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Masai Mara

Face to Face With Some Great Adventures

Face to Face With Some Great Adventures

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Don’t get us wrong, we love our Land Cruisers as much as our clients do.  And there is little that can surpass the adrenaline rush of clients on safari witnessing their first sighting of a male Lion standing proud in all his glory.But it gets better.  Clients no longer have to remain within the confines of the safari cruiser for the entire duration of their safari.  There are some great adventures that can be had by dedicating a few hours in the itinerary to exit the comfort of the vehicle… and go face to face with nature. 

Arusha National Park Canoeing

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Enjoy a peaceful and scenic canoeing safari following the shorelines of Momella Lake, under the shadow of Mt. Meru.  View buffaloes, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos and many water birds living in and close to the water.

 

 

Lake Manyara Cycling

An easy cycle ride down the Great Rift Valley wall; into the farming village of Mto Wa Mbu. Experience local cultures from the bike, ride through some of the Manyara ground water forest and between small herds of wildlife on the lake shore. We can include a local lunch for your guests, prepared by a lady in the village.

 Waterfalls & Elephant Caves

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On this two hour hike through the forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area you will discover a magnificent waterfall and incredible elephant caves created by elephants digging up the earth and ingesting the mineral rich soil.  You may see buffalo, bushbuck, waterbuck and baboons, also attracted by the soil.

 

Walking safaris in Serengeti and Arusha National Park

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Walking is a wonderful way to get close to nature and to learn about some of the smaller species and ecosystems.  The walk is slow paced, stopping under shade to hear interesting facts from your knowledgeable guide. Walks are offered to guests aged 16 and over.

 

 

Village Walk in Mto wa Mbu / Karatu

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Visit Mto Wa Mbu village for a great cultural experience with an experienced English-speaking guide who grew up in the village! Visit local farms, schools, a kindergarten, local homes, the market and milling machines. A similar experience can be arranged in Karatu, popular for overnight stays before visiting the Ngorongoro Crater.

 

Night Game Drive in Lake Manyara / Serengeti / Tarangire

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A unique perspective on the National Parks with an opportunity for sighting nocturnal animals.  Lion sightings are more common and where lions are mostly sleeping in the day time, at night they are almost always active!  At Lake Manyara the drive is done inside the park, whereas other parks is in private concessions on the border (available from select camps).

 

Erosion Control Tree-Planting

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Hundreds of young tree saplings (predominantly native species) are grown at Gibbs Farm in Karatu, as part of an effort to help control erosion and reforest the environment. Over the last 15 years, much of the farm’s estate forests have been restored through this program. Join in on an excursion to transport young trees from the farm nursery and plant them in community schoolyards and other environments.

 

Coffee Tour in Arusha

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Offered from select hotels in and around Arusha
This tour on the foothills of Mount Meru will allow your clients to witness first hand the process of washing and drying coffee beans on the farms. The guide explains how the bean is nurtured, harvested, dried and finally roasted to produce a myriad of different blends that sate the taste of the most ardent of coffee connoisseurs.

 

Hiking Empakai Crater

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Located in northern Ngorongoro, Empakai is a mysterious crater with a lake below where flamingos can be sighted throughout the year. With no road access, exploration is on foot only for those seeking a thrilling hike in the Crater Highlands.  This can be done as a half day excursion from various Ngorongoro properties.

 

Hot Air Balloon Safaris in Serengeti and Tarangire

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Although this is a popular and well known excursion, what many are unaware of is that this excursion is available in central, south, north and western Serengeti in various seasons, as well as in Tarangire.  Regardless of where your clients are staying, this is a great way to offer them a birds eye safari!

 

 

 

 

 

Current global travel trends indicate an increased preference in soft adventure.  The above ideas offer great short experiential travel add-on’s while ensuring authentic and responsible tourism practices.

 

Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna

African Adventure Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Each day, the drama of the animal kingdom plays out across the forests, jungles, savannah plains, and rivers of Africa. This is a place like no other, where you can see elephants on patrol, cheetahs on the prowl, crocodiles lying in wait, and wildebeests on the stampede. And Nature Bound Africa knows just where the action’s at, so when you’re with us, there’s no better seat in the house. You’ll feel like you’re truly part of the action. 
Welcome to Africa!

Baby Cheetah in Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya Africa 1 Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

There’s nothing in this world like waking up as the sun crests over the plains of the African savannah, hearing the chips of the birds overhead, listening to the hoots of monkeys in the trees, and the thunder of hooves on the plain knowing you’re in for a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Check out our wildlife tours to East Africa Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to see how these experiences and many more can soon become a reality.
 
Elegant Accommodations

Mashatu lodge Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

With fascinating ambiance and unique African charm, the accommodation you’ll find with Nature Bound Africa is both elegant, and personal. You’ll be staying in historic hotels converted from former palace guesthouses, ancestral mansions, wild safari tented camps, or merchant town houses typical of the East African coast. 
Africa’s Central Highlands

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Rwanda and Uganda are two of Africa’s undiscovered jewels. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Victoria, discover unspoiled island paradises on the Indian Ocean, experience fantastic snorkeling and diving, explore the intriguing colonial history, and get up close with the abundant wildlife in the national parks. It’s all here. Where are you? 
Get to Know Our Primate Cousins

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Climb into the misty cloud forests above Central Africa as you go in search of our closest relatives, monkeys, chimpanzees, and the elusive mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda’s mountainous highlands. There’s nothing quite like looking into the eyes of these great primates, and watching as they play with their young, forage for food, and swing between the high branches of the great jungle trees to truly understand just how connected we are with the animal kingdom.

How to Take Children on an African Safari

How to Take Children on an African Safari

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Despite all the warnings, a trip to Tanzania with a toddler and an 8-year-old turned out to be a dream vacation for the whole family

A LITTLE AFTER dawn, our safari guide headed to the less-explored eastern part of Serengeti National Park. He slowed the Toyota Land Cruiser at a patch of green that interrupted the straw-colored Tanzanian landscape, so barren that it made our mouths feel dry.

“There’s a hyena under that tree,” he said.

My husband, Nitin, and I stood up in the vehicle and instinctively shushed our groggy children, Naya and Riya, then ages 8 and 1. Looking through binoculars at the tree, we saw only a blur.

“Hey!” the baby shouted. “Hello? Hello?”   “Shhhhhh!” we scolded.

And suddenly, there was the hyena—headed straight for us. Creatures like these see young animals (including humans) as easy prey; once you get over the creepy factor, this can make for a cool wildlife-viewing experience—at least from the relative safety of a getaway car.

Months earlier, when we’d told friends that we planned to take our children to Africa, they mostly admonished us. The water’s not safe. The bugs are vicious. The kids will get bored on long drives. They won’t remember any of it.

Their doubts only emboldened us. We’d lived in India through my eldest daughter’s toddler years and considered ourselves seasoned travelers. The three of us horsebacked across Kashmir, rode elephants into the grasslands of Assam, took a palanquin into the caves of Ajanta. Then, in 2008, we moved back to the U.S. We bought a house. We had a second child. Vacations became three-day weekends in the Catskills or Berkshires, beach rentals up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Our Facebook photos started to look like everyone else’s.

I missed adventure and wanted to expose my children to more. Tanzania felt like a logical destination. Its pleasant dry season runs from June through October, overlapping with the kids’ summer holiday. My college roommate lives in Dar es Salaam, so we had an in-country contact in case of an emergency.

 African safaris are attracting a lot more families these days, including some with very young children, according to tour operators. When planning our trip, which included stops in Istanbul and Zanzibar, I requested safari quarters where little ones would be welcome (many lodges bar children under 12). To our surprise, we were offered high chairs, baby cots and special kid-friendly meals as we made our way around Tanzania.

We started in Tanzania’s most populous city, Dar es Salaam, took a day to acclimate and continued to Kilimanjaro, where we embarked on six days of safari. The Serengeti ecosystem, which straddles Tanzania and Kenya, is known for the largest migration of mammals in the world, but they were on the Kenyan side by the time we arrived. We stuck mostly to the central Serengeti to catch better views of lions; we saw plenty of zebras and wildebeest in the lesser-known Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania. Ngorongoro Crater, an immense inactive volcano caldera, gave us a chance to see all these animals in one place. Feeling cramped from days of driving, we also took a memorable hike around its rim.

Safaris, it turns out, are a dream vacation with and for kids. There is nothing like the amazement on a child’s face when giraffes and zebras are so close that you can smell them. Teachable moments abound—about nature and evolution, power and the world order. And though safari travel tends to be luxurious and sheltered from reality, having children along facilitates interaction with locals. Everywhere we went, Tanzanians wanted to hold our baby, pinch her cheeks, make her laugh. They gave our older child candy and pats on the head and encouraged her attempts to speak Swahili.

THE LOWDOWN: SAFARI WITH KIDS IN TANZANIA’S SERENGETI

Getting There: Dar es Salaam and Nairobi are the most common entry points for visitors to the Serengeti. From there, you can take shorter flights to Arusha, Kilimanjaro or Seronera to get closer to the parks. Visas can be purchased for cash upon arrival ($100) but if you want to avoid lines, do it in the U.S.

Staying There: Tour operators generally book safari lodging, and Duma Explorer planned our trip (dumaexplorer.com). In Arusha, Arumeru River Lodge is a serviceable first or last stop, with great food and views (from about $270 a night, arumerulodge.com). Its restaurant has high chairs and will accommodate children’s whims. Rhino Lodge near Ngorongoro Crater is bare-bones, but animals wander right onto the property in the morning and evening (from about $270 a night, including meals, ngorongoro.cc). Tarangire Safari Lodge, inside Tarangire National Park, recently added a spa, with a massage table that overlooks the river (from about $400 a night, including meals, tarangiresafarilodge.com). Duma Explorer’s tented Chaka Camp in the Serengeti offers king-size beds, hot showers and private porches (from about $690 a night, including meals, chakacamp.com).

Eating There: In tent lodges, cooks whip up whatever is freshest. You can request special meals for children, such as pasta or rice. Maasai-raised beef is not to be missed. Pack nonperishable snacks for long car rides; tour operators provide bottled water.

Spending There: Tanzania is largely a cash economy, so bring at least $1,000 for tips, souvenirs and incidentals, or plan to stop at ATMs outside the park entrances.

Taking Children Along: Consult your pediatrician about vaccinations and medications. The Sit ‘n’ Stroll, a car seat that turns into a stroller, is a good investment for any globe-trotting family ($330, lillygold.com).

During a hike through a village outside Arusha, the largest city in northern Tanzania, the baby delighted in all the attention. “Mtoto, mtoto,” children chanted, using the Swahili word for baby as they ran after us and colobus monkeys swung over our heads. Our eldest grew silent when the children begged for her sunglasses and stroked her skin as if to determine if it was different from theirs. Later, at dinner, we reminded her that the poverty she had witnessed was much more the norm than the Tanzania we saw on safari.

Guidebooks warned of something else I might have to discuss with the children: Mating, notably among the lions. We didn’t see any mating, but in July, the landscape of short brown grass exposes other primal behaviors. One day in the Serengeti, we came upon a pride of lions, and watched them for nearly an hour. My youngest stared at the lioness, just steps from her car seat. The eldest fiddled with the binoculars.

When the lioness started walking differently, Ebeneezer Emanuel, the same guide who showed us the hyena, warned that we might be about to see a kill. He gestured at the children as if to ask, “Is that OK?” We nodded.

The lioness crept up behind a pack of dancing gazelles and waited. We waited. I prayed my children would stay quiet. And she pounced. A baby gazelle was dragged under a tree to be eaten.

“So the female lions are stronger?” my daughter asked Ebeneezer.

“Yes,” he said. “They are much better hunters.”

“That is so cool.”

Seeing the kill inspired more serious dinnertime conversation. “How can the gazelles dance around so much knowing a lion might eat them at anytime?” my daughter wondered.

“Perhaps that is precisely why they let themselves be so happy,” I said.

Between game drives, we returned to our lodge or tent and let the girls run around and get out their own wild sides. I had packed an iPad loaded with kids’ videos in case they grew restless, but we never needed it; the children were much happier watching natural dramas unfold before them.

Also unnecessary were the dozens of packets of instant macaroni and cheese we’d brought. As my daughters devoured roast chicken and cassava stew, I felt sheepish for brushing off our friends’ skepticism when I’d clearly had a healthy dose of it myself.

Kenya Wildlife Safari National Parks 

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Africa’s famous “Big Five”

Kenya is home to Africa’s famous “Big Five” (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo) Kenya is the best place in the entire continent to see these Five magnificent species in their natural environment. Furthermore, Kenya has an incredible range of wild habitats, each one with its own unique range of species. Open savannah, deep forest, soda and freshwater lakes, alpine meadows, coral reefs, caves, beaches, river deltas and even more.

Finest Natural Attractions

Kenya also offers some of the finest natural attractions in the world including the seventh natural wonder of the world, the wildebeest migration that starts from July of every year combined with an excellent network of hotels and game lodges that give visitors value for business and pleasure.

Kenya Wildlife Service Parks and Reserves

With her national parks, game reserves, marine parks, biosphere reserves, archaeological sites, pearly beaches and flora fauna, Kenya is a natural tourism magnet and renown for her Safaris. The most popular attractions are wildlife at national parks. Please find the list below of the National Parks and Reserves.

 » Aberdare National Park» Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

» Chyulu Hills National Park

» Kakamega Forest National Reserve

» Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

» Kora National Park

» Malindi Marine National Park

» Marsabit National Park & Reserve

» Mombasa Marine National Park

» Mount Elgon National Park

» Mt. Longonot National Park

» Nairobi National Park

» Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

» Saiwa Swamp National Park

» Sibiloi National Park

» Tsavo East National Park

» Watamu Marine National Reserve

 » Amboseli National Park» Central Island National Park

» Hells Gate National Park

» Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

» Kiunga National Marine Reserve

» Lake Nakuru National Park

» Malka Mari National Park

» Meru National Park

» Mombasa Marine Reserve

» Mt. Kenya National Park

» Mwea National Reserve

» Ndere Island National Park

» Ruma National Park

» Shimba Hills National Reserve

» Tana River Primate Reserve

» Tsavo West National Park

 

Photography tips: How to shoot motion

Motion blur may be a little passé these days but, done well, this easy-to-master technique can transform travel and wildlife images into masterpieces.

When you take a picture, light reflecting from the subject hits the camera’s sensor and is recorded. If the shutter opens and closes very quickly, there’s no time for light from moving portions of your image to “˜smear’ across the pixels of your sensor. However, as shutter speed slows, the “˜smear’ of light increases. Many photographers use this to make fantastic images.

With moving subjects, shooting slow exposures from a tripod can emphasise the movement of your subject relative to its background. The subject in motion is blurred while all around it is pin sharp. Think of those shots you may have seen of ghost-like waterfalls and rivers.

Pan with your subjects

Another simple technique is to pan with or follow your subjects. This means that, relative to your camera, the subject in motion is steady and the background is moving. Consequently, the subject in motion is sharp while the background is completely blurred. Think of wildlife photographers shooting moving animals or herds, or motoring journalists trying to emphasise the speed of a car. Ironically many of the motion shots used in car adverts are shot using very slow exposures while pushing the car by hand.

The amount of blur is dependent on four factors:

    • The angle of motion relative to the camera: subjects moving perpendicular to the lens blur more than subjects moving towards the lens.

 

    • Speed of the subject: the faster the subject, the more it blurs.

 

    • Magnification of the lens: the bigger the focal length of the lens, the more the subject will blur.

 

  • Distance from the lens: the closer a subject is to the lens, the more it blurs.
Do it yourself

Firstly, find a suitable subject; cars passing on a road in the early evening work well. Set your camera to aperture priority and select a high f-stop (a small aperture – try f11 and above) that results in slow shutter speed. See below for the shutter speeds at which certain subjects will begin to blur.

Try both techniques. With your camera on a tripod, shoot scenes of passing cars and watch how they blur and the lights streak. Next take your camera off your tripod and pan evenly with your subject as it passes, snapping shots as you go.

Guideline shutter speeds

Approximate shutter speeds for a short zoom lens – 55 to 90 mm – that will begin to blur on a subject moving at the following speeds approximately 30 metres away.

Walking 1/30th
Running 1/60th
60 km/h 1/125th
120 km/h 1/250th

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