Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 153/154 - Ngorogoro to Serengeti, Tanzania

The next day was a 3 hour rough ride to the Serengeti where we stayed in a lodge in the center of the park.  The following 2 days were spent driving around the vast openness of the Serengeti (which means endless land in Masai).  The herds and herds of zebras, water buffalo and wildebeest were staggering!  Thousands and thousands.  There were no shortage of lions either.  At one sighting there were 10 lounging under a tree in the midday heat. Saw a couple of cheetahs and leopards not to forget the hyena (which, by the way, do sound like they are laughing, incredible to hear)  warthogs, gazelles and impalas. Felt like Jim Fowler from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom bouncing around these rough Serengeti roads in a Toyota Landcruiser in search of the big 5. During the rainy season these roads are impassable even in a 4x4. Early mornings (on safari by 6am) and back by 5pm made for tiring days. My guide, Felix, was amazing.  He knew every inch of the massive national park and when asked an obscure question like, “How much meat does a male lion eat at one feeding?”. “40kg”, was the reply.  Then they drink water until the next kill about 4 days later.  Female eats roughly half that and only after the male eats yet they do all the hunting.  Saw two kills but only after the fact, one by lions and the other by a Leopard in one tree, its kill, a gazelle, high in the next tree away from scavengers.

The lodge was smack in the middle of the Serengeti with no fencing.  Zebras and warthogs were seen on the grounds and hippos and hyenas could be heard close by at night.  

Sunrise view of the crater

Growing a giraffe out of my shoulder

Serengeti National Park gate

One of the many "roads" in the park

I asked Felix what happens in the event of a flat tire?  Answer. If there is another vehicle around you park it between the lion, for example, and the disabled truck and change the tire.  If there are no other trucks you simply drive with a flat until you come across another vehicle.  There were times where we didn’t see another truck for an hour. 

She was no more than 10 feet from the truck.  We circled around her and not once did she look at us.

The elusive cheetha

Don't ask cause I don't know.

The leopard's kill in the next tree over

Thousands of zebras

An early morning balloon ride over the Serengeti.  Now that would have been cool!

Beautiful lodge designed on top of rock outcroppings which were an intricate part of the building structure.

Sunset on the Serengeti

1 comment:

  1. Taking amazing shots as usual :} Love the pics Robbie. BBQ this summer? Have people for you to meet :)