing from Kenya to Tanzania was pretty smooth - we tried to enter Tanzania on our British passports as all other passport holders pay $50 per person vs US passport holders pay $100. However when the guy asked where the Kenyan stamp was we had to go back to US passports. Oh well. We tried.
    We said goodbye to Daniel our Kenyan guide and said hello to our Tanzanian guide, Mike. It was like going through checkpoint Charlie. Kids got to see a lot of people living pretty hard lives of walking 5 to 8 miles to get water along the dirt road, living in shacks or mud huts. Still better than Emily's recent trip to Haiti however just continues to remind me how fortunate we are.
    Read more

  • Day12

    Day 11: Serengeti Day 1

    March 16, 2011 in Tanzania ⋅

    Today we were to drive north over the volcanic highlands, to the Serengeti plains beyond. We bumped into Kevin & Keith at breakfast, they had been doing the 6-day Machame route on Kili and so they'd been in our group for the first few days of the trek. We had a nice breakfast with them and Keith's family, chatting about the sumit push, the aftermath, and the earthquake in Japan. Traded contact details and parted, they were almost finished with their 3-day safari so we likely wouldn't meet them again.

    After breakfast came our first setback. Edwin noticed that our front-right wheel was missing 4 of 6 wheelnuts, and he understandably didn't want to cross the Serengeti without them. It could be easily fixed, but would require a 30-minute stop in Karatu. OK, no worries. Hakuna matata.

    So we drove into town, pulled up at Edwin's friend's shop and waited. A kid on a bike looked at it and disappeared, reappearing later with a young-ish guy in a red cap who appeared to be the actual mechanic. He removed the wheel, then the entire wheel assembly. Edwin ran off down the road, returning via motorbike about 20 minutes later. People came and went, chatted, locals went about their business, chatted, and finally our car was ready to go. It only took 1 hour 45 minutes! A good insight into African business styles.

    Finally we're off to the Serengeti. To get there we drove past the Ngorongoro Crater, through the conservation area. Once through the gate, the tarmac rapidly gave way to dirt tracks, some of which were very rough. We drove through the forest on the crater rim, before heading into the highlands that border the Serengeti. Going down a particularly rough section, Edwin notices a flat tyre. Lucky we have two spares! He and I jump out and change the tyre, though he mentions in passing that the other spare is already flat. Shit.

    We drive through the highlands without further incident, past loads of little mud hut villages inhabited by Maasai herdsmen. They're mostly nomadic and are permitted to live in the area provided they don't farm. They stick mostly to traditional ways, as their fierce warrior culture kept most of them off the slave ships. But it's not uncommon to see them using mobile phones; we even saw a Coke truck unloading supplies at one village!

    Eventually we descended from the highlands and stopped for lunch at Olduvai Gorge. This place is famous for being the source of two humanoid precursor species - Australopithecus and homo erectus. The Laetoli footprints fossil was also found nearby. The talk and museum were interesting but paleoanthropology doesn't make a great spectator sport, so we pressed on.

    Eventually the huge gate of Serengeti NP loomed out of the afternoon sun. We'd made it! Our game drive commenced.

    One of the first animals we encountered was a rare cheetah! He was sunning on a rock just off the road, so we naughtily turned off and drove toward him. He noticed us and slunk away into the grass, but we got some good photos.

    Game driving is simultaneously exciting and boring. You're always alert for animal sightings, but they can be few and far between. The afternoon was spent driving around the immense national park. Highlights included - a mother leopard and her cub in a distant tree, a pride of lions sleeping under a tree, elephants, lots of giraffes, uncountable numbers of zebra and wildebeest, warthogs, buffalo, and a stream full of hippos. Late in the evening we headed off, but a mile from the exit gate we heard the unmistakable sound of a flat tyre. Shit, no spares.

    Luckily for us, Zara Tours had one other car in the park. Edwin called them, and the driver promised he'd be there in 15 minutes with a replacement tyre. 45 minutes later and in near darkness, he arrived. The tyre was promptly changed and we drove the 20 minutes to our hotel, the Ikoma Wild Camp.

    It's a little collection of huts and permanent tents about 10km from the nearest village. We were staying in a tent the size of a normal hotel room, but located in a permanent hut building. Very rustic, but nice. On check-in, we noticed that us and the other Zara Tours car were the only guests! In the other car was a nice middle-aged couple from Redondo Beach, California - Jim and his wife Amanda. We shared dinner and a drink with them before heading to bed.
    Read more

  • Day13

    Day 12: Serengeti Day 2

    March 17, 2011 in Tanzania ⋅

    Mildly restless night of sleep at the camp hotel - I felt a little vulnerable due to the isolation, but not too bad. Definitely would've helped if we could lock the tent!

    After breakfast we set off again into the endless grass plains of the Serengeti. Incidentally, the word Serengeti is a Maasai word meaning "endless", and from the centre it certainly feels that way! First stop in the park was the hippo pools, with scores of hippos lazing in the water and a couple of Nile crocodiles lazing on the riverbank. The characteristic hippo "yawn" is actually a sign of aggression; they're baring their giant teeth at you.

    Further in we found a pair of lions - male and female, but they weren't doing anything. Then a couple of kilometres up the road came the excitement - two female lions resting on a riverbank, but then deciding to go for a wander as we approached! They strolled lazily along the riverbank before venturing down the road, right amongst the herd of jeeps following them. They even brushed up against our jeep! Got some fantastic photos at such close range, my camera's small zoom didn't matter!

    After a while the lions reached another resting spot so we left them to it, in search of other animals. We stumbled across another leopard cub in a tree, no sign of the mother. Spotted a couple of jaguars running across the plains, but they were too far away to see properly. At this point we were driving nonchalantly past herds of warthog, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala, gazelle etc, in search of rarer or more interesting animals. And then, just as we were about to head for lunch, a herd of elephants appeared on the horizon.

    Edwin gunned it over to the herd quick smart. Three large males were leading, striding confidently down the road. Following behind was a group of probably 20 more elephants - male and female, from old right through to a pair of tiny calves. We stayed with them for nearly half an hour before heading to the visitor's centre for lunch.

    Ate our picnic lunch in the annoying company of very tame hungry mongoose and hyrax. Looked around the visitor's centre, some interesting stuff about the plains, the migrations and the ongoing conservation efforts.

    After lunch the rains arrived in a torrential downpour that lasted over an hour. We drove around in a fairly unenthusiastic fashion - most of the animals had gone into hiding to escape the rain. The only things of note were a pair of soggy-looking lions, and waiting for 10 minutes on the road while a giant herd of zebra and wildebeest stampeded across. This happened twice.

    Had dinner with Jim and Amanda back at Ikoma Wild Camp before heading to bed around 9pm. Our jeep had survived the day with no breakdowns!
    Read more

  • Day8

    Kirawira Serena Camp

    August 4, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅

    Another "camp" experience better than most hotels. It is going to be a shock to the system when I finally do go camping again. This camp also has a beautiful view and is actually inside the safari park so we have impalas, monkeys and African birds all around us. The sunset and sunrise view is breathtaking over the Serengeti and the meals are much more upmarket than Mara West complete with linen tablecloths and silver cutlery.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Mara Region, Mara, Mkoa wa Mara

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now