Tuesday, 6/3. Serengeti Nat’l Forest.

 
25_dscf189711

Baboons in sausage tree.

An amazing sighting: mother leopard, apparently in the process of weaning her baby. They walk together at first and then as several safari jeeps congregate the mother deliberately creates distance from the baby. She’s preparing it for independence. Birds in the trees squawk and cry out their warnings of the leopard. At one point, we’re extremely close to the baby leopard, which upsets Tanya and Kelly. They’re sure the baby is crying.

Later, en route to Ngorongoro crater, we see a lioness stalking prey. She’s slow, methodical, her muscles tensed. The thick grass masks her from the Thomson’s gazelle. There’s amazing gracefulness in her approach but when she’s ready to pounce the gazelle takes flight. The lioness doesn’t even bother to chase; she knows the gazelle will outrun her.

We’re not the only ones observing the near-kill. Once a jeep stops, it seems every other jeep will gather around, jockeying for a better view. You’ll see six, seven, eight at a time — like hordes of paparazzi surrounding Britney or Brangelina. I’ve been wondering why, in such warm weather, Godwin wears a leather jacket each day in the jeep. It’s the Tsetse flies. Leather is one of the few materials they can’t penetrate.

24_dscf188911

Zebras at watering hole. They can smell the atmosphere to know which direction to go for water.

27_dscf189911

Mama and baby leopard.

Amazing birds everywhere. Unlike America’s comparatively bland robins or sparrows, the birds of Africa are flamboyant, outrageously vivid in their rich colors. Neon blues and greens. Chartreuse and flame-red. Crazy-beautiful. The Fischer’s Lovebird is a small, exquisite parrot: golden neck, bright-red beak, green chest and tail feathers.

Godwin surprises me. Frequently, when the jeep is at rest and we trekkers are absorbed with the animals, he asks me to hand him my journal. In an elegant hand, he writes details, academic descriptions. Cheetahs, he writes aren’t truly cats. They’re diurnal whereas cats are nocturnal. They have fixed claws while a cat’s are retractable.

27a_leopard-cub-2-large1

Baby leopard. She’s being weaned from her mother. Tanya and Kelly were certain she was crying.

At our campsite that night, a cadre of Dutch tourists have colonized nearby: three huge vehicles with U-haul trailers/cabooses, on top of which they pitch tents. It takes them forever to establish their beachhead. At night they build a bonfire and sit around it with laptops and cell phones. A nature experience!

 

 

28a_lioness-large1

Lioness stalking a Thomson gazelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

29_dscf198411

Africa birds are flamboyant, outrageously vivid in their colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28_dscf185811

Lions at rest.

safari4-210-large1

Zebras, flamingos at bottom of Ngorongoro crater.

Previous     |     Next

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2017 My Travels and Articles Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha