Some unusual sightings this afternoon
10.02.2020 - 10.02.2020
After our picnic lunch overlooking the marsh, we continue our drive to see what nature has to offer us.
Not a bird we've seen a lot on our safaris, so I am therefore really surprised to find a pond absolutely full of them! They are, of course, a northern migrant, so the time of year will have an influence.
Near the marsh we bump into Dickson, our guide from our safaris in Tanzania in 2007, 2011, and 2014, who now has his own safari company and was out with clients. It is great to see him again, and we chat for ages with him, as well as his passengers, before moving on.
We follow the zebra and wildebeest into the forest, but soon come out of there, as the flies are just too bothersome!
It isn't often we see a tortoise in Tanzania, and even less often we see one run! In fact he was so quick he managed to get into the bushes before I had a chance to photograph him.
Bat Eared Fox
It is rare to see a fox so near, they are usually really skittish.
There appears to be at least six of them!
The are obviously chasing something, and suddenly Malisa spots what it is: a black mamba! Wow! David and I just get a brief glimpse of it as it slithers into the bushes, and I am way too slow to get a photo.
One brave little soldier decides to go after it!
Some of the others follow at a safe distance.
Suddenly the snake raises his head as if to attack, and they all scamper. Not such brave little soldiers now.
They all gather on a sandy patch to chill out.
Black Shouldered Kite
She is probably looking for that Black Mamba!
We see a cheetah in the bushes, and it looks like she has a cub.
No, there are two cubs!
Mum wanders off to find another place to rest.
The cubs follow.
I fire off shot after shot using the high speed continuous function on the Canon 1DXII, which can shoot at up to 16 frames per second. The shutter is also quite loud, and for a while my camera is getting more attention from people in the other cars than the cheetah!
The cubs are seriously cute, and we would love to stay and watch their antics, but if we are to be back at the lodge before dark (as is a requirement in the parks), we need to get going.
The egrets are heading home too.
Down at the marsh, three impala are crossing the water, keeping a watchful eye on a hyena in the distance.
The zebra take the more aggressive approach, and chase away the unwanted predator.
The impala are much more relaxed now
Seeing a giraffe drink from a puddle on the ground is always a treat. Mostly they get their moisture from the leaves they eat, as drinking like this is uncomfortable and risky business. They have been known to fall and break their bones, and with their heads down and their legs splayed like that, they are much more vulnerable to predators.
Stuck - again
As we make our way down towards Lake Ndutu, we get stuck in a deep hole in the road. Thankfully, this time there are three of Malisa's friends nearby, who help to push us out, using their powerful vehicles to nudge us along.
As we wait for Malisa and his friends to catch up on news and gossip, I entertain myself with taking photos of backlit wildebeest.
Just the other side of the lake, we see a couple of lions. It looks like our male from earlier blog entries has finally found his long lost love!
And love seems to be on their mind tonight.
Until she growls at him.
It's a strange light tonight, with the clouds appearing like crepuscular rays.
We make it back to the lodge just as it is getting dark, with enough time for a quick shower and change before dinner.
Butternut squash tart
Ginger, walnut and toffee tart
The African sky seems to be bigger than anywhere else we've been, mainly down to the lack of light pollution here in the bush. I try my hand at some photos this evening; as I cannot wander away from the lodge because of wild animals, I decide to include the camp fire in my photo. Today's lesson (which I did know from previous experience): do not try your hand at astrophotography after a few drinks.
I soon realise my mistake and opt to go to bed instead. Thank you Calabash Adventures for all the arrangements.