Friday, November 8, 2013

Serengeti - our last full day on safari

Up at around 6AM with the birds. Open up the front door to our tent to see a beautiful sunrise, we nearly missed it! Tonight the front doors will be left open I think.

Beautiful sunrise this morning, rain has gone away

Breakfast was delicious, a buffet of fruit, juices, cereal, cheeses, yogurt, then you order your hot meal from a menu. Eggs Benedict, eggs florentine, sausage, bacon, beans, potatoes....way too much again, and on top of this they brought you a basket of different muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls.

Cold foods on buffet, hot foods made to order.  This "tenting" is really rough!

Lobby and bar area
View of our tent 12a

On the way to breakfast this morning right outside our tent we see our first cool animal sighting of the day, a baby klipspringer nursing, so tiny. Again we think this must be a little rare as there are people that work here out taking pictures with their cell phones of it as well. 
Mother and baby klipspringer outside our tent

They moved on and climbed up the rocks

Baby holding on with his toes

We also see a baby vervet monkey being carried under it's mother as she runs along. 
hold on tight!


Today we head far North to the Lobo area and on towards the gate that used to be for the Kenya/Tanzania border that is now closed. Some absolutely beautiful scenery, there is not the great abundance of wildlife here, but we rarely see another vehicle, and the scenery truly is fantastic and so well worth the drive.

First thing we saw as we started our drive was a zebra fight. Two zebras were kicking, biting, and carrying on like males do I guess, again fun to watch. Fight over and they seem to be best friends again.

Zebra fight

If you can't get along then don't look at each other

We have seen lots of beautiful birds here. One that we saw right after the zebras today was the Eurasian Bee-Eater. There are many different kinds of Bee-Eaters here. One of my favourite birds is the Lilac-Breasted Roller, which we have seen lots of.

White browed robin chat

Tawny Eagle
Grey backed fiscal shrike

Yellow throated longclaw

Verreaux's eagle owl

European Bee-eater

Northern Wheatear

The hilight animal wise is we see a cheetah with her baby. I have no idea how Felix spotted her, she was quite far off the road, and not somewhere where you would expect to see cheetah, but you never know what you will see. We were stopped admiring her and I was watching through binoculars and something just didn't seem right, her tail was just not in the right place, then I saw a little head peek up over her head, ahhhhhh. We must have stayed here a good 30 minutes. Mom was really looking around for food but there were no animals anywhere within sight. There were lots of oh so cute moments. The little one decided Moms ears needed washing, then they decided to change positions and move around a little, we drove forward a little to get a better view as well and then the playing began, so so cute, rolling over each other, but then Mom had enough. I so hope the pictures turn out well, they were a little far away and most of the time in the shade of a tree so it may have been tough to get good shots. Another vehicle came along as we were about to leave so at least someone else got to enjoy as well.

Baby cheetah
Mother Cheetah
Play time

We see quite a few wildebeest today, but still never found the migration. Felix says he has been talking to the guides and no one has seen them, the late rains I guess has sent them somewhere and he's not sure where.

Lots of beautiful giraffe today, and some nice baby shots.

Young giraffe

Some other random shots from today:

Secretary bird

 We also think we finally got a good warthog baby family shot. Nothing much cuter than a family of warthogs running along with their tails up in the air. Today really was baby day, different antelopes as well, will need to do a baby album just from today!

Tails down, relax

Tails up and run!

We also saw 2 lions on our touring around today, again I don't think Felix expected to see cats. One of the lions was very close to where we saw the cheetah and I thought we might see some action, but the momma cheetah just kept a close watch on the lion when it went by.

We had lunch at a fantastic viewpoint on Lobo hill, but experienced the worst bathroom ever. Earlier in the day we had stopped at the guard station near the Kenya/Tanzania border to use the bathrooms and it was pretty bad, but this picnic site at Lobo hill made that bathroom look clean. So bad I would not even use it, enough said.
Old border crossing Tanzania/Kenya that is now a ranger station

Lunch time view

On the way home we also had another exciting moment. Felix stopped the jeep and said watch this male ostrich, it is doing a mating dance. Opening and closing its wings, fantastic. Then we could see the female coming along and doing her little dance, and then of course followed by the mating. We tried to video this, hope it turns out.
Male ostrich doing his dance to attract the female, see how handsome I am?

It's working, she's dancing too!

Thanks, I'll call you, no hugs or anything...

Back at the camp now, it rained a little on the way home and we needed to close the roof, and believe it or not I fell asleep for a bit. Those of you that know me will be shocked I know.

Clouds are forming

Our first rain while on safari

It has now stopped raining, so far the only visitors to our little deck have been a pair of hornbills, I think Andre took 20 pictures of them, so one may turn out. The power is off right now, so not sure when we will be able to post anything again, plus power is now low on the PC so off I go.

Pair of Van der decken Hornbills

Supper again was very nice, Andre had lamb chops and I had fish. This is one of the few places where we have stayed that we are given a menu with choices, but I imagine this is the most expensive place we have stayed as well. Before dinner we sat on the terrace and played Snakes & Ladders, the only game they had that had all the pieces, and we weren't going back to the room to get cards. Exciting!

View of the camp location

Elephants have gone through the camp, not hard to tell when elephants have been by, no wonder the farmers don't like them

dark capped bulbul

Tree hyrax

Looks like bad weather for the night

Lots of baboons on the rocks behind our camp, guards kept having to chase them out of camp
Andres supper, yep again, tenting...

An early night again tonight, can't believe tomorrow morning we fly back to Arusha :(

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