Safari: Day 3 – Just Us And The Wildlife

Tues. 9th July 2013

Cubs watching the worldToday was a full day driving around Serengeti to see who was out and about and the lions were up early. Well, awake anyway but not overly active. The young were lounging on a rock in the early morning light and the females were strolling close by in no particular hurry to do much at all. A family of four from our group had left even earlier than us for an early morning balloon trip so we had a lot more space to spread between the two vehicles . We actually saw more on the ground than they did from the air, although I can thoroughly recommend the experience of floating above the savannah in a hot air balloon as we did last week in Kenya.

Cheetah on the prowlNot far away we spotted three cheetahs walking in the long grass, on the prowl looking for breakfast but nothing was an easy target. They did not seem to be in a hurry as they ambled away into the distance.  The park is full of animals of all sizes as we came across a group of mongoose frolicking in the river not far from a wading hippo.

Herons and fisheagle share a treeThere were also many different birds too from the enormous ostriches to tiny weaverbirds. There were also water birds such as herons which took a fancy to this tree by a waterhole. Herons are not my favourite as at home they head straight for our fish in the pond. Also in the tree was a Fish eagle with its distinctive white head and black body.

Two leopards - honest!After lunch we saw another leopard with its cub high up on a ledge. We knew it was a leopard by its spots but we only caught sight of a leg being waved in the air or an occasional raising of the mothers head. Like the other cats we have seen today they were more interested in lazing around, but by now we were out in the heat of the day.

Having a scratchEven the elephants were after some shade from the hot sun and this one took the opportunity of having a good scratch against the tree too. The acacia trees are very distinctive and stand out against the corn colour of the parched grass and often become a focal point of our photos. The scenery is just as one pictures it and even with so many vehicles in the park it is still possible to have the sensation that it is just us and the animals for miles around.

Funny looking leopard!As we moved on we saw another cat up a tree and our guide said “another leopard”, but we were not so sure. On closer inspection with binoculars and long lenses we said “but it does not have any spots”. It was actually a  lion! Sights we still wanted to see in the Serengeti were a male lion and a kill, are we just getting greedy? We did all agree that you can never tire of seeing elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions.

Sundown at campSunset here is regular as clockwork at 6:30pm and were were back at camp enjoying a cup of tea watching the sun go down. There are tales of the animals heard last night close to camp and the night sounds begin again. I move from the chair at the end of the row nearest the long grass to somewhere in the middle of the group just in case an animal comes too close to camp.

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