In this current report, on-site researcher Anne Hilborn has provided us with a wonderfully succinct summary on the Serengeti cheetah’s unique social system. Below is an excerpt while the the full report can be downloaded here: June 2014 Serengeti Cheetah Report Prepared Exclusively for Africa Dream Safaris.
“Cheetahs have a unique social system amongst cats. Instead of having territories like other species, female cheetahs instead roam widely following the gazelle migration. Males can be either solitary or in coalitions with other males, and either territorial or nomadic. Females are solitary except when they have cubs, which they keep with them for about 18 months. After independence from their mother, siblings stay together for 6 months, then the sisters will strike out on their own while brothers will form lifelong coalitions. Adolescence is a socially flexible time. Males without brothers will sometimes find another and form a coalition.”
Africa Dream Safaris helps fund the Serengeti Cheetah Project’s ongoing conservation efforts. In turn, periodic reports are prepared exclusively for Africa Dream Safaris by the on-site researchers for the Serengeti Cheetah Project.
We were almost off to a false start on our safari when Turkish Airlines inexplicably canceled the second leg of our arrival flight to Kilimanjaro. Fortunately, thanks to Dawn/ADS, they were able to reschedule the entire trip – albeit 2 days later flying KLM Airlines. Otherwise, we would have had to cancel our trip. How lucky we were to still be able to go and have such an incredible experience.
Every destination on our safari in Tanzania was unique unto itself. The Singita Sabora Camp in the Grumeti Game Reserves was a real luxury tent camping surprise. We were surrounded by wildebeests that never stopped “talking to us”. While there our every need was attended to. Edward, our Singita guide, did an outstanding job showing us the wildlife of the Grumetu Game Reserve.
After this we were picked up by our ADS guide, Thomson Malekia who escorted us for the next seven days in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. My wife and I have had naturalist guides in the Galapagas Islands and trekking guides in Machu Picchu and the Andes, but none surpassed the skills and capabilities of Thomson. He was patient with us and all the animals and consequently we saw many more than we might have because they just kept coming into view.
Our accommodations at each of our destinations were unique and comfortable. The food was phenomenal and the hospitality extended us could not have been improved upon. Thomson had an almost have a sixth sense as to where all the different animals would be and we safely saw them all up close and personal.
One afternoon we spent more than an hour in the middle of nowhere with a family of 5 cheetahs and just us! We watched them run and play and took incredible pictures of the entire family. We saw the illusive leopards sleeping in trees, a stalking lion taking down a Thomson Gazelle for her pride, elephants with colossal tusks eating the crater flowers and the endangered black rhinos grazing on the crater plains.
Every evening we watched incredible Serengeti sunsets and the dawns were memorable as well – especially the sunrise viewed from the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater as all the animals were awakening.
On our final day when returning to Arusha, we stopped at the F.A.M.E. Hospital in Karatu,Tanzania which was established by Dr. Frank and others for the Tanzanian people where there is only one doctor for every 30,000 inhabitants. As a physician, I was impressed with the quality of care they were providing their patients with such limited resources. However, they had modern medical equipment and were connected through the internet for medical specialty consultations from most anywhere for their patients.
In summary, this trip was a true bucket list experience for us and we thank ADS for making it all possible! THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
Dr. William and Daphne M.
San Diego, California
Safari Dates: May 14, 2014 to May 24, 2014
We send thanks and congratulations for a job well done. The 8 day itinerary and the execution by your staff gave us an unbelievable experience and the knowledge that our money was well spent.
Faith met us at the Kilimanjaro airport with a smile on her face and a professional, calming manor. She got us to and through Arusha and managed a quick check in to the hotel – all this with a new baby due in 2 or 3 weeks.
Our driver-guide Ally met us as we got off the plane at Grumeti airstrip. The rest is history! Ally is certainly one of the smartest and personable men we have ever known. His love of the land and its creatures was admirable and contagious. His actions left no doubt he took his responsibilities as a teacher and a protector seriously and joyfully. He taught us patience is indeed a virtue. Animal’s actions are predictable – to the expert – we learned to relax and enjoy the fact that something grand was going to be seen. Many of our best pictures and videos are a direct result of Ally’s patience.
We enjoyed meeting wonderful people, workers and travelers alike. Many shared their joy of the visit to Africa and many shared their hope and expectation of a better life ahead. The wide spread use of the English language was a surprise to us. Parents sacrifice to send the children to school. They know education is a key to the better life.
The late May date was perfect – comfortable weather and good road conditions. Your equipment was good and Ally cleaned it every day. The camps were comfortable, clean and exciting. The food was very good – yes, very good.
Carl & Barbara M.
Safari Dates: May 15, 2014 to May 22, 2014