deponti (deponti) wrote,
deponti
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The last two days on the Serengeti....looong post with LOTS of pics....

It's been really hectic, but I have finally found the time...it's going to be a long post,compressing two days at the Serengeti, with lots of photos (there will be one lot more with pics from Lake Manyara, with the TREE-CLIMBING LIONS)

Here's a sunrise over the Serengeti plains...

sunrise on the Serengeti


anushsh has made this his screensaver....so this is dedicated to him!


Our safari started on a high note, with this sighting of a CHEETAH, which had just killed a gazelle and was dragging it to a good place for the feast....


Cheetah with gazelle kill

(Remember, I said that none of my cheetah shots are close-up or good!)


Another "typical" shot that I got was the Masai, walking for miles in the vast landscape, amongst the eternal grasses of the Serengeti...


Masai in the NCA savannah




Another "typical Africa" picture is of the GIRAFFE amongst the FLAT-TOP ACACIAS....


Giraffe amongst the acacias


and just for fun, I got these "giraffe front-and-back" pics:


giraffe front





giraffe back


We saw several more (hundreds!) of the SOCIABLE WEAVER BIRDS:


sociable weaver

Here's the DIK-DIK, talk about doe-eyed beauty!



the Dik-dik...what eyes...


Some more of the TOPI (mother and child, who is a young adult) came into sight:



Topi in the savannah

Here's the WHITE-BROWED COUCAL;


White-browed coucal

And another of my favourite mother-and-child shots, this time of the OLIVE BABOON:


Olive Baboon with baby


some IMPALA were grazing nearby:



impala portrait

Soon a large herd of ELEPHANTS crossed the track:


mothers and children

And here's one of them having a snack on the go....



snacks to go...


Here's a young one having a dust-bath:




elephant having mudbath




At one point, we saw a kill that the main predators and the hyenas had finished with, and the VULTURES had moved in:

Vultures at the kill with a marabour stork

A MARABOU STORK is on the left-hand side, hoping for some pickings.

It was not an amicable distribution of the spoils, lots of bickering went on:

I'm going to scare you off the kill

If you look carefully, you can see, in the photo above, both the WHITE-BACKED and the LAPPET-FACED VULTURES. We never got to see the critically endangered LAMMERGEIER VULTURE.



We saw several LAPPET-FACED VULTURES homing in on the kill:


lappet-faced vulture


And many MARABOU STORKS in the acacias around, waiting to come in, too:

marabou stork


There were some RUPPELL'S GRIFFON VULTURES around, too:


Ruppell's Griffon Vultures

Other birds that we saw included the GROUND HORNBILL



ground hornbill


the HELMETED GUINEA FOWL



helmeted guinea fowl


the AFRICAN LOVEBIRDS, making lovely dots of colour against the sky(they were pretty far off, though!)


african lovebirds

I was able to get a better shot of the AFRICAN FISHING EAGLE:


African Fishing Eagle

and one of the LONG-TAILED FISCAL SHRIKE:


long-tailed fiscal shrike

Here's the AUGUR BUZZARD...

Augur Buzzard

the AFRICAN GREY HORNBILL:


african grey hornbill


Some WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO WEAVERS, which accompany the AFRICAN BUFFALOES everywhere, picking ticks off their backs and feasting on the seeds and insects the animals' hoooves churn up:


white-headed buffalo weavers

The BATELEUR EAGLE, however, kept such a distance that only such silhouetter shots were possible:



Bateleur Eagle...practically a silhouette!


Here's a RED-BILLED STORK in flight:


stork in flight

And a GREAT WHITE PELICAN:



pelican in flight


And there was another BARE-FACED GO-AWAY BIRD posing for us; for all that their name said, they never went away, and we kept sighting them!


bare-faced go-away bird







We stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Visitor's Centre, which also has a small hillock giving a view of the endless space that the word "Serengeti" actually means.

There we found a TREE HYRAX in the middle of a bush:




Tree Hyrax at Serengeti Visitors' Centre


There were colourful Masai shawls on sale:


The colourful shawls of the Masai


Later, we were lucky enough to see another CHEETAH, taking its ease in the shade...also somewhat far off, though...



magnificient animal


As if to remind us that the savannah is not always a haven of co-existence, we would see sights such as this HIPPO SKULL (though Huruma told us it might have died of natural causes, too.)


Hippo skull (died of natural causes)


Another amazing thing was the very heavy, unseasonal rainstorm which prevented us from leaving on time for the evening safari on the second day; but the plus was that several animals came out on to the road because of the rain. We had an excellent sighting of the BLACK MAMBA (will try and get a pic from my brother in law!) and we saw these PYGMY MONGOOSE:


pygmy mongoose

and this BLACK-BACKED JACKAL:


Black-backed Jackal






We went to various parts of the GRUMETI RIVER; and each scene was a special sight. We started with the BLACKSMITH LAPWING, which we call the PLOVER in India:



Blacksmith lapwing



There was another of my favourite mother-and-child images, this time a EUROPEAN GOOSE and her gosling:



European goose and gosling



Then, of course, our eyes were drawn by the HIPPOPOTAMUS:


in the swim...

Here are three of them:


Three hippopotami

But hippos were not the only animals in the water...we soon realized some of the patterns in the water were pretty deadly...


deadly patterns in the water

Here are some more shots of the CROCODILES...the water had eyes, and teeth:


the water has eyes and teeth...


Near the water, we saw many SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATERS, too..


Swallow-tailed bee-eater


I took a snap of this un-id' fruit on a creeper:




un id fruit on a creeper


And took a quick macro shot of thie BUTTERFLY on an ALOE VERA flower:


butterfly on aloe vera flowers



We then proceeded to see several tocky outcrops in the savannah, which, Huruma told us, are called "Simba Kopje" (Lion Rock) as very often lions sit on them to sun themselves as they scan for prey....and promptly, as if to oblige us, we saw one beautiful lioness taking her ease, sunning herself on a rock!



simba kopje (liion outcrops) in the Serengeti...they lived up to their name


And, at the end of the day, we found this LION well-feed and sleepy, barely wanting to lift his head to register our presence...he promptly rolled over and went to sleep..and was still there after half an hour when we passed back that way!



well-fed and very sleepy








I will wind up the Serengeti pictures with this delta image of the vulture in flight:



the delta wing
Tags: africa, baboons, birding, birds, fruit, onkeys, photography, serengeti, simba kopje, tanzania
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