Plenty of elephants
06.11.2018 - 06.11.2018
After a very nice packed lunch, a stroll around the Visitors Centre, a use of the facilities and a tank full of petrol, we set off for some more explorations of the Seronera area of Serengeti.
Baby Thomson's Gazelle
This little youngster, here seen with his older brother, is less than two weeks old. All together now: “Awwww”.
If we thought yesterday's herd was big at 75 animals, today we count 83 elephants. They are, however, technically two large herds in close proximity. Not just to each other, but also to us, walking right by all the cars gathered.
Two males are bonding with a spot of play-fighting, or is it a bromance?
The herd, or memory as a group of elephants is also known, consists of several cute youngsters.
We stay with the elephants for a long time, just watching them make their way across the savanna, heading for an area with palm trees and water.
Under this tree in the far distance is a big male cheetah. Honestly.
He is keeping a close eye on a warthog in the even further distance.
The cheetah gets up, walks around a bit, then lies down again. Too much excitement for one day.
I don't think he fancies his chances against the elephants on the horizon.
We let him carry on with his siesta and continue on our way to “see what nature has to offer us”.
Lilac Breasted Roller
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike
We see a couple of these birds within minutes of each other, or maybe it is the same one following us.
Different bush, different light
Malisa tells us that a campaign has been in place to thin out the numbers of hyenas in the Ngorongoro crater as there were too many in such a small space. A number of them were tranquillised, marked and moved to the Serengeti; however, within sixteen hours they were back in the crater. I guess it is easier to eat your food in a bowl such as Ngorongoro rather than trying to chase your peas around a large dinner plate like the Serengeti.
Two males fight for control of the large harem. The following conversation then occurs in the vehicle:
Malisa: “Thomson's Gazelles are polyandrous, females mate with several males”
Grete: “Lucky girls”.
Chris: “I'd call them sluts”
Secretary Bird and Roadkill
She is eating a hedgehog, although it is unlikely that she killed it herself, it was most likely the victim of a road accident.
This mini dust tornado barges its way across the savanna with no regard for man or beast in its way.
Just out for an afternoon stroll
He stops off for a snack along the way.
White Browed Coucal
"You looking at me"?
You can see why these sponge-like fruits are used as loofahs.
Black Faced Vervet Monkeys
As soon as we stop the car, it is like the dust suddenly catches up with us, and for a while the animals are enveloped in a cloud of brown 'smog'.
It takes a minute or so for the dust to settle. Thankfully on this occasion the monkey didn't make a run for it before the air had cleared.
As is often the case when you see Vervet Monkeys, we find Thomson's Gazelles nearby. They have a symbiotic relationship based on commensalism, where the gazelles benefit from fruits dropped from the trees by the monkeys and their early warning signals of impending danger.
Waterholes are always a hive of activity, especially at this time of year when much of the savannah has completely dried out.
Three Banded Plover
Three Banded Plover
Shade created by a tall tree shelters four lions from the midday sun. These are three cubs from two different mothers. One of the females has gone off, leaving the other in charge of the babies. She may be hunting or she may have 'sacrificed herself' by going off to mate with a strange male to stop him from coming into the pride and killing the cubs.
We hear it long before we see it. It's a strange sound, a bit like tires on gravel or ice, but without the engine noise. The cubs can hear it too, and it seems to really spook them.
One the dust devil has passed, they all gather together and peace is yet again restored to this small lion family.
Troop of Olive Baboons
Young and old baboons are all around us – on the ground, climbing the trees and eating the flowers, riding on their parents' backs or bellies...
Thank you Calabash, the best safari company by far, for another terrific morning in Serengeti.