A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about lion

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)

Lobo - Ndutu Part 3 - elephants, warthogs, giraffes

...and a couple of 'almost' leopard sightings.


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

More Elephants

This time under the shade of a tree

large_1b226060-33ac-11e9-9ad8-5bba836903c6.jpg

Black Faced Vervet Monkey

This young lady is carrying the tiniest of babies, but she doesn't seem to want to show him off to us.

large_9671c8c0-33b4-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

For a moment it looks like the baby is losing his grip on mum's belly.

large_ba621230-33b4-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

Whirlwind

We've seen a lot of these mini-tornadoes on this trip, with more windy weather than we've ever experienced in the past.

large_d2595dc0-33b5-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

Another Leopard Tree

Just like before, the leopard has jumped down from the tree before we arrive, and could be absolutely anywhere by now.

large_d9536850-33b5-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

Kill in Tree

This is beginning to be the 'Story of Our Day' as we see the carcass of a reedbuck in a tree. The predator has deserted her kill to go off hunting again. Knowing that she is likely to return to move the kill to protect it from lions, we wait. And wait. And wait. “Just ten minutes more”. Eventually, after what seems to me like an eternity, we take a vote and decide to move on to “see what else nature has to offer us”.

large_44ac0760-33b6-11e9-bb70-a9e3923b2eeb.jpg

large_6b4030e0-437e-11e9-b18c-9921e859dab3.jpg

Helmeted Guineafowl

I know they are birds, but it is still unusual to see the guineafowl in a tree.

large_196b3980-33b7-11e9-92c0-ff70d722893b.jpg

large_25b4abe0-33b7-11e9-92c0-ff70d722893b.jpg

Warthogs

Heading for the waterhole

large_090b1b80-33b9-11e9-8d59-f5b63f3167fb.jpg

Rolling around in the pond, the warthogs are essentially 'applying sunscreen' using the thick mud for protection.

large_0421ef20-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_189cb390-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_2a4ebb10-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

large_413eec50-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

Seeing warthogs walk makes me think that they look like ladies in stilettos.

large_57baff00-3433-11e9-97fd-af340f88ddff.jpg

Thomson's Gazelles

Also at the waterhole are a few Thomson's gazelles.

large_9fe23270-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_8b115ec0-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_b69c3880-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_c399b8a0-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_d7fa8c70-3691-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

Reedbucks

The shy reedbuck stay in the distance, hoping for the gazelles to vacate the waterhole so they can go down to drink in peace.

large_0c2a61a0-3692-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

large_17c321a0-3692-11e9-9d42-7f693cd5d70a.jpg

Elephants

large_b311d140-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_cf7211b0-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_38b6ebf0-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_ebc77cb0-36e9-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

This herd includes a couple of really young babies, just two and three months old.

large_16627830-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_16627830-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_79875430-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_9d1f4470-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Mum is very protective over her baby.

large_5229f780-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

large_66436210-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Note the dust devil in the background – as I said earlier, we saw more of these on this trip than we have on all the previous safaris put together.

large_b0348570-36ea-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Lioness

This young lady is having an afternoon siesta under a tree, all by herself.

large_a27d6760-36ec-11e9-bef4-85e924301feb.jpg

Topi

Surveying the landscape from the top of a small mound. As they do.

large_6f73bb50-36ef-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

White Bellied Bustard

large_a1ee49f0-36f0-11e9-8f47-53f620f4ef4e.jpg

Steenbok

Not sure what this steenbok has done with his ears – he looks rather odd.

large_bf0317e0-36f1-11e9-9118-95e694b83595.jpg

Short Grass Plains

Looking out over the area that they call Short Grass Plains, I can understand how Serengeti got its name: Endless Plains (the meaning of the name Serengeti in the local Maa language).

large_0b01a200-36f3-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

Dust

At this time of year, vehicles travelling on the dirt tracks of the Serengeti throw up huge clouds of dust, especially the large trucks.

large_a5057830-36f4-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

large_f3f460f0-36f4-11e9-8534-3b6260b29981.jpg

Common Kestrel

He has a little lizard in his talons, but seems more interested in looking around than eating, but eventually bites its head off and flies off holding the rest of his lunch in his claws.

large_138d52a0-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_1dcc00e0-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_26ad6910-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

large_3f91f040-36ff-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Steppe Eagle

large_1c4d21b0-3702-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Chipped Windscreen

The problem with these dry gravel tracks is not just the dust, there are also little stones being thrown up. This started as a small chip less than an inch long a few days ago, but with the vibrations of the uneven surface and the vacuum effect caused by driving at speed, it is now almost a foot long. Every time we pass another vehicle, Malisa holds on to the windscreen with his spare hand to lessen the chance of it shattering. Fortunately there is very little traffic today.

large_e8ddc0e0-3702-11e9-a94a-bf7845d6eace.jpg

Naabi Gate

By the time we reach the gate to exit Serengeti, both David and I have the runs; thankfully the toilets here are clean and modern these days.

Ndutu

After completing the formalities and leaving Serengeti, we enter one of my favourite places in Tanzania: Ndutu. Part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ndutu encompasses a lake of the same name as well as Lake Masek.

Baby Golden Jackal

There is no sign of the rest of his family, I am guessing (hoping) they are hiding somewhere nearby.

large_cde5db50-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

large_e6af6070-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

large_f17455b0-3708-11e9-970e-fd62b0a2eb95.jpg

Spotted Hyena

large_137636a0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

large_1f501e50-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

large_2c72b2a0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

Fireball Lily

Unlike our last two visits, which have been in May when the plains are turned into enormous, colourful meadows, at this time of year it is unusual to see any flowers, making this fireball lily all the more special.

large_b0415fa0-374b-11e9-bb28-b5127642b0da.jpg

Flamingos on Lake Ndutu

The way they move when they are feeding, tripping up and down, lifting one leg, then the other, always makes me think of little children needing the toilet. They are, of course, doing it to try and disturb algae.

large_7e202ce0-3750-11e9-9480-e7175e015ae0.jpg

large_8d9a45c0-3750-11e9-9480-e7175e015ae0.jpg

Yellow Necked Francolin

large_8c3f5430-3751-11e9-99e6-bb3465cbe2db.jpg

Giraffe

large_8a56d690-377c-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

As I said earlier, the dry soil means that the car kicks up a large amount of dust as we are driving along the dirt tracks. While we are moving, it is not so noticeable, as the dust is mostly behind us; but as soon as we stop, the fine powder seems to catch up with us, making photography impossible for a minute or so until it settles.

large_75adaf20-377c-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

large_b8ad36f0-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

large_cdcacb10-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

While I was complaining about the dust a minute ago, I love it when we get back-light from the setting sun and the animals themselves kick up the dust. It adds a magical atmosphere to the photographs.

large_deb515c0-377d-11e9-9c40-9bb0cab67d93.jpg

Elephants

large_4cf50750-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_82c87a60-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Wait for me!

large_f94124a0-383c-11e9-aac6-9300e3336db5.jpg

The elephants are heading to the Big Marsh area to have a drink before bed time.

large_76e1f0b0-383d-11e9-aac6-9300e3336db5.jpg

Fork Tailed Drongo

large_a9bb5570-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

More Elephants

large_b241a550-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

We notice one of them has a broken tusk, probably destroyed it while trying to bring down a tree.

large_c6f13560-3870-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

The light is really failing now as Malisa makes his way to our camp for the night.

Tawny Eagle

large_7b465ea0-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Black Backed Jackal

large_92a9eb20-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_9d2c3210-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Striped Hyena

I always travel to Tanzania with a wish list of some animals I would really like to see. While I am of course excited by whatever “nature has to offer us”, there are still some animals that we have yet to encounter in the wild. Striped Hyena is one of those. It has been on my wish lists every single one of the six times we have come to Tanzania on safari.

Just before we arrive at our night stop, Malisa abruptly stops the car as an animal crosses the track in front of us at the speed of light. “What was that” I ask as I instinctively grab my camera. Malisa is almost too excited to speak. “Striped Hyena”. Wow. Not only is the light so low by now (ISO 20,000 for my photography friends), the hyena is such a fast mover, that he is way into the bush by the time I press the shutter.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very excited to announce that this is a STRIPED HYENA. Honestly.

large_bf10cd00-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

Lake Masek Tented Camp

This is the third time we have stayed at this charming camp, and it never fails to delight us.

large_f60eb650-3871-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

After completing the usual formalities, we check out the new deck that has been built since we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary here in May last year.

large_04ab4070-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

The view from here has always been spectacular, overlooking the lake of the same name.

large_2ea9fbf0-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

This evening a welcoming camp fire is burning in the elevated fire pit, with director's chairs surrounding it, facing the stunning outlook.

large_4bea6330-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_5e6734c0-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

large_68b01c30-3872-11e9-a2da-6790ddffcb88.jpg

We also see there is new and a very inviting-looking swimming pool on a lower deck. It is a shame we never have time to enjoy the facilities of these lodges – it's a balance between making the most of the animals on safari or the accommodation and the wildlife wins every time.

large_c437cfd0-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Spacious tents on wooden platforms come complete with a four poster bed, large bathroom featuring a stand-alone bath, double basins, a separate toilet and an open air shower.

large_87591420-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_95a7f370-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

a051bf90-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_ae052230-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

The latter is a new experience for Lyn and Chris and causes much amazement and amusement. At dinner Chris regales us with an entertaining account of the conversation that occurred while they were getting ready:

Lyn: “The shower has no roof”
Chris, not taking a great deal of notice: “Oh yeah”
Lyn: “No, really, there is no roof.”
Chris, a little more interested now: “What do you mean 'no roof'?”
Lyn: “I can see the stars”
Chris, a little confused: “Really? Don't be silly”

large_d1b81480-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Unfortunately it is not raining this evening, as having a warm shower in the cool rain is an unforgettable experience. Mind you, so is star gazing while showering.

It is not until I take my watch off this evening that I realise just how much sun you can catch even though you are inside a vehicle and using a factor 20 sun tan lotion.

large_e89496b0-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

We just about have time to enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the mosquito-screened balcony in front of our tent.

large_fafde040-3872-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_08b9f570-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

large_148955d0-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

One of the many things I like about this camp is that Malisa is permitted to eat with us, and we have a terrific evening with lots of raucous laughter, excellent food and free beer and wine. Thankfully the lodge is not full this evening, with only three other tables taken for dinner.

large_1ed4d550-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

All this was, of course, arranged by the ever-helpful Calabash Adventures, our favourite safari partner.

large_b56c02e0-3873-11e9-afba-9d2d75a22390.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 14:31 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals monkeys sunset elephants africa safari tanzania pond eagle birding lion windy giraffe wind swimming_pool lioness lily flamingos serengeti dust hyena sunburn gazelle topi warthog waterhole cracked jackal drongo bird_watching bustard tented_camp ndutu camp_fire kestrel whirlwind windshield calabash_adventures vervet_monkeys black_faced_vervet_monkeys lake_masek short_grass_plains black_backed_jackal spotted_hyena tawny_eagle lake_masek_tented_camp endless_plains spurfowl guineafowl francolin game_viewing golden_jackal mini_tornado white_bellied_bustard reedbuck dust_devil naabi_gate wildlife_photography leopard_kill thomsons_gazelle common_kestrel steppe_eagle chipped_windscreen windscreen baby_golden_jackal striped_hyena fireball_lily yellow_necked_spurfowl yellow_necked_francolin broken_tusk fork_tailed_drongo pre_dinner_drinks outdoor_shower Comments (6)

Lobo - Ndutu Part 2 - elephants and flat tyre

An eventful last morning in the Serengeti


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

Nicely refreshed after a break to stretch our legs, use the facilities, eat our breakfast picnic packs and photograph the hippos at Retima Hippo Pool, we set off again to “see what nature has to offer us”.

Dik Dik

We don't have to travel far before we see our first animal, These cute little antelopes are within the grounds of the picnic site. Dik Diks mate for life and you usually see two of them together, such as here.

large_81c82d40-3221-11e9-968e-6d996745fccb.jpg

large_8dd44880-3221-11e9-968e-6d996745fccb.jpg

Baby Warthogs

Also at the rest stop is a family of warthogs, including these arorable baby piglets.

large_9105c340-322a-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

large_9ea6fd70-322a-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

Tower of Giraffes

large_288506e0-322b-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

large_32fec580-322f-11e9-808a-f56f6cf9b971.jpg

Impala

Mum keeps her 2-3 day old baby close.

large_e679be90-3233-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

large_04304030-3234-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

Look at those ears! The baby is all legs and ears, it seems.

large_f6c642a0-3233-11e9-be09-e7996ce1472a.jpg

The baby suckles her mum.

large_197c5e60-3234-11e9-94c7-3d1fb300d02f.jpg

While the rest of the voyeuristic family look on.

large_291f8310-3234-11e9-94c7-3d1fb300d02f.jpg

Lioness

Malisa stops the car near a few other vehicles. “Lioness” he informs us. We all look in the distance but none of us can spot the cat.

“There” Malisa exclaims with more than a hint of amusement in his voice, pointing downwards, “right by the car”.

large_4e5f4030-3292-11e9-8d7a-0932cce164a1.jpg

She has been out hunting and has returned to where she thinks she left her babies last night, and is now searching for them.

large_99232770-3293-11e9-9df1-85f07bae861d.jpg

Even the abandoned aardvark hole is inspected.

large_b63e0550-3293-11e9-9df1-85f07bae861d.jpg

Appearing to be in distress, she stops and calls out to her cubs, but there is no obvious reply.

large_3a2b0fc0-3294-11e9-a769-eb9ef1c37421.jpg

large_328c6b50-3295-11e9-8189-f31c3fb5c714.jpg
"Have you seen my babies?"

Turning this way and that, there is still no sign of her offspring.

large_d3710240-3297-11e9-8fda-0fed4e39a826.jpg

large_e1433780-3297-11e9-8fda-0fed4e39a826.jpg

large_cdfd5320-32a3-11e9-918b-cd2eadbbe456.jpg

large_e5c93e60-32a3-11e9-918b-cd2eadbbe456.jpg

On the side of her head a nasty gash is indicative of a much-too-close encounter with the horn of a wildebeest or buffalo.

large_04f29140-32a1-11e9-918b-cd2eadbbe456.jpg

large_1d2f3520-32a0-11e9-95f3-a33afe1bb975.jpg

As she walks from one side of the road to the other between the vehicles gathered here, still calling out, I feel like we are somewhat invading her personal space, meddling in nature's progress. Is our presence preventing her cubs from coming forward?

large_7ed750a0-32aa-11e9-9022-0dc42f18177b.jpg

large_8d69efb0-32aa-11e9-9022-0dc42f18177b.jpg

We leave her to carry on looking for her lion cubs and continue on our way, as we have a fair distance to travel today.

large_d444f970-32aa-11e9-9022-0dc42f18177b.jpg

Marabou Stork

Above us a Marabou Stork is circling, creating a striking image against the bubbling white clouds.

large_8b77c730-32ab-11e9-9022-0dc42f18177b.jpg

large_2e02f420-32ac-11e9-9780-4de168973afe.jpg

large_121a1120-32ad-11e9-9780-4de168973afe.jpg

An altogether larger bird.

large_a9d684d0-32ad-11e9-9780-4de168973afe.jpg

Secretary Bird

large_176787b0-32ae-11e9-9780-4de168973afe.jpg

White Rumped Helmetshrike

large_8949e350-32ae-11e9-9780-4de168973afe.jpg

Waterhole

As we pull up at the waterhole, Malisa announces that we have a flat tyre and gets out of the vehicle to put the spare on. Before he can even get anywhere near the jack, he has to get our luggage out, which he then puts of the roof for safety (the green bits you see on the roof are a couple of our bags).

large_21f77a80-32bf-11e9-b1e7-41174f26342f.jpg

large_f5841580-32be-11e9-b1e7-41174f26342f.jpg

Elephants

In the distance we can see a herd of elephants approaching the waterhole and we become aware that we are right in the path between them and the water, which causes us some concern, especially as we realise that we are unable to move the car anywhere with one wheel off.

large_3177ade0-32bf-11e9-b1e7-41174f26342f.jpg

large_55064f50-32bf-11e9-b1e7-41174f26342f.jpg

As the majestic animals rapidly approach, we urge Malisa to get back in the car; from the safety of which we watch them all walk past and around us in order to reach the water where they spend their time splashing around, drinking and bathing.

large_4868adf0-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_6a06a2f0-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_757e6d70-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_85b43530-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_97edbc30-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_a9d46840-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_bd760ac0-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_ccc3bc70-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_dd174560-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_fa1a2e70-3379-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_13a49290-337a-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_25d232b0-337a-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

Stubs

One of the elephants sports a shortened trunk, probably the result of a crocodile attack (or maybe even a poacher), although it does not seem to hamper him much as he appears to have learnt to live with his disability.

large_533ffd40-337a-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_8d8a7980-337a-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_9d93b300-337a-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

large_0d74d150-3384-11e9-a49c-011c8054186d.jpg

Bath time is over for now, and the large animals clumsily climb out of the waterhole.

large_f334bf80-3388-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

large_1364a590-3389-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

I'd love to say they do it with elegance and grace, but the truth is anything but.

large_443c2800-3389-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

large_52697590-3389-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

large_cd00ae50-338d-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

large_dddfe990-339a-11e9-ba6a-7bfc0fbaf92c.jpg

Meanwhile there are still only three wheels on our wagon.

large_f56f8cf0-338b-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

There is an unwritten rule of safaris that you don't park between another vehicle and the animal sighting; but some people have no consideration for others. Not only is he blocking my view of half the waterhole, his aerial is dissecting all my photos in the other half. Thankfully this sort of thing happens very rarely, but he is most definitely not a good advert for his company.

large_1fc6be20-338b-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

large_3b479b10-338b-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

I can get rid of the aerial in Photoshop, as I have in the image below, but that is not the point. Malisa asks him politely to move on, and he does.

large_f029a590-338c-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

Once all the elephants have finished bathing, have climbed out of the waterhole and are on their way to pastures new, another driver pulls his vehicle up right against ours to block the elephants' view of Operation Tyre Change.

large_56124000-338e-11e9-9ee3-458b0d178e01.jpg

Malisa, with the help of is mate from the other vehicle, gets out of the car again and manages to complete that tyre change in record time. Phew.

large_1fd84c80-339a-11e9-ba6a-7bfc0fbaf92c.jpg

large_2edaeb70-339a-11e9-ba6a-7bfc0fbaf92c.jpg

With a fresh new tyre, we move ever further south towards the exit gate of Serengeti.

Thank you Calabash for arranging this amazing safari for us.

large_bc1f8c30-3ab0-11e9-aa9d-b7f2f766649e.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 05:31 Archived in Tanzania Tagged elephants africa safari tanzania lion giraffe lioness serengeti stork impala warthog waterhole shrike game_drive puncture calabash_adventures marabou_stork seronera tower_of_giraffes secretary_bird dik_dik helmetshrike retimaretima_hippo_pool baby_warthog baby_impala white_rumped_helmetshrike flat_tyre damaged_trunk spare_tyre changing_tyre short_elephant_trunk Comments (2)

Serengeti Day 5 Part 1 Lion w/zebra kill, Ngare Naironya

This morning's highlight: Lion with Zebra kill


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

My back has not improved at all overnight, resulting in me feeling rather fragile and somewhat uncomfortable this morning. As is usual on our safaris, we leave the lodge before daybreak, setting out to 'see what nature has to offer us' as Malisa loves to tell us.

As we start our morning game drive, Malisa asks us whether we'd like to go off to find the migration today, or whether we'd prefer to search for cats. Four voices pipe up in unison: “Cats, please”. That's unanimous, then.

Hartebeest

This morning's breakfast (Malisa's expression for the first animal spotted that day) is a large group of hartebeest, including a number of youngsters.

large_503e6970-286b-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

As it is still pre-dawn, the sun has yet to make it above the horizon, making for challenging photography and somewhat dull and grainy pictures.

large_9b75a160-286b-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

This guy has lost one of his horns, presumably in an altercation with another hartebeest over a possible mate.

large_b21d30e0-286b-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Or maybe she lost her horn while protecting her baby, as this is obviously a female hartebeest (my hartebeest gender identification skills are obviously sadly lacking).

large_e8fcbcc0-286b-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Buffalo in the sunrise

After a dull start, the light is now lovely as the sun rises and promises us another beautiful day.

large_8b0943d0-286c-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_512810b0-286c-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Zebra Kill

***** WARNING*****
Some people may find the following images disturbing

We haven't travelled far from the lodge before we see our first evidence of a big cat this morning: an abandoned zebra carcass. Probably the result of a leopard kill, and the cat vacating the dining table after being disturbed by our car approaching. With not many tourists venturing this way, the animals here are nowhere near as accustomed to cars as those in the much busier Central Serengeti region.

large_b44f84c0-286c-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

The predators tend to start eating the 'soft' targets first, such as the eyes, ears, tail, genitals and other easily accessible bits.

large_cffb1b30-286c-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_e0d623a0-286c-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

We hang around for a while, hoping the leopard will return to finish his breakfast. David spots him first, appearing in the distance behind the trees. It is not a leopard, however, but a beautiful male lion.

large_61638850-286d-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_86266400-286d-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

As soon as he spots us, he stops in his tracks, unsure of whether to continue or not.

large_a26512b0-286d-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

The draw of the food is greater than the fear of us humans, however, and he ventures into the glorious light of the early morning sun.

large_1f34fa30-286e-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_ff7932b0-286d-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_71595980-2870-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

After initially settling down with his meal, he appears uncomfortable about having an audience while he is eating; and merely grabs a few half-hearted bites, then drags the carcass away with him.

large_566441d0-2870-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_8e687790-2870-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_c68e9d00-2a0c-11e9-9cb7-375b399b063e.jpg

large_133b0000-2871-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_32a3c580-2871-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_ab2c92b0-2a0c-11e9-9cb7-375b399b063e.jpg

large_dc041520-2a0c-11e9-9cb7-375b399b063e.jpg

large_d7b51d90-2870-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg
"What are you looking at? Can't a lion even eat breakfast in peace these days?"

large_f13727d0-2871-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_9ae03b00-2872-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

There is, of course, a much more logical reason for him moving his breakfast: the smell does not travel so well if the kill is positioned inside the bushes, thus less likely to attract other hungry predators (rival lions, leopards, and even hyena have been known to steal kills)

large_eb749660-2872-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Soon our lion is all but hidden by the trees and we realise that we are undoubtedly the only people to see the lion with his feast, as this road only leads to the lodge and the other guests were just arriving for breakfast when we set out earlier. By the time they'll drive past here later, they may not even spot the lion, let alone see the zebra carcass. Feeling smug for getting out and about early (and thrilled for having experienced this), we leave him be and continue on our way.

large_23063430-2873-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Zebra

This youngster is around seven or eight months old and will suckle his mother for the first year or so of his life.

large_8d0bf800-2874-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_6dce0cc0-2a19-11e9-8d42-e7f572c33d94.jpg

They seem blissfully unaware of what happened to their cousin just a short distance away.

large_75589dd0-2874-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_1c1efd20-2a1a-11e9-8d42-e7f572c33d94.jpg

Ngare Naironya Springs

There is lots of goings-on here at the pub (AKA waterhole), with hyenas and a few scattered birds crowding the bar, despite the spring being almost dry.

large_59d912c0-2a1c-11e9-bf8a-6129401877fc.jpg

large_f1a680f0-2a1d-11e9-bf8a-6129401877fc.jpg

I am loving the backlighting and the long shadows from the low morning sun.

large_0588d910-2875-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_244001d0-2875-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_f7581080-2a1e-11e9-83b1-1b07570388e2.jpg

large_f0939810-2a22-11e9-8695-c9204ac679df.jpg
Black Faced Sandgrouse

Breakfast Picnic

On a hillside overlooking the waterhole, with 180 degree views, we set up our picnic chairs and table and get the breakfast boxes out.

large_c24e8ad0-2876-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_df460230-2876-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_ff4896b0-2876-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_1432bec0-2877-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

Amazingly, there is even a toilet block here, miles from anywhere.

large_33811e70-2877-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

While we are enjoying our packed breakfasts, it seems that the zebra are arriving at the spring in their droves.

large_6e5452b0-2877-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_8584c140-2877-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

large_95afb390-2877-11e9-9169-af015a4e2e77.jpg

After breakfast we too return to the waterhole and spend most of the morning there observing and photographing the goings on, but I will leave that for the next blog entry.

Calabash African Adventures, the best safari company by far.

large_d79911c0-297b-11e9-bc99-dbabd40ea268.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:47 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals springs sunrise breakfast africa safari tanzania zebra picnic buffalo lion serengeti hyena lobo waterhole prey bird_watching suckling game_drive lion_kill hartebeest cape_buffalo big_cats breakfast_picnic packed_breakfast calbash_adventures sandgrouse ngare_naironya_springs bad_back zebra_kill zebra_carcass birs breakfast_boxes toilet_block Comments (1)

Serengeti Day 3 Part 3 - steenbok, eles, breaking into tent

A varied afternoon with an adventurous ending


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

Lunch

While we are having our picnic lunch, the leopard (the reason we are eating inside the car) jumps down from the tree and disappears in the long grass. Good for him, getting away from the baying crowd.

Hippo

A small pond is home to a handful of hippos, including a couple of youngsters.

large_10dc4920-1752-11e9-b3ba-6571a166752b.jpg

large_19f62670-1752-11e9-b3ba-6571a166752b.jpg

large_230ea430-1752-11e9-b3ba-6571a166752b.jpg

Yellow Billed Stork

large_dcaf3fd0-1761-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

Black Winged Stilt

large_f9e6cd70-1761-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

Those legs are impossibly tall!

large_41159c80-1762-11e9-8419-bb52a05f10f8.jpg

It must seem like a long way down.

large_ba8f2d10-1762-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

Cape Buffalo

Including some cute little babies.

large_8ca4a680-1764-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

large_97434f10-1764-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

The public transport of choice in the Serengeti.

large_b1771290-1764-11e9-9a88-41c772c2ed49.jpg

large_bdcfd4f0-1769-11e9-87c3-f709a09bfaff.jpg
Wattled Starling

Lion Cubs

Three young babies, around two months old, have been left home alone while mum goes off shopping (AKA as hunting for food); and chances are that she will stay out all night. In the UK she would have Social Services on her back.

large_8f9fce00-1778-11e9-b3a3-37e67748df32.jpg

Being under strict instructions from mum to stay put (we actually saw this in action on our last safari, the way a lioness 'barked' orders to her offspring – very impressive) doesn't seem to deter the naughty youngsters who boldly leave the safety of their hideaway in the long grass to explore the world around them, oblivious to dangers.

large_1e777390-1778-11e9-b3a3-37e67748df32.jpg

Saddle Billed Stork

Although not a lifer, it is a very unusual bird to see and the first time I have been able to take a decent photo of one.

large_d84031a0-177c-11e9-942f-bd2ed27600b7.jpg

Steenbok

Startled by our vehicle, these steenbok make some impressive jumps trying to get away.

large_a0131a50-1780-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

large_c2148c10-1780-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

large_d9f5ad00-1780-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

large_cfa52470-1780-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Olive Baboons

large_054aa9b0-1781-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

large_0e6f0e50-1781-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

large_17e56380-1781-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Pale Tawny Eagle

large_a44d2510-1781-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

White Bellied Bustard

large_18b42fc0-1782-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Lilac Breasted Roller

large_890f4f20-1782-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Spotted Hyena

I love the long shadows created by the late afternoon sun.

large_e9f2edb0-1782-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

He's out looking for love by the looks of it.

large_32119b00-1783-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Brown Snake Eagle

large_8aead070-1783-11e9-8275-bb6dd8522d26.jpg

Reedbuck

Hiding in the bushes

large_df31faa0-1783-11e9-a691-6dc338f9645f.jpg

Lilac Breasted Roller

Another roller, this time captured by Big Bertha, bathed in the delightful golden hour.

large_61174e30-1784-11e9-82ae-77cce2f7a836.jpg

Elephants

Backlit elephants + dust + setting sun = happy photographer

large_0d07e950-17e6-11e9-8ce2-43ca743083f3.jpg

With side-light, the mood changes drastically.

large_17cd05a0-17e6-11e9-8ce2-43ca743083f3.jpg

large_32a93e20-17e6-11e9-8ce2-43ca743083f3.jpg

Banded Mongoose

Plural of mongoose is mongooses, not mongeese, and a group of these animals is called a band.

large_1796b590-17f5-11e9-8f46-399a2f624c0d.jpg

They are looking for termites.

large_2b25ba70-17f5-11e9-8f46-399a2f624c0d.jpg

large_34172830-17f5-11e9-8f46-399a2f624c0d.jpg

Yellow Fronted Sandgrouse

large_180fc0b0-17f6-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

large_306d64a0-17f6-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

large_008814f0-17f7-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

Reedbuck

Doing what reedbucks do best: hiding in the reeds.

large_acebf7d0-17f6-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

Sanderling

large_273d7c60-17f8-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

The light is fading fast now.

More elephants

large_8b27a430-17f8-11e9-b1ae-7d1729db6a09.jpg

Lions

Lots of cars are gathered around these four lions, three of which are sleeping.

large_784ba630-17f9-11e9-9cc1-cf6a707820de.jpg

large_c88621c0-17f9-11e9-9cc1-cf6a707820de.jpg

The large rasta, however, is walking near, and later on, the road. One of the drivers gets so close to the animal that I fear he is going to run the poor guy over.

large_8333b3d0-17f9-11e9-9cc1-cf6a707820de.jpg

White Headed Vulture

large_3ca75460-17fb-11e9-a6ce-7b086c1d2547.jpg

Black Backed Jackal

large_57a6f360-17fb-11e9-a6ce-7b086c1d2547.jpg

Sunset

As we yet again rush back to reach camp before dark, we are following several other vehicles. I love it when this happens as the cars kick up lots of dust which add wonderful atmosphere to my photos.

large_279e1320-181d-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

large_3b6b8090-181d-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

large_4a6d5c30-181d-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

large_596c9fc0-181d-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

large_63b40090-181d-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

Leopard

Just before we turn off towards the lodge, a leopard crosses the road just in front of us. He has gone long before Malisa manages to stop, let alone us getting cameras out. How exciting, though.

Evening at Ole Serai

At dinner this evening Rashid, the manager of Ole Serai Luxury Camp, spends a lot of time chatting with us. Even chef Raymond comes out from duties in the kitchen to say hello.

Lyn and Chris join us in our tent for a drink after dinner. From very close proximity we can hear the roar of a lion, as well as the loud American group who arrived today. Go lion, go!

I have my first walkie-talkie experience this evening as I call for the askari (Maasai escort) to take the others back to their tent. Hearing the lion so close by, they are naturally nervous. It is very dark out there, the cat could be anywhere.

Trying to get in, Lyn and Chris find the padlock on their tent stuck. The askari tries everything, including the master key, but to no avail. The lion is still very vocal, very near. Eventually they use a rock to break open the padlock and our friends can let out a sigh of relief as they return to the safety of their room. An added adventure they could probably have done without.

Thank you yet again to Calabash Adventures for arranging such an amazing safari.

large_462ce170-181f-11e9-a703-ad277df48c12.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 13:11 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds sunset elephants safari tanzania eagle lunch picnic buffalo lion hippo baboons lion_cubs roller serengeti hyena stork vulture mongoose bustard game_drive tented_camp lilac_breasted_roller padlock calabash_adventures olive_baboons cape_buffalo spotted_hyena brown_snake_eagle sanderling wattled_starling game_viewing ole_serai sandgrouse lunch_picnic white_bellied_bustard packed_lunch yellow_billed-stork black_winged_stilt saddle_billed_stork steenbok reedbuck ole_serai_luxury_camp luxury_tented_camp Comments (3)

Serengeti Day 2 Part 1 - Anniversary Breakfast

Lyn & Chris' 40th Wedding Anniversary


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

The morning greets us with the promise of a beautiful day while sporting an orange glow over the horizon blending through hues of pink into a deep purple sky.

large_e9e559d0-0070-11e9-87c8-5f54889df89b.jpg

We can still hear the lion roar this morning, presumably the same one that was calling out last night.

Cape Buffalo

Each morning we go out with Malisa as our wonderful guide, we discuss what our 'breakfast' is going to be, referring to the first animal spotted that day. Today it is a herd of buffalo just a few minutes after leaving the camp.

large_4209a740-00aa-11e9-8701-07ad8a902a46.jpg

large_600a5140-00aa-11e9-8701-07ad8a902a46.jpg

I do find their stare rather unsettling.

large_9173da80-00aa-11e9-8701-07ad8a902a46.jpg

large_9c72cb80-00aa-11e9-8701-07ad8a902a46.jpg

Topi

A small herd of Topi enjoy their breakfast near the road this morning, including several young babies.

large_e25384d0-00ac-11e9-8701-07ad8a902a46.jpg

Sunrise

The sun fully emerges from its daily hibernation, casting a golden glow over everything in its wake.

large_602c6780-0113-11e9-8338-d917f49d62fd.jpg

large_6ce1e220-0113-11e9-8338-d917f49d62fd.jpg

Including this giraffe

large_92d352c0-0113-11e9-8338-d917f49d62fd.jpg

And a magnificent impala

large_3f506d80-0114-11e9-8338-d917f49d62fd.jpg

large_22079340-013f-11e9-a0ed-b39781f94795.jpg

White Bellied Bustard

Mr and Mrs Bustard are both rather well camouflaged.

large_89e90f50-0173-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_956a0190-0173-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_a0fbe3c0-0173-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_7b1c09e0-0174-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg
Lilac Breasted Roller

large_3bab5fe0-014c-11e9-9d4e-c743008560a5.jpg
A couple of Bat Eared Foxes in the far distance

Topi

This little baby is less than one month old; they don't start getting their distinctive 'stocking' markings until they reach three months.

large_20729a60-014a-11e9-9d4e-c743008560a5.jpg

large_8cf1db20-0176-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_9be95680-0176-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

Here you can quite clearly see how the youngsters get darker as they age.

large_a5587fc0-0176-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_deb4cb70-0176-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

Mum looks rather thin.

large_414ab870-0178-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

Brown Parrot

large_4c9e5d20-014c-11e9-9d4e-c743008560a5.jpg

And he's off...

large_88ec2370-014c-11e9-9d4e-c743008560a5.jpg

large_7707de00-0170-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg
Rattling Cisticola

Lion

Just like smaller pussycats, lions eat grass when they have a bad tummy, as this old male does. He is terribly thin and probably around eleven or twelve years old. Lions live for around 12-15 years, so this guy is an old chap who is most likely on his last legs. He will have been kicked out of the pride when he was no longer able to provide for the females, with another younger male coming along to replace him. No longer having a pride to depend on for food has meant he has been starved of regular fresh meat and judging by the matted mane he is unable to look after himself properly too.

large_00b04590-017e-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_2110ffa0-017e-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

Spotted Hyena

I wonder if this scavenger is hoping for the old lion's immediate demise?

large_da109390-017d-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

He assesses the situation and decides it is probably not worth the wait. Any Monty Python fans may, like me, be thinking about the "I'm not dead yet" sketch.

large_2116e1f0-0150-11e9-8664-ef8445062225.jpg

large_2938f1c0-0150-11e9-8664-ef8445062225.jpg

We follow the old lion for a while, as he staggers around looking food.

large_615aabb0-017e-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

large_f46dbc60-014e-11e9-8a9d-9d6a7ae66566.jpg

Having lost sight of the lion, we stop nearby at a mobile camp site (now empty) for breakfast. Is that wise? We may be upwind from the lion, but even so...

Anniversary Breakfast Picnic

On this day forty years ago, Lyn and Chris said “I do” and became husband and wife. I feel so honoured that they chose to spend their special day in Tanzania with us. Back home we have a 'community flagpole' where we hoist various different flags for various different celebrations ~ and of course we (secretly) packed one of those flags for this trip.

large_6b1a2450-022d-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

The Ole Serai has not just provided the customary breakfast boxes, they have given us a posh food hamper today, containing little tiffin containers with sausages, bacon, and pancakes in an attempt at keeping the food hot.

large_e41344d0-022e-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

Plus eggs and pastries – we are certainly not going to go hungry this morning.

large_13301ef0-022f-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

large_2119acc0-022f-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

large_3137a6c0-022f-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

What a way to start the 40th wedding celebrations!

large_4bf078c0-022f-11e9-bce6-650dd8811785.jpg

This Superb Starling is hoping we'll leave some food behind for her.

large_7574add0-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

She's having a bad hair day as a result of the very strong wind today.

large_87f01fd0-02c3-11e9-9d19-1dd3b427bd50.jpg

More in the next blog entry.

Safari organised by Calabash Adventures, the best safari company by far.

large_19252590-017f-11e9-a5d9-cd153e8a8684.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:08 Archived in Tanzania Tagged birds sunrise safari tanzania parrot animal birding fox buffalo lion giraffe roller serengeti hyena impala topi bird_watching bustard game_drive bat_eared_fox cisticola game_viewing ole_serai lion_roaring calbash_adventures scavenger Comments (2)

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)

Arusha - Ngorongoro Crater Day 1 Part 1

Worth the early start


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

Lyn and Chris are nearly always up before us and are such sticklers for time-keeping that we are very surprised when they don't arrive at the agreed time for breakfast.

They finally show up some 20 minutes later – it turns out they had set the alarm time but not turned the alarm on. No harm done, thankfully, and we are all ready to go when Malisa arrives.

large_451695b0-f02e-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Augur Buzzard

A mere 100 metres down the road from the hotel we spot our first wildlife of the day: the regal Augur Buzzard.

large_08f998d0-f02d-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Not so welcome this morning are the police checks on our way to Ngorongoro, we get stopped at two of them for Malisa to show them his paperwork – which is all in order, of course - so we are soon on our way to “see what nature has to offer us today” (one of Malisa's favourite sayings).

Lodoare Gate

While Malisa waits for the paperwork at the entrance gate to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we make use of the facilities and free wifi. We notice they have painted the gate a different colour to how it was when we came here last (it was a safari-beige, it is now a jade-green).

large_5beab370-f02e-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Crater View Point

Even here, miles from anywhere, free wifi is being advertised. I guess it is good for a brief 'boast post' on social media, but I do feel somewhat sad that being surrounded by wonderful nature and amazing wildlife is no longer enough.

large_43af6f20-f02f-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

large_6ba3dbb0-f02f-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

large_5e05fce0-f02f-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

large_b02d5450-f02f-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Malisa assures us that the small blob we see in the far, far distance is in fact a rhino.

large_98ae0270-f02f-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Porcupine

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, I usually bring along a 'wish list' on my safaris, and porcupine is on this year's list. The next best thing to a live animal is seeing these porcupine spines. The meat has gone, of course, as it would most likely have been killed by a leopard for its dinner last night.

large_b7fac990-f031-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Chameleon

My wish list is going really well and so early on in the safari, with another item being ticked off when Malisa spots this Flap Necked Chameleon by the side of the road. I don't know just how he manages to spot it; as you can see it blends perfectly with its surroundings. I am excited about this small reptile as it is the first time I have ever seen a chameleon in Tanzania.

large_365b8a40-f032-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Ngorongoro Crater

We take a different route down into the crater today than the one we normally do: this time using the Lemala Descent Road. We have come down this track once before, a few years ago, and I love the way the track makes its way underneath the majestic Flat Topped Acacia Trees.

large_3eb958a0-f034-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

The trees, with their characteristic flat tops (hence the name), act as umbrellas and protect the soil from erosion during heavy rains.

large_4a4a2960-f034-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Look at how dense that canopy is ~ isn't nature wonderful?

large_5503d400-f034-11e8-9598-abbc579c2331.jpg

Sodom's Apple

Although this fruit belongs to the tomato family, you won’t find it in any salads. Known as Sodom’s Apple as it is said to be the first plant to grow again after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; the small, yellow fruit is used as a medicine for stomach ache, diarrhoea and to treat external wounds. When you see this plant growing, you know that the soil in the area is not of high quality as it grows best in poor soil.

large_60010750-f0e4-11e8-a491-55362bc2dc4d.jpg

Olive Baboons

A large troupe of baboons crosses our path.

large_19125c40-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

large_29b64f20-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

large_55ede3a0-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

The little one who almost got left behind.

large_38f35f00-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

large_4748ce00-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

It is so sad to see empty water bottles littering the crater floor. Malisa explains that the Maasai tribesmen who come this way are guilty of this.

large_6672dcd0-f0e9-11e8-88dd-8956a1e55cc2.jpg

large_f3595200-f0ee-11e8-863a-bfbf30c24805.jpg
Love the human-like expression on the face of this baboon as he ponders his next move

This little guy appears to be trying to get some sleep while being carried on his mother's back.

large_795a4850-f0ef-11e8-863a-bfbf30c24805.jpg

Speckled Mousebirds

Sociable creatures, Speckled Mousebirds often huddle together for warmth and company. It was only when they moved apart that I realised this was in fact TWO birds, they were so close together initially.

large_148962a0-f0f2-11e8-863a-bfbf30c24805.jpg

Cape Buffalo

large_ea5d1d20-f162-11e8-9731-e5ceb92e53ba.jpg
He is right beside the car

large_fd3c9630-f164-11e8-9731-e5ceb92e53ba.jpg

large_4b9def80-f166-11e8-9731-e5ceb92e53ba.jpg
Unpredictable and highly dangerous, these guys have the most impressive horns. They reportedly charge thousands of people a year, and gore over 200. They can attack and cause serious injury with the tips of their huge, curved horns, or by head butting with their "boss" which is the solid shield of horn that covers the skull where the horns emerge.

Got to scratch that itch!

large_2b6f7390-f167-11e8-9731-e5ceb92e53ba.jpg

large_b9236ac0-f194-11e8-9c12-85044454dce8.jpg
Northern Wheatear (non-breeding female)

Warthogs

large_f6403220-f19a-11e8-9c12-85044454dce8.jpg

The sort of face only a mother could love

large_06e42500-f19b-11e8-9c12-85044454dce8.jpg

Uncharacteristically, these warthogs do not run away as we stop to take photos – they are usually such skittish creatures and these are remarkably close to the vehicle. They just lift their head and make a cursory glance in our direction before resuming their grazing.

large_f3c66310-f19b-11e8-9322-9f537e62e4eb.jpg

large_8eb8fb80-f19c-11e8-944e-bbf9bb1146b6.jpg

Ostrich

You can tell from the pink colouration to the neck and legs that this huge bird is on heat and ready to fertilise those all-important eggs.

large_e57a6290-f19e-11e8-9322-9f537e62e4eb.jpg

large_b34aa880-f1b1-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg
Augur Buzzard, apparently in a 'strop', stamping his feet: "I don't want to fly off!"

Zebra

large_02af7d30-f1b5-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

large_ad9d3e00-f1b8-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

large_33c01430-f1b9-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

Grant's Gazelle

large_78c94420-f1b9-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

large_94d0dd40-f1b9-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

large_9de674d0-f1b9-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg

large_a9c73a50-f1b9-11e8-b960-75ed12430189.jpg
Crested Lark

Black Backed Jackal

large_062168d0-f26d-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_b4132230-f26d-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

Secretary Bird

We are rather bemused by this secretary bird performing his mating ritual. We are not quite sure who it is aimed at, as there are no other birds in sight. Maybe he is just practising for the real thing.

large_1525b570-f26d-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_47a8ec10-f26d-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_51ba6fd0-f26d-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

Lion

We initially wonder why this lioness is not chasing the warthogs, as they look to us that they could be an easy lunch, but then we discover that she is heavily pregnant and thus would be concerned that any exertion could make her lose the baby.

large_a740b440-f26e-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_50defc90-f270-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_be4f1be0-f26e-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_6350ee20-f26f-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_21e138a0-f26f-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg
She's just a big pussycat really

Is she going for it? They are pretty close to her now and would make an easy target.

large_9ed46a20-f270-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_0a3c4b70-f271-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg
Big baby belly

Too late, they've discovered her.

large_1f3dd6a0-f272-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

Instead she saunters off to try and find a safe place to give birth. I wish we could stay around for that.

large_7a09b450-f272-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

large_e1e69a20-f272-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg

By the time the lioness has disappeared, David admits that he is absolutely desperate to pee. We are just about to make a 'bush stop' when another vehicle turns up. A lot of heavy breathing and jumping from foot to foot ensues until Malisa can find a safe place for David to get out of the car. Getting back in again he lets out the largest sigh of relief you can imagine, much to everyone else's amusement.

large_ebf0d570-f273-11e8-a4fd-f16f42cecee8.jpg
Little Bee Eater

large_582d0270-f28f-11e8-8052-7f6ad4b132c4.jpg
Levaillant's Cisticola

large_c1ed6360-f291-11e8-8052-7f6ad4b132c4.jpg
Singing his little heart out

large_601fa190-f302-11e8-b35a-7f9e459e9aed.jpg
Tawny Eagle

Hippos

It is fairly unusual to find them out on land, normally all you can see is the top of their backs as they wallow in shallow water. Hippos cannot swim, so they will always find areas where the water is no deeper than they are able to stand at the bottom while still having their heads above the water. Here we can only just see the top of their backs as the rest is hidden by vegetation. Makes a change from water I guess.

large_89ffdf20-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

Just as we are about to leave the hippos and head to the picnic site, they get up and start to move, so we stay for a little longer, watching them splash into the small pond.

large_b5535530-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_c28b4640-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_d201dcb0-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_e35d86d0-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_f3f4f690-f32f-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_02bd99c0-f330-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

Ostrich Porn

On our way to lunch we get side tracked by another ostrich, and this one has found himself a likely suitor. Initially he pretends to be totally disinterested although it doesn't take long before he is doing his very best to impress her with a dramatic dance routine.

large_51eb0ec0-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_787c8ff0-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_8347c6c0-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_91f71590-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

She is bowled over by his sexy moves and capitulates to his charms.

large_c8b90750-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_d6becfb0-f307-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

David caught it all on video, with narration provided by Chris

.

As soon as he's had his wicked way with her, he just gets up and walks away, leaving her apparently frustrated and still flapping her wings for attention, wondering what all the fuss was about. Sheesh. What a lothario!

large_1b21d490-f308-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_26b34190-f308-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

large_342fdcc0-f308-11e8-b489-f979b2e7a3e9.jpg

Zebras

We almost end up with a T-bone steak when a zebra without road sense decides to dart out in front of us. Thankfully no harm done.

large_919d0020-f332-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_9f3dec30-f332-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg

large_aec35a40-f333-11e8-8d27-11dca19acb2b.jpg
European White Stork - not a permanent resident in Tanzania, the stork is a seasonal migrant visitor from Europe

Waterhole

Last time we came to Tanzania (2017) was at the end of the rainy season, a green and verdant time. Now we are here at the end of the dry season, and everything is arid, dusty and brown, which makes this waterhole even more visually striking and of course a great temptation to the animals.

large_47690130-f34f-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

large_5d17b1c0-f34f-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

large_69682900-f34f-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

I love the way Big Bertha seems to have picked out the personality of these buffalo.

large_e58af5b0-f351-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

large_f31f5ea0-f351-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

large_088aebb0-f352-11e8-90db-6f1a98bbbd31.jpg

large_f05e2cb0-f35a-11e8-b510-cf6e19121590.jpg
African Fish Eagle

Red Billed Quelea

Popularly referred to as 'feathered locusts', the Red Billed Quelea is Africa's most hated bird. For generations this small but voracious bird has gathered in huge numbers to decimate subsistence farmers' fields across the continent. With some colonies numbering into the millions, the quelea is the most abundant bird in the world, and sadly also the most destructive. With an estimated adult breeding population of at least 1.5 billion, it is believed that the agricultural losses attributable to the quelea is in excess of US$50 million annually which would be totally devastating to those already barely getting by.

large_14c568f0-f35d-11e8-b510-cf6e19121590.jpg

We finally make it to the picnic site for our lunch stop, and this is also where I will finish this blog post. Be sure to read the next entry for stories about the rest of our afternoon in the crater.

As usual, our thanks go to Tillya of Calabash Adventures and Malisa our driver, without whom this fabulous safari would never have happened.

large_3e9413c0-f35d-11e8-b510-cf6e19121590.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 02:17 Archived in Tanzania Tagged trees animals africa safari tanzania zebra national_park buffalo lion rhino baboons ostrich lioness ngorongoro acacia warthog chameleon arusha jackal hippos viewpoint porcupine big_bertha lark calabash_adventures which_safari_company best_safari_company tawny_eagle mousebird grant's_gazelle lodoare_gate red_billed_quelea quelea bee_eater africa_animals augur_buzzard safari_permit flat_topped_acacia acacia_trees umbrella_trees sodom's_apple pregnant_lioness cisticola Comments (3)

Tarangire Part II - Arusha - Istanbul - Birmingham - Bristol

More elephants


View The Howards' 40th Anniversary Tour 2017 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Fully fed and watered after a delicious picnic breakfast, we are soon on our way to “see what nature brings us this afternoon”.

Despite the rainy season being upon us, there doesn't seem to be much water in the Tarangire River at the moment.

large_Tarangire_River_1.jpg

large_Lesser_Striped_Swallow.jpg

A family of Lesser Striped Swallows dig in the dried riverbed for worms.

large_Swallow__Lesser_Striped_1.jpg

large_Swallow__Lesser_Striped_2.jpg

large_Swallow__Lesser_Striped_3.jpg

large_Swallow__Lesser_Striped_4.jpg

large_Tree_Hyrax.jpg

large_6B81FEF39681B5BB13FAE0B9EDD0AB89.jpg

large_Hyrax__Tree_2.jpg

large_Hyrax__Tree_3.jpg

large_A239270EB4976293CF6F39993F6C8627.jpg

The normally shy impala stay by the side of the road looking at us as if transfixed. It makes a great change from them running away as soon as the car pulls up alongside them.

large_Impala_123.jpg

large_Impala_124.jpg

Like the elephants, they are so close I can almost touch them.

large_Impala_121.jpg

large_Impala_122.jpg

They are such elegant creatures.

large_Impala_126.jpg

large_Impala_127.jpg

Impala are affectionately known as “McDonalds”. Not because they make great burgers, but because of their rump markings resemble the “M” on the famous fast food chain's logo.

large_Impala_129.jpg

large_Impala_Bum.jpg

large_More_Elephants.jpg

Another large herd – or memory – of elephants appears as if out of nowhere.

large_Elephants_705.jpg

There are 16 family members in total, including a tiny infant, no more than 10 days old at the most. You can just about see him here (below), immediately behind the leading matriarch, being protected by his older sister with her trunk slung affectionately over his back.

large_Elephants_706.jpg

large_Elephants_708.jpg

The rest of the family follow behind.

large_Elephants_707.jpg

It is fascinating to watch: when the matriarch at the front stops, everyone else stops, even those at the back. When she moves, the rest move.

large_Elephants_709.jpg

large_Elephants_710.jpg

We get really excited when we realise they are all going to cross the road. We might even get to see that baby properly.

large_Elephants_711.jpg

large_Elephants_713.jpg

large_Elephants_715.jpg

Sixteen large animals crossing the road and the only sound we can hear is that of the grass rustling as they walk through. Elephants move in almost total silence, thanks to their spongy hooves that make for a soft step.

large_Elephants_716.jpg

large_Elephants_718.jpg

large_Elephants_719.jpg

The elephants just keep coming and coming. One after another, all in a straight line. Just like Jungle Book.

large_Elephants_720.jpg

large_Elephants_722.jpg

One of them deviates from the line and walks right by our car.

large_Elephants_730.jpg

This little guy seems to have lost his tail, poor thing.

large_Elephants_724.jpg

The elephants continue on their journey through the park, and so do we.

large_Elephants_725.jpg

large_Grey_Headed_Kingfisher.jpg

large_Kingfisher__Grey_Headed_1.jpg

large_Giant_Morning_Glory.jpg

At around eight feet tall, these large flowering plants make me think of a horror film for some reason, where ordinary small plants grow to enormous proportions and take over the world. Yes, I know, I have an over-active imagination.

large_Giant_Morning_Glory_1.jpg

large_Giant_Morning_Glory_2.jpg

large_Namaqua_Dove.jpg

At the other end of the scale, the Namaqua Dove is surprisingly small.

large_Dove__Namaqua_2.jpg

large_Dove__Namaqua_4.jpg

large_F5095540FAB07ED0E862506A7E512E47.jpg

large_F4E38973D56E3CB68F0E5A50C3290E05.jpg

large_Gazelle__Grant_s_32.jpg

large_F50A533AA9444C1C6E774C381C4E930C.jpg

large_Hammerkop_31.jpg

large_F50D1117B07D44F246141783B5CB36F1.jpg

large_Elephants_801.jpg

The elephants of Tarangire are known for their aggression and dislike of people, and one of these makes it quite clear what he thinks of humans as he feels the car is too close to his domain.

large_Elephants_802.jpg

large_Elephants_803.jpg

large_Watching_the_Elephants_1.jpg

large_F62943FEA10A33BF433BB3B97D0FB77A.jpg

large_Elephants_734.jpg

large_Elephants_733.jpg

large_Elephants_735.jpg

large_Bare_Faced_Go_Away_Bird.jpg

The male is energetically performing a courtship ritual by jumping from branch to branch like a lunatic. The female looks totally unimpressed.

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_2.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_3.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_4.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_5.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_6.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ip_Ritual_7.jpg

large_Mpingo_Picnic_Site.jpg

large_Mpingo_Picnic_Site_2.jpg

large_F9733127F8AA904BC9C81CA8FB25D104.jpg

It doesn't take us many minutes after getting out of the car before we decide that this is most definitely not the place to have lunch. The area is absolutely full of pesky tse tse flies.

The black and blue flag you can see on the picture, is supposed to help keep the population of these horrible little insects down, as the tse tse are particularly attracted to those two colours. The flags are impregnated with a substance which make them infertile, thus the number of flies should become reduced. Sorry guys, it doesn't seem to be working.

large_Tse_Tse_Flag.jpg

We quickly get back in the car again and head back to Matete where we had breakfast this morning, game viewing on the way.

large_Red_Billed_Quelea.jpg

large_FDCEA2F1E08BED22E54E43EDE03E923F.jpg

Popularly referred to as 'feathered locusts', the Red Billed Quelea is Africa's most hated bird. For generations this small but voracious bird has gathered in huge numbers to decimate subsistence farmers' fields across the continent.

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_3.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_4.jpg

They look such cute little things, but with some colonies numbering into the millions, the quelea is the most abundant bird in the world, and sadly also the most destructive.

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_15.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_13.jpg

With an estimated adult breeding population of at least 1.5 billion, it is believed that the agricultural losses attributable to the quelea is in excess of US$50 million annually which would be totally devestating to those already barely getting by.

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_5.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_6.jpg

From our point of view, however, it is amazing to see and hear them take off en masse – the whoosh sound they make as they all fly from tree to tree is quite something.

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_18.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_7.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_17.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_8.jpg

Looking on the bright side, I suppose while they are here in the national park eating wild grasses, they are not causing destruction to farmers.

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_10.jpg

large_Quelea__Red_Billed_16.jpg

large_FE9832EDB17CA6AC7C56973ABC012453.jpg

large_Horn_Bill__Red_Billed_67.jpg

large_Crested_Francolin.jpg

large_Francolin__Crested_1.jpg

large_Grey_Hornbill.jpg

large_Hornbill__Grey_1.jpg

large_02E1CEC5B46B5B25124A746DD892F893.jpg

large_Roller__Li..reasted_603.jpg

large_02E2CBA4F8672803E4C40CD62A5E8351.jpg

large_Dove__Namaqua_21.jpg

large_Calabash_Safaris.jpg

Some months ago I answered a question on Trip Advisor from someone who wanted suggestions for a safari company in Tanzania. Having recommended Calabash, the original poster and I continued to talk from time to time, right up until we left for Africa, and soon realising we'd be in Tanzania at the same time. We knew the only opportunity we had to be able to actually meet in person, would be today in Tarangire. I spot their car from quite a distance, thanks to the Calabash logo on the side.

large_Agata_on_s.._Calabash_1.jpg

It is great to finally be able to put a face to the name, and Agata is every bit as lovely in real life as she is on line. Her partner Dom is a really sweet guy too; and of course it is nice for Malisa that gets to chat with John, their guide, and catch up on news.

large_Agata_on_s.._Calabash_4.jpg

large_Magpie_Shrike.jpg

large_035A6309D0B9717FC53CBFADC0DDA45B.jpg

large_02E0C275F094118602124B143FE932F6.jpg

large_Impala_852.jpg

Today seems to be full of animals and bird that come really close to the car. Unlike most impala, who run away as soon as the vehicle pulls up next to them, these stay right by the side of the road as we stop to admire their graceful appearance.

large_Impala_853.jpg

large_Impala_858.jpg

large_Impala_859.jpg

We have a youngster with an itch that appears hard to scratch.

large_Impala_854.jpg

large_Impala_855.jpg

large_Impala_856.jpg

“I just can't quite reach...”

large_Impala_857.jpg

large_05A0C484CF189409EEFDBD01FA52022F.jpg

A family of mongooses who are milling around in a clearing stop and briefly look at us before carrying on with their lives.

large_Mongoose__Banded_81.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_82.jpg

Today really is a day full of close encounters! Crossing the road right in front of us makes this my closest sighting ever of these small furry mammals.

large_Mongoose__Banded_83.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_84.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_85.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_86.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_88.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_89.jpg

Eggs are one of their favourite foods, and this guy has got a large one. (Excuse the very bad photo, it's the only one I managed to get)

large_Mongoose__Banded_90.jpg

large_Baobab.jpg

Another one of Tarangire's claims to fame is the number, size and age of its baobab trees. Popular with elephants for the ability to store water in their trunks, baobabs are often left with battle scars from the encounters.

large_Baobab_76.jpg

Malisa explains that providing this tree does not receive any further assaults from elephants, it should be able to re-grow and continue to live. Any more battering will surely be the end of it though as it will collapse and die.

large_Baobab_75.jpg

large_24540B8BF9A2611905C0F23AFC33A7B1.jpg

As we are talking about baobabs, a lion appears 'out of nowhere', leisurely walking along the road in front of us, before taking a rest.

large_247B98A8ECEA8796EFAA4D3765D584FD.jpg

large_247F439A92F9FC76843D55285F631510.jpg

large_Lion_73.jpg

After a short break, he continues on his way, slipping into the long grass beside the road. It is all over in a few minutes, and we are the only people who saw him. Right time, right place I guess.

large_24AA1389DDD8C3EB5C1649C970206978.jpg

large_24B0635BE2F2BDEFD0842091465679BA.jpg

large_Lion_77.jpg

Lions are said to be hard to spot in Tarangire, but we have had some luck over the years with a sighting on all but one of our visits (and on the one visit we did miss, we saw a lioness and two cubs outside the park boundaries)

large_24BA1DF5E5F52379199EA2CAA81E93FA.jpg

large_Lion_79.jpg

large_253B2144BE20EA1C958A0E02E7F48947.jpg

Unlike earlier when we stopped here for breakfast, now the picnic site is full of tourists enjoying a break and having lunch.

large_Matete_Picnic_Site_17.jpg

large_2539BE25FF36059B77E41F845B8C72E7.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__6.jpg

The presence of lots of people also attracts these scavengers to the picnic site.

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__1.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__5.jpg

They may look cute, but they are scheming little thieves, who hang around the picnic tables, waiting for an opportunity to nab any unprotected food.

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__17.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__3.jpg

If the opportunities are slow at materialising, these intelligent creatures create their own opportunities. The have learned that if they make a lot of loud noise, imitating their warning calls, down at the railings overlooking the valley, curios tourists will flock to see what is making the monkeys so agitated. This then gives their mates a chance to snatch any food left behind on the picnic tables. We see several people falling for this trick today.

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__7.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__11.jpg

It's not just the picnic tables that get the once over from these cheeky guys, here you can see one of them checking out our car for the slightest chance of some food. Fortunately we made doubly sure we closed and locked all windows, doors and roof.

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__9.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__10.jpg

Fed up with the opportunist thieves, a group of French tourists shout “allez, allez” at the monkeys. The would-be robbers take absolutely no notice of course, continuing to approach the table from every angle. Laughter ensues when an Englishman on the next table informs them that the monkeys "only speak English you know”.

large_Monkey__Bl..nic_Site__8.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__13.jpg

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__16.jpg

One of the most remarkable things about the Black Faced Vervet Monkey, is its bright blue testicles. When I say “bright blue”, I mean iridescent, almost glow-in-the-dark blue.

large_Monkey__Bl..ic_Site__14.jpg

Even a Superb Starling tries to muscle in on the action, looking for crumbs dropped by tourists.

large_Starling__Superb_901.jpg

We have to leave the picnic area, and in fact Tarangire National park, to make our way back to Arusha and later our flight home. We will of course “see what nature has to offer us” on the way to the park gate.

large_Southern_Ground_Hornbill.jpg

This enormous bird (it stands at 130cm / 4'3”) is the largest of all the hornbill species, and as the name suggests is usually found on the ground.

large_Hornbill__..rn_Ground_8.jpg

large_Hornbill__..rn_Ground_6.jpg

This female is doing what girls all over the world do every day: preening herself.

large_Hornbill__..rn_Ground_2.jpg

large_Hornbill__..rn_Ground_4.jpg

large_28280A63D571A2DF77E7E1C092F15261.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi.._Bellied_41.jpg

large_Go_Away_Bi..ced__41__2_.jpg

large_287BA6D30020E377720333F954619F17.jpg

It looks like this year's elephant fashion includes pierced ears.

large_Elephant_601.jpg

large_2A708EEFE3C20A1A1F327553A9E4D063.jpg

Another mongoose family. These, however, take fright as soon as they see us.

large_2A8D2ED5DCD563109F2B8A46A2262AFC.jpg

large_Mongoose__Banded_102.jpg

Stopping occasionally to check if we are still following them.

large_2C336E95C5155C59F724D52848D58953.jpg

large_2C3A596CE9178862EB6380042637E18F.jpg

large_Mongoose__Dwarf_210.jpg

large_The_End.jpg

And so this ends our 2017 safari in Tanzania. Despite being awfully poorly, I have enjoyed myself very much, thanks to being so extremely well looked after by David, Malisa and all the lodge staff along the way. Not to mention Tillya of Calabash Adventures of course, who made sure I was still OK and coping every day.

Being able to carry on as 'normal' as possible on the trip has been mostly down to adrenalin and as soon as we leave the last park and start the long journey home, I relax and it hits me big time. Everything from then on is a blur: the visit to Tillya's beautiful new office; trying to find a toilet in a leisure centre when I suddenly have a bout of diarrhoea; the emotional moment we have to say goodbye to Malisa; the check in to Kia Lodge in Arusha for a shower, change and dinner; the moving to a different room because the A/C is not working and there is no drinking water in the room; the transfer bus to Kilimanjaro Airport; the panic upon being asked for my UK visa at the check-in desk and having to explain that as an EEA national I don't need one despite the Brexit; the flights from Kilimanjaro – Istanbul – Birmingham; being transported from the plane in a wheelchair; and the drive home where I can finally collapse in bed.

large_Birmingham_Wheelchair.jpg

Writing this blog and editing the photos back home has been great for me, as there is so much of the trip that I don't remember. So many of the notes I made at the time (thank goodness I did) where I have had to ask David: “what did I mean by this?”. This time, instead of re-living the trip as I usually do when I publish my blog after our return home; I have really just 'lived it' as I missed so much the first time round.

Here's to the next safari (this time hopefully in perfect health!) with Calabash Adventures, the best safari operators by far!

large_2CEF3A05D72EC523C0671E192116614E.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 15:02 Archived in Tanzania Tagged elephants africa safari tanzania site lion baobab tarangire wheelchair impala mongoose hyrax hornbill lilac_breasted_roller swallows calabash_adventures hammerkop black_faced_vervet_monkeys tse_tse_flies banded_mongoose birmingham_airport grant's_gazelle go_away_bird dwarf_mongoose matete_picnic giant_morning_glory namaqua_dove red_billed_quelea africa's_most_hated_bird quelea mpingo_picnic_site francolin magpie_shrike superb_starling southern_ground_hornbill Comments (9)

Naabi Hill - Ngorongoro Crater - Maramboi

Ngorongoro revisited


View The Howards' 40th Anniversary Tour 2017 on Grete Howard's travel map.

As we approach the Ngorongoro Crater Descent Road, we see some Maasai with their donkeys collecting firewood. Unlike here in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, there are no human settlements within Serengeti, so these are the first locals we've seen for a while (other than staff involved in the tourist industry of course).

large_Maasai_and_Donkeys_1.jpg

large_Seneto_Descent_Road.jpg

There is a one-way system for entering and exiting the crater, and from the Seneto Descent Road we get a good view down over the crater floor. It doesn't look too busy this afternoon – in fact I can only see one car in this part of the crater. It looks like it is dusty though.

large_Ngorongoro..nt_road_101.jpg

The heavily forested crater walls rise steeply from the crater floor – 610 metres to be exact – with the descent road gently traversing the sides as shown in the photo below.

large_887D7D28E974826DA0ADC33716511580.jpg

large_Yellow_Mantled_Widow_Bird.jpg

I really don't know how he does it. “There's a Yellow Mantled Widow Bird”. Malisa stops the car and points to a mangled bush. At first glance all we can see is intertwining branches, leaves and the odd yellow flower. Well, one of those yellow flowers isn't a yellow flower, it's a patch on a black bird. Apparently.

large_Widow_Bird..w_Mantled_2.jpg

I zoom my lens right in (as seen above) and can just about make out an outline; it isn't until I get home on my PC and give the picture a severe crop that I can see the bird properly. Yet Malisa spots - and identifies - this while safely and comfortably negotiating a steep gravel track. Extremely admirable!

large_Widow_Bird..w_Mantled_1.jpg

large_Common_Fiscal_Shrike.jpg

This one is a little easier to spot, even I can see this one with the naked eye.

large_Shrike__Common_Fiscal_1.jpg

large_Olive_Baboon.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_101.jpg

large_Northern_Anteater_Chat.jpg

large_Chat__Northern_Anteater_1.jpg

large_Wattled_Starling.jpg

large_Starling__Wattled_101.jpg

large_Starling__Wattled_102.jpg

large_Rufous_Sparrow.jpg

large_Sparrow__Rufous_1.jpg

Male (above) and female (below)

large_Sparrow__Rufous_2.jpg

There are now at least two other cars in the crater, and they are just about to meet on a dusty track.

large_Two_cars_i..goro_Crater.jpg

large_BB27BCBFCE2B9FB99AC3D85EB997DB2E.jpg

large_Warthog_31.jpg

large_Warthog_33.jpg

large_Warthog_34.jpg

large_Warthog_35.jpg

large_Warthog_36.jpg

large_Warthog_37.jpg

large_Warthog_38.jpg

large_Sacred_Ibis.jpg

large_Ibis__Sacred_1.jpg

large_Black_Headed_Heron.jpg

large_Heron__Black_Headed_31.jpg

Heading for the long grass with a small pond for a spot of fishing.

large_Heron__Black_Headed_33.jpg

large_D24B3BE80B5E07B3D9DD125FAC884FEE.jpg

large_Bustard__Kori_31.jpg

Another large bird on the hunt for some lunch

large_Bustard__Kori_32.jpg

large_D28AD4E20E76C14C18968D814052F8CC.jpg

About a week ago when we were here the first time on this trip, we saw a rhino reasonably up close and were thrilled to bits as on all previous visits they have been spotted in the far, far distance only. Imagine our surprise when we see one equally close again this afternoon!

large_Rhino_31.jpg

This one's on the move and heading directly towards us!

large_Rhino_32.jpg

large_Rhino_33.jpg

large_Rhino_40.jpg

He stops to sniff the air for a while. They do say we should all “make time to smell the flowers”.

large_Rhino_34.jpg

Unless they taste nice. Then you should just eat them. The flowers that is, not the rhinos.

large_Rhino_35.jpg

When he is just about 100 metres away from us, he changes his mind and turns the other direction.

large_Rhino_41.jpg

Still eating of course.

large_Rhino_36.jpg

large_Rhino_43.jpg

large_Lunch_Picnic.jpg

It is time for us to have some lunch, and more importantly, to use the local facilities, so we head for the picnic site.

I wonder if the road workers get danger money working here in the crater?

large_D3FDBB9B09B464A77386096CADC8777A.jpg

Compared with last week, Ngoitoktok picnic site is extremely quiet today.

large_Ngoitoktok_Picnic_Site_31.jpg

large_D43D35C6944FB60368C1FDF6B1283B66.jpg

large_Crane__Grey_Crowned_32.jpg

large_Crane__Grey_Crowned_33.jpg

large_Crane__Grey_Crowned_34.jpg

large_Crane__Grey_Crowned_35.jpg

large_Crane__Grey_Crowned_37.jpg

large_D4ABE664EC9709D2A11EDFD18A308CEC.jpg

Many of the old bull elephants in the crater have enormous tusks such as this guy.

large_Elephant__Big_Tusked_31.jpg

We see three more elephants in the distance, plus a couple of lions.

large_Elephants__Lions_31.jpg

large_D515A8AEF20333B3504D3B3E2F2F69A1.jpg

There are a lot of birds around in the crater this afternoon, a few of which are new to us. Being a 'list girl' I always enjoy adding a new species to my life list.

large_Goose__Egyptian_31.jpg

large_Goose__Egyptian_32.jpg

Egyptian Geese

large_Widow_Bird__Fan_Tailed_31.jpg

Fan Tailed Widow Bird

large_Crane__Gre..ed_Flying_1.jpg

large_Crane__Gre..ed_Flying_2.jpg

Several Grey Crowned Cranes flying around.

large_Lapwing__Long_Toed_1.jpg

Long Toed Lapwing

large_Ibis__Sacred_31.jpg

large_Ibis__Sacred_32.jpg

Sacred Ibis

large_Ibis__Hadada_31.jpg

Hadada Ibis

large_Weaver__Lesser_Masked_31.jpg

large_Weaver__Lesser_Masked_32.jpg

Lesser Masked Weaver

large_Starling__Wattled_32.jpg

large_Starling__Wattled_31.jpg

The Wattled Starling gets its name from the black wattles (there's a surprise) which are only found in breeding males.

large_Starling__Wattled_33.jpg

large_Starling__Wattled_34.jpg

large_Coot__Red_Knobbed_31.jpg

Red Knobbed Coot

large_Thomson_s_Gazelle.jpg

large_Gazelle__Thomsons_31.jpg

large_Gazelle__Thomsons_32.jpg

large_Lerai_Ascent_Road.jpg

As we climb out of the crater, I can feel the altitude affecting my chest, and I star coughing uncontrollably to the point of almost blacking out.

large_Lerai_Ascent_Road_31.jpg

The crater walls are near vertical in places, with trees somehow still clinging on to the slope.

large_Crater_Wall_Trees.jpg

The view from the top back over the crater is nothing short of spectacular!

large_View_over_the_Crater_31.jpg

I sleep the entire journey onwards to the gate with sheer exhaustion from the incessant coughing. Thankfully, we are now going down to a lower altitude for the rest of the trip.

large_D7DC27C8F99F4E480E50730DF9051256.jpg

While Malisa signs us out of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we amuse ourselves by watching the baboons. Unfortunately these cheeky animals have become used to stealing food stuff from the large trucks coming from the markets, and as a result are now very aggressive every time they see a vehicle.

large_Baboon__Olive_51.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_52.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_54.jpg

These little monkeys have found some spilt rice on the ground.

large_Baboon__Olive_55.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_56.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_57.jpg

large_Baboon__Olive_60.jpg

I can't stop myself dropping off to sleep in the car for the next part of the journey either, but fortunately I wake up as the sun starts to set and we approach our accommodation for the night.

large_Sunset_near_Maramboi_1.jpg

large_Sunset_near_Maramboi_2.jpg

large_Sunset_near_Maramboi_3.jpg

large_Maramboi.jpg

As soon as we enter the large grounds of this super tented camp, we spot a few impala in the near-darkness.

large_Impala_in_..of_Maramboi.jpg

The low light capabilities of this camera (Canon EOS 5D IV), is phenomenal. For my photographer friends, this picture was taken at ISO 16,000 with no noise reduction applied.

large_Giraffe_in.._Maramboi_1.jpg

large_Giraffe_in.._Maramboi_2.jpg

One of the things I really like about Maramboi, is all the animals found in its grounds at any time of day or night. This is our third time staying here, and we have not been disappointed yet.

large_Mongoose_i.._Maramboi_1.jpg

large_Mongoose_i.._Maramboi_2.jpg

Banded Mongoose

large_Impala_in_.._Maramboi_3.jpg

Impala with the rooms behind.

When we check in I ask for a room nearest the restaurant / reception / car park so that I don't have to walk any further than absolutely necessary. They oblige and give us the closest room. That will help my poor lungs tremendously.

large_F3A452AFC2B03F4ACB85B54878D402AF.jpg

large_F3B691ACB8DC42B85C1EF6AE12AC228C.jpg

As I said earlier, the grounds of the Maramboi are full of wild animals, and you are strictly forbidden to walk around after dark on your own. We call an askari (Maasai guard) to escort us from the room to dinner. Acting fairly agitated, he shines his torch on the next but one room from us. Two eyes look back at us from the bushes just by the entrance to the room. "Lion" says the askari.

You can see an arrow pointing to the location of the lion below, on a picture taken last year. In fact that was our room last year.

large_Stars_over..ime_Picture.jpg

There is a buzz of nervousness at dinner, with our waitress admitting to being “very scared”. There is only us and one other couple staying, and I get the feeling the staff can't wait to get away.

As it is an almost clear night, I want to take some photos of the stars this evening. For safety reasons the manager is understandably not willing to switch any lights off for me apart from those far out by the swimming pool, so I have to made do with what I've got and embrace the floodlit of trees as part of my picture.

large_F4EF037CED0AA76F95A03867B2341E1C.jpg

So, so many stars, with a few clouds partly obscuring the Milky Way

large_Maramboi_Tented_Camp_4A.jpg

large_Stars_over_Maramboi.jpg

As you can see from the arrow in the picture below, the lion is not exactly far away. The guards are constantly shining their torches across the grass, making sure they know where the lion is at all times.

large_Stars_over..mboi_-_Lion.jpg

While photographing the stars, I can hear a car starting up, and later the askari who walks us to the room tells us that they 'lost' the lion temporarily, but found him when they went out with the Land Rover. He's killed a warthog and is tucking into his supper, so we can all relax a little for a while.

At the end of another fabulous day on safari with Calabash Adventures, I want to say thank you to Malisa, our wonderful guide, for not just being a fantastic driver, but also for looking after me while I have been feeling so poorly on this trip.

large_015BD24A9E63C1281188D03A10710611.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 16:03 Archived in Tanzania Tagged night sunset travel africa safari tanzania zebra donkeys lion rhino maasai giraffe baboons crane stars serengeti black_rhino ngorongoro heron ibis impala starling weaver warthog astro ngorongoro_crater kori_bustard milky_way night_shots calabash_adventures best_safari_company maramboi seneto naabi_hill olive_baboon widow_bird wattled_starling lapwing lodoare_gate maramboi_tented_camp astro_photography Comments (6)

Seronera - Naabi Hill

Farewell to Serengeti


View The Howards' 40th Anniversary Tour 2017 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Almost immediately after leaving the lodge this morning, in the darkness before daybreak, we spot a male lion and his two females near a river. We stay with them until the sun comes up.

large_Lions_902.jpg

large_Lions_901.jpg

large_Lions_903.jpg

large_Lion_in_the_Sunrise_1.jpg

And what a sunrise it is!

large_Sunrise_17th_May___2.jpg

large_Sunrise_17th_May___11.jpg

The lions are joined by a black backed jackal, so I guess they have a kill around here somewhere.

large_Jackal__Black_Backed_201.jpg

large_Jackal__Black_Backed_202.jpg

large_Jackal__Bl.._and_Lion_1.jpg

We stick around to find out.

large_Lions_904.jpg

large_Lions_905.jpg

large_Lions_906.jpg

large_Lions_907.jpg

large_Lions_908.jpg

large_Lions_911.jpg

Meanwhile the sun is still painting the sky red on its quest to conquer the darkness of night.

large_Sunrise_17th_May___3.jpg

Barely visible through the long grass, our lion is moving his breakfast to a better place.

large_Lions_914.jpg

There is not a lot of meat left on what was once a zebra; it hardly seems worth the effort of moving it.

large_Lions_915.jpg

Oops. The thin sinew holding it all together has snapped and the ribs are left behind, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by the vultures waiting in the wings.

large_Lions_916.jpg

large_Vulture__A.._Backed_101.jpg

large_Lions_917.jpg

The vultures are thwarted again in their quest for food.

large_Lions_918.jpg

large_Lions_920.jpg

A Marabou Stork also tries to muscle in on the action.

large_Stork__Marabou_101.jpg

As well as a Tawny Eagle.

large_Eagle__Tawny_101.jpg

A couple of other females, from another pride, are cautiously, and surreptitiously (they think) making their way towards the kill too, pretending that they are not the least bit interested in the food.

large_Lions_921.jpg

The newcomers, however, have been spotted and are closely watched by our two original lionesses.

large_Lions_922.jpg

As these latecomers have not helped out with the kill, they are not welcome at the dining table either, and are chased off with some gusto.

large_Lions_923.jpg

large_Lions_924.jpg

large_Lions_925.jpg

Meanwhile the jackal sees an opportunity to get a morsel or two of meat and makes his move while the lionesses are busy chasing rivals.

large_Jackal__Black_Backed_203.jpg

large_Jackal__Black_Backed_204.jpg

Time for us to move along too. The sun is now well above the horizon, painting everything in its wake a golden hue, contrasting beautifully with the long, dark shadows.

large_Long_Shadows_1.jpg

large_Backlit_Grasses_41.jpg

large_Rufous_Tailed_Weaver.jpg

A very noisy Rufous Tailed Weaver makes sure we are all awake and fully alert.

large_Weaver__Rufous_Tailed_81.jpg

large_5457E460094305AB636B70152C0F5771.jpg

Because they spend most of their day submerged in water, seeing a hippo on land always causes some excitement.

large_Hippo_201.jpg

large_Hippo_202.jpg

large_Hippo_203.jpg

As we leave the pond area, we see the first other vehicle of today. This is what I love about travelling in the Green Season: the lack of other tourists.

large_Reflections_on_a_pond.jpg

large_54C6571F082DEEEAFA4E8EFE48D928B7.jpg

Sitting in the middle of the road, the hyena gets up when we arrive, but she is in no hurry to let us pass as she has a good scratch and a shake before sauntering into the long grass.

large_Hyena_801.jpg

large_Hyena_802.jpg

large_Hyena_803.jpg

large_Hyena_804.jpg

large_Hyena_805.jpg

large_Hyena_806.jpg

large_5581565AA54801EE9AC8370CD5785D11.jpg

large_Eagle__Bla..ed_Snake_21.jpg

large_559AC2BFE8C2C27555461D5EA3EC6B1E.jpg

Of course, the downside of travelling in the green season is the fact that the grass is so long, making it harder to see – and photograph – the animals.

large_Zebra_701.jpg

large_566A52A3FDD420ABD358A2A847BFF642.jpg

The zebra are accompanied by wildebeest. Lots of them. This is part of the Great Annual Migration.

large_Wildebeest_Migration_201.jpg

large_8F66D634B9C9C3A37C952B75F067CD21.jpg

As we are heading for the exit gate along the bumpy tracks of the Serengeti, David tries out the stabiliser on his new Osmo camera (similar to a GoPro but without the hefty price tag).

large_Osmo_3.jpg

Mounted on the end of a monopod and operated remotely by a mobile phone, he holds the camera out through the window and up above the roof, to get shots that would otherwise be difficult with a traditional camera.

large_Osmo_2.jpg

large_Osmo_1.jpg

Bearing in mind that the gravel road has a perfect washboard effect, I think this small video clip is unbelievably smooth. Well done Osmo and David - you both performed brilliantly!
 
.

.

large_8F8D3AD0B019A42F84D916A9EFBC913A.jpg

At Simba Kopje, we encounter a small memory (collective noun) of elephants.

large_Elephants_804.jpg

large_Elephants_808.jpg

large_Elephants_810.jpg

large_Elephants_814.jpg

This girl is trying to get rid of the flies by swatting herself with a tree branch.

large_Elephants_809.jpg

While another couple of them partake in a bonding session.

large_Elephants_805.jpg

large_Elephants_811.jpg

large_941179649F7E3165DA2A9AA431C0ADA3.jpg

Clinging to the near-vertical side of the precipitous kopje rock face, the baboons scramble and play. It all looks rather precarious to me.

large_Baboons__Olive_401.jpg

large_Baboons__Olive_402.jpg

large_Steppe_Eagle.jpg

large_Eagle__Steppe_201.jpg

large_Eagle__Steppe_202.jpg

large_360AAD52C3939AD842D0182D02A121AB.jpg

Once again our path is blocked by a cackle of hyenas.

large_Hyenas_201.jpg

large_Hyenas_202.jpg

large_Hyenas_203.jpg

large_Hyenas_205.jpg

large_Hyenas_206.jpg

large_Hyenas_207.jpg

large_371999E6F749B7A48CF5290FE7663F10.jpg

In the distance we spot a couple of lions.

large_Lions_in_the_distance_2.jpg

The 'couple of lions' turn out to be five – three male, two females. All youngsters. I guess this must be some sort of a youth club then.

large_Lions_1101.jpg

large_Lions_1105.jpg

large_Lions_1106.jpg

large_Lions_1113.jpg

Look at all those pesky flies!

large_Lions_1120.jpg

large_Lions_1102.jpg

large_Lions_1104.jpg

large_Lions_1115.jpg

Young sir is certainly not too impressed by them.

large_Lions_1108.jpg

Despite the nuisance of the flies, they can still enjoy a tender moment.

large_Lions_1109.jpg

large_Lions_1111.jpg

large_5ECE437CB6A792EA0066539772FA812A.jpg

“Please flies, go away!”

large_Lions_1119.jpg

We bid our lovely lions goodbye and head for the park gate.

large_Lions_1122.jpg

large_5AEB705E90E01F1240CA0EEDB6EEEBC9.jpg

large_Eagle__Tawny_601.jpg

large_5AF31E110F85CB726CD7BD096FF3F26A.jpg

Serengeti (as well as the other parks in Tanzania) works on a strict 24 hour basis for the permits, so if you entered the park at 10:21 and buy a three day ticket, you have to be out of the park by 10:21 three days later. If you overstay your welcome, you get charged a penalty, usually the cost of another full day.

So here we are, Malisa has checked us out and we have breakfast with the birds, including a Superb Starling who sits on the back of the bench, hoping to get some crumbs from our picnic.

large_Starling__Superb_601.jpg

While a Marabou Stork walks right on by without a care in the world.

large_Stork__Marabou_802.jpg

They are seriously big birds!

large_Stork__Marabou_803.jpg

large_Stork__Marabou_805.jpg

large_17th_May.jpg

Today is the 17th May, which to Norwegians is a very special day indeed. The day commemorates the signing of the constitution on that date in 1814. In Norway, the occasion is celebrated in a big way, and to many this is at least as big as (if not bigger than) Christmas. It's the day everyone wears their national costume, eats too much ice cream, and wave the Norwegian flag around. (You can read more about it here)

Naturally we packed a few flags, and create our own little celebration this morning, although I have to admit it is mostly in order to take a photo so that we can send it to my dad today to wish him “Happy 17th May”.

large_Hurra_for_17_mai.jpg

And with that we leave Serengeti and head for pastures new. Thank you Calabash Adventures for putting together this awesome trip for us. Follow my blog for the next entry, with more animal pictures and stories.

large_5C1AF3B7C162A52AA3B25CF6ADDF881E.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 02:30 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals africa safari tanzania lion serengeti vulture jackal calabash_adventures lion_kill seronera safari_animals Comments (3)

Serengeti Day II Part I - Hyenas, Lions and more

Never a dull moment on safari


View The Howards' 40th Anniversary Tour 2017 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I guess the lioness we heard calling out for her babies yesterday afternoon didn't find them, as she was roaring all night. Hearing nature in all its raw glory is always exciting, but not necessarily conducive to a good sleep. With that and my incessant coughing, I didn't get a lot of rest last night. I feel embarrassed and concerned about keeping other guests awake too, so I am grateful there are no other tourists around in the lodge when we leave this morning.

large_Kubu_Kubu_..st_Tables_1.jpg

The tables are laid out ready for breakfast, which starts from 06:00. I always find it strange that people don't want to make the most of their day on safari by getting out into the park at the earliest opportunity (06:00), which is also when the animals are at their most active. After all, a safari is not a cheap holiday, and for a number of people, a holiday of a lifetime. If you want to relax, build in some chill time at a beach resort afterwards.

Now getting off my soap box.

large_502A813AC1BEF4CCA52AE5FEDC7A3DEC.jpg

We leave the lodge in darkness. As the light of day starts to brighten up the sky, the promise of a beautiful sunrise teases us with a warm yellow glow above the savannah and a blue sky sporting fluffy clouds edged with crimson.

large_Sunrise_16th_May___5.jpg

It is not long, however, before the sun sends its first rays of the day over the horizon, warming the cool morning air.

large_Sunrise_16th_May___1.jpg

large_51496A58E18AF92D78F9005053A1C6DB.jpg

A wobble of ostriches (I love discovering apt and humorous collective nouns of animals) enjoy the warm glow of the sun. One male can have a dozen or more females in his harem.

large_Ostriches_21.jpg

large_Ostriches_22.jpg

He is in his breading colours as evidenced by his red neck and legs.

large_Ostriches_23.jpg

large_53A05B0AF86952AF48CE14D692412141.jpg

large_Buffalo__Cape__B_W_1.jpg

Having recently been kicked out of the herd (or obstinacy, as I am on a roll with collective nouns), the bull buffalo has anger management issues, as can be seen from his sweaty nose.

large_Buffalo__Cape_22.jpg

Having a 700 pound animal's stare directed right at me is more than a little intimidating, especially as he keeps walking closer and closer, while snorting angrily. Not that it seems to bother the oxpecker much.

large_Buffalo__Cape_21.jpg

large_Buffalo__Cape_23.jpg

Time to make a move.

large_Balloons_over_Serengeti.jpg

large_Balloons_over_Serengeti_1.jpg

Oh, to be in that basket floating effortlessly over the African plains in the early morning sun.

large_Balloons_over_Serengeti_2.jpg

If it wasn't for the price tag I'd be there like a shot! I do realise, however, that part of the reason for the high cost is the huge fee they pay to the park authorities to be able to drive off-road to retrieve the balloon and its passengers.

large_Balloons_over_Serengeti_3.jpg

large_8AB5A01EE18800AF1F1BECF0A1DB9370.jpg

Almost totally hidden by the tall grass, a lone hippo wanders towards a small pond. All we can see is the top of his back.

large_8AC02DF0DAB4664FD53DEF39ACCAF5DD.jpg

large_8F783770F76A8C5C2CF8A9CAFBAFF67C.jpg

large_Hyenas_21.jpg

It is hard to describe the feeling of awe I get when we drive along and encounter wildlife – such as these hyenas – in the road. Being part of, or rather guests in, their natural habitat is an experience I will never tire of. It is at times like this that I realise that it is me who is the stranger here; this is their home. I feel incredibly humbled to have the privilege of being included in their lives, even for a short while.

large_Hyenas_22.jpg

There is some serious 'establishing of territory' going on here, with chasing, growling, barking and baring of teeth.

large_Hyenas_23.jpg

large_Hyenas_24.jpg

large_Hyenas_25.jpg

large_Hyenas_27.jpg

A cackle of hyenas (♥collective nouns) can be enormously intimidating, especially when they are plotting gang warfare such as here. Or maybe I just have an over-zealous imagination.

large_Hyenas_29.jpg

large_Hyenas_32.jpg

large_Hyenas_43.jpg

Although sometimes they can look almost cute.

large_Hyenas_33.jpg

large_Hyenas_37.jpg

large_Hyenas_39.jpg

Three amigos saunter off down the road...

large_Hyenas_51.jpg

… while another goes for a drink.

large_Hyenas_52.jpg

large_Hyenas_53.jpg

large_Hyenas_55.jpg

And then lies down in it to cool off.

large_Hyenas_56.jpg

large_Hyenas_57.jpg

large_Three_Banded_Plover.jpg

The hyenas do not seem to bother this three banded plover though.

large_Plover__Three_Banded_21.jpg

large_B6AC92A5C3DA284DE168559553CF54BF.jpg

Hippo flatulence gives off a powerful ammonia-like aroma, with the result that you can usually smell the hippos before you see them, especially when they are present in numbers such as these.

large_B6EE2812D4D24F010B759FCB3907CC0F.jpg

large_B72B6A84A2041C0A346E5F4B2B4B0F2A.jpg

Meanwhile, we head back to the Maasai Kopjes, where we immediately see a collared lioness atop a rock.

large_Maasai_Kopjes_41.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__1.jpg

It looks like she has a cub with her.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__2.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__5.jpg

As one cub walks off to the right, another one can be seen sitting up on the left.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__9.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__4.jpg

Mum goes off to join the youngster on the left, and we discover another cub in the shade of the tree.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__8.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__10A.jpg

The Maasai Pride is huge, and rarely venture far from this collection of rocky outcrops known as the Maasai Kopjes (hence the name of the lion pride, of course).

large_Maasai_Kopjes_42.jpg

large_Maasai_Kopjes_43.jpg

At the base of the rocks we see another lioness, hiding five young cubs in the long grass.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__7.jpg

The mum on top of the rock leaves her three cubs behind to go for a wander.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__12.jpg

Prompting her babies to explore too.

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__13.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__15.jpg

Maasai kopjes is teeming with big cats this morning, spread out over a large area. Everywhere we look there is a lion; some seeking the cool shade of the shrubby undergrowth, others the warmth of the sunbaked rocks.

large_Lion__Maas..ide__ZZZZZZ.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__17.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__18.jpg

large_Lion__Maasai_Pride__19.jpg

The kopjes are also home to a number of other species, such as this Dark Chanting Goshawk.

large_Goshawk__Dark_Chanting_31.jpg

And the Crested Lark.

large_Lark__Crested_1.jpg

The lark has a most beautiful song, as you can hear in David's video below.

large_Lark__Crested_2.jpg

.

.

More lions to follow in the next instalment of my blog. Our safari was arranged by Calabash Adventures, the best safari operators by far.

large_C92D2B77DC2E21BBA22E8DD007371629.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 01:03 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals birds travel adventure hot_air_balloons bird sunrise africa safari tanzania animal birding buffalo balloons lion lions watching hippo ostrich hyena bird_watching hippopotamus ostriches calabash_adventures maasai_kopjes cape_buffalo spotted_hyena plover hippo_pool hyenas spotted_hyenas kopjes Comments (4)

(Entries 1 - 12 of 18) Page [1] 2 » Next