A Travellerspoint blog

Serengeti Part II

Finally! The BIG FIVE!


View The Gowler African Adventure - Kenya & Tanzania 2016 on Grete Howard's travel map.

large_Mawe_Mupe_Picnic_Site_1.jpg

As we arrive at our lunch stop, a memory of 29 elephants wander past in the distance. As they do.

large_Elephants_10-1.jpg

We are the only humans here and have a choice of tables – we pick a couple in the shade.

large_Mawe_Mupe_Picnic_Site_3.jpg

What a delightful picnic area – there are so many birds here I am too busy photographing to eat!

large_Weaver__Sp..ronted_10-1.jpg
Speckled Fronted Weaver

large_Weaver__Ru..ailed_10-14.jpg
Rufous Tailed Weaver

large_Starling__Superb_10-14.jpg
Superb Starling

large_Silverbird_101-4.jpg
Silverbird

large_Sparrow__Grey_Headed_10-1.jpg
Grey Headed Sparrow

large_Weaver__Ru..ailed_10-12.jpg
Rufous Tailed Weaver

large_Shrike__Magpie_10-2.jpg
Magpie Shrike

large_Starling__Superb_10-12.jpg
Superb Starling

White Headed Buffalo Weavers

A family of White Headed Buffalo Weavers amuses me for quite some time with their antics.

large_Weaver__Wh..uffalo_10-3.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-10.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-11.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-13.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-14.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-15.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-17.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-19.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-21.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-22.jpg

large_Weaver__Wh..ffalo_10-25.jpg

Giraffe

All the time we’ve been here the giraffe has been standing perfectly still, staring at something in the distance. However much we train our binoculars in that direction, we cannot fathom out what is grabbing his attention.

large_Giraffe_10-301.jpg

large_Twende.jpg

With full bellies we continue our afternoon game drive.

Leopard

We see a couple of cars in the distance, near a tree, and go off to investigate. It’s a leopard and she has something up in the branches with her that she is eating.

large_Leopards_in_a_Tree_10-2.jpg

large_Leopard_10-12.jpg

On closer inspection, we can see that she is trying to pull the fur off some skin, most likely from a baby wildebeest.

large_Leopard_10-13.jpg

On a branch the other side of the tree is her cub, a one-year old male, fast asleep.

large_Leopard_10-33.jpg

Mum is making sure nothing is wasted, pulling and tugging at the hide.

large_Leopard_10-18.jpg

large_Leopard_10-21.jpg

When nothing edible is left, she takes the skin off to a hiding place for safekeeping.

large_Leopard_10-26.jpg

large_Leopard_10-30.jpg

large_Leopard_10-32.jpg

Making her way down the tree, she calls out to her son, then jumps down to the ground.

large_Leopard_10-36.jpg

large_Leopard_10-37.jpg

large_Leopard_10-38.jpg

large_Leopard_10-40.jpg

The cub wakes up and follows his mum down into the long grass where they disappear from our view.

large_Leopard_10-41.jpg

large_Leopard_10-43.jpg

large_Leopard_10-47.jpg

large_Leopard_10-48.jpg

large_Leopard_10-49.jpg

How exciting! Being nocturnal hunters and solitary animals, leopards are the most difficult of the cats to see on safari.

large_The_Big_Five.jpg

This now completes the BIG FIVE on this safari - a term coined by big-game hunters, referring to the five most difficult – and dangerous - animals in Africa to hunt on foot: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo.

As I have said a couple of times before, Lyn and Chris are having such incredible luck out here – we’d been on several safaris before we saw all the Big Five on the same trip!

Olive Baboons

large_Baboon__Olive_10-31.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_10-32.jpg

More Elephants

large_Elephants_10-201.jpg

And a couple of giraffes

large_Giraffe_10-402.jpg

Vultures

Spotting a tree full of vultures, my first thought is “what’s died?”

large_Vulture_Tree_10-101.jpg

large_Vulture_Tree_10-102.jpg

large_Vulture_Tree_10-103.jpg

They are also circling above in great numbers, but however much we look on the horizon, straining our eyes through the binoculars, we cannot see anything of significance.

large_Vultures_Circling_10-1.jpg

Hippo

During the day hippos generally wallow in shallow water such as rivers and lakes, coming out at night to graze. It is therefore quite unusual to see them on land in the day.

large_Hippo_10-1.jpg

This guy cannot stop yawning – he is obviously dazed and confused. Maybe he just flew in from Europe and is jet-lagged?

large_Hippo_10-2.jpg

large_Hippo_10-4.jpg

large_Hippo_10-8.jpg

large_Hippo_10-11.jpg

large_Hippo_10-18.jpg

large_Hippo_10-19.jpg

large_Retima_Hippo_Pool_1.jpg

Formed at the meeting of three rivers, Retima Pool attracts a great number of hippos, who are believed to crowd here in order to protect their calves against crocodiles.

large_Hippos_at_..o_Pool_10-1.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R..o_Pool_10-1.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R..o_Pool_10-3.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R..o_Pool_10-8.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-22.jpg

The noise of 200 hippos (the American guy next to me claims he counted them) belching, grunting, farting, pooping and splashing, is a sound I won’t forget in a hurry. I am just very grateful that videos don’t record aromas. Yet.

.

large_Hippo_at_R..o_Pool_10-9.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-10.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-13.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-14.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-16.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-19.jpg

large_Hippo_at_R.._Pool_10-20.jpg

Brown Snake Eagle

large_Eagle__Brown_Snake_10-1.jpg

large_Eagle__Brown_Snake_10-2.jpg

large_Eagle__Brown_Snake_10-3.jpg

‘White’ Giraffe

Having read about a white giraffe (appropriately named Omo) that had been spotted a few months ago in Tarangire National Park, I added that to my wish list this year. We didn’t see it, but I am quite excited to see a rather pale baby giraffe this afternoon.

large_Giraffe_with_Leucism_10-1.jpg

Not an albino, the giraffe is suffering from leucism, a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation resulting in pale or patchy colouration of the skin.

large_Giraffe_with_Leucism_10-2.jpg

large_Giraffe_with_Leucism_10-3.jpg

More Hippos

We see more hippos as we cross the river again making our way back to camp.

large_Hippos_10-211.jpg

large_Hippos_10-212.jpg

Kimasi Kopje

large_Kimasi_Kopje_10-1.jpg

The sun is getting low now, painting the sky with yellows, pinks and purples.

large_Kimasi_Kopje_Sunset_2.jpg

large_Kimasi_Kopje_Sunset_4.jpg

Our tented camp is built in amongst the rocks that constitute the Kimasi Kopje, and we can just about make out the tents in the failing light.

large_Mbuzi_Mawe..Sunset_10-1.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe..Sunset_10-2.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe..Sunset_10-3.jpg

Mbuzi Mawe

Amazingly it is still not completely dark when we reach the camp – it’s the first day we have had some real chill time since we arrived in Tanzania: we actually have half an hour spare this evening!

large_Mbuzi_Mawe..Sunset_10-5.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe..Sunset_10-6.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe_at_Sunset_10-1.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe_at_Sunset_10-2.jpg

large_Mbuzi_Mawe_at_Sunset_10-3.jpg

When we go to into the bathroom, we discover that while we were out, squatters have moved in, clinging to dear life on our shower curtain.

large_Lizard_on_..urtain_10-1.jpg

large_Dinner_8.jpg

Mbuzi Mawe is a super place, and the restaurant is intimate, friendly and relaxed, yet luxurious. The general manager walks around the tables this evening, making sure everyone is happy. Tonight they are celebrating a honeymoon couple, with more singing, clapping and cake!

Yet again the food comes out under shiny domes, but there is some confusion as to which plate is which. I guess it is not so easy to see when it is all under wrap like that.

.

That's magic!

large_Garlic_Sal..uction_10-1.jpg
Starter of garlic salami, Waldorf salad and balsamic reduction.

large_Rajma_Masa..Curry__10-1.jpg
Main course: Rajma Masala - a 'curry' of red beans in s spicy sauce - absolutely delicious!

We retire to bed and a restful sleep after another amazing day in the mighty Serengeti! Calabash Adventures - and Malisa of course - have done us proud yet again.

large_AE1EA017E6A1F6EB1B522C0DABE7975F.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 16:13 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds monkeys restaurant travel views hotel elephants adventure roads scenery holiday africa tanzania lodge lunch birding tourists giraffe hippo baboons roadtrip serengeti leopard heron memory gourmet glamping impala good_food spicy stunning bird_watching sundowners game_drive tented_camp road-trip african_food canon_eos_5d_iii calabash calabash_adventures the_best_safari_operators which_safari_company best_safari_company vervet_monkeys black_faced_vervet_monkeys mbuzi_mawe serena_hotels central_serengeti kopje retima_hippo_pool leucism

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Fabulous photos. Birds, Hippos, Giraffe, Leopards, loved them all.

by Kay FullerAyoub

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint