Okay so it took a while. The first step was to get a website and that was a big step. Then it took several years to get used to that. And now, Craig Doria Safaris has a blog; and a Facebook page; and a Twitter page (although I havent even visited the latter yet). Its all a bit bewildering.
Quite how Im going to keep up with all those – things – pages – social media goodies, Im not sure.
Anyway I plan to write on the blog as often as possible and really just use the facebook and twitter to alert people to new postings on the blog. During the busy months from June to November Im sure these blog postings will be rare but hopefully during the rest of the year ….
It also takes a lot of getting used to, this blogging thing. So this, the first attempt is bound to have a lot of mistakes – upside down photos, large spaces of nothing etc. Do not adjust your sets … its reality thats gone wrong.
It was a busy year. A wonderfully busy year with 164 safari days in the bush. As usual Ker & Downey Tz managed to get everything to flow smoothly in this rather challenging environment! Oh there was the one time that we landed at the wrong airstrip, in the middle of the bush, with nothing but bush for milesin any direction – but that was taken as just another of the many adventures.
The two private concessions of Natron and Mwiba have proved to be real winners. There really isnt anything else like it. Grant and Beezie who manage Mwiba have so much energy that we get whisked away on a full and busy whirlwind ride from the time we arrive. They have built a platform over a water hole. We take wine up at sundowner time and watch the elephants drinking below us. Oh, and an entire herd of buffalo on two occasions. They have also built what can only be described as a mini stone fortress in amongst some water holes. Through the slits one could reach out and touch the elephants on occasions. We also have the freedom to walk as far or short as we wish, whenever we wish.
We have sundowners in the bush and even lavish champagne breakfasts out on a Kopje. And then of course the night drives with a spotlight to find those elusive nocturnal animals. And all of this in complete privacy – no-one else in camp; no-one else in the entire concession.
Natron is still also a favorite of mine and I always try to do a few days there on evey safari. The camp was refurbished before the start of this year with the tents high up in the Kopje on large wooden decks. The views are among the most inspiring Ive seen anywhere.
Its also great to be able to walk and see all those unusual Somali Biome desert species – Fringe Eared Oryx, Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu and others. Again, in complete privacy; and this concession is 3000 square kilometers. Try to figure out how big that is. With not another tourist in the entire area. This means that the Maasai bomas that we visit are totally unaffected by tourism. We are the only people that go there.
We also spent some time on the Malagarasi River in the Moyowosi swamps and the river offered hours and hours of entertainment. Although one does have to wonder how many people it takes to catch a tiger fish:
Perhaps the extra effort was to impress the audience:
Our Mobile Camp near the Mara River also worked well this year. It rained all through the year so it stayed wonderfully green throughout, allowing us photos of migration and other wildlife against an emerald backdrop.
Of course the wildebeest river crossings were business as usual and accompanied by the crocodile carnage that weve come to expect.
And those gorillas. They are every bit as awe inspiring as their ‘cousins’ the Chimpanzees which we love to visit so much on Lake Tanganyika. Perhaps even more awe inspiring because they are so huge, and they look at you in that way while picking at something stuck in their teeth with a dirty finger nail.
I think the next blog will have to be given exclusively to the gorillas.
So that was a bit about the season we’ve just had. There will be more to follow in more detail about specific places and exciting things that happened – but for now thats enough for a first blog.
I will be in the USA from about 20 January 2012 until about mid February – so if anyone would like to meet to discuss possible safaris please let me know and we can arrange a visit. Also please all remember to ‘like’ my Facebook page, or blog or whatever its called and also tell ALL your friends about the safaris weve done together.