Tanzania Safari - Oct 10 - Oct 26, 2019
First I want to thank Adele in South Africa ( she works at Duma Explorer that provided the safari services) who helped me plan every step of the way in this safari. She was excellent and her first draft of an itinerary was very close to the final version. Since this was a solo photographic safari, I was concerned that my specific needs might be difficult to accommodate. It did not take long to realize that Adele was on target and did a great job is meeting my needs.
My journey started off a bit rocky. I was met at the airport in Arusha by a person from Duma Explorer, but not the one I expected. Apparently, my guide, who I knew to be highly qualified for my trip, had a car accident and, although unharmed, was unable to make the safari. The man who met me at the airport assured me that he was well qualified and that we would have a wonderful trip together. This sort of a surprise certainly causes apprehension and some anxiety. The next morning, my new guide took me to meet Wilson, my planned guide. While Wilson was unable to lead my trip, after meeting him, I felt reassured that everything would be fine. Read on for my review of my safari.
My guide, Chaduu, was fantastic. He knew the wildlife very well, not just the names, in some cases the Latin genus and species as well as their behavioral characteristics. This would be pretty meaningless if we didn't find animals. Chaduu knew the favorite haunts of many animals (mammals, reptiles and birds) so we saw, identified, and photographed a great number. He was also helpful in answering my questions about animal behavior. Finding wildlife is also a matter of luck and I have to admit that we were very lucky. This was a solo photographic safari. Chaduu and I were together for many hours a day for 17 days in a safari vehicle together. We never seemed to run out of discussion topics, and discussed a wide range of subjects. He was very careful to obey park rules of the road and "parking locations". In addition, photography requires patience, hoping and waiting to see some interesting behavior. We spent a great deal of time waiting and as a result got some amazing photos and observing some incredible behavior. He never complained and seemed always eager to experience seeing animal behavior, knowing that patience is necessary. Chaduu was excellent in helping to position us for the best angle for a photo and responding to every request to move even a few feet in on direction or another. His assurances on day one were completely accurate and I was happy to have Chaduu as my guide.
I was also interested in tribal cultures and people. I was not disappointed. We engaged Hadzabe bushmen and Datoga metal workers and women. Each tribe lives in their ancient ways and the people were fully authentic and friendly. Duma provide a local expert who spoke the native languages. He was very helpful in the success of meeting, engaging and photographing these tribal people.
Granted this was a solo safari. Chaduu and I could pretty much do what we wanted without having to consider the needs of others. That fact in itself made this photo expedition worthwhile and greatly contributed to our success. We were a terrific team, working together every step of the way. Chaduu was always a professional.
Overall, my experience in preparing for this trip as well as the trip itself, met or exceeded my expectations. Good job and thanks so much for your help along the way.