Hollowed-out sections of log used by Maasai for keeping bee's. On the road to Makuyuni/Tarangire NP.
Elephant in the Silale Swamp, Tarangire NP. We had hazy skies every day due to dust, wind and heat.
Lions at Tarangire. Drivers thought they were mating, so we waited for 45 minutes. The lions got bored with us and left.
Bat-eared Fox, spotted by Phyllis at Tarangire. Hard to come by and always a treat to see.
Early in the trip before the bugs and sun wore us down! Most days we did box lunches and were on game drive for 8-9 hours. No pool or lounge for us.
View south along the west side of Lake Manyara. The daily haze/dust in the air made landscapes tough, but this is a wonderful view of the Rift Escarpment, and the woodlands that make up much of the park.
Looking north to Rift Escarpment.
One of the few "hot lunches" we enjoyed, this one at Lake Masek Tented Lodge. It was too hot to be sitting in the sun, but we were tired and hungry and just did it. Our Driver, Moses, was terrific and we had a great time traveling together. At Lake Masek, we shared all meals with Moses, which we also enjoyed.
Start of first cheetah hunt we saw. These are two of the three cheetah in the group; we watched them approach and stalk the herd for over three hours. This is in the savanna west of Ndutu, toward Miti Mitatu, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The final chase begins. Two previous runs were unsuccessful.
Exhausted from the chase, eating, and the heat. We were tired also - we started watching the stalk at 10:30am and missed lunch that day in order to stay. Left at 2:30pm and continued the game drive until 530pm!
One of two African Hoopoe we saw up close. Neither would show their crest expanded. Just getting a photo of one is a trial. We saw several others flying away from us and heard others.
Secretary Bird in flight. Didn't get any good ground photos this time, but saw quite a few walking around!
Lappet-faced and Ruppell's Vultures doing what vulture's do. Stealing food and fighting over it. We have great videos of this crowd. South of Ndutu Lodge.
Giraffe we encountered crossing the short-grass savanna west of Lake Ndutu. They were in the middle of nowhere!
First leopard (of two) this safari. Moses spotted him in an Umbrella Acacia late in the afternoon at west end of Lake Masek on the road to the Lodge. He came down from tree almost as soon as we stopped and sprinted into the bush. I was lucky to get this shot
Lioness and cubs leaving a ditch. Tough for short legs!
Practicing the stalk...
Clear and cool water for all.
Gazelle (two kinds) on the road north to Naabi Hill entrance to Serengeti National Park. Note grass on the Grants' head.
Looking for shade in the Serengeti.
Our second Leopard, in a Flat-topped Acacia just south of Seronera area. This is best photo of the bunch. We watch him for about 40 minutes in the tree and then he came down to get relief in the grass. Got a great video on the way back up the trunk.
Second Leopard after running back up the trunk. Great sighting.
This is a huge herd of wildebeest and zebra, taken from our balcony at Serengeti Sopa in the morning of our second day there (February 7, 2011.) This herd was moving southeast toward the much larger herd we later found south of Simba Kopjes.
Just a nice photo. Birds in East Africa are spectacular, large and small. Those who get wrapped up in big animals are missing the boat!
This and the next photo are of small pieces of the huge migration herd we found stretching for about 10km along the Oltuka River due south of the Simba West Kopjes in the Serengeti Plains. Pictures cannot show the immensity of the herd and the chaos at the watering holes. In addition to wildebeest and zebra, there were large groups of cape buffalo, elephant and antelope at all points.
We stayed at this particular location for about two hours. Amazing views and variety of animals. We spent about five hours wandering through this large herd up and down the riverbed and pools.
Elephant headed to the Oltuka River watering spots.
At Ngorongoro Crater, on the Seneto Descent Road. Wildebeest and zebra on the move.
One of three large males we found on the Munge River in Ngorongoro Crater. Two others were finishing up a wildebeest, this one had a full belly and was sunning and occasionally rolling over on his side to drink without standing up.
View south across Lake Magadi to South Rim of Crater. There are eight Spotted Hyena in the photo. The white spots in the water are thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingo.
Barking zebra. About the most annoying sound in East Africa.
Black Rhino hobnobbing with a White Stork north of Endoinyo Osilale.
Rhino cross the road where they please. We were fortunate to avoid crowded sightings most of the time. We traveled slowly, let others pass us and saw more than most in the end. Two of the things that endeared us to Moses were his never turning on the CB radio in the Landcruiser (drivers enjoy talking to each other), and his ability to avoid crowds.
Our most memorable sighting. Others found this Serval Cat hunkered down in the grass waiting for a rodent, snake or bird to come by. We watched for over two hours and were rewarded by a slow, stalking exit.
Serval breaks cover and slowly exits. A relatively rare sighting on safari, and the slow departure was a treat.
Start of our second cheetah hunt (this and nine subsequent photos.) This is at bottom of Seneto Descent Road on second morning, just east of Seneto Springs. These two were looking for a drink, there weren't many wildebeest in the area at this point.
Drinking, and two great leaps over the ditch (too quick for good photos, by me anyhow...) At this point a single Black-backed Jackal started following the cheetah around.
The cheetah laid down in the grass as small groups of wildebeest and zebra started to filter into the area in search of water. Cheetah are at center right of photo (see next shot.)
Closeup from previous photo. At this point, wildebeest (generally clueless) had not noticed cheetah. If zebra did, it wasn't apparent.
First of two runs the lead cheetah took at a wildebeest calf. After first attempt (unsuccessful) they sat back down and waited for herds to filter back toward them and water.
Climax of second run. Lead cheetah runs down a wildebeest calf and swipes the calf's back legs out from under him.
The cheetah dispatches the calf by biting down on the underside of the throat, cutting off respiration and/or blood flow to the brain.
Home from the hunt.
Morning's work done. The jackal has stayed close throughout and now approaches on the right.
Cape Buffalo with standard-issue Red-billed Oxpeckers.
View to Crater floor from Lerai Ascent Road. This switchback trail up to the crater rim is a white-knuckler in dry conditions, and terrifying in rain (we've been there...)
Our only look at a male African Paradise-flycatcher. We chased this one for several minutes outside of a souvenir shop on the road back to Arusha. Yes, those are plastic brooms.
A wedding party and band in the back of pick-up trucks, traveling through Arusha.
Note wedding videographer in lead truck!