We're a group of Western Washington University students traveling to Tanzania to ask big questions about geography, nature, and culture.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Serengeti: Lions, lions, lions

We had a bumper crop of lions this morning in the Serengeti, including seeing a female lion chase and kill an immature gazelle and then bring it to her cubs. After even more lion viewing we left the Serengeti via Nabi Hill and stopped at Oldupai (not Olduvai as frequently misspelled) Gorge before arriving at Ngorongoro Crater. We are camped on the cold hard ground once more but we did get out for a final goodbye dinner at Serena Safari Lodge, a posh place on the crater rim.

Tomorrow we leave early for a game drive in the famous crater and then leave immediately after lunch to make it to the airport where most of our group will fly back home.

Too soon, too soon! But our memories will endure...

Momma bringing home the bacon (gazelle bacon, in this case)

Just traveling along with the pride...

A posh meal for our final  night together

The Milky Way shines brightly overhead from Simba Camp on Ngorongoro Crater rim

Monday, August 20, 2012

More Serengeti

This afternoon we saw some great sights, though not as famous as the carnivores still plenty interesting!

At the hippo pool
Hippo fight!

Morning game drive

We continued our streak of seeing a lot of animals today on our morning game drive, waking up at 5:30 and departing just before dawn. We went back to visit our family of lions but also saw leopard, cheetah (distantly), and some other great sights. Here they are in the order we saw them, with lots of other spottings omitted!

We will go out again this afternoon before returning to another night at the amazing Halisi Camp. Then tomorrow we make our way to good old tent-and-sleeping-bag camping on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. The day in the crater is our last day, most students fly home that evening! What a trip it has been.

Land hippos!
Dik-dik, a tiny antelope

Juvenile lions waiting in the grass

A leopard sits in the shade under her kill stashed high above

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Serengeti afternoon and evening

Dinner at Halisi Camp

In Serengeti

We awoke early this morning and got right on the road from Wasso to Klein's Entrance to the northern Serengeti. Things went great! We were inside the park by 10 AM and saw a ton of game by noon.

We are at our campsite now (I had a bit of a surprise for the students as we are staying at a much nicer camp for two nights than in the rest of our itinerary) resting during the heat of the day. We will leave soon for an afternoon game drive.

Here are some pictures from the last few days.

On the 16th we took a walk to the shores of Lake Manyara, where flocks of flamingos (both lesser and greater) were abundant offshore:

 The morning of the 17th started with a walk to the shores of Lake Natron, here Ol Doinyo Lengai serves as a backdrop to our walk:

That afternoon we took a walk from Engaresero village up a narrow gorge to a series of waterfalls. Our Maasai guides were extremely helpful in getting us through the deep water and steep rock sections.

Finally in the Serengeti, getting up close with the wildlife. See if you can spot the elephant in this picture:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nearly to Serengeti

Hello all, after much driving we are camped at the village of Wasso,
Tanzania, about 2 hours from the northeastern entrance to Serengeti
park. Our itinerary had called for us to spend tonight inside the park
but unfortunately our supply vehicle had a problem with the master
cylinder that took a few hours to repair. We turned around to meet it
instead of sleeping in the Serengeti without tents!!

We are on the way there first thing tomorrow morning. We have had a
couple exciting days at Lake Manyara and Lake Natron/Engaresero.
Pictures coming soon we hope!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On safari

We made it to Lake Manyara National Park today with our
super-knowledgeable guides Rama and Zuberi. Here is the entire group
at the Manyara Hippo Pools. The hippos were to camera left but here we
are standing in front of a few artfully posed zebra and hundreds of
pelicans and storks.

We won't have a prayer of internet or phone
access for a couple days as we are going to Lake Natron but we may
have a chance to update from central Serengeti. Bye for now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We are at our final night in Moshi, getting ready to go on an 8-day photo safari including the Serengeti. We spent a final day today with the Kilimanjaro Kids orphanage, playing a rousing match of football (photos coming soon, I was on the field the entire time) and saying goodbye.


This is a house very close to our guesthouse, I thought it was interesting to note the relative security that we experienced at the guesthouse compared with this:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marangu Waterfalls

Yesterday we visited another Chagga cave and hiked to a beautiful waterfall. We spent the afternoon playing with the students at the Kilimanjaro Kids Care orphanage in Himo and at lot of time posing for pictures. Getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time proved an impossible task!

We just "fell in"--honest!

At the orphanage

On Sunday five of us visited the small children's orphanage (ages birth-4 years) at Upendo. The students were warmly welcomed by the orphans, who clearly had lots of experience with visitors coming to play and give hugs.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


We spent our first day yesterday moving into the Make a Difference guesthouse in Rau and visiting the kids at the Himo orphanage. We spent some time reading, playing basketball in a rainstorm, and then in a talent show at the end of the day. Today we will teach some geography lessons as well as continuing to practice our reading.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A day at Mweka

Yesterday we visited the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka. We had a nice lecture and campus tour with Fidel. After lunch in the school cafeteria we walked through some beautiful river valleys to the Catholic mission at Kibosho, where a turn-of-last-century cathedral is a prominent sight.

At the end of the day Kilimanjaro came out of the clouds for sunset. This view is from the top of our hotel:

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