Tanzania Blog Start
Today would be our last day on the Serengeti and the last day of our Safari. For me though, the day began at 3am when I got up to relieve myself. It was dark of course, I noticed a small pair of glowing eyes nearby in my head lamp as I walk to the bathrooms some 150 feet away from camp. No problem is seemed to be a small animal. What I did notice was that the night noises here were different than I’m used to at home in the woods. As I exited the bathroom, a strange high pitched loud whoop, sounded behind me. Not close enough to see but to definitely hear. I bit of a chill went up my spine as once again I reminded myself that the camp is on the open Serengeti and critters were here first. I felt a sudden need to GET BACK to my tent – oh yeah that’s stop ‘em…which I did. Whatever it was, then came through the camp knocking over a few things. I suspected it was a baboon but thought that it might be a hyena as well. Of course, I had to report it on Facebook right then. In talking with the guides in the morning, the felt it was a hyena that was passing through camp. Personally, I think it was laughing at me. Took a while to get back to sleep at that point.
Once again, got up around 5:30am to finish packing and have breakfast. Most of us were ready early and spent the time chatting over a second cup of tea or coffee. Everything packed into the Land Cruisers we hit the road again for our second set of sunrise shots. Same tree, similar results. Still can’t decide which was the better sunrise of the two.
Continue reading Day 8 – Safari 3 – Serengeti – Ngorongoro – Karatu
The plan for the day was to get up before breakfast and catch – we hoped – a classic Serengeti sunrise. Michael said to bring your long lenses as this helps make the already big African sun bigger. Me being smarter than that, left my really big lens home and sort of regretted it later. Managed a dawn shot of the moon before everyone jumped in the vehicles.
Continue reading Day 7 – A Full Day on the Serengeti
On Monday evening we had another lovely meal of simple food (some of which I’m never really sure what it is but rice and beans of some kind seem to be involved), It’s always good. Then – as I predicted more or less – it rained for quite a while.
Tuesday morning – Seems like 4am is the dog barking / call to prayer / rooster crowing hour. Could not sleep so I got up about and did my blog. My mind went back to Monday and those kids. As we were going to be at the school basically all day, there was a lot of doubt in my mind about how it would go. Elizabeth was also having sleeping issues and we both worked on images for about a hour and a half until nearly breakfast. After breakfast Michael our leader broke out the 20 donated point and shoot cameras for today’s teaching shoot with the school kids.
Continue reading Day 2 – TGL Tanzania
Tuesday Morning – Spent the bulk of Sunday getting acquainted with Daniel (he has quite a background and currently lives in Granada, Spain – how cool is that!) of the Giving Lens (TGL) and each of the members of our group as they slowly trickled in all day. Michael the co-team leader surfaced after 12 hours in the rack from travel later in afternoon. He was a nut! To our great surprise we realized that although 30 years apart, we both went to Redwood High School! Cool. At dinner our leaders began the orientation process for this trip. I was struck that both our leaders were very clearly engaged in the mission of TGL and how their experiences here and elsewhere were deep and very rewarding. Similarly, in meeting our American, Canadian, Singaporean, and Australian team members, how they all came from a background of travel and interest in helping learning about cultures. Not surprising really but, I feel the definite lightweight here in this area.
Monday morning we were greeted with an almost clear view from our house of the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro! Wow, that’s a big mountain, going to have to consider what it might take to climb that sucker.
Continue reading Day 1 of the TGL Tanzania Experience
Dateline Dubai International Airport, it’s 9:30 pm in this enormous airport. Friendly people and great shopping…on my return of course. The 15+ hour flight over the pole was long but good.
Slept ok, food good. Only issue was a annoyingly boorish women in the middle seat. Lift could be harder I guess. Anyway, thanks to Amanda’s TGL trip 3 years ago, I researched airport shower options. The Marharba lounge here is really nice with food and drink included. It’s 40+ pounds but worth it. I get to say here until midnight then take the train to my next flight at 1am local…
Next stop Nairobi…
Got here a bit past 1pm, checked-in very quickly, TSA Precheck again! 2 minutes from entering to exiting, no scan, shoes off, just metal screen and I’m in. Very cool.
Me beginning my blog today.
Next stop Dubai…
Well, two days to go before liftoff and I’m still adding and subtracting to all the photo equipment for Tanzania. Can’t even load it all into the pack yet to get the weight. Regardless, a lot of this will be used and needed on this journey. Will be working on the final clothes next.
However, have checked in for my flight and booked lounge time in Dubai for a shower etc. Less than 48-hours now to go.
In 9 days I’ll board a flight from SFO and begin my journey to Tanzania for 20 days in country. So much yet to do and prepare but so much already done. This trip is about photography. Got some tips tonight from another photographer who was there this February. Basically, I’m on track for the trip. Working on Swahili and customs. The Facebook list for TGL is heating up and I think we are all feeling it.
I’ll post as often as I can. When in country it may be harder but my goal is to keep it up. That’s all for tonight.
I’m heading to Tanzania in August this year and so as I will be on Safari for a portion of my time over there, I’ve upgraded my outfit…So here is the total camo look I’m rockin’
Hoping I don’t scare off any animals. It’s all Pentax gear of course and the lens coat is from well, lenscoat.
Thanks to my daughter Amanda for this great shot.
Saw a nice post from a UK based photographer – Guy Carpenter of Gullwing Photography – about his reflections and images shot with a Pentax Q7 over the past year. The link to his blog is here A year with a Pentax Q7.
His thoughts and images are important to me as I’m doing my own 365 project with my Q system on this very blog site. I have to say that I really like his images and his reflections. Well done Guy!