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Old 07-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #76
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great RR

I really enjoy your report and the pics

keep on going
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:51 PM   #77
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Awesome report man, hope you keep this one going!
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:25 PM   #78
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Sir David Attenborough's in his soft whispering voice,
"More meat eaters hunt and scavenge on the short grass plains of the Serengeti than anywhere else in Africa.
"For lions in particular, this is — in the rainy season — a savannah paradise. With so much food on offer, it's a good time to raise cubs."

Trigger happy!

In the back of my mind David Attenborough whispered in his soft spoken corny voice something about the Serengeti lions while he sit meters away from then looking at the BBC TV program photographer. Maybe because that was how I grew up, TV and the programs depicting the cruel but beautiful Serengeti planes as told by David.

Masai and nature live togehter. The Masai do not hunt, they believe their god gave cattle to eat not wild game

The damn Land-cruiser bounces and jumps around on the rubbish dirt road. It is hot and cramped in the back of the sardine can with the sun baking us mercilessly. The typical sweet bushveld aroma fills my nostrils as we drove into the park, it is wonderful to smell and feel the bush again.

It is not at all, what I expected. The images of a Kruger National park we have in South Africa type formal set-up would meet us at the entrance of this mega park, I thought to myself. None of that, it is an informal affair with our guide, Salem, pays our entrance while we sip some beers while waiting and then off we went.

Early morning, and Giraffe for breakfast

Life is good for these kitties

Now here is the million dollars or Kruger-rand, question. Why would you pay so much money to come and see animals you can see in Kruger?
And especially for over seas people.

That was what Elsebie and I were asking ourselves just before the weekend, as we paid our 570USD over to Bobby tours with a heavy hand. We both have visited most game parks in SA and I have worked in Kruger National park in my young and stupid days as a student for a year and a bit.

click-click for big view

Stunning, majestic, the trees in the Serengeti are like works of art.

In short, this is not Kruger or any other game park in South Africa. It is mind-blowing jaw drop beautiful. There are some big advantages to having less people and camps without fences. Whatever David Attenborough whispered on TV about the Serengeti and the migration could not begin to explain the goose bump filled atmosphere while you are standing between thousands of Wildebeest and Zebras. The noise and dust charge the air with energy. Lions with fat big bellies sleep under trees, food is plenty, I swear I could see the smugness on their faces.

The shifting sands of the Serengeti. This heap of fine black sand move around the planes at slow speed. It's a weird phenomenon, the sand is completely different in colour and texture than the surrounding soil. The locals track the movement of the heap with small sticks in the ground.

Lunch under a tree. No fences, no rules!

Hyena laughing all the way to the den

As far as the eye could see there were animals roaming, never had I seen this in Kruger Park. It is a humbling feeling to see so many animals together and on the move. Salum said that was only the start of the migration! There are actually a few migrations throughout the year and this one is just a practice run for them.
In two days, we saw the most breathtakingly scenes the Serengeti could offer and the big five.

Game viewing vehicle Tanzania style.

When they say food included, it's not Prime Ribb steak. Spanish omelet, deep fried vienna, and bread. Still beats any Mcdonald's or KFC

Meat delivery Land Rover. Cold storage?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * What cold storage?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Bulk water supply Tanzania

To go back a bit, biggest disappointment was that we could not enter into the park with our bikes. Were also not too keen to spend the ransom money the Tanzania officials thought they deserve to get for their precious park. We would most probably not fly back just to see this. We went along with Harold and Linda seeing they have not been to parks that much and this must be a highlight in anybody’s books.

Having a mid day siesta under a tree, camp sites have no fences. This field mouse ran around us looking for some cheese, ye high hopes.

Harold and Linda took the time to research all the options for the 4 day safari and after many hours got to Bobby tours in Arusha. The first thing you need to know and to put things into perspective is that the Tanzanian park officials thought it good to try and discourage people from self-drive in the parks. Might be because they want to protect the environment or create jobs for locals or whatever, in the end, it will cost a normal person with his own 4×4 nearly as much or more to visit these parks than if you use an operator like Bobby tours.
For nearly 570USD you get 3 nights 4 days in Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. It includes all meals and tents and only excludes alcohol, but a bit about that later.

click-click for big view

We used a Land Cruiser fitted with 4 seats in the back and a pop-up roof which allowed people to stand upright in the car to do game viewing.
I can understand why they do not want people to self-drive, the place is vast and flat. There are no direction boards to show the way to camp sites and look out points. You can self-drive for weeks and see nothing. The guides from the 300 different operators all talk to each other as they go around in the park and direct people to happening spots, which guarantees the visitor sightings of whatever is in the park. Chauffeur driven game drive rarely is this good. *
Before we entered Ngorongoro crater the last day we slept on the rim of the crater in a campsite, which is also not fenced. Elephants, Zebra’s and Hyenas walk through the camp at will.

Go for it son make daddy proud

Better luck next time

Ngorogoro crater camping

Elephants and other animals share the camp site for a close up feel to nature


This close and the sounds from their noise their stomachs make, is an eerie deep rumble.

Cool man you say your office overlook the New York stock exchange, that must be awesome?

Just before dinner, a few Elephants walked into the camp to drink some water from the water tanks. It seems like a regular occurrence as the guides just stood around and laughs at the overseas visitors coming close to the elephants for a photo. I spoke to one of the guides, he said there has never been a visitor killed, and the animals are quite tame! Yes, they thought wild elephants that are used to people are tame. At the same time, one of the older elephants made a mock charge at the visitors and in the blink of an eye, the campsite was empty.

Giraffe blocks and colors are different to the Giraffe we have in SA

Ngorogoro at dawn

Breakfast in front of a hippo pool in Ngorogoro crater. this is what makes Serengeti different to SA parks. This will never happen in SA. Too much rules

It is great still being able to camp like that, but for some reason I do not think this operation is going to last in future. Someone is going to be mowed down or seriously injured from stupidity and not knowing wild animals and the guides also do not educate people about this. It would be sorry if it happens but it is bound to.

Linda showing what prison feeding time must be like

That night a lone ranger Hyena decided my bags had something that was edible. I woke with the noise of a snorting Hyena and Elsebie trying to wake me up while she played tug-a-war with the beast. Elsebie reluctantly let go when I told her the Hyena would most probably win this fight. He must have had the same ideas as us. He dropped the bag and ran off in to the night.

The next morning before sunset, we took the small dirt pass into Ngorogoro crater. There is one way down into the crater and another steep uphill pass out of the crater. The enclosed ecosystem exists for 100 of years in an area 8km². Small power pack game viewing does not come better than this.

Just to round off a stunning few days we got to see these Cheetahs, they are not your average size house cat

On our way back to Arusha, Harold wants his bike back, this cramp limo is not for us.

In four days, we saw the big five and part of a migration in a park not over run with tourist. Better than that, you cannot ask for. If you are a nature lover or wild life narure photographer this is nirvana!

michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 01:20 PM
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #79
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Sold me again!!,!
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Sold me again!!,!
you are going to love this place, I guarantee you
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #81
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Ferry Sinks Off Zanzibar

Hey Mate,

Hope you are OK.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:30 PM   #82
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Hell that is sad to hear about this.

Strange thing is, those ferries are brand new high speed aluminium types and surely they must have been able to handle the conditions. There are some older ferries that the locals use it might have been one of them.

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Old 07-19-2012, 04:51 AM   #83
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Better to fly to Zanzibar...

Actually, it looks like it was one of the boats tourists and locals alike routinely use. According to this article from the Seattle Times, it was a 112 foot passenger ferry that was in service in Washington State until 2009. I suspect they'll find out the culprit was the driver, as usual, probably maxing the engines for all they were worth, regardless of the hairy conditions that were out there yesterday. Tragic, but not surprising in the least if you've ridden public transport in Africa or ever tried to reason with a bus driver...
Don't be surprised.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:45 AM   #84
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Your ride reports are top class. I still read Angola.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:30 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Osadabwa View Post
Actually, it looks like it was one of the boats tourists and locals alike routinely use. According to this article from the Seattle Times, it was a 112 foot passenger ferry that was in service in Washington State until 2009. I suspect they'll find out the culprit was the driver, as usual, probably maxing the engines for all they were worth, regardless of the hairy conditions that were out there yesterday. Tragic, but not surprising in the least if you've ridden public transport in Africa or ever tried to reason with a bus driver...
It will for sure have a huge impact on tourism to the Island. I can not figure out if it is one of the new ferries or an older one, but if it is a 2009 then it is one of the older ones. The new ones the skipper looked like he knew what he was doing.
I agree with you, Tanzanian and Kenyan truck drivers are satan's kids man, they are dangerous.

btw I like your RR's, great rides you do there, I spend the afternoon reading them
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:08 AM   #86
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Simply- Uganda Rocks!!

The road to Uganda through Kenya took us to Suam river border post on the foot of MT Elgon between Kenya and Uganda. It’s a beautiful green area with lots of trees, forest-like. In Kenya the roads towards the border were either full of potholes or very dusty, in bad condition, the surroundings flat and vegetation dry. This lush forest welcomes you as the road descents to the border post at Suam.

Uganda border Suam river

By now we got used to custom officials utter idiocy and incompetence. *I had to show the friendly customs guy at the Kenya side how to book our Carne de Passage out from Kenya and then the very friendly official at the Uganda site buggered up one page because he stamped it wrong. But, they are a friendly bunch and can be forgiven for not been taught as a customs official what a Carne de Passage entails.

Double story mud house

Mount Elgon vistas.

As luck had it Neil and Silvie were also at the border post when we arrived they also wanted to do some of the route we are taking. It was actually nice to have companions that were going to do the type of dirt roads we were hoping Uganda would offer. They are South Africans who worked in the UK for 5 years and were on their way back to SA by road in their big ass Toyota kitted with a huge freezer box. We met them at Jungle Junction in Nairobi when we did the servicing on the bikes. Did I mention they have a freezer in the car … this knowledge made me and Elsebie smile, and hoped that they planned to route through Uganda sort of the same way than us. Trying to get cold beers are a mission and if you come across a freezer with a 4x4 for a few days, you latch on as good as you can.

Neil and Silvi's big ass 4x4 in front of the official Customs building at the border post

Sipi falls Mount Elgon

Our first night in Uganda was spent in the small border town at the park facilities where it turned out cheaper to rent a bed for about 5usd than to camp. *Cold showers and pitted toilets are familiar to us by now. Toilets was a strange affair in Uganda. This was our ablutions at the local community camp site.

How do you squad on this toilet?

Before I carry on, I need to mention that it was election time in Uganda. Everywhere were posters, literary on almost every flat surface available obviously no bi-laws regulations in action. Speaker-equipped vehicles promoted their choice of candidates loudly and followers rocked up in bright yellow t-shirts and their Sunday’ best for the voting. All of this actually added to a wonderful visit for us – tourists were less and roads on election days quieter. Local food are quite good and tasty and you can have a decent meal at a local dive for around 6usd which will feed two easily.

Local restaurant..........and......

.........the kitchen!

Voting in Uganda

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Old 07-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #87
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We headed out to Sipi Falls the next day and from there towards Murchison’ Falls. For us it turned into an unusual experience – our first national park where we were ALLOWED to enter with our motorbikes. *Game viewing on bikes is a strange experience, coming up close to elephants, buffalo and Lion makes your mind race and keeps your hand not too far from the throttle …

Nothing like a Mirinda on a hot day, but beers is better

On our way to the park Elsebie’s bike decided to call it quits and stop. It’s bloody hot in the sun and while getting the entire luggage off the bike I remembered Johan a good friend and Dakar aficionado mentioning a while ago to me if the bike stops for no reason check the fuel pump first. Apparently whoever supplied the fuel pumps to this model bike wanted to make up some cost and the wire supplying the power was a mm or two to short so eventually it just vibrates off. It was still attached by the plastic insulation on first inspection the wire still looks in good shape just have to wiggle it and it just comes off.

Where's the matches honey, I want to burn a Beemer?

The roads in the park closer to the river areas were quite sandy and both Elsebie and I had our share of falls and ‘bush bashing’! *All good and fun but tiring and thirsty work, luckily we found a beer or two and some local company before we took the ferry back to the camping site. *We camped on the banks of the river only to realise later that evening while taking a wash in the river there’s hippos in a pool just 50 meters up from us. We chatted till late that evening having the freedom to ride around in game parks and enjoying a country where you can get up close and personal with animals. The camps in the parks also do not have fences and baboons and hyenas stroll through the camp at night.

Heeeere kitty kitty!!
The best way to watch game is by standing

There's lions and leopard in the park, I had a leopard run out infront of the bike but no luck scaring lions with our bikes.

How it is suppose to be, sort out your own way around the park

Biiiltong!! What they call in the USA beef-jerky?

Just love it!!

We tried to stay clear of the animals because of our loud exhaust on the bikes, we also tried to keep the rev's low. It eventually turned out they were not in the least worried or scared by our bikes or the noise.

Hippo tracking

Beer for lunch in the delta and its ice cold!

Yes I know I was looking for the Rare yellow speckled bearded Cape flying Squirrel when this donkey came pass.

More biltong, there's no better feeling being this close to Buffalo and viewing them from the bike!!

Came back from buying some beers before we head back on the ferry to find this lot tearing up the trees
Before we got on the ferry back to Murchinson falls,we had plenty of time chatting to some locals. They are all impress with these huuuge bikes. And this guy could not help himself, he had to try it. In the end he rode the bike onto the ferry with great flair and cheers from the others, I have yet to see a man with a bigger grin on his face.

Charlie and Ewan wanabee

Uganda is a dirty dusty place, but we love it.

Dusty ZA boobs!

Our camp just above Murchisons falls, it was suppose to be a camp site but I doubt it has seen a camper for the last couple of years.This is what makes Uganda such a stunning destination for overlanders, you can camp nearly everywhere without listening to your next door neighbour farting and beating his wife as in some SA site.

Wild camping at Murchisons falls. We had to trek a laager, hippo hole about 100 meters up river

Murchsinson's falls quite an impressive place

In a small town called Masindi we stayed over before heading South to Fort Portal. The local hotel is a real treat, the look and feel is proper colonial style with waiters in black trousers and white shirts and white gloves galore. For around 4USD p/p we could use their lapa to sleep and the food in the restaurant was cheaper than we could do ourselfs.

The weird thing at this pace was the statues they had under the veranda. Why it was done like this and if the artist had a fettish for toursist only he would know.

Masindi camping

Explain this?
The size is about right, except it's a midget size statue.

will continue part 2

michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 01:38 AM
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:18 AM   #88
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Uganda part 2


From Misindi to Bwindi

Our next destination was Fort Portal, a small town situated South West close to the Congo border. Now, Niel and Silvie are bird watchers and very serious about it – they really tried to draw us in but for us, all is better on two wheels and chicken is the only birds we check out when ready for a meal! *We set out without our ‘back-up’ for a few days to visit with our new Dutch friends in Port Fortal.

Bush mechanic extraordinaire

We were on the gravel for 10kilometers and Elsebie’s bike again stuck its head between its legs like a stubborn mule. Again same story, the electric wire giving power to the petrol pump vibrated off, this time I cut the power outlet wires and extended it. We knew the drill and it only took us 20min or so to get going again.

Proud owner of this 125cc taxi, pimping my ride Uganda style

These guys needs special mentioning. There's thousands of these Pikipiki's running around as taxi's. Not long distance but between towns and mostly on dirt roads. The one remarkable thing about it, they carry easliy 2 to 3 passangers and the rider sits on the tank to make space for the passenger and luggage. They ride on dirt roads with these loads where most South African die hard dual purpose owners will think twice of going. They do not have knobby tyres or such luxuries, only normal road tyres.
There's Pikipiki repair shops in every small town and parts shops are like cell phone outlets, littered everywhere.

Trading in the Dakars for better reliable transport. Se moer kan ek Afrika op n 125cc doen.

Now these are horns!
The road toward Port Fortal is all gravel, grated into a rounded heap over the years. *To make a long story short – here is a picture of Elsebie’ bike with newly fitted, local indicators …

New 2011 Dakar

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Old 07-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #89
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Uganda part 2

Most of Uganda’s 29milj people live close or next to the roads and like Murphy would have it a pedestrian decided to step into the road as Elsebie passed him, in her efforts to avoid hitting him she had to swerve quite aggressively and ended up face flat on the gravel and the bike slid up against an embankment. When I got there it got to riot stage as some of the locals started fighting and screaming with each other and two clever sirs wanted to know what's the procedure from here as it’s a crime scene now and we must wait for the police.

I just told Elsebie to get on her bike and go, luckily the bike was still ride-able except no front brake as the bolt came loose and dropped all the brake fluid on the ground. Crime scene my ass, since when having an accident all by yourself becomes a crime scene? Why they fought amongst each other must have been because the man she tried to avoid was nowhere to be seen, took his bicycle and run.

Not to much damage, luckily, most just cosmetic and the headlight unit was bend

We rode the last 50km into Fort Portal with the limping bike. Martijn helped me repairing the worst of the stuff. Getting the front brake to work again. We bought new stylish indicators form a local shop for R30 for two! The headlight had to be bend back into shape.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #90
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Fixing bikes..............again

I must add besides that altercation the Ugandan people are the friendlies warm hearted people from all the countries we have visited so far. Since we rode into Suam River the kids and older people go off their heads when they hear the bikes past. They love it they wave and scream while running next to us. When we stop everybody wants to know from where and to where. It’s different with Ugandan people, it’s no zoo effect for them as in the other countries they speak English very well and ask clever informative questions.

School is out, bright colours make up most of the schools attire.

might take a sec to load

Overlanders Uganda party 2011 it ended with lots of not so clear heads

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