Here Comes The Planet 50 – Tanzania 06

On this episode we spend a full day on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater. African animals aplenty! (Pretty much all animals in this one, so just watch it if you like wildlife!)

Also, we manage to spot a caracal, which apparently is quite rare! Unfortunately it decided to leave just as we showed up.

Here Comes The Planet 49 – Tanzania 05

In this episode Team Toto soar above the Serengeti in a hot air balloon and drink champagne like the rock stars they wish they were! An unforgettable experience that we shared with many of our travel companions.

Also, I deliver on a promise I made to amp up the excitement of a balloon coming in to land… 😉

Thanks again to Pete and Deb for letting us use some of their footage!

Here Comes The Planet 48 – Tanzania 04

On this episode of Here Comes The Planet we head out to the Serengeti for our first safari, and spot a good number of animals! As exciting as it was, to get there we had to drive many hours over what was by far the worst “road” many of us have ever had the displeasure to experience. Worth it in the end, but only just!

Also, we take a sneak peak at the location of what will be the location of our next safari, the Ngorongoro crater.

Special thanks to our travel companions Pete and Deb for loaning us their footage to use in our video!

Here Comes The Planet 46 – Tanzania 03

In this episode of Here Comes The Planet we make our way through Tanzania towards the Serengeti. On the way we discuss our Dragoman truck jobs and what we hope to see once we’re on safari. We set up camp at the Meserani Snake Park after checking out feeding time.

Also, tortoises! If, like Amanda, you’re not a fan of watching snakes eat stuff.

***

Progress on the blog has, predictably, slowed down considerably now that we’re not traveling. I still have many videos to edit and upload, and intend to continue with the process slowly but surely.

The first few months of my return has seen me focus on finding new work and a new place to live. Although my previous employer had promised to hold my job for me until I got back, for reasons unknown they contacted me during our holiday (when we were in Bologna to be precise) to let me know they would not be able to do as they’d promised. So this year I have gone freelance for the first time; something I had intended to do eventually, but gradually, instead of throwing myself in the deep end. However the deep end seems to be working out just fine so far, with my contacts yielding good sources of work, and promising prospects.

Now that I’ve moved in to new digs and the work is steady, I have more free time for working on HCTP videos for all of you. It may take a while, but I promise I’ll get them all done eventually! Hopefully when they’re out you’ll still want to watch them. 🙂

Here Comes The Planet 45 – Tanzania 02

Our group, which has now taken to calling itself “Team Toto”, moves on to the main part of our African adventure when we meet up with the Dragoman tour that will be taking us around east Africa. We’ll be spending over a month with most of these people and our tour guide, Steve. The beginning of a new adventure!

In this episode we check out the Forodhani Night Market and the Darajani spice market in Stone Town before heading to a spice and fruit plantation tour where we get to sample lots of exotic fruits and see some impressive tree climbing. We stay in northern Zanzibar on Nungwi Beach where we get the chance to visit the Mnarani turtle sanctuary and tick something off Nicolette’s bucket list – swimming with turtles!

Also, people are rightfully worried about being bitten by turtles. Because it frickkin’ hurts.

Also, cute kitten!! 😀 😀

Kenya: Lake Mburo and Naivasha

Zebra skull.

At Lake Mburo we camped fairly wild. There was a big expanse of dirt by the lake and a small shelter for cooking in. Some warthogs came by to investigate and Mash (our cook) had to chase them off with a camp chair. While I was washing up I kept thinking there was one right behind me. Warthogs are one of the few animals that are simultaneously kinda cute and scary. When we were in the Masai Mara we saw one chase a cheetah, so while they might be a friendly character from the Lion King, they’re also capable of killing a big cat. ‘Pumba’, btw, is Swahili for ‘warthog’. See? This blog is entertaining *and* educational.

Snuffling around the tents.

We got up pretty early in the morning and the tent was muddy when we packed it up. We did a walking tour the next morning but didn’t see much, although I did spot (and identify – I’m like the African equivalent of Crocodile Dundee) a lion print. Mainly we looked at animal spore, insects and plants.

Zebra bits.

I quite liked seeing the smaller detail stuff that you don’t see from a jeep. I would’ve liked to do a bush food walk. We did see a baby warthog that had been left behind in a burrow by its parents.

Everyone gathers to take a photo.

It nearly ran under Luke’s feet when it tried to escape and it was about the size of a guinea pig. Unfortunately female warthogs don’t have much in the way of protective instincts towards their children and, faced with danger, will just run as fast as they can and not go back to look so there’s a fair chance this little one might not find its parent again.

Poor little thing!

Other than the warthogs, Lake Mburu wasn’t terribly exciting. We heard the hippos but they were mostly submerged and there wasn’t much else to see there. Our next stop was at Naivasha, a campsite not far from Nairobi and by a lake. There was an electric fence around the lake to keep the tourists away from the hippos. Apparently a lady had been squashed by one a few years back.

This campsite was close to Elsamere, Joy Adamson’s home. She was the author of ‘Born Free’ and raised lions, cheetahs and a leopard, as well as being an accomplished painter. Having read the Wikipedia article on her life, it has a lot more information about the way she died than was given when we visited the house. She seems to have been one of those people whose strong will and determination allow them to accomplish much but also makes them difficult to get along with.

Part of the visit to the house and museum was an afternoon tea in the garden. While I was taking a photo for Scott and Michelle a Colobus Monkey ran up behind me and made a grab for my food! I kind of grabbed it by the shoulder (they’re medium-sized monkeys) and pushed it away. It felt a bit like my dog Penny – rough haired. It managed to take a biscuit with it then sat up the nearest tree munching away, A bit exciting, really.  My first hands-on brush with nature.

Tea in the garden where lions were raised.