A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about breakfast box

Lake Manyara: Tree Climbing Lion, Leopard -Treetop Walkway

Some great sightings in a park without high expectations


View Baby Boomers - Tanzania 2020 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Breakfast Picnic, Lake Manyara National Park

We find ourselves at a large picnic site overlooking the valley below, with several picnic tables dotted about, and thankfully no other tourists.

large_aaf0f690-5bb8-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

large_b814c360-5bb8-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

large_c77783b0-5bb8-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

Last night the chef asked us what we wanted for our packed breakfast for today, and he suggested that we might like some croissants with bacon. It didn't expect three of them, plus boiled eggs and bacon, two yogurts and three bananas. We are certainly not going to starve on this trip. The croissants are, as you'd expect from an establishment such as the Kilimamoja Lodge, freshly made this morning, and were still warm when Malisa collected the boxes at 6am.

large_d564bb00-5bb8-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

We are joined by an army of ants.

large_e4509da0-5bb8-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

Later three cars with American tourists turn up. They are not the least bit interested in the view or other surroundings, they all want to see, feel, lift and have their photos taken with Big Bertha (my 600mm f/4 lens). It's a bit like having a puppy that everyone wants to stroke – she is certainly a talking point and a way of meeting people.

I use Bertha hand held to take this picture of elephants in the river way, way below us. With the 1.4x converter and the 7DII body, it makes an effective focal length of 1344mm. Bertha is really a bit too heavy to hand hold, so I used a 1/4000 second exposure, resulting in an ISO of 1000. Unfortunately the 7DII doesn't fare well with high ISO and the image is rather grainy as a result.

large_585a6d20-5bb9-11ea-9155-91a74e0e554e.jpg

Detour

Not even Malisa and his super-skilled driving can manage to get us across this ravine where the road has been washed away as a result of recent heavy rain.

large_e628b1a0-5bbb-11ea-8531-d5a4d2a1d7e8.jpg

We, and the three cars behind us, have a bit of a job trying to reverse back to a place suitable for turning.

Tree-Climbing Lions

Lake Manyara National Park is supposedly famous for its tree-climbing lions. On neither of our two previous visits to the park did we see a lion, let alone one aloft any branches. Malisa hears on the radio that one has been spotted not far away, so sets off in hot pursuit.

We are not alone, and initially we can't get anywhere near the cats!

large_31e6e1f0-5bbe-11ea-a779-9b95415e50d7.jpg

With a bit of skilful manoeuvring, however, and the goodwill of others drivers, we do eventually get to see one of the famous tree-lions of Manyara!

large_d7e7ada0-5bbe-11ea-a779-9b95415e50d7.jpg

large_182ffa20-5bbf-11ea-a779-9b95415e50d7.jpg

large_b4cccab0-5bc0-11ea-a779-9b95415e50d7.jpg

Under the tree we pick out two more. No, three. Actually, there are FOUR!

large_80db4190-5bc1-11ea-a779-9b95415e50d7.jpg

She doesn't look comfortable in her tree, and fidgets a lot, trying out different positions.

large_11a5e810-5bc2-11ea-b30c-e1c1e4336ed8.jpg

large_a822afd0-5bc2-11ea-b30c-e1c1e4336ed8.jpg

Neither are we. The pesky tsetse flies are irksome to say the least, and I feel like I am being eaten alive.

Leopard

So, do we hang around here, hoping the lioness will jump down, or do we follow the news on the radio that there is a leopard in a tree too? We opt for the latter.

large_5c08bc30-5bc6-11ea-894b-697b5d5eb9af.jpg

She is some distance away from the road (and my camera), and very well hidden in amongst the tree branches, making it very hard to focus. She too is unsettled.

large_cf9ede20-5bcd-11ea-9e09-9f846923645d.jpg

Not long after we arrive, she starts to make her way down from the tree. We are very lucky to have got here just in time. She didn't hang around for me to get a clear photo of her.

large_f3f22f20-5bcd-11ea-9e09-9f846923645d.jpg

large_fe162970-5bcd-11ea-9e09-9f846923645d.jpg

Blue Monkey

On our way out of the park, we spot the Blue Monkey, a species that we have seen rarely on our previous safaris.

large_82627bd0-5bd7-11ea-bdf5-a9e0de69ec16.jpg

large_8e2fe060-5bd7-11ea-bdf5-a9e0de69ec16.jpg

large_98040d00-5bd7-11ea-bdf5-a9e0de69ec16.jpg

Treetop Walkway

A new treetop walkway has opened up, just a five-minute drive from the main gate, and we stop there on our way.

large_bbf36c10-5bd7-11ea-bdf5-a9e0de69ec16.jpg

First we take a short walk through the woods, and our guide explain a few things along the way.

large_bc9040f0-5bda-11ea-8adb-bbf2aab1ed02.jpg
Mahogany Pod

large_c9877f80-5bda-11ea-8adb-bbf2aab1ed02.jpg

large_f6d8cbf0-5bdb-11ea-8adb-bbf2aab1ed02.jpg
So this is what the baboons were picking up from the floor and eating earlier.

large_409fb590-5bdd-11ea-84a8-d59b780cfa0f.jpg
Golden Orb Spider; a common insect in the forest

A gentle slope leads up to the first of ten platforms, and the start of the hanging rope bridges.

large_ba147210-5c07-11ea-b883-5f71b7ffc646.jpg

I start off nonchalantly, almost cocky, on the first bridge. Until it starts to sway. Considerably! Fear grips my like an iron glove and I feel myself starting to panic. Concentrating on breathing heavily, I stop and let the bridge settle down before continuing, this time much more gingerly and much less confidently.

large_32575760-5c08-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

I made it! Still shaking, only eight more bridges to go.

large_c6b879a0-5bdd-11ea-84a8-d59b780cfa0f.jpg

Even Malisa wavers a little at the swaying. To be fair, he is carrying my big camera in one hand, David's video camera in the other and his own over his shoulder.


.

It is the first treetop walkway in Tanzania and with a total of 370 metre,s one of the longest in Africa!

large_9a4db8a0-5c08-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_c75ac590-5c08-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

There are nine bridges and ten platforms.

large_eac03420-5c08-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

By the time I get to the end of bridge number four, I have regained my confidence, and am beginning to enjoy it.

large_251d26f0-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

Having been on several of these in the past, I have no expectations of seeing any animals or even birds from it; I am just here to 'enjoy' the experience. I am therefore very surprised to see a couple of Blue Monkeys.

large_53559480-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_6009d6a0-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_6a6b0100-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg
Look at the length of that tail!

large_8a055dd0-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

The walkway’s highest point is 18 metres above the ground.

large_c6b84e90-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

It's all downhill from now on.

large_e57df640-5c09-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_5cebff60-5c0a-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_68113d10-5c0a-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

large_876b3580-5c0a-11ea-aff2-41ae6f406101.jpg

Just a short walk through the woods back to the car and we'll be on our way for the third part of today's adventures. Stay tuned!

large_bda35dd0-5c0a-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

Thank you Calabash Adventures for arranging all this for us.

large_cccee180-5c0a-11ea-803a-4b2c5eae08d8.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 13:12 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds wildlife elephants breakfast africa safari spider birding picnic lions flooding ants manyara leopard fear blue_monkey detour bird_watching panic lake_manyara big_bertha calabash_adventures tse_tse_flies big_cats breakfast_picnic ravine breakfast_box wildlife_photography picnic_site kilimamoja_lodge canon_600mm american_tourists tree_climbing_lions treetop_walkway canopy_walkway hanging_bridges rope_bridges manyara_treetops_walkway mahogany_pod Comments (2)

Ndutu - Arusha Part 1 - sunrise, lion, foxes, buzzing picnic

African wildlife can be a real pain in the ass


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I wake early, on this, our last day on safari in Tanzania, to a glorious sunrise over Lake Masek, giving the sky and everything in its wake a lovely orange glow.

large_2e43a0e0-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_4cb498e0-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_5b06ac80-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_68edc950-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg
The swimming pool at Lake Masek Tented Camp

large_75b5ba80-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_84b0b850-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_9f06a9d0-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_a9bd4730-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_bcb84970-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_c703c8f0-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_d13d2000-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_e4007070-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

large_f19cc8a0-39a2-11e9-8445-7d75a99118ee.jpg

Breakfast Box

The food is always good here in Lake Masek Tented Camp, and this morning's breakfast spread is no exception. As well as the usual selection of pastries, meats, yogurts, cheeses etc, there is a chef making fresh sandwiches for us using what appears to be leftovers from last night's dinner with lots of choices of fillings and relishes/salads. I love it when we can select what goes in our packed breakfast and lunch boxes as not only does it mean that we get our own choice of food, it also saves on any waste.

Dik Dik

large_7d641030-39be-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Secretary Bird

large_572989a0-39b3-11e9-9737-25d28d42efd9.jpg

Getting ready for another day with some gentle bending, stretching and preening.

large_6d22fed0-39b3-11e9-9737-25d28d42efd9.jpg

Brown Snake Eagle

large_7e3152a0-39bb-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Nubian Woodpecker

At first glance he is hiding his beautiful red cap, but as soon as he bends forward we can see it clearly.

large_54f56a90-39be-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

large_66d97e90-39be-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

large_6f872c90-39be-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Augur Buzzard

large_4733baa0-39bf-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Giraffe

large_a031f250-39c1-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Cheetah prints

When Malisa spots the prints of a cheetah adult and cub in the dirt track, the excitement in the car soars.

large_1e6f2570-39c2-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

We follow the tracks for a while, hoping they will lead us to the cats; but the prints soon disappear into the long grass.

White Browed Coucal

large_341e7cd0-39c3-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

large_3cb128c0-39c3-11e9-9b34-71a735a3bab9.jpg

Aardvark

This elusive animal is right at the very top of my wish list each time I come on safari, and the joke is that I have to keep coming back to Tanzania until I see one. This morning we see an aardvark hole in which these nocturnal animals live, and a fresh footprint. I get terribly excited, but as usual, that is all we see.

large_15a99af0-39c8-11e9-9d49-ab64be20f357.jpg

large_1e8277a0-39c8-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

Black Shouldered Kite

large_ebac4990-39c8-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

Lion

Desperately looking for food to fill his empty belly, this painfully thin male lion is presumably feeling rather vulnerable, as he is determined to hide from us. I have to say that the camouflage is excellent.

large_bf764970-39cd-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

After a while hunger wins over the fear of us, and he starts to wander across the plains, hoping to find a little something for breakfast. There does not appear to be much around these parts though, for him to eat or us to photograph.

large_cdaa74d0-39cd-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

large_dd160ec0-39cd-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

large_e5c5b890-39cd-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg

large_2e36a490-39ce-11e9-92b8-493d56024f88.jpg
The breakfast buffet is not looking too promising

Kori Bustard

large_27603cb0-39d0-11e9-b2e5-d9bd6e5dda7e.jpg

Ostrich

large_e23d4dc0-39d0-11e9-8d28-1581fd528a1b.jpg

large_eb75af90-39d0-11e9-8d28-1581fd528a1b.jpg

Bat Eared Fox Den

The parents of these cute little two-month-old babies are tenacious in their effort to lure us away from the den in order to keep their babies safe.

large_a74a7c60-39f8-11e9-af54-f3c1c29166c1.jpg

large_b5a123e0-39f8-11e9-af54-f3c1c29166c1.jpg

large_bffc0cb0-39f8-11e9-af54-f3c1c29166c1.jpg

The pups are curious but shy and have obviously been trained not to speak to strangers.

large_d0ebd5a0-39f8-11e9-af54-f3c1c29166c1.jpg

large_daf431a0-39f8-11e9-af54-f3c1c29166c1.jpg

Breakfast Picnic

One of the beauties of a game drive in the Ndutu area is that off-road driving is permitted. In an open area with good visibility to ensure we are safe from predators, we get our picnic stuff out and enjoy the lovingly prepared breakfast boxes, while surrounded by wild nature. And five dozen wasps. Attracted by our food they appear out of nowhere and quickly become our 'public enemy number one' as they irritatingly whirr around our plates, hands and faces, making for a miserable experience. When I said “safe from predators”, I didn't consider the buzzing kind.

We promptly eat up to get away from the wicked flying beasts, and Lyn and I go for our 'call of nature' behind the car while the boys clear away the tables and chairs.

When we are all back in the vehicle and Malia starts up the car to continue on our journey, I feel a sharp smarting sensation on my bum. “Ouch”. Just as I am thinking that I must somehow have managed to pick up a prickly leaf when pulling my knickers back up after peeing, it happens again. And again. A painful stabbing sensation in an out-of-reach area. After a recurring onslaught of three or four more stings, I have had enough, and in some considerable distress whip down my trousers and knickers while pleading with David to discover the culprit of my torment and eliminate it.

By now my shrieks have attracted the attention of the others, who look on with great concern, then look away with great embarrassment as I unashamedly undress in their midst. As soon as my knickers have been lowered to thigh level, the evil perpetrator makes a mad dash for freedom: an enraged and terrified wasp leaving behind a trail of destruction and a humiliated Grete. Job done!

The whole episode causes much amusement to everyone else; who of course, do not let me hear the end of it for the rest of the day/trip, and still haven't to this day.

You will be pleased to know that there is no photographic evidence of the episode.

On that note I will leave you for now – thank you Calabash Adventures for arranging this amazing safari.

large_c9cc82f0-4052-11e9-a60c-598ff60a99cc.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 02:55 Archived in Tanzania Tagged lake sunrise breakfast kite africa safari tanzania eagle picnic lion giraffe ostrich woodpecker wasp kori_bustard bustard buzzard game_drive tented_camp ndutu calabash_adventures ngorongoro_conservation_area bat_eared_fox lake_masek coucal brown_snake_eagle snake_eagle secretary_bird lake_masek_tented_camp dik_dik breakfast_picnic augur_buzzard breakfast_box aardvark white_browed_coucal masek pink_sky nubian_woodpecker cheetah_prints black_shouldered_kite Comments (2)

Serengeti Day 2 Part 2 - lion cubs, cheetah, eles on kopje

Cuteness overload with a lioness and her three cubs


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Having had a lovely relaxing breakfast, it is time to go out and see "what nature has to offer us" today.

Hyena

Presumably injured in a fight for food, this hyena is limping badly.

large_1e9b97f0-0230-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

large_2c6c1f80-0230-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

Coqui Francolin

large_b50c51c0-0230-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

large_c32294e0-0230-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

large_333bb4e0-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg
Rattling Cisticola

large_4d0d3420-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg
Short Toed Snake Eagle (I think)

large_947d03d0-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg
Magpie Shrike

large_9f497320-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg
Black Shouldered Kite

Lioness with cubs

Perched on the edge of a kopje (rocky outcrop), a lioness tries to sleep as her three cubs mill around, suckling and wanting to play and explore their surroundings.

large_1c456920-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

large_f30f5f60-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

large_110003d0-02c4-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

large_262909a0-02c4-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

large_2f28f650-02c4-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

large_59e87450-02c5-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

One of the cubs appears to have an eye infection.

large_8de216f0-02c8-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

Why so melancholy, young man?

large_60de3a50-02df-11e9-9ac5-c3fdd06d7b7c.jpg

Over the time we spend observing these little cats, the different personalities of each of the cubs begins to shine through.

large_c2991420-02e1-11e9-8c21-a7a14991cf6b.jpg

"Mum, I'm bored!"

large_ab0eecd0-02e1-11e9-8c21-a7a14991cf6b.jpg

This guy has a bit of a 'gormless' character, he looks like he is blissfully happy but doesn't know why.

large_0b732680-03c4-11e9-9aae-8729d1e44744.jpg

I take over 1,000 photos of the young family, and make no apologies for the cuteness overload to follow.

large_6850f440-03c4-11e9-9aae-8729d1e44744.jpg

large_72d202b0-03c4-11e9-9aae-8729d1e44744.jpg

large_fb65df30-0490-11e9-b5a1-45ecc1e63434.jpg

large_48a17d30-0492-11e9-b5a1-45ecc1e63434.jpg

large_06466d90-04a3-11e9-9351-0b60af99b9c8.jpg

large_0f4b1530-04a3-11e9-9351-0b60af99b9c8.jpg

large_bbc73330-051f-11e9-8237-c96f2b4cae14.jpg

large_cf5a7dd0-051f-11e9-8237-c96f2b4cae14.jpg

large_f0d97920-051f-11e9-8237-c96f2b4cae14.jpg

I would love to get a picture of the lion cubs on my mobile that I can upload to Facebook when we get back to the lodge tonight, and after lamenting that I am unable to zoom in enough to get a decent shot, Malisa takes my phone and tries to take a photo through the binoculars.

large_8c3cdfb0-056b-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

While it works reasonably well, the lions have other ideas and by the time Malisa has managed to line everything up and focus both binos and phone, the cubs have moved out of sight. Doh.

large_12cd6bd0-056c-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg
Not a bad picture considering it was taken with a mobile phone through binoculars

LBB

The world is full of LBBs (Little Brown Bird), also known as SUBBs (Small Unidentified Brown Bird). On closer inspection this one turns out to be a Rattling Cisticola.

large_832401e0-056d-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg


Spotted Hyena

We follow this lone hyena down the road for a while.

large_58f95ef0-056e-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

large_636314d0-056e-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

Common Morning Glory

Unlike our two previous visits when we have travelled at the end of the rainy season and everything is green with an abundance of flowers; at this time of year seeing flowering plants is a bit of a novelty. Malisa never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge: not only can he identify animals and birds, he also knows the names of the plants we see.

large_43730170-056f-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

White Bellied Bustards

Doing their best to hide in the long grass.

large_f3b33eb0-056f-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

Black Backed Jackals

large_942c2d70-0570-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

There are two of them.

large_360cc280-0571-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

large_40502bb0-0571-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

Cheetah

We spot a cheetah mum with two five-month old cubs.

large_0cfeda30-0572-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

large_166502c0-0572-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

large_20645e10-0572-11e9-95f9-2dd4ee0bc768.jpg

She appears to be a good mum as both she and her cubs look healthy and well fed. This morning she starts to stalk a Thomson's Gazelle for their breakfast.

large_aed432f0-05e6-11e9-ae80-810cd0c8da84.jpg

large_51a4a640-05e7-11e9-ae80-810cd0c8da84.jpg

Unfortunately the Tommy spots the hunter and makes a dash for it; so no breakfast for the beautiful cats this morning.

large_41c450b0-0617-11e9-9585-dbbebd6b77c3.jpg

Instead she leads her family to find some shade – a single tree next to a low kopje.

large_4bd49bf0-0617-11e9-9585-dbbebd6b77c3.jpg

large_9f7c9ff0-0617-11e9-bb7f-098d667bfafa.jpg

large_67a66290-0618-11e9-9585-dbbebd6b77c3.jpg

Mum has a good sniff around to make sure they are not settling down on the patch of a rival cheetah family or other obvious danger.

large_f6b1fe80-0619-11e9-9cca-35db89c8f357.jpg

large_9d9557a0-063e-11e9-adba-9d3659486828.jpg

large_a867e170-063e-11e9-adba-9d3659486828.jpg

The cats are quite some distance away (the photos are taken with a 600mm lens and significantly cropped in the post processing stage), but here in the Serengeti off-road driving is not permitted so we can't get any closer. We are therefore rather dismayed to see several cars blatantly flout this law. Shame on them.

large_73034e10-0644-11e9-ae5e-8325ff7b2198.jpg

When the cats settle down under the tree we leave them to it and move on.

large_291c51f0-0646-11e9-ae5e-8325ff7b2198.jpg
Eurasian Roller

large_7f7c9820-0646-11e9-ae5e-8325ff7b2198.jpg
White Rumped Helmetshrike

large_8092a690-0647-11e9-ae5e-8325ff7b2198.jpg
Ficher's Sparrow Lark

Elephants

So far on this trip we haven't seen many elephants, but that is about to change as a herd - or memory as they are also called - of 15 elephants walk past.

large_94f80640-069f-11e9-ae68-3bb829728009.jpg

large_0cdbff80-069c-11e9-ae68-3bb829728009.jpg

They have some very small babies too. Aww.

large_8bd0e280-069f-11e9-ae68-3bb829728009.jpg

Having a herd of elephants just strolling by your car as if you are not there is a magical experience, making you feel like you are part of some wildlife documentary.

large_68b8c940-06a2-11e9-ae68-3bb829728009.jpg

large_87f1bd70-06a8-11e9-b0a8-0b1cb3e35ba3.jpg

Mwanza Flat Headed Rock Agama

You'd be forgiven for thinking these are two totally separate species of lizards, seeing the flashy and vibrant male against the terribly drab female.

large_ff182780-06ae-11e9-b9f5-af1c76c7fbfd.jpg

large_259da220-06ac-11e9-b9f5-af1c76c7fbfd.jpg

large_2f495f30-06ac-11e9-b9f5-af1c76c7fbfd.jpg

large_76349590-06ac-11e9-b9f5-af1c76c7fbfd.jpg

large_09db1730-0b60-11e9-93f2-bb3e39469cb3.jpg
Little Bee Eater

More Elephants

Colourful as they are, it is not the lizards that are the star attraction here at this kopje – there are nine elephants dotted around, between and on top of this rocky outcrop. I have to say that it is the first time I have seen rock climbing elephants!

large_54c8b110-0b62-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

These enormous creatures are surprisingly quiet as they walk – the soles of their feet have built in 'sponges', which not just makes them 'light' on their feet, but they also use their feet to communicate. One elephant will 'talk' with his trunk on the ground, which others can pick up by putting more pressure on one leg than the other. When you see elephants leaning to one side, they are basically having a chat with their mates. Pretty cool eh?

large_803e0700-0b62-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

Copying the older elephants, the five-month old baby tries to pick up smaller stones from the kopje in order to get to the essential minerals.

large_d2ba0e20-0b62-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

large_df532720-0b62-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

A couple of other trucks have gathered here too, including one containing an overexcited Asian female, squealing in an infuriatingly high pitched voice “OMG OMG OMG, those red things” when she sees the rock agama, followed by “OMG OMG OMG he's smiling” and “OMG OMG OMG he's peeing” referring to the elephants. Thank goodness she is not in our vehicle.

large_69dad380-0b62-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

Nothing can mar the magical experience, however, of having a herd of nine wild elephants walk right around the car, a mere ten feet away.

large_3c696a00-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

large_5aa80760-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

large_717e6f10-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

It seems everywhere we look there are elephants.

large_86b02770-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

One of the youngsters squeezes through a gap between the rocks, but when his older sister tries, she gets stuck for a while before wriggling herself loose.

large_cc037fc0-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

large_d8c09b80-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

The youngster is still suckling.

large_f3c20f40-0b63-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

We stay with them for one-and-a-half hours (taking hundreds of photos) until they walk off into the distance. What a special time that was!

large_6e5f3840-0b64-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg

large_dc416100-0b67-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg
Tawny Eagle

large_00d0f7b0-0b68-11e9-98ec-c720f85f9b3a.jpg
Two Banded Courser

Lappet Faced Vulture

Amazingly, this is the first vulture we have seen on this trip, when we came before we encountered so many kills left on the ground with the remains being devoured by a variety of scavengers. Not so this time.

large_e35e9b00-0e88-11e9-acda-bf310aa3fb90.jpg

Lesser Kestrel

large_df285350-0b72-11e9-b379-4d67db8aaa1d.jpg

large_e8d262b0-0b72-11e9-b379-4d67db8aaa1d.jpg

large_f2297010-0b72-11e9-b379-4d67db8aaa1d.jpg

Time to stop for lunch after yet again spending an exciting morning in the Serengeti. Thank you to Calabash Adventures for another terrific safari.

large_a218a720-0b73-11e9-b379-4d67db8aaa1d.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 04:03 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds food flowers elephants flag breakfast cute kite anniversary africa safari tanzania eagle celebrations lizard birding cheetah picnic eating lions wind lion_cubs lioness roller hyena vulture eggs starling shrike agama jackal pastries bird_watching bacon suckling bustard sausages omg game_drive kestrel hamper lark limping calabash_adventures cuteness_overload kopje wedding_anniversary francolin breakfast_picnic bee_eater cisticola game_viewing breakfast_box 40_years packed_breakfast ole_serai tiffin posh_food cuteness lbb subb morning_glory purple_flowers helmetshrike rock_agama Comments (3)

Ngorongoro Crater Day 2 Part 2 - kingfisher, baby zebra

From breakfast until lunch


View Tanzania for Lyn and Chris' 40th Anniversary 2018 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Picnic Breakfast

We stop at the now very familiar Lerai Picnic Site for breakfast. On most of our previous visits to the crater we have stopped here, either to have a picnic or simply to make use of the facilities. The first time we came, in 2007, the toilets were pretty horrendous, but these days they are very much improved, with an attendant looking after cleanliness and stocking up on soap and paper.

large_93ca19c0-fc7c-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg

large_87daae40-fc7c-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg

large_a0a85210-fc7c-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg
David is ready to get going "to see what nature has to offer us" (one of Malisa's favourite sayings)

We share our picnic this morning with a cheeky little monkey and a Hildebrand Starling.

large_57208cf0-fc7e-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg
Black Faced Vervet Monkey

large_5fa09b40-fc7e-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg

Defassa Waterbuck

large_88ce9940-fc7e-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg

large_0d17ef80-fcb6-11e8-b88e-03fcd8a2c05d.jpg

large_6f99d4c0-fcb6-11e8-bcf2-ef801f38ba54.jpg

You can easily tell the Defassa from the Common Waterbuck, providing you see them from behind: the Defassa has a circular white spot on its rear, while the Common Waterbuck features a much more prominent 'toilet-seat-shaped' white mark on its bum.

large_cf8aa950-fc7e-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg

Bird Pond

Initially attracted by a Hammerkop, we stop at a marshy area and soon discover the site is teeming with colourful birdlife.

large_16108a00-fc86-11e8-9ad5-a17937ed8aaa.jpg
Hammerkop

large_213be230-fc86-11e8-9ad5-a17937ed8aaa.jpg
Sacred Ibis

large_2df83aa0-fc86-11e8-9ad5-a17937ed8aaa.jpg
Egyptian Goose

large_3e1f0e40-fc86-11e8-9ad5-a17937ed8aaa.jpg
Black Headed Heron

large_500a2720-fc86-11e8-b191-f3c80407b8dd.jpg
Immature Yellow Billed Stork

Malachite Kingfisher

I spot something colourful out of the corner of my eye, and ask Malisa to reverse to a different view, where I am delighted to see a Malachite Kingfisher sitting on some reeds.

large_8f580e10-fc86-11e8-8dbc-7b93f7753808.jpg

I grab Big Bertha (my 600mm lens) and wait for him to go fishing. He does, but he misses and so do I. He does fly around a bit and offers me a few different poses though.

large_c657cc20-fc86-11e8-8dbc-7b93f7753808.jpg

large_d4a41360-fc86-11e8-8dbc-7b93f7753808.jpg

large_de546450-fc86-11e8-9623-97aa9238ca27.jpg

large_ebfcf180-fc86-11e8-9623-97aa9238ca27.jpg

large_f58fcf60-fc86-11e8-9623-97aa9238ca27.jpg

large_fd730170-fc86-11e8-9623-97aa9238ca27.jpg
Bad hair day!

Finally he settles on a reed nearer to us, without a distracting background. Yay!

large_08e72270-fc87-11e8-9623-97aa9238ca27.jpg

Rasta Lion

That lump you see under the tree is a sleeping lion. Honestly.

large_b0a8d730-fcb7-11e8-8fea-55469072df54.jpg

large_0af69c80-fcbe-11e8-a52f-87bd833fb06b.jpg
Hildebrand Starling

Ring Necked Dove

I get really excited about seeing this dove until I realise it is the same ones as we have in abundance back home in the garden. Doh.

large_c317e8f0-fcbe-11e8-b7a1-f367489f6685.jpg

large_95bc0340-fcbf-11e8-9d4f-130fe5b1af79.jpg
African Hoopoe

Lions

These are the same lions we saw yesterday devouring their kill. Having filled their bellies with zebra, they do not need to eat again for three days or so, rather they will now spend the time resting in the shade while they are digesting their food.

large_f2f31f20-fcc0-11e8-b7a1-f367489f6685.jpg

large_ba9dedc0-fcc1-11e8-b7a1-f367489f6685.jpg
Hippo and Zebra

Thomson's Gazelles

Cute little Tommy babies (Thomson's Gazelle). The good news is they are the second fastest animal in Tanzania. The bad news is, the cheetah is faster.

large_daf6a6a0-fcc3-11e8-80dd-a57d685a507a.jpg

large_e4aac820-fcc3-11e8-80dd-a57d685a507a.jpg

large_ee85d290-fcc3-11e8-80dd-a57d685a507a.jpg

Wildebeest

These odd-looking ungulates are renowned for being incredibly stupid with a dangerously short memory. Here they prove that theory by suddenly forgetting why they are fighting.

large_61ca87e0-fcc5-11e8-80dd-a57d685a507a.jpg

large_7086f610-fcc5-11e8-80dd-a57d685a507a.jpg
Kori Bustard

Bateleur Eagle

These striking raptors have no tail to steady them in flight, instead they use their wings and body weight.

large_dacd5790-02b4-11e9-90f6-59d91e6f0cb8.jpg

Lions

These three lions are brothers, and while the one at the front is older, the other two hail from the same litter.

large_239937b0-fcc9-11e8-a564-8dc9c70d40ba.jpg

large_19b357d0-fcc9-11e8-a564-8dc9c70d40ba.jpg

Male lion

Yet another lion just lazing around, sleeping the day away, not realising that he should be performing for the camera-wielding tourists.

large_a3f41ab0-fcc9-11e8-a564-8dc9c70d40ba.jpg

large_aa44d070-fcca-11e8-a564-8dc9c70d40ba.jpg
Augur Buzzard

Zebra

Less than one week old, this baby zebra is torn between exploring the world and sticking close to his mum. When he is spooked by another zebra, mum jumps to his defence and sees the intruder off.

large_c5686000-fd6b-11e8-afab-dd9872b5a730.jpg

large_d5f150d0-fd6b-11e8-afab-dd9872b5a730.jpg

large_e03dbab0-fd6b-11e8-afab-dd9872b5a730.jpg

large_e9f05590-fd6b-11e8-afab-dd9872b5a730.jpg

large_17fd5b70-fd6e-11e8-8313-175c5fabe5c5.jpg
Golden Jackal

Rhino

Malisa assures us that the blurry blob we see in the far distance is in fact a rhino. We have to take his word for it. Heat haze, dust, and atmospheric distortions make it impossible to take a decent photo, or even verifying his claim.

large_3a0b5050-fd6e-11e8-8313-175c5fabe5c5.jpg

large_ec6b4700-fd73-11e8-be99-e7b73634d934.jpg
Eurasian Hobby

Cape Buffalo

With a baby just a few days old, the mother looks painfully and alarmingly thin.

large_57219b80-fd88-11e8-b73b-33d870c1ca94.jpg

Thomson's Gazelle

Although in some ways, and certainly from a photographer's point of view, it is great that the animals in Tanzania's national parks have become so accustomed to tourists that they no longer see the vehicles as a threat; the danger lies when they don't even bother to get out of the way – we almost run this little Thomson's Gazelle over as he isn't the least bothered about moving from our path as we approach.

large_f68324d0-fd9e-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

Hippo Pool

Some years ago when we came to the Crater, we had our picnic in this spot, and the pond was teeming with hippos (the aroma of 50 hippos belching, farting and crapping is not a good accompaniment to a tasty packed lunch), but today there are only a few of them around.

large_1282a7a0-fd9f-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

Great White Pelican

There are, however, quite a number of Great White Pelicans showing off their breeding plumage.

large_4612ec00-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

large_4e797ee0-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

This is what a pelican looks like when it's yawning:

large_89db5e90-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

large_92ae20c0-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

Cattle Egret

large_a2e5bd40-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

large_affbce70-fda0-11e8-90f2-bf7f1ac65788.jpg

Hyena

Through all the distortions it is impossible to make out what this hyena is carrying in its mouth, even with powerful binoculars or Big Bertha. Could it be a baby Tommy? Or maybe a Kori Bustard?

large_7a00aa50-fdfc-11e8-ace4-39556f57f191.jpg

Windy

The wind has really blown up today, creating havoc with any dust kicked up by moving vehicles and blowing my hair in all directions (especially in front of my eyes as I am trying to take a photo)

large_c8adf630-fdfc-11e8-ace4-39556f57f191.jpg

Grey Crowned Cranes

It seems I am not the only one having a bad hair day.

large_eafc2860-fdfc-11e8-ace4-39556f57f191.jpg

large_f38bee20-fdfc-11e8-ace4-39556f57f191.jpg

In particularly arid areas where there is no vegetation to hold on to the soil, the sand gets blown into the car and we end up quite literally eating grit.

large_e267b240-fdfd-11e8-ace4-39556f57f191.jpg

Warthogs

Looking like they are praying, warthogs eat by kneeling on specially adapted pads on their front legs. This is because their short necks and relativity long legs make it difficult for their mouth to reach the ground in a conventional feeding position.

large_b6b7aa00-fe0d-11e8-8893-9baceb9ab71a.jpg

large_c0c66ea0-fe0d-11e8-8893-9baceb9ab71a.jpg

Golden Jackal

large_22529320-fe17-11e8-91d3-d52e218ee159.jpg

large_2bad7110-fe17-11e8-91d3-d52e218ee159.jpg

Kori Bustard

large_2f029a10-fe18-11e8-91d3-d52e218ee159.jpg

large_38ca4390-fe18-11e8-91d3-d52e218ee159.jpg

large_5fe1b9a0-fe44-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg
Flamingos

large_6e2f8780-fe44-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg
Yellow Billed Stork

large_7a3f9a60-fe44-11e8-94ed-2f27a15f9bbb.jpg

Secretary Bird

The same bird we spotted last night is still busy on her nest. I am not sure if she is still building it or just rearranging the furniture.

large_c41d9170-fe24-11e8-80f8-872e7b16d8da.jpg

large_cea70450-fe24-11e8-a0c3-ab2904e493a3.jpg

It is time to leave the Ngorongoro Crater – one of my favourite places in the world - for this time. We will be back.

Thank you Tillya of Calabash Adventures for arranging this superb safari.

large_9784b830-fe26-11e8-99fb-87489cc6061b.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 04:48 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds travel breakfast sand africa safari tanzania pool zebra birding picnic buffalo lion windy rhino hippo wind crane hobby dust hyena heron egret stork ibis pelican waterbuck gazelle kingfisher warthog goose kori_bustard grip big_bertha calabash_adventures hammerkop secretary_bird picnic_breakfast augur_buzzard breakfast_box lerai_picnic_site malachite_kingfisher rasta_lion crowned_crane cattle_egret thomason's_gazelle golden_jackal baby_zebra Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]