Ken Brooks and Lynn Schwantes, preserve stewards at the Sally Brown and Dupree Nature Preserves, recently completed a 12 day visit to Eastern Africa. What a wonderful experience!
They traveled as part of a group of 16 with Overseas Adventure Travel and spend about half the nights in two interesting and delightful lodges and the remainder in two safari tent sites. The tents were much more elaborate that what comes to mind as “tents” — twin beds, full baths, and front porches.
During their time they visited the town of Arusha as well as Tanangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. In all three they were able to see all the animals you associate with the region including elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, wildebeests, antelopes, crocodiles, and warthogs. They were able to see very young animals (like still with an umbilical cord) as well as animals mating, hunting, playing and resting. The animals were often very close – how close? – you could see a house fly on the lions nose with the naked eye. A few of their 2,000 pictures are attached.
In addition to the primary focus of seeing animals in their natural setting, they were also able to visit a Maasai village, tour the Oldupai Gorge area where the Leakeys found evidence of early human life, visit an elementary school, tour a coffee plantation and participate in a large monthly open market day. They were also delighted with the many spectacular birds they saw during their visit.
All in all, great fun in an amazing setting – and very different from the two preserves where they usually can be found checking out the flora and fauna as well as giving a hand with stewardship and conservation activities.