A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about leopard in a tree

Serengeti Part II - Cheetah and Leopard

The ethical conundrum of visiting, conservation versus interference


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

Tumbili Picnic Site

This site is part of a public camp ground, and quite large and well organised, with lots of tables and a clean, modern toilet. Oh how things have changed since our very first camping safari in The Serengeti 2007!

large_fb1467c0-5fd6-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

large_3874c270-5fca-11ea-8c9a-59784dd3c26a.jpg

large_4b961160-5fca-11ea-8c9a-59784dd3c26a.jpg

Von der Decken's Hornbill

I get side tracked by a hornbill flitting in amongst the trees and the parked cars at the picnic site.

large_021630f0-5fcb-11ea-8c9a-59784dd3c26a.jpg

large_7aeb9240-5fcb-11ea-8c9a-59784dd3c26a.jpg

large_f3097880-5fcd-11ea-8b30-5d6b5d90edea.jpg

large_648d54e0-5fd8-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

large_6efc61f0-5fd8-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

They are funny looking things when they are taking a dust bath!

large_93d3b000-5fd8-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

A Rueppell's Long Tailed Glossy Starling has found a large piece of bread left behind by picnickers.

large_7c743140-5fcf-11ea-a0db-d326de6d35cd.jpg

Cheetah

A cheetah mum and her sub-adult cub survey the countryside from the top of a rock. The mum has a nasty gash on her chest, most likely caused by an antelope horn, and is looking very hungry.

large_00af0200-5fda-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

large_44f46cc0-5fda-11ea-9f37-459edaacc52f.jpg

They've spotted some Hartebeest in the distance and are obviously considering their options for lunch.

large_f5305250-5fdc-11ea-93e0-bb3dc06fff0b.jpg

It looks like she might be going for it.

large_95b8f780-5fe8-11ea-aa8b-f7f381f28d0d.jpg

Nope, just having a stretch.

large_2b4b5f40-5fe9-11ea-aa8b-f7f381f28d0d.jpg

Oh yes, she is, she was obviously just limbering up.

large_c08c4ba0-5fe9-11ea-8e14-c71a9272161a.jpg

The cub follows.

large_53fc5db0-5fec-11ea-bdef-d58acc9d1f54.jpg

For a while they stroll through the long grass together.

large_27fa02a0-5fef-11ea-8746-bd68659b90b2.jpg

Mum moves on and somehow the cub gets left behind. Lost and confused, he starts to call out to his mum.

large_6201a980-5fef-11ea-8746-bd68659b90b2.jpg

Mum climbs atop another rock and they are soon reunited.

large_eeaa32b0-5ff1-11ea-b8bb-c5c21502d1e7.jpg

large_f92cc7c0-5ff1-11ea-b8bb-c5c21502d1e7.jpg

He gets left behind again when mum continues her quest for food, ”You need to keep up son.”

large_e3148db0-5ff6-11ea-8429-3fcc8814172d.jpg

The cheetah still has her eye on those hartebeest, but cannot work out how to get to them – there are some 70 or so tourist vehicles between her and them. I know the wildlife is protected as a result of safari tourists coming here, with locals encouraged to conserve the animals rather than hunt them but it still feels all wrong, as if we are interfering with nature.

large_057bb430-5ff9-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

large_55793150-5ffa-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

Where mother goes, son follows.

large_8288f2d0-5ff9-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

She's off again.

large_ed39a730-5ffb-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

And so is the youngster.

large_9149ed80-5ffc-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

We can hear mum calling him, and suddenly he breaks into a run, bouncing up and down in the long grass as he goes.

large_30ff21a0-5ffe-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

large_3bc8d1d0-5ffe-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

large_a5dbaa70-5ffe-11ea-ba4c-e3f6b09ca0ab.jpg

Constantly on the move, here and there, back and forth. At one stage we find the cub trying to hide in the long grass right by the car.

large_04455d00-607b-11ea-a386-d952b99d727f.jpg

This rock looks like a good place to get a view over the plains.

large_1619b990-607b-11ea-a386-d952b99d727f.jpg

large_3b2d4d50-607b-11ea-a386-d952b99d727f.jpg

And the cub follows.

large_8147e5e0-607e-11ea-86ef-cf1fa8c1dd14.jpg

large_8b314830-607e-11ea-86ef-cf1fa8c1dd14.jpg

large_94d256e0-607e-11ea-86ef-cf1fa8c1dd14.jpg

Junior has spotted something. Is it suitable for lunch?

large_ca0f87f0-607f-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg

Not at all – the cheetahs may be brave hunters, but a large baboon spooks them and they disappear into the long grass.

large_d58074a0-607f-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg

Olive baboons

The cheetahs are not the only ones feeling concerned as the baboons walk between the vehicles and even jump on top of one of the cars looking for food.

large_74c88480-6080-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg

The can be quite aggressive and cause a lot of damage should they attack.

large_18ffb3c0-6081-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg

Time to move on.

large_6c377450-6082-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg
Three Banded Plover

large_779af380-6082-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg
Pin Tailed Whydah

large_fe6b6ed0-6082-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg
Lilac Breasted Roller

large_6415bd30-6083-11ea-8900-09d1e50951fd.jpg
Silverbird

large_41ba59b0-6085-11ea-a81f-712387b1f0d0.jpg
Striated Heron

Road Repairs

I know this is the main road through Serengeti, which is used not only by safari vehicles, but also by heavy goods trucks; but here the surface was pretty good in the first place! Wouldn't it be so much more sensible to try and sort out some of the smaller, muddier tracks we've been along, where in some places the road is not even passable?

large_34eaf900-6086-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg

large_f1d733a0-6089-11ea-9739-2fa18482b3e6.jpg
Steel Blue Whydah

Leopard

Would you believe we see another leopard in a tree?

large_92345d30-60af-11ea-923c-251a025f87c2.jpg

There are quite a few vehicles here already, but one by one they drive off as the cat just relaxes on a branch, licking herpaws and generally not doing a lot. When she starts to yawn, we know she will soon make a move, and after about half an hour, we are the only people left watching when she slowly makes her way across the tree branches. As always, patience sure pays off!

large_8a000110-60b3-11ea-b10f-6bf8feee78c9.jpg

large_ac553820-60b3-11ea-b10f-6bf8feee78c9.jpg

large_15752fd0-60b5-11ea-b10f-6bf8feee78c9.jpg

large_448eae90-60b5-11ea-b10f-6bf8feee78c9.jpg

Within five minutes, she has made her way down from the tree – unfortunately hidden by the vegetation so no photos.

large_7d7e43d0-60b7-11ea-bf73-a7f9497f0cb4.jpg
White Rumped Helmetshrike

Giraffe

I mentioned to Malisa earlier how surprised I was at the lack of 'plains game' such as giraffe, zebra and antelopes. With that, we come across a giraffe.

large_4a5a9200-60b8-11ea-bf73-a7f9497f0cb4.jpg
Malisa estimates that this youngster is less than three months old

All this excitement has made us hungry, and we call into the Visitor's Centre Picnic Area for lunch.

Thank you Calabash Adventures for another amazing safari.

large_2319a180-60b9-11ea-bf73-a7f9497f0cb4.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 07:10 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds wildlife breakfast africa safari tanzania birding cheetah picnic giraffe baboons roller serengeti leopard heron starling bird_watching hornbill african_safari lilac_breasted_roller calabash_adventures plover breakfast_picnic helmetshrike silverbird wildlife_photography whydah leopard_in_a_tree tumbili_picnic_site cheetah_cub road_repairs road_works Comments (3)

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)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]