Serengeti National Park
We awoke today excited for a full day of game driving in Serengeti National Park.
Here are some photos of the tent camp where we spent last night and tonight. This is the main tent where we ate our meals. Just to the left is a living room tent where we played cards and hung out:
Meals were always cooked over an open fire. We were the only guests in this tent camp and were treated quite nicely, even being serenaded by the crew.
This is a typical tent sleeping two.
The beds were a bit small but comfortable, and surrounded by mosquito netting:
Each tent had a bathroom with a flush toilet and a shower. To take a shower, you "ordered" hot water, and about 30 minutes later, men would pour 40 gallons of fire-heated water into an overhead tank for your shower. There was no doubt that we were quite close to nature, as we all heard various animal sounds throughout the nights, including the sound of an elephant bringing a tree down within the camp. The songs of hyenas serenading us to sleep.
After a hearty breakfast, we packed into our safari trucks for an epic day of game driving:
It would be hard to encapsulate our day of game driving on this blog with just a few photos. We saw so many interesting animals, and witnessed many stories unfolding on the "infinite plain." I'll do my best to share some of those moments with you here.
About an hour after setting out, we spotted a leopard hunting in some tall grass. This was exciting because the leopard is the most elusive of the three big cats found on the Serengeti.
After watching it stalk unsuccessfully for about 15 minutes, she seemed to give up. She crossed the road right in front of one of our trucks and climbed a tree.
Once in the tree, she picked her spots to climb upward.
She eventually settled into a a branch for a nap.
Further along we spotted hippos lazing in a river. Although hippos were fairly common, this was the first time that we saw them out of the water. We watched a mother and baby eat grass using their massive jaws. Eventually, the mother ran down a very steep 4' bank into the river, after which the baby basically belly flopped in. We have some great video of this that will be fun to share.
And that is how we spent our day: driving in the trucks looking for interesting animals. We certainly were not disappointed! Here are a few snapshots of some of the wildlife we spotted:
About an hour before sunset, we spotted a lovely rainbow arcing over the plain. We followed the road toward it and stumbled upon a large group of elephants. We stopped the truck more or less in their path (since they were walking on the road).
As they often do, the elephants quickly rearranged themselves to hide the youngest of them safely in the center. I noticed that the mother would prod the baby right between her legs, walking very carefully to avoid harming it.
The elephants soon surrounded our trucks, coming within a foot or so. We felt that they were being protective and curious, with a touch of annoyance bordering on anger. Some in the trucks became quite concerned that the elephants would knock into us, but they never did. Eventually, the pack moved on around and between our trucks.
It was amazing to experience these elephants so closely. We all talked about the experience most of the night! Thoroughly satisfied with our game spotting for the day, we drove back to the camp as the sun set: