Safari Group 2013
Our latest adventure was Safari 13, that
included 15 days in Tanzania in late February- early March
of 2013. The following notes summarize our trip.
Sherry Steele Safari ‘13
Some notes to share
about the Sherry Steele Safari, TANZANIA – 2013.
have said before, we consider each of you who have gone on Safari
with us to be very special. Sherry or I can mention one of your
names and both of us immediately recalls special images and stories
about your being with us. The Sherry Steele Safari Alumni now
numbers 69 people. We thought you might enjoy these notes about our
group totaled 13 plus Sherry and me. We were quite disappointed
that our friends from MT (Stan & Barb) had to cancel due to medical
reasons just a few weeks before departure. Can you imagine someone
being able to say “YES, I’ll go with you”, on such short notice?
Well, she did say yes (after a few days of scrambling), and Ann
Strock from Dallas joined our group. She was a Dear, and added a
special flavor to an already great group! We had 5 people from the
Dallas area, and couples from Houston, Fair Oaks Ranch, and
Kingsbury. Our only non-Texans were Kathy Miller and Glen Brown
from the Washington, D.C. area, who had been on Safari with us in
itinerary differed somewhat from past trips because we added one
extra day for an additional night in the Serengeti Bush Camp to make
the trip 15 days. Another difference was eleven people went into
Arusha one day early and had a day of relaxation at the Dik Dik.
Our sightings started early with a little excitement provided by
Vervet and Colobus monkeys on the hotel grounds.
1 found us stopping at the Good Hope Orphanage to drop off
much-appreciated donation items. Thanks again Safari 13 folks for
your extra effort to find and bring more than 300 lbs. of “stuff”.
We toured the facility (not much has changed), still no
electricity. Those bright-eyed children sang and danced for us, and
we fell in love all over again with their big smiles.
National Park kicked off our sightings with a huge Elephant, our
first ever at this park.
and white Colobus monkeys performed lazily for us, and we were off
and on our way to the Tarangire Preserve and Kikoti Camp. It seems
that we always say this, but REALLY, the Tarangire elephants
were more numerous, bigger and closer than ever. We saw our first
cats in this park with lion cubs and our first Leopard sighting. I
had told the group that to see the “Big 5” our most difficult
sighting would be finding a Leopard, so to have that early treat set
the stage for an amazing safari. We would wind up with a total of
seven Leopard sightings.
itinerary included two different “bush camps” on this trip. The
first was a more modern design with larger tents, wood floors, a
lounge area near the dining tent, Zebras munching around our tents
to add a little realism, and a dining tent that could accommodate
about 30 people. It was a new camp and had not yet been properly
“broken in”. Fortunately, everyone survived the experience. Our
second mobile tented bush camp was the typical Safari Legacy mobile
camp that will always evoke the most memories for you.
dry! We had only 2 short showers during the two weeks. Animals
were in the early stage of gathering for the migration, and most of
the Wildebeest seemed to be waiting for the rains to drop their
did a great job! Godson was smiling for two weeks. He is extremely
proud of his family, and his son Daniel is now three years old.
Renatus, a guide in 04, 06 and 09, was once again with us, and we
met two new guides, Bariki and Gabriel. Bariki is a Level 4 guide
(as is Godson), and was a real “hoot”, while Gabriel’s sighting
abilities (and personality) were “off the chart”. The nine
travelers who took the Balloon Ride ran into our longtime guide,
Shaukat, at the Visitors Center. He now guides for a different
outfitter, but he sent “a hello” to Sherry and me and all of his
friends from our past Safaris.
Our visit to
the village at Lake Victoria and Susan’s school went well. They
have made nice progress on both the location for the orientation and
the material presented. “Main Street” has not changed much. The
children still have that glint in their eyes that says “I’m a happy
kid”, but the poverty is extensive. Susan has a baby daughter, born
last November, and is as pretty as ever. Our group went “an extra
mile” in coming up with so many items to donate to the school. The
materials will be greatly appreciated and will probably remember
they came from the group that had a parade with our pied pipers (the
Ehingers) bringing up the rear. Thanks again.
exciting and very special sightings included: a mother leopard with
two cubs who casually strolled under the vehicles that were
watching; an elephant who stood on his hind legs to reach a limb he
wanted; three different pairs of Honeymooning Lions who were doing
their thing; nearly grown Cheetah Cubs trying to climb atop the hood
of Chuck’s vehicle; 7 lions (with tiny cubs) camouflaged in a small
patch of grass, a Black Rhino crossing, then re-crossing the road
between our vehicles and forcing a showdown with 2 Cape Buffalo
bulls; and the take-down of a Cape buffalo (valiantly defended by
Loyal Larry) by a pride of Lions.
making the trip, we had spoken about this being our last Safari to
Tanzania. Now we are not so sure. Each of you made this safari so
much fun that we don’t want to say it is the end.
planning is underway for Sherry and me, plus three special friends
to go to Botswana and Victoria Falls in 2014, and we have asked
Safari Legacy to pull together the numbers for a possible Tanzania
still working on her photos “Best of Safari ‘13” and we will share
them with you at an upcoming show.