Tanzania
Mara

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

36 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.
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  • 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

    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 !
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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.
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  • 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!
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  • Day1

    Serengeti

    April 24 in Tanzania

    Get our Big Offer 2018 with Africa Natural Tours .BOOK NOW. Back-to-top. Contact Information. Email: info@africanaturaltours.com OR: africanaturaltours2008@gmail.com OR: godfreyngaiza@gmail.com. Whatsapp/Wechat +255 653679958 OR: Whatsapp: +255 764415889. Website: www.africanaturaltours.com ,Our packages involve Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru, Wildlife Safari such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Culture tourism such as Masai and beach holiday such as Zanzibar.
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  • Day1

    Serengeti

    March 20 in Tanzania

    Get our Big Offer 2018 with Africa Natural Tours .BOOK NOW. Back-to-top. Contact Information. Email: info@africanaturaltours.com OR: africanaturaltours2008@gmail.com OR: godfreyngaiza@gmail.com. Whatsapp/Wechat +255 653679958 OR: Whatsapp: +255 764415889. Website: www.africanaturaltours.com ,Our packages involve Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru, Wildlife Safari such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Culture tourism such as Masai and beach holiday such as Zanzibar.Read more

  • Day4

    4. Tag Ngorongoro & Serengeti NP Teil 2

    September 21, 2016 in Tanzania

    Nach dem Picknick sind wir noch insgesamt über 5 Stunden bis in unser Camp gefahren. Anders ausgedrückt: Wir waren noch weitere 5 Stunden auf Safari, bevor wir das Camp erreichten.

    Es war großartig. Wir haben Zebras, Giraffen und viele Gazellen gesehen, aber auch Warzenschweine, Büffel und ein Elefant kreuzten unseren Weg. Das absolute Highlight waren jedoch die vielen Löwen, die wir gesehen haben. Zuerst waren sie relativ weit entfernt (ca. 30 Meter). Es war ein Rudel aus 5 Weibchen. Später haben wir nicht weit davon das Männchen gesehen. Wir waren sehr glücklich endlich die Löwen aus so einer relativ kurzen Distanz zu beobachten. Nur wenige Kilometer weiter waren zwei weitere Löwen, die wirklich nur ein paar Meter entfernt waren. Einen davon konnten wir beim Fressen beobachten. Der andere hatte währenddessen die Hyäne vertrieben. Es war sehr aufregend und wir haben tolle Fotos geschossen.

    Die Sonne ging langsam unter und in der Dämmerung erreichten wir unser Camp. Wir bezogen unser Zelt und machten uns etwas frisch, denn wir waren von oben bis unten voller Staub.

    Zwischen unseren Zelten und der Wildnis, hier irgendwo im nirgendwo, ist kein Zaun! Die Tiere können sich frei bewegen und auch direkt zum Zelt kommen. Als wir ankamen waren ein Büffel und zwei Giraffen im Camp. Wir durften auch kein Essen mit ins Zelt nehmen, weil das die Tiere anlocken könnte. Es war wirklich aufregend und ich hoffe nicht mitten in der Nacht auf Toilette zu müssen, denn kurz vorm schlafen gehen war eine kleine Gruppe von Büffeln ca. fünf Meter von der Frauentoilette entfernt. Im Busch waren auch 5 bis
    7 Löwen. Wir haben davon aber nur die leuchtenden
    Augen gesehen. Zu wissen was es ist, machte es aber sehr aufregend. Unser Guide erzählte uns, dass dies keine normale Nacht sei. So viele unterschiedliche Tiere und vorallem auch ein größeres Rudel Löwen direkt am bzw. im Camp sind selten.

    Im Zelt sind wir relativ schnell eingeschlafen. Gegen 1 Uhr Nachts sind wir aber aufgewacht, da es so unglaublich laut war. Wir hörten die Zebras schreien, die Hyänen lachen, den Löwen brüllen, das Nilpferd grunzen und diverse andere nicht zuzuordnende Tiere. Es war unglaublich.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mara Region, Mara, Mkoa wa Mara

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