Visited Tanzania for a Safari in the Serengeti. Highlights included seeing wildebeests crossing the Mara and Sand rivers, black rhinoceroses, and a lioness kill a wildebeest. My expectations were totally exceeded by both the number and diversity of animals. Saw a mother cheetah teaching her three boys to hunt. Saw newborn zebra, lion and elephant.
Flew into Kiliminjaro Airport and got over jet lag in the town of Moshi in the Mt. Kiliminjaro foothills. Traveled two weeks on Safari with a wonderful guide, Tim. Visited Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Lake Eyasi, Central Serengeti, Northern Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. Returned to Arusha and flew out Kiliminjaro Airport. We stayed mostly in tented migration camps.
Most days were spent driving in a Land Cruiser for 10-12 hours, spotting animals and taking photographs. Often, we would stop and watch a particular animal for two to three hours. Usually, we watched predators, waiting to see if we could watch them hunt.
Map of Africa
Map of Tanzania
Wildebeests are constantly migrating in search of greener pastures. In October and November they move south from Masai Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti in Tanzania. On the way, they cross several rivers including the Mara and Sand. Many of them are lost by drowning, stampede and crocodile define predation.
Wildebeests waiting to cross the river.
Detail of river bank showing wildebeest carcasses.
Wildebeest leaping into river.
A herd of wildebeests swimming across the river.
Crocodile about to eat a wildebeest.
Wildebeests near shore.
Wildebeests reaching the shore.
Wildebeests climbing out of river.
Wildebeests grazing in pasture.
An Elephants Tail
An elephants tail.
Black rhinoceroses are endangered worldwide. The rhinoceroses in the Serengeti are now protected 24/7 by rangers and aerial surveillance, but there are still very few left. We spent several days driving and searching for rhinoceroses. We were fortunate and eventually spotted two, a mother and child. Note the ox-pecker bird.
Black rhino in the Serengeti.
Black rhinoceroses in the Serengeti.
Black rhino in the Serengeti
Lioness Kills a Wildebeest
We spent several hours watching a lioness in a tree. She would alternate between sleeping and watching zebra and wildebeest walk by. Then she started moving around on the tree limb when they walked by. And finally she pounced upon one. It took about ten seconds until the beast was down.
Lioness looking at prey.
Hmm, so much to choose from.
Lioness pouncing upon wildebeest.
Lioness after partly eating prey.
A belly full of wildebeest.
Cheetahs eating breakfast
One morning we came upon two cheetahs. They had just killed their prey, a wildebeest and eaten their full.
Pair of cheetahs
Cheetahs’ prey with cheetahs in background
Lioness in the Serengeti
Lioness in the Serengeti
Note the bird in (on?) the giraffe’s mouth.
A horizontal neck.
The giraffe is a male based on the top knots.
Note the yellow-billed oxpeckers on the buffalo’s back.
Lion Photos, Gallery
Pride at dusk
Roar lion roar
He looks so nice
Got to watch four cheetahs hunting for gazelle and reed bucks. Mom was teaching her three sons to hunt. The strategy was Mom would chase the antelope toward the sons and they would take it down. They tried twice. Mom chased the antelope toward the sons, but they missed both times. Part of the problem was they would not cross the water and gave up. In the end, they rested on a termite mound and crept away when the neighboring lion pride took an interest.
Eyeing the prey
Running toward the prey and river
Wrong side of the river
Chasing to the left
Chasing to the right
Resting after losing prey
Baby elephant, ostriches, lion and warthog.
Family of ostriches
Warthog with babies
Zebra First Steps
We saw a lump beside a zebra and went to investigate. Mom was extremely aggravated because she wanted to run away from our vehicle. She kept calling the baby. It finally stood up and followed Mom.
Newborn rolling upward
Newborn following Mom
Photos 1, 3 and 4 by Dawn.
In Tanzania, we went spent several days in Tarangire National Park going on game rides. We saw many animals, but the most memorable part was watching a lioness for several hours. She was sleeping in a tree, until she pounced upon a wildebeest.