New Ujuzi Video Added to YouTube

Enjoy this music video of  highlights from my recent trip to Tanzania! It was tough narrowing hours of video down to just a couple of minutes, but somehow we managed to get dozens of animals and five national parks in there. I think my favorite capture is the cheetah stalking and chasing its prey in the Serengeti. What’s your favorite footage?

Apps For Your Next Safari

DSC05381 breeding pair lions

The number of safari field guides that are now available for smartphones and tablets is constantly on the rise. I haven’t been able to try all of them out, but I wanted to share with you some of what’s available. Some highly rated apps:

  • The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals – iTunes or Android
  • Audubon African Wildlife – iTunes
  • African Birds Wildlife Guide – iTunes
  • E-guide to Birds of East Africa – Android
  • eGuide to Mammals of South Africa iTunes or Android

Not rated but look fun:

  • Tracks of Central & East African MammalsiTunes
  • Safari List – East AfricaAndroid
  • African Mammals HDiTunes

Of course, field guides aren’t the only apps that come in handy during a safari. Other useful apps include currency converters, photo editing apps, and translation apps.

Are there any apps that you’ve found indispensable on safari? Share them with us in the comments or on Facebook!

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(Note: Several safari apps you’ll find for iTunes and Android include the option to log sightings. With some apps, the GPS coordinates get uploaded to the internet to be viewed by other app users. Some conservation groups recommend against logging and sharing sightings on such apps, because they can be used by poachers to track wildlife.)

Featured Guide: Julius Mwangoma

Julius Mwangoma with two happy safari goers.

By the time he entered high school, Julius Mwangoma already knew that he wanted to be a safari guide. But his dad wanted him to try being a mechanic first, so he pursued training in that area and worked for five years as a workshop foreman overseeing 35 staff. He started attending classes at night to begin training in tourism. He became certified as a driver guide at Utalii College in Nairobi, Kenya, and has been leading safaris for the past 17 years. He speaks English and Swahili and is passionate about sharing his love for Kenya, its wildlife and its people.

Featured Lodges: Aberdare Country Club & The Ark

Deluxe Room

Deluxe room at Aberdare Country Club

The Aberdare Country Club is a deluxe resort set on a private wildlife reserve in the Aberdares mountain range of Kenya’s central highlands. Rooms are in English-style cottages with parquet flooring, fireplaces, private balcony, and en suite bathrooms with separate bathtub and shower stall.

Golf Course at Abedare Country Club

Baboons play on the golf course at Aberdare Country Club

One of the club’s unique features is a 9-hole golf course in the midst of the wildlife reserve. Animals have free reign of the property, and many of them enjoy lingering on the golf course and watching humans at play. They usually keep a modest distance from people, although the baboons have occasionally been known to chase after golf balls.

View from Dining Area at Abedare Country Club

View from the dining area at Aberdare Country Club

The club also features tennis courts, a health club and spa, a heated outdoor pool, neatly groomed flower gardens, and an organic vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for the club’s on-site restaurant.

Elephants at the Ark

Elephants at the Ark

Guests who wish to get even closer to wildlife can stay a night at The Ark, the country club’s sister property in the heart of Aberdare National Park. It’s built next to a watering hole that attracts elephants, camp buffalo, giant forest hogs, bushbucks, rhinos and other large game. Elephants spend hours there each day and can be seen from the viewing decks located on each of the lodge’s four floors.

Viewing Area at the Ark

Enclosed viewing lounge at the Ark. An open viewing veranda is directly above this lounge.

If you want to be woken for any of the Big Five game (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) that appear at the watering hole overnight, turn on the intercom in your room before going to sleep. A spotter sounds the alarm so you can rush out to the viewing decks to watch the action.

Walkway to the Ark

The walkway to the Ark is a great place to go birdwatching.

The Ark is also a great place for birders. Double-collared sunbirds, turascos, mousebirds, common bulbuls, wild canaries, red-winged starlings, black-headed herons and yellow-billed storks are only a few of the birds seen there.

Good Morning Mt. Kenya

View of Mt. Kenya from the viewing deck at the Ark