A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about flooding

Ndutu: lion in a tree - Lake Eyasi

Goodbye Ndutu, hello Lake Eyasi


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

Having enjoyed our picnic breakfast, we set off again for more game viewing.

large_a18cdb00-d052-11ea-9b7a-ed18610915d2.jpg
Dik Dik

We are heading back to Ndutu Lodge to use the facilities before we leave the area, but the route Malisa wants to take is impassable. “There used to be a road here” he explains.

large_d2b64e00-d052-11ea-9b7a-ed18610915d2.jpg

large_4156ec20-d053-11ea-9b7a-ed18610915d2.jpg
A Greater Spotted Thick Knee doing her best to hide from us

Malisa drops us off at the lodge while he goes off to get fuel for the car.

large_96a685a0-d053-11ea-9b7a-ed18610915d2.jpg

Meanwhile, we spend our time walking around the grounds, looking for birds and taking it all in for the last time.

large_fe0058c0-d053-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg

large_279cd000-d054-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Northern Grey Headed Sparrow

large_8d947b10-d054-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Great White Pelicans flying in formation

large_c76ab1b0-d054-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
I can't believe how overgrown the gardens are at Ndutu Lodge, after all the recent rains.

large_292b69d0-d055-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Hildebrand Starling

large_0bec96f0-d05a-11ea-8e10-117197f8b284.jpg
I am really impressed with the individual terry towels in the 'public' toilets at Ndutu!

Malisa returns and we make our way towards the gate that takes us out of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, of which Ndutu is a small part.

large_3fda08c0-d056-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Black Faced Sandgrouse

large_772b1b20-d056-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Lesser Flamingo

large_50079db0-d057-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Southern Red Bishop

large_066dcca0-d058-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
Lesser Masked Weaver

large_128580a0-d058-11ea-9260-1bbb71d85ea4.jpg
They weave the most exquisite nests!

large_a5af57e0-d18c-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
Strange horizontal rainbow

Lions

Malisa hears on the radio that a lioness has been spotted in a tree near the lake – it sounds like our lady from earlier this morning. We go to check it out.

large_93e2ea90-d18c-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_d128cc80-d18c-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

The lioness looks most uncomfortable and keeps shifting her position.

large_f21747a0-d18c-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Under the tree is a male lion, who is periodically sniffing the air, hoping for his mate to come back down.

large_1dd1bce0-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Meanwhile tourists are busy taking selfies with the lions – I wonder if you can actually see the big cat in that photo, or just the outline of a tree?

large_50c28260-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Much as we'd love to stay and see what happens with our two kitties, we have to leave in order to get to the gate. Permits are strictly timed and any overstay faces a heavy fine.

There is still quite a lot of flooding in Ndutu.

large_d34d8bd0-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_de720630-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_ea180ca0-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Zebra

large_9d515b10-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_a937c5e0-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_b5250e80-d18d-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Just less than an hour ago we travelled through heavy flooding, now the roads are annoyingly dusty!

large_3d859fb0-d18e-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

The dust covers everything in a thin layer of dirt – look at the state of my camera!

large_04b41260-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

The dirt being thrown up by passing vehicles also plays havoc with the windscreen of our Landcruiser. A crack developed earlier on the trip, and now, every time we meet a car travelling at speed, Malisa has to hold on to the glass in fear that it would shatter if a stone was to hit it.

large_43c73a40-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_54ee8df0-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

We join up with the main road through Serengeti, where a new gate post has been erected since we first started coming here, with tourists lining up to have their photos taken, and vendors hoping to sell them some souvenirs.

large_81710390-d18e-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
The original gate

large_9158d260-d18e-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
The new sign

large_b3edaa80-d18e-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
Ndutu Lodge also has a new sign, with the new brand created since the lodge changed ownership.

large_c1326cd0-d18e-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
Sculpture advertising the Museum of Mankind at Oldupai - also new

large_dc03b360-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
A would-be vendor heading for the tourists

large_e603aaf0-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

Lots of giraffes - we count twenty of them!

large_cb9ffdd0-d18f-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

We stop at Seneto Descent Road (the entrance to Ngorongoro Crater) for a picnic lunch, as are several other people. This is the most crowded I have ever seen this spot. It seems it is not just the camera that is covered in dust – my face was pretty dirty too!

large_32c57a80-d190-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg
The cloth after wiping my face

Baboons

We see a small baby playing, but as soon as we stop, the parents gather him up and leave.

large_78802020-d190-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_875f5890-d190-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

large_95bbcc70-d190-11ea-914e-b7956ce85e6b.jpg

There are more baboons at Lodoare Gate (the exit from Ngorongoro Conservation Area), including one that jumps on the bonnet of the car while I am in the loo. David tries to quickly grab a shot with my camera.

large_d7af7f00-d190-11ea-84f7-33950e3a835e.jpg

large_e6276a20-d190-11ea-84f7-33950e3a835e.jpg

large_f4c4b790-d190-11ea-84f7-33950e3a835e.jpg

Once we're through the gate, we hit the sealed road – the first time for eleven days! Not for long though, a mere five kilometres down the road, we turn off right, onto another fairly rough dirt track. This is all new and unexplored territory for us now.

We later turn off the dirt track to an even smaller and narrower lane, winding its way through small hamlets and into the wilderness. This is real off-the-beaten-path stuff, and a completely different type of vegetation – thick and verdant, more jungle-like - to anything we've seen in Tanzania before.

large_04fb0f00-d1a6-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

large_13f57090-d1a6-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

Kisima Ngeda Lodge

As we pull up in the lodge car park, an army of helpers appear out of nowhere. Unless we really want to, there is no need to carry any of our own luggage. After a welcome drink while signing in at the reception, we are shown to our room.

large_417917a0-d1a7-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

large_4f0199b0-d1a7-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

large_5e0dd590-d1a7-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

Our room is, in fact, a large tent on a wooden base with a thatched roof. The room is well furnished and there is an en suite western style toilet and shower at the rear of the tent.

large_b7b4bb40-d1a7-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

large_c3d289c0-d1a7-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

The local guide, who will be with us tomorrow for our excursions, arrives to give us a briefing. As he walks up onto our balcony, I get an instant feeling of recognition. He looks familiar. As he introduces himself as Alex, my mind starts ticking. I am not even sure what I am trying to think of, but suddenly it hits me. “Alex” I ask, “what is your surname?” As soon as he replies “Puwale”, I smile – we are already friends on Facebook! What a small, small world!

Alex's Facebook page

After a quick shower and change, we pop down to the bar for a drink, delighted that we can walk about freely without having to call an askari (a Maasai security guard armed with a spear) to protect us from any potential wild animals. It's the first time on this trip that we've had some time to spare before dinner, and Malisa soon joins us.

large_088e4080-d1a9-11ea-92cc-df8b390e5313.jpg

There is one other group of tourists staying tonight, six people from from the US. I am horrified when I overhear them asking their guide if hunting is allowed, as they'd really like to be able to kill something. Malisa's face is a picture, and I really feel for their guide having to explain to such misinformed and misguided visitors. They are also querying the availability of public conveniences during their trip to see a hunter-gatherer tribe tomorrow. What do they think this is? Disneyland?

As they start to discuss US politics (they are all ardent Trump supporters – there's a surprise!), we try our best to ignore their conversation, which proves rather difficult due to the volume at which they speak. We have a good laugh with Malisa, however, joking about the overheard comments by Whatsapping each other across the table. Little things for little minds.

Dinner

Tomato soup for starters, followed by pork medallions with creamed potato and vegetables, and finished off with a passion fruit mousse.

large_7f0019e0-d1aa-11ea-b034-516a75965bf5.jpg

As always, I am impressed with the arrangements Calabash Adventures have made for us – they really are the best in their field.

large_d6f4bbb0-d1aa-11ea-b034-516a75965bf5.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 15:59 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds pelicans wildlife africa safari rainbow tanzania zebra birding lions baboons flooding sparrow flamingo giraffes trump ngorongoro dust starling weaver diesel bird_watching ndutu calabash calabash_adventures seneto seneto_descent_road ngorongoro_conservation_area oldupai thick_knee lions_in_a_tree sandgrouse wildlife_photography windscreen lake_eyasi red_bishop american_tourists ndutu_lodge african_animals african_birds alex_puwale animals_of_africa birds_of_africa cracked_windscreen serengeti_gate lodoare lodoare_gare museum_of_mankind kisima_ngeda trump_supporters Comments (2)

Serengeti VI: elephants, crocodile, lions

Too close for comfort


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

Elephants

We finally find the elephants we went out looking for this morning – or rather: they find us, crossing the road all around us.

large_021fe2b0-6612-11ea-a772-cb0f5b0883e1.jpg

large_1083a990-6612-11ea-a772-cb0f5b0883e1.jpg

large_3120a950-6612-11ea-a772-cb0f5b0883e1.jpg

large_3abada30-6612-11ea-a772-cb0f5b0883e1.jpg

large_44d6be30-6612-11ea-a772-cb0f5b0883e1.jpg

Giraffe

This giraffe is being pestered by Yellow Billed Oxpeckers, and keeps trying to shake them off.

large_987afb30-661e-11ea-bd77-199389dcaba8.jpg

large_0e85f1e0-661f-11ea-bd77-199389dcaba8.jpg

large_7623cb80-6622-11ea-b8dd-833845273e93.jpg

large_80fc48c0-6622-11ea-b8dd-833845273e93.jpg

large_4050bbb0-6624-11ea-b8a0-b7fc6db81d63.jpg
White Headed Vulture

Black Faced Vervet Monkeys

large_5d8478c0-6624-11ea-b8a0-b7fc6db81d63.jpg

large_68ffecc0-6624-11ea-b8a0-b7fc6db81d63.jpg

large_72303840-6624-11ea-b8a0-b7fc6db81d63.jpg

Egyptian Geese with chicks

large_1f523e30-6628-11ea-9814-53828c767cbe.jpg

large_298be360-6628-11ea-9814-53828c767cbe.jpg

large_32f25a10-6628-11ea-9814-53828c767cbe.jpg

large_3c9b7f10-6628-11ea-9814-53828c767cbe.jpg

large_24761310-6631-11ea-a653-6b0a7024e959.jpg

large_2f58a270-6631-11ea-a653-6b0a7024e959.jpg

large_3bb72370-6631-11ea-a653-6b0a7024e959.jpg

large_4c0f4040-6631-11ea-a653-6b0a7024e959.jpg

large_58d73170-6631-11ea-a653-6b0a7024e959.jpg

A little less flooding

Hopefully this is a sign that the surface water is receding and some sort of normality can be restored on the roads here in the Serengeti. Providing we don't get more rain, of course.

large_9c7d4360-663b-11ea-ac0f-d12f27df8ed9.jpg

Or maybe not.

large_1ddf0f10-663c-11ea-ac0f-d12f27df8ed9.jpg

Nile Crocodile

On the far bank of a small lake, a huge crocodile exposes his predator teeth. The reason crocodiles lie around with the mouths open, is to catch birds. The food left in the teeth attracts insects, and the insects in turn attract birds: the lazy approach to hunting.

large_fe7db2b0-6632-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

large_42746130-6633-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

A Cape Hare unintentionally wanders into the proximity of the crocodile, and freezes to the spot when she realises.

large_7626f010-6633-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

large_7fe1c850-6633-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

Meanwhile, another crocodile is coming our way.

large_f87214e0-6634-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

They are such prehistoric looking creatures.

large_00edb660-6635-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

large_0aa5cf80-6635-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

A third croc fancies his chances with a Black Crake.

large_592358d0-6635-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

He is way too slow for the birds (yet too fast for the camera, or rather my reactions)

large_c04ad150-6635-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg

large_5e6bed60-6636-11ea-a7aa-f1bb7f12ef60.jpg
Black Headed Heron

Black Faced Vervet Monkeys

large_6a5ac300-663e-11ea-8206-fd4c863320d9.jpg

large_798a6560-663e-11ea-8206-fd4c863320d9.jpg
I am forever fascinated by their blue balls.

large_88d2bfe0-663e-11ea-8206-fd4c863320d9.jpg
She looks almost human here

large_98582360-663e-11ea-8206-fd4c863320d9.jpg

large_99f451c0-663f-11ea-aea7-d13a4997bfe2.jpg
White Bellied Busard

Lions

We'd heard on the grapevine that there was a lion close to our lodge, and there, in the fading light, just before we turn the corner into the lodge's parking area, is a big cat under a tree.


Here you can see our tent from where the lion is.

large_d8415890-6641-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

large_7a190970-6641-11ea-b7a8-2becc1969a7c.jpg

You can see where numerous cars have driven around this tree earlier today. Now we have the lioness to ourselves.

large_88a0ac00-6641-11ea-b7a8-2becc1969a7c.jpg

She's on the move.

large_9e164b30-6641-11ea-b7a8-2becc1969a7c.jpg

She joins two others under another tree.

large_773dc400-6643-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

We leave them to it and drive the few metres to our camp, feeling a little nervous as we get out of the car.

large_c608aa00-6643-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

large_59ac3a10-6644-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

I don't think tonight is the night to have sundowners around the camp fire outside, sitting between the tent and the lions.

large_c726cec0-6644-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

large_8ad0fcb0-6645-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg
There are three lions under one of those trees in the distance

The grass is so long beside the path to the tents that a lion could easily hide in there for later on when we go to dinner...

large_2f3c77d0-6645-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

Tsetse Fly Bites

I have been itching like mad all afternoon, and when I get undressed for the shower, I find my shoulder and back are covered in bites, some of which have turned into large blisters.

large_76b32fe0-6646-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

Dinner

Tonight's dinner is pumpkin soup, followed by beef and pork kebabs with ugali (stodgy grits-like local dish), pilau rice, spinach, pilipili (hot sauce) and salad; followed by rhubarb tart.

large_55283130-6647-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

Yet again I offer my thanks to Calabash Adventures for this fabulous safari.

large_765ed8e0-6647-11ea-b6c3-752375bc40d2.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 16:34 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals monkeys wildlife elephants bird africa dinner safari tanzania crocodile birding lions giraffe flooding serengeti heron vulture geese goose hare ugali bird_watching calabash_adventures game_viewing vervet_monkey crake oxpeckers matawi_serengeti_camp matawi_camp insect_bites wilflide_photography egyptian_geese lions_close_to_camptsetse_flies tsetse_fly_bites Comments (4)

Serengeti Part I - Lions and Leopards

Lions on a rock, leopard in a tree


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

Every morning Malisa starts the day with “Let's go and see what nature has to offer us today”.

Yes, let's.

large_91db8d60-5ec3-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg
It looks like it could be a nice day.

large_9ba49670-5ec3-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg

Another daily ritual on safari is naming our 'breakfast' – ie. the first animal we see of the day. Today it is a Black Backed Jackal.

large_d4725dc0-5ec3-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg

large_df0b6100-5ec3-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg
Eastern Chanting Goshawk

Lion

Fast asleep under a tree, all we can see of the cat is his stomach covered in flies.

large_efc72c30-5ec4-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg

He has been feasting on a nearby buffalo kill, and a putrid smell still hangs in the air.

large_fd064930-5ec4-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg

In the trees vultures wait for their turn to finish off what little is left of the buffalo.

large_a0b8b810-5ec5-11ea-9285-41fac20df7df.jpg

In the distance, a hyena sniffs the air as he heads for the carcass.

large_7afb4b90-5ecc-11ea-b9bc-7fadcb554fad.jpg

The road is like a quagmire; any more rain we are going to need a boat!

large_1de51670-5ed1-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

large_5cd23fc0-5ed1-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

large_c49c39d0-5ed1-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

Of course, a lion sighting attracts a huge crowd, which certainly doesn't help.

large_1fb79710-5ed2-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

More and more people are arriving.

large_db313640-5ed2-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

large_28559830-5ed3-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

We leave them to it and carry on to “see what else nature has to offer us”.

large_09badfd0-5ecd-11ea-b9bc-7fadcb554fad.jpg
Black Breasted Snake Eagle

large_b44b3700-5ed3-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike

They seem to be everywhere!

large_f69a5ec0-5ecd-11ea-8459-69f540d279ac.jpg

large_5524b920-5ed0-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg

large_46ead350-5ece-11ea-8459-69f540d279ac.jpg
Fork Tailed Drongo

large_343f2ff0-5ed6-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
Close-up using Big Bertha (my 600mm lens + 1.4 converter + 1.6 cropped body = 1344mm)

large_c852c740-5ed3-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
Fischer's Lovebirds

A whole tree full of them!

large_06eb19d0-5ed4-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
That's a whole lotta loving

large_607affa0-5ed5-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
White Rumped Helmetshrike

large_bc9dc550-5ed6-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
Speckled Fronted Weaver

large_11286120-5ed7-11ea-ad86-870324b3292b.jpg
Rock Hyrax

Lions

Two lions on top of a rock, not doing much.

large_757a6720-5f06-11ea-b290-4534d4a985d2.jpg

They both fidget a little, and occasionally put their heads up, but never at the same time.

large_94eb42f0-5f06-11ea-b290-4534d4a985d2.jpg

large_b4a2ebc0-5f06-11ea-b290-4534d4a985d2.jpg

large_bd41a5a0-5f06-11ea-b290-4534d4a985d2.jpg

We move along a little to try and get a better view of them.

large_c8cef3f0-5f06-11ea-b290-4534d4a985d2.jpg

We notice one of the females is collared for tracking purposes, but we still can't see them properly, so we move on.

Leopard

Another traffic jam very close by indicates that there is something else about, and Malisa hears on the radio that there is a leopard in a tree.

large_53443450-5f07-11ea-a4de-57dbe8f394a8.jpg

I have no idea what this guy is doing, but I have to admit that I would not be walking about like that knowing that there is a leopard in the vicinity.

large_42a78280-5f09-11ea-9dab-a5efb694fd7f.jpg

As some of the other vehicles move off, we can get nearer to be able to see the big pussy cat.

large_7741ec00-5f9b-11ea-9178-47a2bebd51cb.jpg

When I say “a bit nearer”, this guy is still quite some distance away, but with my long telephoto lenses I can manage to get some semi-decent images. As with most other places, there is some considerable atmospheric distortions when photographing close-ups of objects that far away.

large_1387f4e0-60ac-11ea-ae91-fbfdc9c3d451.jpg

large_8879ba70-5f9b-11ea-9178-47a2bebd51cb.jpg

She is most definitely not settled on that branch and keeps moving around.

large_e5d89f10-5f9b-11ea-9178-47a2bebd51cb.jpg

large_18997af0-5f9c-11ea-9178-47a2bebd51cb.jpg

It looks like she is going to jump down from the tree!

large_42d097a0-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

large_58d77a50-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

large_66b34c80-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

Not so much 'jump' as gingerly making her way down the trunk like a scared y-cat!

large_b80b9420-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

large_c6ce6af0-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

large_d061e510-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

large_e94cfbf0-5fb4-11ea-ae6c-2dd7da70dd96.jpg

She's gone, lost in the long grass. We head back to the lions for another look.

large_5638cae0-5fc5-11ea-8f03-7dc74951276f.jpg

large_607640a0-5fc5-11ea-8f03-7dc74951276f.jpg

Time for our breakfast, and as we make our way to the picnic site, we stop for a couple of little birds.

large_da252820-5fbc-11ea-b739-a1460f14cd1f.jpg
Willow Warbler

large_62edf100-5fbd-11ea-b739-a1460f14cd1f.jpg
Stout Cisticola - another lifer.

And some giraffes.

large_5ea24e80-5fc6-11ea-8f03-7dc74951276f.jpg

Thank you Calabash Adventures for making this safari happen.

large_a583c0e0-5fc6-11ea-8f03-7dc74951276f.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 02:31 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds wildlife africa safari tanzania eagle birding lion giraffe flooding leopard weaver shrike hyrax jackal drongo bird_watching african_safari calabash_adventures rock_hyrax snake_eagle safari_in_africa cisticola goshawk wildlife_photography fiscal_shrike quagmire lovebirds leopard_in_a_tree warbler Comments (2)

Lake Manyara - Serengeti - Mating Hyena, Serval

Not just one serval, but two! And a surprise camp.


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

Ngorongoro Crater Viewpoint

This is one of my most favourite places on this earth. I will never tire of seeing this view of the Ngorongoro Crater from above.

large_9e171fe0-5c0c-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg

When we came to Tanzania with our friends Lyn and Chris in 2016 for their very first safari, Chris was totally overwhelmed when we arrived at this point, and for the first time on the trip exclaimed: “WOW”. He is not normally a 'wow-man', so that was saying something.

Lyn and Chris we unable to accompany us on this trip, but we did manage to sort out a second best – having brought large photographs of them with us to recreate this 'wow-moment' in this place.

large_a8d0ca80-5c0c-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg

Nyati Picnic Site

We stop for lunch at a designated site overlooking the crater. Hoping guests will leave a few crumbs behind, there are always a lot of birds to be found here.

large_e2ae7b30-5c0c-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
Black Kite

large_f04d4460-5c0c-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
Red Collared Widowbird - an exciting lifer!

large_0238ab60-5c0d-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
Baglafecht Weaver

large_125015b0-5c0d-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
Common Bulbul and Baglafecht Weaver

large_243c8e20-5c0d-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
White Necked Raven - another lifer

large_3266a760-5c0d-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg
Black Kite circling above

As we are eating, the temperatures suddenly falls considerably, and soon we feel the arrival of large, heavy rain drops. Getting a little wet along the way, we hurriedly return to the car to continue on our journey. We still have a couple of hours' drive before we even reach Serengeti National Park at Naabi Hill Gate, and then there is a further half an hour drive to our camp.

large_8f707c40-5c0f-11ea-b7b9-8f541ac820f2.jpg

When the heavens open and we get a torrential rain shower, Malisa starts to worry about a certain river we have to cross on the way. As we are on the only road to Serengeti in this area, it would be a major problem if we were to be unable to get across.

large_c8d887c0-5c0f-11ea-a2be-f9db636cfe19.jpg

When the rain stops, the road becomes steamy in the oppressive heat.

large_4c8e5590-5c10-11ea-a2be-f9db636cfe19.jpg

Zebra

Here in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we often see wild animals intermingling with domestic sheep, goats or cattle; or even humans, such as here.

large_97feed90-5c7f-11ea-ade9-e31846de5859.jpg

large_cfd27b90-5c6d-11ea-a047-b757a1db4f3d.jpg
Zebra mum with her three day old baby

We are initially concerned when we see this tiny baby lying motionless next to his mother, but much to our relief, he eventually sits up.

large_f06f6430-5c81-11ea-9098-0f9e4bf55493.jpg

large_42fcb3f0-5c83-11ea-9098-0f9e4bf55493.jpg

It looks like the ink ran out during the printing process of this one.

large_8f7d9f60-5c82-11ea-9098-0f9e4bf55493.jpg

large_58954f00-5c84-11ea-be23-a9fb4b5fff0d.jpg

This sculpture is new since we were here last, some fifteen months ago – advertising Oldupai Gorge, AKA The Cradle of Mankind, where hominid footprints were found and a new museum has opened up.

large_fc73a120-5c8a-11ea-854c-c79fdf1a0379.jpg
The skulls are not life sized

large_69c243d0-5c8b-11ea-854c-c79fdf1a0379.jpg

As we make our way across the area known as the Short Grass Plains, we see the tail end of the migration – the horizon is dotted with the black outlines of wildebeest making their way to the Ndutu area for the birth of their babies.

We have now arrived at the river crossing that Malisa was worried about previously. He gingerly makes his way through the flooded river, and thankfully we make it to the other side without incident. Phew!

large_f2437830-5c92-11ea-8a6e-054be8c88feb.jpg

Vultures on a carcass

A number of various vultures have descended on a predator's leftovers, and have now eaten so much they are unable to fly for the moment.

large_72d64930-5c95-11ea-a9c7-239d4bdf5d6b.jpg

Look at this guy at the front: he is so full he can't even move, let alone fly!

large_b437cde0-5c95-11ea-a538-7159602f3413.jpg

Ostriches

This family consists of seven babies who are around two-three months old. Unusually, we only see one female adult: male ostriches have been known to take a harem of up to fifteen concubines!

large_57bb0480-5c98-11ea-9062-ad901cb5fe2d.jpg

large_5fc23950-5c98-11ea-9062-ad901cb5fe2d.jpg

To think how wet and muddy everything was earlier – look at the dust generated here by the other car!

large_3e495780-5ca3-11ea-83b2-91743d46ed18.jpg

large_a15ddfd0-5ca3-11ea-83b2-91743d46ed18.jpg
Migratory Abdim's Storks flying in from Europe

large_e9700a00-5ca3-11ea-88ad-dd9e5b8e0ca1.jpg

Hyenas

We see a couple of hyenas strutting their stuff, before 'getting intimate'.

large_a44d82b0-5cc4-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

large_b040e5d0-5cc4-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

Jealousy is not a pretty emotion – a third hyena takes great interest in what they are doing, but gets chased off by the initial suitor.

large_f45c5a60-5cc4-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

large_05bd82c0-5cc5-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

large_160a06d0-5cc5-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

A Golden Jackal comes over to investigate. This confuses me: why would a jackal be interested in a couple of mating hyenas? Malisa explains that the growling sound made by the male seeing off his rival, is like the noise they make when squabbling over food.

large_711dea00-5cc5-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

The jackal shakes his head and makes a dozen or more tsetse flies homeless.

large_ff952aa0-5cc5-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

He realises that food is the last thing on the hyenas mind, and slopes off, disappointedly.

large_a95b3bb0-5cc6-11ea-af29-d53a97374bfa.jpg

Meanwhile, our hyena ménage à trois are back at it.

large_a872b6d0-5cce-11ea-928b-8506a63f1ab0.jpg

And the interloper is still not welcome.

large_178fff00-5ccf-11ea-928b-8506a63f1ab0.jpg

Neither of them are prepared to give in, and they go round in circles for a while.

large_55291490-5cd0-11ea-928b-8506a63f1ab0.jpg

Quite literally.

large_32a63670-5cd3-11ea-8119-854aa274de4d.jpg

Eventually he manages to get rid of his rival for good.

large_ac503af0-5cd5-11ea-8fee-ddc809056728.jpg

large_bc402010-5cd5-11ea-8fee-ddc809056728.jpg

We too move on as we still have quite a long way to go.

large_3752d1c0-5cd7-11ea-8a31-cfdb268af43b.jpg
Gabar Goshawk

There are several of these on the ground and in the trees.

large_e3d4a770-5cd7-11ea-88b6-85a520179562.jpg

More Hyenas

A few miles later two males are in a dispute over a female. Again.

large_572d9620-5cdb-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

large_649aa0f0-5cdb-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

Naabi Gate

The entrance gate to Serengeti National Park at Naabi Hill is one giant building site at the moment, and the lovely little pool which always used to attract such a great variety of birds, has all gone; as have the birds. David is also disappointed that the grocery store doesn't stock any of his favourite Savanna Cider; so we both sit and sulk in the car until Malisa comes back from registering us into the park.

Death by Poison

It is hard to see from this photo, but there is a carcass of a wildebeest, with a dead hyena next to it. Malisa believes that the wildebeest died from eating poison grass, which was so toxic that the hyena died almost as soon as he tucked into the meat! Now the two bodies lie there decomposing as a stark warning to other animals not to get anywhere near it for fear of death! Instinct tells animals to leave well alone - isn't nature grand?

large_ac42b8e0-5d42-11ea-80c6-af92b21e4b03.jpg

large_dda8ff10-5d48-11ea-9124-5d08f4da0c63.jpg
Immature Steppe Eagle

large_7b1dd590-5d49-11ea-9124-5d08f4da0c63.jpg
Black Backed Jackal

large_6fe19800-5d4a-11ea-9124-5d08f4da0c63.jpg
Tawny Eagle

There is so much water about after the rains, with flooding everywhere, and the Short Grass Plains will have to be renamed, as the grass is no longer short.

large_d1b66270-5d4c-11ea-88a0-e59c35b1c59a.jpg

large_934ac860-5d50-11ea-871e-416c8e4637c8.jpg

large_a946ae90-5d50-11ea-871e-416c8e4637c8.jpg

large_b49bd5e0-5d50-11ea-871e-416c8e4637c8.jpg

large_be19f340-5d50-11ea-871e-416c8e4637c8.jpg

Serval

Suddenly Malisa spots something altogether more interesting. This timid cat doesn't hang around long enough for us to photograph him properly and with the aforementioned 'short grass' being so long, it makes it all too easy for him to hide.

large_428a7740-5cdd-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

large_51ca6d50-5cdd-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

All we can see is a couple of black stripes in amongst the vegetation.

large_5c3d9910-5cdd-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

He turns around briefly, but is still very obscured by the greenery.

large_6650ca80-5cdd-11ea-a6ad-8159afe0763a.jpg

Wandamu River

“You cannot be serious Malisa?”

large_7b636f70-5d5c-11ea-a7bc-bde23a055fa1.jpg

The crossing looks completely and utterly impossible. I cannot believe that Malisa would even think of attempting this! I hold my breath as he gingerly moves the car along the 'road', hidden somewhere under an unknown depth of water cleverly disguised as a river.

large_997864c0-5d5c-11ea-a7bc-bde23a055fa1.jpg

We are surely going to get washed away?

large_a8ddbd20-5d5c-11ea-a2a6-737c065709b9.jpg

This image is not taken from the safety of a bridge, it is looking straight down out of the car window.

large_b94c9640-5d5c-11ea-a2a6-737c065709b9.jpg

Phew! I breathe a huge sigh of relief as we get to the other side without incident. I am not a nervous passenger by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to admit even I had serious concerns about our safety here. Thankfully Malisa really knows what he is doing and I should have realised that he would never attempt it if he's had any doubts. Sorry Malisa.

large_4fb67240-5d5d-11ea-a2a6-737c065709b9.jpg

Geese

Meanwhile, on the dam by the ford, there is a family of Egyptian Geese with several babies. My racing heart has still not settled down from the river crossing as I try to enjoy looking at the chicks.

large_1a1ad0b0-5d60-11ea-a2a6-737c065709b9.jpg

large_23298a70-5d60-11ea-a2a6-737c065709b9.jpg

large_4d9df4b0-5d6c-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_c231b4b0-5d6c-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_04b7e340-5d6d-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_509482f0-5d6d-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_9abc1fa0-5d6d-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_dd1d8820-5d6d-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_c853a760-5d6f-11ea-92bc-9f62bf1159fe.jpg

large_b4cf5940-5d61-11ea-9c0c-6d735756af75.jpg
There are also hippos in the water

large_0cdf5c30-5d6b-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_ae866ab0-5d6b-11ea-bd80-192b1c7d5308.jpg

large_f43e2950-5d9b-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg
Giraffes in the distance

Serval

Would you believe it! Servals are such rare cats to spot, and here we see two different ones within an hour of each other!

large_ce572380-5d9c-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg

This one is also almost completely hidden by the tall grass though.

large_d96c5ba0-5d9c-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg

Helmeted Guineafowl

More babies!

large_e587eac0-5d9d-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg

large_060888e0-5d9e-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg

large_0fe80020-5d9e-11ea-8e03-9546c4988617.jpg

Sunset

It is getting late now and the daylight is fading fast. Here, so near the equator, the twilight is short and darkness descends quickly.

large_b4eee390-5e2f-11ea-b472-f1242bd2f98e.jpg

Matawi Serengeti Camp

We knew earlier today that we wouldn't be staying at the 'advertised' accommodation, but Malisa would not tell us where Tillya had (yet again) upgraded us to.

The approach road to the camp is no more than a couple of tyre tracks in the grass, and the reception area is extremely low key. With only six luxury tents, this camp is very exclusive and private, with exceptionally friendly service.

large_76c84f80-5e38-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg
The communal tent where the reception, lounge, bar and restaurant are found

We are asked if we'd prefer a double or a twin room, and on confirming the latter, we are taken to our tent by an askari (Maasai guard).

large_eb39ba70-5e38-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg

The tent is large, with one double and one single mosquito-screened bed; two armchairs and a small coffee table, a little fridge (great for keeping the Coke and cider cold), a writing desk and chair, free standing claw-feet bath, and a separate shower and toilet.

large_7da62a10-5e39-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg

large_8781d0c0-5e39-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg
What a strange idea to put spiky branches in a vase on the coffee table!

large_9c553c80-5e39-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg

large_a4e94800-5e39-11ea-9c68-e52781d27fa6.jpg

Dinner

As the only guests staying we are greeted warmly when we arrive in the restaurant. I try out my little bit of Swahili, much to the delight of the staff.

“Habari za jioni?” (good evening, how are you)
“Nzuri, asante, ne wewe?” (well, thank you, and you?)
“Nzuri sana, asante” (very well, thank you)
“Samahani, ongeza pilpili tafadhali” (excuse me, I'd like some more hot sauce please)
“Chakula nikitamu, asante” (the food was delicious, thank you)
“Usiku mwema” (goodnight)
“Lala salama” (sleep well)
“Tutaonana kesho” (see you tomorrow)

It may be just a greeting and a few pleasantries, but everyone joins in and one guy whispers to Malisa: “Does she speak Swahili? We have to be careful what we say...”

The food is delicious, with a very peppery butternut squash soup to start, followed by what they describe as “ram meat”, which turns out to be a goat curry.

large_eaa143a0-5e3b-11ea-a848-8590507cb216.jpg

large_f5055430-5e3b-11ea-a848-8590507cb216.jpg
The chocolate dessert is very creamy with a hint of coffee.

As the askari walks us back to the tent after dinner, we can hear the hyenas very close by. Thank goodness he has a big stick to protect us! We can still hear them from the inside of the tent, and the sound of hyenas mating carries on most of the night. I struggle to sleep, not just because of the hyena porn going on outside; but I have not so much 'restless legs', as 'restless body'. I am twitching and itching and unable to find a comfortable position.

At 23:30 I hear vehicles arrive and people chatting. Malisa was telling us earlier that a group of Korean tourists (three cars) were unable to reach their accommodation further north this evening because of the bad state of the roads and the amount of flooding (large parts of the Serengeti are completely inaccessible at the moment for that reason); and they were heading to our camp. They have obviously arrived.

In addition to the sex-mad hyenas and lost tourists, I am kept awake by the rain; as well as dust on my lungs, resulting in wheezing and squeaking when I breathe. When I finally manage to drop off, I suffer a terrible nightmare in which I fall off a high walkway! Thanks Lariam!

This safari was arranged by Calabash Adventures, the best safari operator by far!

large_31657490-5e3d-11ea-a848-8590507cb216.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 16:30 Archived in Tanzania Tagged birds rain wildlife raven tent africa dinner safari animal zebra eagle hawk birding adventures picnic national_park hippo flooding serengeti ngorongoro hyena stork vultures geese ford glamping weaver olduvai jackal poison swahili ngorongoro_crater bird_watching african_safari wild_animals ostriches serval serengeti_national_park fording calabash oldupai tse_tse_flies askari guineafowl golden_jackal picnic_lunch goshawk naabi_gate wildlife_photography steppe_eagle black_kite river_crossing abdim's_stork ngorongo_conservation_area nyati_picnic_site lunch_box widowbird baabi_hill wildebest short-grass_plains vultures_on_kill menage_a_trois gabar_goshawk wandamu_river matawi matawi_serengeti_camp matawi_camp permenent_tented_camp Comments (2)

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)

Lake Manyara National Park - Olive Baboon Troupe

Precious moments of animal behaviour


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

Lake Manyara National Park

Not being one of the major parks, we have only visited here twice before in our six previous safaris, the last time being in 2011, so it will make a nice change to see what it is like now.

Common Waterbuck

Every day on safari, we call the first animal we see “our breakfast”, and today it is a waterbuck.

large_b67cebd0-5a38-11ea-8bd8-835b42baca32.jpg

Southern Ground Hornbill

I am just telling Malisa that the very first park we visited on our very first safari in Tanzania, was Lake Manyara; and the very first wildlife we saw was a couple of Southern Ground Hornbills; when the very same species of bird appears!

large_4fa28c70-5a39-11ea-8bd8-835b42baca32.jpg

large_75548da0-5a3a-11ea-8189-51dc6cb52fed.jpg
Grey Hornbill

large_7e5097d0-5a3c-11ea-9e7d-a12090118989.jpg
Lilac Breasted Roller - one of my favourite African birds

large_7cc50e70-5a3f-11ea-be5b-9ff08ee89726.jpg
Grey Crowned Crane

We see fresh elephant poo on the road – so fresh we can smell it – and follow it for a while before the trail goes cold.

Malisa is not sure if it will be possible to cross this river, but he gives it a go.

large_465e8650-5a43-11ea-953c-531494f0bb57.jpg


Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Malisa says.

Zebra

large_4cfa03e0-5a48-11ea-9d5e-d3585f778bb8.jpg

large_6b242ee0-5a48-11ea-9d5e-d3585f778bb8.jpg

large_759a40d0-5a48-11ea-9d5e-d3585f778bb8.jpg

large_dd77d0a0-5a4d-11ea-b5bb-2d0c987a1830.jpg

Impala

large_7d0f2710-5a50-11ea-9274-97199e44c10e.jpg

large_896c6f90-5a50-11ea-9274-97199e44c10e.jpg

large_e3952f70-5a50-11ea-9274-97199e44c10e.jpg
D'Arnaud's Barbet

large_994e7c90-5a51-11ea-9274-97199e44c10e.jpg
Common Fiscal Shrike

large_a69ab8f0-5a51-11ea-9274-97199e44c10e.jpg
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike

The road is certainly impassable at this point, and we end up having to turn around and try a different route!

large_661c9290-5a55-11ea-aa29-85d92c520d54.jpg

Black Faced Vervet Monkeys

We stay with a troupe of monkeys for a while, as they try to teach youngsters how to climb.

large_ab6a7960-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_b47fc2d0-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_bd958170-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_ce751dc0-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_d7c01d30-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_ecb5de00-5a65-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

The baby gets very nervous when going out on a branch on his own.

large_11fd5300-5a66-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

large_239590f0-5a66-11ea-8db5-0dd6b6d004a0.jpg

Mountain Buzzard

Another lifer!

large_ac6138a0-5a69-11ea-b77d-bd50c2c1b80d.jpg

large_9faa3760-5a69-11ea-b77d-bd50c2c1b80d.jpg

large_b8c36320-5a69-11ea-b77d-bd50c2c1b80d.jpg
Red Billed Hornbill

Bushbuck

Mum and her three-month old offspring.

large_c4550f80-5a6f-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

large_ce136a30-5a6f-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

Olive Baboons

We first spot the baby clinging to mum. Malisa estimates that he is less than two hours old.

large_267bdc70-5a70-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

large_02c87f80-5a71-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

He is not always graceful in his actions.

large_39745130-5a71-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

After falling straight off on his previous attempt, he seems to have mastered the hanging on now; although he does look absolutely terrified!

large_91af98f0-5a71-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

That's better!

large_d3d55800-5a71-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

Holding on tight.

large_99856810-5a72-11ea-ab05-038f7b4152d0.jpg

A mother's love.

large_4f839b80-5a75-11ea-ac32-0188aa1dee95.jpg

A male baboon turns up and mum feels threatened.

large_9cb236a0-5a75-11ea-ac32-0188aa1dee95.jpg

It's tiring being a new mum.

large_3546ec70-5a77-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

A friend comes around for a cuddle.

large_857a6320-5a77-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

They stay and chat for a while, comparing notes on babies and sharing secrets.

large_440e61b0-5a78-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

large_cc666760-5a78-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

Constantly caressing each other's babies.

large_63b83260-5a79-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

large_7f63c8d0-5a79-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

Such a privilege to be allowed to watch their heart-warming interactions.

large_60fdfef0-5a7a-11ea-8ede-b7e99fe16c28.jpg

The bushbuck wanders over to where the baboons are, but neither party take any notice of the other as they go about their business as usual.

large_7d8f24e0-5af2-11ea-afc4-dfb67d89ecf5.jpg

There are now baboons all around us, and we feel as if we have been accepted as part of their troupe. Such an honour!

large_d35582c0-5af7-11ea-9619-5dbc629f6331.jpg

The children are getting to know each other and learning to play together.

large_98355510-5af9-11ea-828a-e31cd97658cc.jpg

And riding on mum's back.

large_a6f24300-5afa-11ea-828a-e31cd97658cc.jpg

Even at just a few hours, baby baboons have an old man's face.

large_ea255360-5afa-11ea-828a-e31cd97658cc.jpg

large_6c67d360-5b01-11ea-96c2-57422fd3d6f3.jpg

Other times they look like something out of a horror film.

large_b64a4300-5afc-11ea-8fd1-ad155c507f6b.jpg

As they get older they become cuter.

large_d930d2b0-5afe-11ea-96c2-57422fd3d6f3.jpg

Daddy is always watching.

large_3fcb4d70-5aff-11ea-96c2-57422fd3d6f3.jpg

large_8b363f90-5aff-11ea-96c2-57422fd3d6f3.jpg

Big brother.

large_3eeabc00-5b00-11ea-96c2-57422fd3d6f3.jpg

When another car turns up, breaking the magical spell, we reluctantly leave the baboon troupe behind and go to “see what else nature has to offer us” (Malisa's favourite saying).

Southern Ground Hornbill

As is suggested by its name, this, the largest species of hornbill worldwide, spends over 70% of its time on the ground.

large_ca0207c0-5b0b-11ea-b61c-3376848a991e.jpg

At up to four feet tall, it's a big bird, and very striking with its black and red colours!

large_e29963e0-5b0c-11ea-b61c-3376848a991e.jpg

large_b78b77c0-5b0b-11ea-b61c-3376848a991e.jpg

large_ad12bf00-5b11-11ea-b419-73bc65ae9499.jpg
Yellow Billed Stork

It's time for breakfast, and time to close off this blog entry. Thank you to Calabash Adventures for organising this safari for us.

large_49738d70-5b12-11ea-8634-03797472bf1b.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 02:24 Archived in Tanzania Tagged monkeys wildlife africa safari tanzania zebra national_park baboons flooding roller stork impala waterbuck bushbuck shrike barbet hornbill lake_manyara buzzard game_drive lilac_breasted_roller calabash_adventures vervet_monkeys crowned_crane wildlife_photography fiscal_shrike lake_manyara_national_park Comments (3)

Lake Natron - Mto Wa Mbu walking Tour - Kilimamoja

Something a little different today


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

Lake Natron Camp

I slept reasonably well last night, despite someone's alarm going all through the night. The 'alarm', we are told, was a distressed nightjar!

Breakfast is good, with a Continental selection including peanut butter, followed by a cooked breakfast.

large_cef06600-58a9-11ea-8f19-95ed6824d26e.jpg

large_da9a6410-58a9-11ea-8f19-95ed6824d26e.jpg

large_b1863b30-589f-11ea-a70b-291b426eb746.jpg

Before we leave the camp, I use the facilities near the mess tent – a compostable toilet with buckets of sand to cover up any excrement, yet there is modern 'luxuries' such as running water in the basin and individual terry towels neatly rolled up in a basket.

large_bdad7f90-589f-11ea-a70b-291b426eb746.jpg

Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano looks pretty this morning with her pink hat on.

large_ff252450-589f-11ea-a70b-291b426eb746.jpg

Wishing our friends Lyn and Chris could have come with us on this safari, we took with us large photos of them and pretended they were here too, creating this photo for them.

large_adcb06f0-58aa-11ea-8f19-95ed6824d26e.jpg

It is time to head back to 'civilisation' again this morning. The roads have not improved any, that's for sure.

large_85395e10-58ac-11ea-b678-43fabbc34f3b.jpg

large_9009c500-58ac-11ea-b678-43fabbc34f3b.jpg

Giraffe

Our path is blocked by a giraffe again today.

large_7ddd9cc0-58b2-11ea-8342-b71ccc091313.jpg

large_8a24ec40-58b2-11ea-8342-b71ccc091313.jpg

large_978525d0-58b2-11ea-8342-b71ccc091313.jpg

Strange earth mounds appear on the side of the road.

large_f8e30f20-594f-11ea-8fe2-dfa639026e9e.jpg

large_5a8ec330-5951-11ea-8fa4-d78746628eb5.jpg
Crowned Lapwing

large_65732750-5951-11ea-8fa4-d78746628eb5.jpg
You can quite clearly see the reason it got its name here

Kori Bustard

A large bird, this male is displaying the courtship ritual by inflating his throat, spreading the white frontal neck feathers outwards and raising his tail. All the while emitting a loud and powerful drum sound that can carry for several kilometres.

large_e20e4230-595c-11ea-9cb4-31d221101200.jpg

large_77905970-5961-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

large_3fcb76a0-5961-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

While we are watching the bustard, an inquisitive Lesser Masked Weaver comes to investigate what we are doing.

large_64e71d80-595d-11ea-9cb4-31d221101200.jpg

Capped Wheatear

It is obviously the time of year when birds have making babies on their minds, as this pair of wheatear are at it too!

large_d33af3d0-5960-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

large_c8764cb0-5960-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

large_dc249960-5960-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

large_e7bdce90-5960-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg

large_0777a4d0-5962-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg
Chestnut Bellied Sandgrouse - today's first lifer

large_b9402fc0-5962-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg
Eastern Chanting Goshawk, lifting one leg for thermoregulation.

large_82e43650-5963-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg
Although not quite as loud as the Kori Bustard, the Goshawk seems to still have plenty to say.

large_0d9a0220-5964-11ea-bd37-b9cf49ae8594.jpg
White Throated Bee Eaters

large_c017dde0-5965-11ea-88e6-1f7e916e0ab3.jpg
This Kori Bustard seems to be more intent on looking for food rather than sex – could it be the female our previous mate was trying to impress?

large_d9c84b20-5966-11ea-97bd-5988f0c1632a.jpg
Ostrich harem - one male five females. Good luck to him!

large_28a49640-5967-11ea-97bd-5988f0c1632a.jpg
The hillside is ablaze with colour

Zebra

We spook a zebra mummy and her young foal.

large_b64e9470-596a-11ea-80a8-d7ad18c436b8.jpg

They soon settle down, though, joining a few others.

large_c72de2a0-596a-11ea-80a8-d7ad18c436b8.jpg

large_d2b1e220-596a-11ea-80a8-d7ad18c436b8.jpg

A couple of Maasai Warriors in their full regalia walk past in the field.

large_19c8aa70-596d-11ea-96ae-713ebd56cff5.jpg

I find it interesting that the men are dressed in what appears to me to be their finest regalia, with brightly coloured shúkà (cloth), rungu (club) and spear, while just casually walking in a field.

Also, look at the length of the hair on the guy on the right. His long braids indicate that he is a moran, or warrior; a title achieved after an initiation rite when puberty is reached, involving circumcision (traditionally without anaesthetic), and spending time living in isolation in the bush, learning tribal customs and developing strength, courage, and endurance—traits for which Maasai warriors are noted throughout the world. During this time the young men will wear black and often have their faces painted with bold patterns. Historically a Maasai man should also have killed a lion single-handedly using only a spear to prove that he is worthy to be a moran; although that practice has been outlawed today.

Some 900,000 Maasai people are spread throughout Kenya and Tanzania, and although some of the younger generation have steered away from the nomadic life to positions in business commerce and government roles. During recent years, projects have been implemented to help Maasai tribal leaders find a way to preserve their traditions and way of life while also trying to balance the education needs of the Maasai children for the modern world.

large_63300490-5992-11ea-a2f7-698f6092cfd5.jpg
The local bus service

It looks like we have another river to get across.

large_289d97f0-5994-11ea-8310-ef004167b885.jpg

large_63891650-596c-11ea-8df4-9ba850988902.jpg
Dark Chanting Goshawk

large_05f856d0-596d-11ea-8df4-9ba850988902.jpg
White Breasted Bee Eater

Ngaruka

We pass through the small town of Ngaruka again.

large_a15768b0-5999-11ea-81d5-a509fd40a51f.jpg

large_aba86670-5999-11ea-81d5-a509fd40a51f.jpg

large_b6d39790-5999-11ea-81d5-a509fd40a51f.jpg

large_503ea5a0-599a-11ea-81d5-a509fd40a51f.jpg
The roads are still pretty awful

large_b557d790-599a-11ea-9e5f-e5d21c201552.jpg
Donkey Cart, AKA Maasai Landrover

large_937cbd10-599b-11ea-9e5f-e5d21c201552.jpg
The roads are affectionately referred to as “Free African Massage”.

large_a0f0b040-599c-11ea-9e5f-e5d21c201552.jpg
Where did the road go?

large_dc1d4f20-599c-11ea-9e5f-e5d21c201552.jpg
Here it is. Or rather, was.

large_7711bc50-599d-11ea-9e5f-e5d21c201552.jpg
This looks like fun


.

Road Re-Construction

It looks like they are finally trying to do something about some of the washed away areas of this road.

large_22547390-59a4-11ea-aaa8-5f5747aacc29.jpg

large_5ad97210-59a4-11ea-aaa8-5f5747aacc29.jpg

We stop and give them some bottles of water.

large_7561be30-59a4-11ea-aaa8-5f5747aacc29.jpg

large_1c3a2530-59a5-11ea-aaa8-5f5747aacc29.jpg

Goodness knows the could do with some improvement in many places along this route.

large_183dadc0-59a6-11ea-aaa8-5f5747aacc29.jpg

Cactus

We pass a complete forest of cacti. I don't think I have ever seen that before.

large_80b980c0-59a8-11ea-8ec9-21b38d7e9e1d.jpg

large_8d365f30-59a8-11ea-8ec9-21b38d7e9e1d.jpg

Mto Wa Mbu

We are back in civilisation for the time being, having stopped in Mto Wa Mbu, a large-ish town on the main road from Arusha to Serengeti. The local name means Mosquito River, as a reference to the numerous insects that frequent this area. The only time we've ever stopped here previously, is to buy some little red bananas. This time we are partaking in a 'Cultural Walking Tour' of the plantations in the area. By now it is 12:00 and blistering hot; making me think of the old saying: “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. As I am not English, I must be the mad dog.

large_e3fa70d0-5a17-11ea-a5af-6f36d0f82015.jpg
Water from the river is re-directed into canals to provide irrigation for plantations.

large_02cfcff0-5a18-11ea-a5af-6f36d0f82015.jpg
Mango tree. Unfortunately right now is not the season for harvesting – I love mango!

large_9064d170-5a19-11ea-a5af-6f36d0f82015.jpg
Crops are rotated three times a year, between, rice, corn and cassawa. Here they are clearing the fields ready for replanting rice.

large_2b9165a0-5a1a-11ea-a5af-6f36d0f82015.jpg
It's a muddy job!

large_0a9f87c0-5a1d-11ea-bf7b-8156f6792a4d.jpg

large_521f5d00-5a1d-11ea-bf7b-8156f6792a4d.jpg

large_d00da9a0-5a19-11ea-a5af-6f36d0f82015.jpg
Rice plantations are started off in a dedicated seed bed, then transferred to their final growing area by hand. It's a labour intensive job.

large_58f14950-5a21-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg

large_7dd36240-5a20-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

large_8a10edc0-5a20-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg
It's back-breaking work. The ladies invite me to join them after we share a joke; much as I would love to for the fun of it, I have to decline – my back would not thank me for it.

large_a3485a70-5a21-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg
Farmers often rent very small plots to grow just enough rice for their family and to maybe make a small amount of money.

large_d2a3b9a0-5a20-11ea-a428-5b184a95af75.jpg
Dried out corn husks will be used as animal fodder.

large_4603f820-5a20-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

large_a1d88150-5a22-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg
Taking it home for the cattle

large_d9fe3e40-5a21-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg
Okra or Lady Fingers

large_610225a0-5a22-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg
Cassawa Plants

Three days ago during the heavy rains, this complete area was flooded. We did notice that when we drove through, the sides of the road were under several inches of water.

large_30331230-5a23-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg

Banana Plantations

large_06e058b0-5a24-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

Three main types of bananas are grown here: the green bananas used for cooking, which take 6 months to mature; the yellow bananas that we all eat take 9 months, while the sweeter red variety take the longest to be ready, at a year.

large_128aa4e0-5a24-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

large_57b873d0-5a24-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

large_929bd4b0-5a24-11ea-9dfb-9ba66356316d.jpg

Lunch

We are taken to a small local restaurant set in amongst the plantations, with a bamboo hut housing the kitchen and an open-sided covered area with chair and tables for the diners.

large_abc1dc40-5a25-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg

large_b7a8e350-5a25-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg

large_c44a60c0-5a25-11ea-8a75-db5bb1ee87f8.jpg
It's good to be out of the fierce sun

The food is served buffet style, with a number of dishes available.

large_80666500-5a27-11ea-9997-e79b9308d82e.jpg

large_72421820-5a27-11ea-9997-e79b9308d82e.jpg
From left to right, back row: fried green bananas, boiled potatoes, aubergine (eggplant). Front row: mixed beans and corn (maize), a green vegetable similar to spinach, ugali - a staple in Tanzanian homes, it is made from flour (millet, maize, sorghum or cassawa) boiled with water to make a stodgy mass. It is bland but filling and I like it with a sauce.

large_187601c0-5a28-11ea-9997-e79b9308d82e.jpg
Back row, left to right: bean casserole, salad, beef stew. Bottom row, left to right: pilau rice, white rice and potatoes in a tomato sauce with green beans.

large_f56c91b0-5a2e-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg

Lake Manyara

As we climb up into the Ngorongoro Highlands, we look down on Lake Manyara. Not only can we see that the lake has swollen way past its normal size; but also that it has turned red from soil washed down from the hills.

large_51ab8ec0-5a2c-11ea-8a06-f7c790eb9af5.jpg

Kilimamoja Lodge

Arriving back at this lovely lodge is like coming home after a long trip. The staff are out in force to greet us, calling out: “Hello Grete, hello David, welcome back”.

This time we are in the room furthest away from the reception, and they provide us with a golf caddy to take us there.

large_03d46220-5a2d-11ea-8a06-f7c790eb9af5.jpg

On the front porch, a very nice message is spelled out in green beans!

large_5a0c86e0-5a2d-11ea-8a06-f7c790eb9af5.jpg

With a couple of hours to spare, we debate whether to go for a swim, or sit on the balcony for a bit followed by a nap. The relaxation wins.

large_48633c80-5a2e-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg
Towel art on the bed


.

large_728fc950-5a2f-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg
We have an unobscured view of the valley below

Although the pool does look inviting, the balcony provides a very welcome breeze after the heat of the day, and we are delighted when we spot a pair of Verreaux's Eagles soaring over the Rift Valley – another lifer for us!

large_5a053e70-5a2e-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg

large_70469210-5a2e-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg

large_79515430-5a2e-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg

large_2cffdd30-5a2f-11ea-96ff-c5590f160997.jpg
Always prepared for a great photo opportunity

Dinner

We are the only guests in the restaurant this evening, and spend ages chatting to the chef, who appears to have worked all over southern Africa in some very high class establishments, including Palace of the Lost City (which this place reminds me of).

large_ce543070-5a32-11ea-8481-eb753641ecd9.jpg

large_f6d7e4b0-5a32-11ea-8481-eb753641ecd9.jpg
I have never before been served a samosa in a cocktail glass

large_58e27710-5a33-11ea-9e7d-a12090118989.jpg
A delightfully presented and beautifully tender rare fillet steak with a slightly spicy sauce.

While not actually on the menu this evening, the chef makes me another one of his better-than-sex-chocolate-fondants.

large_64311940-5a34-11ea-9e7d-a12090118989.jpg
Cappuccino Art

As before, there are chocolates on our pillow from the turnback service when we return to the room. Such a nice touch.

large_fc323710-5a34-11ea-9e7d-a12090118989.jpg

Thank you so much to Calabash Adventures for arranging this safari for us.

large_34185d80-5a35-11ea-9e7d-a12090118989.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 12:23 Archived in Tanzania Tagged wildlife volcano cactus river rice breakfast africa dinner safari tanzania zebra eagle lunch donkeys bananas canon maasai giraffe flooding masai plantations cappuccino rice_paddies ugali nightjar kori_bustard lake_manyara ostriches calabash_adventures mto_wa_mbu plover lapwing bee_eater sandgrouse goshawk wildlife_photography kilimamoja_lodge lake_natron ngaruka lake_natron_camp ol_doinyo_lengai courtship_titual wheatear maasai_warriors road_construction road_workers cactus_forest mosquito_river rice_planting banana_plantation red_bananas crop_rotation okra lake_manyara_flooded verreaux's_eagle samosa_in_a_cocktail_glass rare_fillet_steak Comments (1)

Ngorongoro Crater Day 2 Part 1 - lions and elephants

An early start after a heavy night


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

As often happens here on the south-western rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, a heavy mist hangs in the air as we leave this lovely camp behind and head off to “see what nature has to offer us this morning” (one of Malisa's favourite sayings).

Malanja Depression

After a season with abundant rain this year, this part of Malanja Depression has been transformed into a lake. Malisa tells me this is the first time surface water has collected here like this since 1997. There must have been a terrific amount of water here after the rains, seeing as we are now right at the end of the dry season and yet a considerable sized lake remains.

large_90cfc1a0-fb20-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_0670d2f0-fb21-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg
Giraffe

Spotted Hyena

It seems that in my drunken stupor last night, I left my camera on Tungsten White Balance and EV+2 from shooting the stars (or rather attempting to), resulting in a rather blue, overexposed image this morning. Thankfully it can be largely corrected in Photoshop.

large_4fa97460-fb24-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_58c7be80-fb24-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_e42ae150-fb24-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg
Grant's Gazelle

Ngorongoro Crater

As we head towards the Lemala Descent Road, we see the crater bathed in a glorious sunrise.

large_3b8baef0-fb22-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_ac9fe520-fb22-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

We are heading down into the crater this morning for a second visit.

large_acbeb060-fb25-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_ffc59260-fb25-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

By the time we get to the bottom, the caldera is shrouded in mist and full of dust unsettled by vehicles and animals.

large_959948e0-fb26-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_a1729450-fb26-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_77a99960-fb27-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg

large_e03ee7d0-fb29-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg
Grant's Gazelles

large_ecfec2b0-fb29-11e8-a013-5bbe1ebafc02.jpg
Red Billed Queleas

Helmeted Guineafowl

large_c9bc3380-fb2b-11e8-ae37-21880d4eaac5.jpg

large_dc3b7610-fb2b-11e8-ae37-21880d4eaac5.jpg

large_e592d190-fb2b-11e8-ae37-21880d4eaac5.jpg
Laughing Dove

Ostrich

large_6775e5c0-fb2d-11e8-8178-11a44134fb61.jpg

large_e2ae6460-fb2d-11e8-8178-11a44134fb61.jpg

Egyptian Goose

large_43d26750-fb2e-11e8-8178-11a44134fb61.jpg

large_1da38da0-fb30-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

Thomson's Gazelles fighting over a female

large_ecf8a730-fb34-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

large_8a08c870-fb35-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

It's pretty serious stuff with a lot of effort and loud crashing of horns. They often fight until death.

large_4cfd4580-fb37-11e8-820b-ef9adf872b81.jpg

They look so cute and harmless, but they can be quite ferocious when the affections of a female is at stake.

large_0c18c390-fb38-11e8-bebb-3dbadb42b3e2.jpg

large_55db0ec0-fb38-11e8-bebb-3dbadb42b3e2.jpg

Wildebeest

Male wildebeest have specially modified glands situated under the eye called pre orbital glands, and here he is rubbing his face on the ground leaving a scent to mark his territory.

large_6c4ac990-fb31-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

large_280df4e0-fb32-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

large_9eab4080-fb32-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg
He seems rather pleased with himself

large_ee86fa40-fb32-11e8-b370-5b63e493644b.jpg

African Spoonbill

large_7345da00-fb3b-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_7e1110d0-fb3b-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_89ab7e80-fb3b-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

Wildebeest

large_c49133e0-fb3c-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

They remain totally unperturbed by the hyena in their midst.

large_5d4ca100-fb3d-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_a4e49220-fb3d-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

Lions

Two males and one female, just lying around doing absolutely nothing.

large_fe7060a0-fb3b-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

Occasionally one lifts his head to see if there is anything worth getting excited about before settling down again.

large_90a72f60-fb3e-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_9d2175c0-fb3e-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

Spotted Hyena

large_f135f730-fb3e-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

There are a few of them dotted around.

large_3a681050-fb3f-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_6a0f7730-fb3f-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

large_a06bf060-fb3f-11e8-a79a-0de84df1c5f2.jpg

Lerai Forest

Once an area of dense forest, Lerai is now more like a woodland glade, mostly because of the destructive actions of elephants such as this guy.

large_63ea0d30-fbac-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

We spend ages watching him decimate everything in his path until a ranger on foot comes along and (unintentionally) scares him away.

large_77dbf290-fbac-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_87626780-fbac-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_919bbe90-fbac-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_4deab9b0-fbae-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_980e85d0-fbae-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_5313df60-fbaf-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_5fca0830-fbad-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_a43e1980-fbac-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

Olive Baboons

Elephants aren't the only animals who live in Lerai Forest.

large_1d7f2d90-fbb0-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_27b30660-fbb0-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_319319e0-fbb0-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_d49f87f0-fbb4-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

large_dcdd0f00-fbb4-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg
Scraping at the bark of the tree to get to nectar or maybe insects

Strangler Fig

It is hard to believe that this mass of hanging branches is all one tree.

large_484a87e0-fbb0-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

Little Bee Eater

large_37a789f0-fbb1-11e8-b087-cd07b36c462a.jpg

large_3fc07200-fbb1-11e8-b087-cd07b36c462a.jpg

Bateleur Eagle

A colourful raptor with a large wingspan and very short tail, although this guy does look like he has even lost what little he had from before.

large_3e13d6a0-fbb5-11e8-a1d7-1f283b9628f4.jpg

Nubian Woodpecker

large_c3a0ecc0-fbc6-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

large_cfdcf1a0-fbc6-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

Black Faced Vervet Monkey

large_fc40b450-fbc8-11e8-bf17-510e0cce1a13.jpg

large_ea3234f0-fbc8-11e8-bf17-510e0cce1a13.jpg

large_6982d3e0-fbc9-11e8-bf17-510e0cce1a13.jpg

large_ffee6820-fbca-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

Call me infantile, but I am forever fascinated by their blue balls!

large_779d4040-fbca-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

And evidentially, so is he.

large_f64a7340-fbca-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

Elephant

As we try to make our way to the Lerai Picnic Site for breakfast, we are waylaid by a youngish (some 30 years old maybe) bull elephant on the road.

large_99a67600-fbd1-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

He munches his way right past our car – if I was so inclined I could reach out and touch him. He seems completely unfazed by us.

large_23f43130-fbd2-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

large_6f0c6f70-fbd2-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

We finally manage to get to the picnic site for our breakfast. And so ends Part ONE of today's adventures. Thank you Calabash Adventures for this great opportunity to see such amazing wildlife.

large_add15040-fbd2-11e8-80b3-59cfb298024b.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:06 Archived in Tanzania Tagged monkey elephant africa tanzania eagle battle birding photography crater lions giraffe flooding ostrich ngorongoro hyena woodpecker spoonbill geese caldera wildebeest goose east_africa bird_watching scent tungsten game_drive olive_baboons blue_balls spotted_hyena malanja_depression grant's_gazelle bee_eater ngrongoro_crater ang'ata_camp lemala_descent_road seasonal_lake white_balance fighting_for_female marking_territory orbital_glands vervet_monkey strangler_fig lerai_forest Comments (6)

(Entries 1 - 8 of 8) Page [1]