A FULL DAY ON SAFARI IN THE SERENGETI!
We woke up early, ate the buffet breakfast, packed our picnic lunch, and headed out for the day. The night before, I had a long conversation with our driver about our priorities for today. Our goal was a simple one – see as many different types of animals as possible.
The safari guides and drivers all make use of radios to communicate with each other about the latest animal sightings. Unfortunately, our radio was damaged on the rough road into the park the day before. How would Rashidi cope with this situation? Would we miss out on seeing something amazing because he had no way to communicate with the other drivers? I quickly found out I had no need to worry. Our guide took every opportunity to talk to the other guides whenever they were nearby and he had an amazing knowledge of where the animals might be found. Every time we expressed an interest in something we found ourselves looking at it a few minutes later.
ANIMALS OF THE SERENGETI PLAINS
Our first sighting was a giraffe striding across the plain. Unlike the giraffes in Lake Manyara and Arusha National Park, the ones we saw in the Serengeti were always alone.
A short while later we came across a herd of water buffalo in the tall grass. The light pattern on their faces remind me of Venetian masks. This one attempted to stare us down, never looking away even when we changed locations.
We saw this ostrich several times during the day. .
Zebras were a common sight, generally huddled under trees like the group below.
We saw several lions throughout the day. Mostly young males or small groups of females. It was fairly warm, so the lions were most frequently seen near outcroppings of trees.
Shortly before lunch we saw a large herd of elephants in the distance. This particular group headed our way and eventually passed directly in front of our vehicle.
Another lion seen after lunch was lounging under a tree right next to us. Time and time again we were able to get so close to the animals!
We saw many different types of antelopes throughout the day. This one, called a dik-dik, is one of the smallest antelopes in the Serengeti.
In the evening, near our tented camp, there was a family of Velvet monkeys resting and grooming each other.
WATERING HOLES AND HIPPO POOLS
Just before mid-day, near a mostly dried up riverbed, we spotted a lone hippo. Hippos were on my list of ‘must-see’ animals. I was so excited! Our guide looked at me, said ‘Oh! You want to see hippos.’, and then started driving. We drove for about twenty minutes before pulling into a picnic area. I could not believe what I saw!
A gigantic pool filled with hippos spread out before us. The air filled with the sounds of snorting and splashing. Truly amazing!
Several hours after lunch, we found ourselves at a watering hole. A herd of zebra and their adopted wildebeest initially ran off when we approached and I managed to get this photo.
After a long day on safari we headed back to our tented camp for a rest.