Sunday, September 6, 2009

Serengeti con't.

The Serengeti offered so many things and places to see. When we were there the short rains that had finished prior to us arriving lasted longer than usual which made for a nice green lush Serengeti. A great thing happened while we were in the Serengeti. My luggage finally arrived that was a happy day. Yes, if you recall from an earlier post my luggage missed the connecting flight from London to Nairobi.

One of our first drives in the Serengeti brought us to this.

This leopard was hunting in this thick brush. Soon after we stopped our vehicle I looked around and counted 18 vehicles. Some of these vehicles were little mini buses that hold about 10-12 people. After about 5-10 minutes the other vehicles started to leave. People were talking in them and disturbing the leopard so it was a good thing that they left. As a safari participant you have to be quiet in the vehicle or you will disturb the animal(s) you are trying to watch. While driving around go ahead and jabber all you want but when you are watching something as magnificent as a leopard hunting which is so rare, shut up!. Most of the other people in the vehicles were saying things like they had "seen enough", "lets go", or "its not doing anything this is boring". Well, no its not going to try to hunt while you are being Ms. Gabby pants! This isn't the zoo people, if you wanted to be able to walk up stand there for 10 seconds and then move on to the next animal why did you come to Africa.
We stayed there for well over and hour and half. During that time all the other vehicles except maybe one left. At that point we were able to see the leopard jump for the impala. Unfortunately for the leopard the impala got away.
This one didn't get away from whatever was hunting it though...

Notice the Maribou stork. They love to hang out with the vultures.
We saw this hyena scavenging this wildebeast. For some reason whenever we came upon a kill it was right before lunch, it was odd, but it certainly kept the appetite in check!

The size of the herds in the Serengeti was amazing. You hear the numbers and you watch it on television but to really see it is something else.

This was one of rivers we had to drive across. The rains had raised its level over the road.

During one of our afternoon game drives we came across two mother lions with 3 cubs. One mother had one cub and the other mother had two cubs who were 2-3 weeks younger. The one mother was cub sitting...

This cub is lying in the shade of the vehicle. It is unusual for a lion to have only one cub. We noticed a little blood on this guy. And the first mother had both sets of cubs while the other mother was busy with this guy.

Yes - we nicknamed him Scar (from the movie Lion King) males will kill cubs to get the female to go into estrus again. We relized that was what had happened to the other cubs of the mother that was currently mating with the male (Scar). We went back to the same place early the next morning to find them again. But we only found the two mothers. One mating with Scar and the other walking around calling for her cubs that were obviously gone. It was very sad but a very real and normal part of life in the wild.

When I went to Tanzania I wanted to get a picture of a giraffe's eye lashes. They are so beautiful. Well I got plenty. Giraffe's were plentiful and I was overjoyed every time we saw a Twiga.

Push-Me/Pull-Me anyone?

We were lucky and saw lots of cheetahs too.

We came upon these two young cheetahs who had killed a baby wildebeast.

They took turns watching for scavengers. First the left one would sit up while the other ate, and then the right one sat up while the other one ate. It was great team work down to the last morsel.

We also saw this mother with her three babies. They were watching wildebeasts off in the distance.

The Serengeti has various types of vegetation in it. It is not all scrub brush. We found these elephants in a

This mother and baby were not far away.

These two juvenile male lions were just hanging out together on a overcast drizzly day. They were very photogenic and looked like they had just come out of a beauty parlor.

This Caracal Cat was very hard to see. It was excellent at camouflaging itself.

Radio collared lions from Craig Parker's Serengeti Lion Project sunning themselves on the kopi's.

One night in the Serengeti I awoke to what I thought was the sound of rain. But then....I sat up and listened more closely and thought to myself - that isn't rain, those are hooves. And the sound was getting louder and louder. Right through camp came a herd of wildebeast and zebra. What are you going to do. All you could do was lay there and think, well, I hope they see the tents and go around us. The tent next to mine had a baby wildebeast rub up next to it. It made for great breakfast conversation.

We saw so much during our stay in the Serengeti. The full week there really made a difference in what we could see. This is just a taste of what we saw and did.

Our next stop after leaving the Serengeti was Karatu Lodge. It is a flower and coffee plantation. Luxury accomodations after 7 days camping with beautiful rooms, hot showers, grounds for leisure walks and a fancy dinner. A great way to end this half of the trip. Next stop will be Tarangire and Ruaha National Parks.

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