Tanzania

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 Africa

Map of Tanzania

Map of Tanzania

Wildebeests Crossing

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.

Wildebeests waiting to cross the river.

Detail of river bank showing wildebeest carcasses.

Detail of river bank showing wildebeest carcasses.

Wildebeest leaping into river.

Wildebeest leaping into river.

A herd of wildebeests swimming across the river.

A herd of wildebeests swimming across the river.

Crocodile about to eat a wildebeest.

Crocodile about to eat a wildebeest.

Wildebeests near shore.

Wildebeests near shore.

Wildebeests swimming.

Wildebeests swimming.

Wildebeests reaching the shore.

Wildebeests reaching the shore.

Wildebeests climbing out of river.

Wildebeests climbing out of river.

Wildebeests grazing in pasture.

Wildebeests grazing in pasture.

Zebras

Zebras

Zebras

An Elephants Tail

An elephants tail.

An elephants tail.

Black Rhinoceroses

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 rhino in the Serengeti.

Black rhinoceroses in the Serengeti.

Black rhinoceroses in the Serengeti.

Black rhino 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.

Lioness looking at prey.

Hmm, so much to choose from.

Hmm, so much to choose from.

Getting ready.

Getting ready.

Lioness pouncing upon wildebeest.

Lioness pouncing upon wildebeest.

Lioness after partly eating prey.

Lioness after partly eating prey.

A belly full of wildebeest.

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

Pair of cheetahs

Cheetahs' prey with cheetahs in background

Cheetahs’ prey with cheetahs in background

Cheetah

Cheetah

Cheetah

Cheetah

Lioness in the Serengeti

Lioness in the Serengeti

Lioness in the Serengeti

Giraffes

Note the bird in (on?) the giraffe’s mouth.

Giraffes

Giraffes

A horizontal neck.

Giraffe

Giraffe

The giraffe is a male based on the top knots.

Giraffe portrait

Giraffe portrait

Cape Buffalo

Note the yellow-billed oxpeckers on the buffalo’s back.

Cape buffalo

Cape buffalo

Lion Photos, Gallery

Cheetahs Hunting

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

Eyeing the prey

Running toward the prey and river

Running toward the prey and river

Double back

Double back

Wrong side of the river

Wrong side of the river

Chasing to the left

Chasing to the left

Chasing to the right

Chasing to the right

Resting after losing prey

Resting after losing prey

Babies

Baby elephant, ostriches, lion and warthog.

Baby elephant

Baby elephant

Family of ostriches

Family of ostriches

Cub

Cub

Warthog with babies

Warthog with babies

 

Hippopotamuses

Hippo

Hippo


Hippo

Hippo


Hippo sparring

Hippo sparring

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 rolling upward

Newborn standing

Newborn standing

Newborn standing

Newborn standing

Newborn following Mom

Newborn following Mom


Photos 1, 3 and 4 by Dawn.

Lioness Kill

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.

Lioness Kill