Serengeti NP: Topis, Kopjes and Hippos, Oh My!

Feb. 12, 2018

Our last day at Serengeti National Park, and our last safari day, was spent looking for kopjes and spotting some new animals. We also spend some time observing hippos.

Once again, we were up at dawn.
SONY DSC
Our first animal of the day joined us during our breakfast – a praying mantis!
2-12 praying mantis-Ang'ata Camp in SerengetiThe tall grass in this area of the Serengeti at times made it difficult at times to spot animals or observe their behavior on our first game drive. We came upon a troop of baboons, and saw this male possibly mating with the baboon underneath him, but she was barely visible so we couldn’t be sure.  He could just be grooming his companion, male or female.
1141We also saw mongoose roaming through the grass. I was lucky to get this shot before they were completely hidden in the grass.SONY DSC
We spotted several species of birds that we had not seen before, including the martial eagle,SONY DSC
a barn swallow,
SONY DSC
and a grey-breasted spurfowl.
SONY DSCIn this area of tall grass, we saw many herbivores, including elephants, DSC04670.JPGbuffalo, DSC04553.JPGostriches, DSC04694.JPG
impalas and species of antelope we hadn’t seen before, including the topi. Topis have a very distinctive coloring, with large gray areas on their thighs and black faces.

Their calves are hard to distinguish from the calves of other species, because they are light brown at birth and when they are very young.1202.JPG
Both males and females have ribbed, gently curved horns.
SONY DSC
Another antelope we saw for the first time was the hartebeest.
SONY DSCDavid (our guide) had told us we were going to find kopjes today – a Dutch word referring to outcrops of rocks scattered over a section of the Serengeti. DSC04695.JPGThese rocky piles constitute a different ecosystem and one can spot different species there, as well as leopards and lizards, that bask on the rocks. Most prevalent is the hyrax, a small mammal that looks something like a guinea pig, but with a more pointed face and that is in fact related to the elephant!  They can be hard to see at first, because they hide between the rock layers and their fur camouflages against the rocks.

SONY DSC
There are two hyraxes in this picture. Can you spot them?

SONY DSC
Even if you don’t spot them right away, you can tell the presence of hyraxes by long white streaks on some of the rocks. Their urine is very acidic and causes these white streaks to form on the rock!SONY DSC
We saw no leopards at the kopjes, but did spot interesting birds hidden among the acacia branches.

DSC04727.JPG

Usambiro barbets

SONY DSC
Long-crested eagle

 

Nearby, a giraffe family was grazing.DSC04682.JPGIn addition, there are some adaptable plant species found growing in the kopjes.

SONY DSC

Candelabra cactus

SONY DSC

Fig tree

We then spent quite a long time observing hippos at a pond where they gather. There must have been 40 or more of them submerged in the water there!

 

A sign informs us about the pool and its inhabitants.
20180212_100617.jpg

Which are hippos and which are rocks?SONY DSC
A nearby crocodile co-exists with the hippos – they present no danger to each other.
SONY DSC
Hippos spend as much of their time as possible submerged in water. However, they must go ashore to forage. Notice their feet which seem a little webbed.
DSC04595.JPG
On land, they seem unwieldy and clumsy, but they can be formidable opponents.1169
One hippo was hesitant to go back into the pool, because another hippo was giving him the evil eye.
SONY DSC
When he finally ventured in, the aggressor lunged at him.
DSC04598.JPG
Soon things settled down.
SONY DSC
SONY DSC
A baby swam contentedly alongside its mother.
SONY DSC
SONY DSC
Meanwhile, a black-headed heron stood vigilant at the water’s edge.
SONY DSC
A family of geese played in the water.
1187

SONY DSCThroughout this safari, I’ve noticed this is a good time to see animals with their young. On our way back to Ang’ata Camp, we spotted a mother baboon with a baby on her back.SONY DSC
Another baboon came up behind and looked as though it was going to grab the baby off her back! I don’t know why, and our baboon expert was in the other vehicle! The consensus in our vehicle was that it was a playful gesture.SONY DSCThat evening, being our last night in Tanzania, we had a little celebration and the staff surprised us with a special cake, which they brought out – including the chef! – singing! We also played charades (strict rule: NO PHOTOS!) and recited haiku poetry about the animals of Tanzania.

Asante sana, Ang’ata Camp staff!

 

2-12 sunset behind our lodgings at Ang'ata Camp Serengeti

Sunset at Ang’ata Serengeti Safari Camp

 

This is what a hippopotamus sounds like!

 

 

 

 

Predators and Prey in Ndutu-Serengeti

Feb. 9, 2018

The first thing I saw this morning was a yellow weaver tending to his nest, just outside the main building at Ndutu Safari Lodge.

SONY DSC
Yellow weaver finishing its nest

On our morning drive, we saw some lions – first a female pair, one of whom is pregnant and the other wears a collar. There is an interesting story about this 5-year-old lioness. SONY DSCLast July, on the Internet there was a story of a leopard cub being nursed by a lioness as if it were her own. The lioness lived in the Southern Serengeti and was tagged – it was the one we saw today! SONY DSCI didn’t hear any details about the story, but apparently the leopard cub had lost her mother and the lioness had lost her cubs, because she was lactating. So the handlers gave the leopard cub to the lioness to nurse, which she readily accepted.

SONY DSC
The pregnant lioness, probably the sister (litter mate) of the other
SONY DSC

The pregnant lioness’s face was covering in tiny flies, which she made no attempt to bat away. Right after I took this picture, she lay down on her side, the bugs still crawling on her face!

After we moved on, we saw several other animals – some predators and some prey – including buffalo,

a group of male Grant’s gazelles,

SONY DSC
two gazelles sparring

some zebras,
SONY DSC

SONY DSCand a martial eagle in a tree.SONY DSC
Not long after seeing the lionesses, we came upon some male lions. One was a mature adult with a full mane, SONY DSC
while the other two were young – one of them had a mane which still amounted to little more than some extra tufts of hair on his neck. These two were most likely brothers – lions often hang around with their litter mates; the brothers cooperate in seeking prey and guarding territory. They were just lying around, same as the females – they may have gotten a meal during the night.SONY DSC
And speaking of meals, we next encountered a pair of jackals,SONY DSCand a group of hyenas.SONY DSC

SONY DSC
This many hyenas together generally indicates that there is a possible meal nearby, and soon afterward, we came upon a large group of vultures, so we knew they were feeding – or about to feed – on carrion. SONY DSC

SONY DSC
Actually, all these animals were waiting their turn, because a Marabou stork was picking the last meat off the bones.
SONY DSCProbably a young wildebeest, Livingstone said. All that was left was a skull picked clean and a rib cage the birds were getting the last morsels of meat off of. Then the bones would be left to dry up, adding to the scattered bones that litter the area.

The animals that feed on carrion definitely have a pecking order, although the major spoils go to whichever animal found it first. Soon we came across a couple of hyenas eating the remains of a young wildebeest, with the buzzards waiting impatiently nearby.SONY DSC
Whenever the hyenas took a break from eating, the vultures moved in. SONY DSCOne of the hyenas finally got tired of this and yanked the carcass away and had its fill. SONY DSC

SONY DSCWhen it was done, the hyena simply walked off, and the vultures took over to pick the remains clean. SONY DSC

SONY DSCThe afternoon drive was very different and at times a bit scary, at least for me. We were with Livingstone again but with different people in the truck with us.

There was more evidence of death: a half-eaten zebra surrounded by vultures and a Marabou stork, who apparently had had their fill, letting the jackals move in.
1009

1011 (2)
Here on the southern Serengeti we saw large herds of migrating wildebeest. Those at a distance looked like an army of ants moving along in a line.
SONY DSC
We saw a herd much closer, walking on the shore of Lake Ndutu.
DSC04267.JPG

SONY DSCThe lake was in their migratory path, so they would eventually have to cross it, many accompanied by their young alongside them. They chose a relatively shallow area to cross.SONY DSC
Even so, some of the calves, in spite of their mothers’ proddings, would probably not make it – either getting lost in the crowd, unable to keep up with the herd or make it across the water.   Finally, late in the day, we saw a wildebeest calf, abandoned and alone. There was no sign of the herd. We knew that calf would not live to see morning.
SONY DSCWe search for, hoped to see leopards. Where would a leopard be in late afternoon? In a tall tree, high up – it would need a strong, thick branch that was more or less horizontal.

Meanwhile, I added to my list of animals I have seen: two owls in a tree, making low, short hoo-hoo sounds; SONY DSCan eland close-up;SONY DSChippos out of the water and close enough to see their faces;

and various other birds.
SONY DSC

DSC04161.JPG

Secretary bird

I think Livingstone got lost or tried to take too many shortcuts – he not only cut across flat plains, but also down washes and up the other side, rocky banks, over thorny bushes. Every time we approached some harrowing driving challenge, I held on tight and tried to look away. At first it was funny, but eventually I became annoyed. All this extreme bumping and jostling was not good for my sensitive stomach right now. 987.JPG
I trusted his driving skills, just felt that it was unnecessary to do so much off-road jostling and bumping.

But then as the sun began to go down, I realized he was in a hurry – we were supposed to be out of the reserve by sundown. I think we made it with only a couple of minutes to spare!SONY DSC

Coming up: More of the beautiful wildlife around Lake Ndutu in the Southern  Serengeti!

New Life and Danger in Ngorongoro

Feb. 7, 2018

705The wildebeests (also known as gnus) in the crater don’t take the long migration of the Serengeti, but they’re always on the move to find better grassland. Large herds of them migrate from one side of the crater to another. Most of the time, you also see zebras migrating alongside the wildebeest herds. They have a mutually beneficial relationship with the wildebeest – the zebras can remember the route, while the wildebeest can smell water.SONY DSCIt’s calving season and many wildebeest females had newborn calves alongside them – the mother of this newborn was still expelling the afterbirth.SONY DSCAnother one gave birth (we could see its legs hanging down) in a field near the road. DSC03898 (2)There seemed to be a sort of “gnu nursery” over there, where several newborns were either lying down or trying out their legs. SONY DSC

SONY DSCThe newborn we’d seen being born tried to nurse, but his mother wouldn’t let him – she kept nudging him forward to get him to walk. SONY DSCShe knew there was danger nearby: several hyenas lurked on a hillside, keeping their eyes on the herd for easy prey.
2-7 hyenasA short time later, several hyenas passed us, two with traces of blood on their muzzles and paws – they’d had their meal!
SONY DSC

SONY DSC
We saw two kinds of gazelles – Thomson’s gazelles are the smallest …SONY DSC

SONY DSCand Grant’s gazelles are larger, about the size of impalas.
SONY DSCGazelles are a subgroup of antelope in which both male and female have horns. That is how you know impalas are not gazelles.  Another non-gazelle antelope is the eland, quite a bit larger than impalas.

SONY DSC

Other animals besides hyenas, gnus and lions that were sighted today: a couple of rhinos  way far off; rhinos tend to stay away from the roads and other animals.
SONY DSC
hippos, foraging on land…SONY DSC
but mostly submerged in the water – we could see their snouts when they came up for air.
SONY DSC
Baglafecht weavers, who tried to steal our food while we were having a picnic lunch…
SONY DSC..and a jackal finishing off a meal with her pups.

SONY DSC

WPC: Hit the Road!

Feb. 5, 2018 Tarangire National Park, Day 2:

WP Weekly Photo Challenge this week is “I’d Rather Be…” Back in the winter (although admittedly mild) weather in Chicago, I look back on our sojourn to Tanzania with longing, as I do with any trip we take, so I’d Rather Be Traveling.

I’d rather be riding in a bumpy, dusty Land Cruiser…

20180205_082307

Me and Dale in a safari vehicle

2-5 Sue & Dale at vehicle-Tarangire

Dale and my cousin Susan (at the door) with one of the vehicles.

and watching creatures great…SONY DSCand small…

2-5 caterpillar of silk moth

Turtle
and in between.

SONY DSC

I’d rather watch egrets congregating on the banks of a lake…

SONY DSC

and male impalas grazing.2-5 male impalas
I’d rather be photographing birds, such as this ground hornbill with a snake in its mouth…SONY DSCor this crowned plover looking for bugs next to our vehicle.SONY DSC

I’d rather be spotting animals in the distance, such as a group of oryxes (the only oryxes we saw during our safari)…SONY DSCor a male ostrich….SONY DSC
and a female ostrich.SONY DSCI’d rather be at Tarangire Safari Lodge, watching the sunrise…
20180205_064801or sleeping in our tent cabin.
2-5 Tarangire Safari LodgeSo how soon ’til we hit the road again??!

 

 

Tanzania Safari Journal: Arusha to Tarangire

We had about a 3-hour drive to our next destination, Tarangire National Park.
I took a few shots of the noisy colobus monkey that resides at Rivertrees Country Inn, but there were other monkeys too – blue monkeys and grey vervet monkeys.  I was sad to leave – it seemed our stay here was so short. In my Mindful Travel Journal, I wrote about or drew each place we stayed. My observations about Rivertrees:
Travel Journal p45

At 8:00 a.m., we were on our way. We drove through the city of Arusha, which has a population of about 1,000,000, stretched out along miles of road so that it looks more like a series of small towns, which perhaps it is – this population figure includes the metropolitan area.

SONY DSC

Waiting for a bus

This drive was a good chance for taking  quick shots of people along the road. As it was Sunday, there were a lot of people dressed up in their best clothes for church. The women wore colorful wraps and the men wore Western style suits and ties. I also saw Muslim women, some covered head to toe, others wearing simple hijabs. About 40% of Tanzanians are Muslims; an equal percentage are Christians.SONY DSC

 

There were also a lot of markets being held, causing crowds and commotions in that section of the town.
SONY DSC

Most of the dwellings we saw were quite poor – simple structures or shacks. There were also Maasai-type dwellings, which are round with thatched roofs. SONY DSC
SONY DSC
I took a picture of a group of boys all dressed in black with white designs painted on their faces, who were standing along the side of the road. Before long, I saw more of these groups of boys.
SONY DSC

David, our guide, said this is something very unusual to see. These boys are undergoing the Maasai coming-of-age ritual which includes isolation from the rest of the village and circumcision. They paint their faces so that they will not be recognized (supposedly) by others in the village and they live for about three months in huts isolated from the rest of the community. This ritual only takes place once every three years, so these boys range in age from 12 to 15.

Girls apparently do not undergo a similar ritual, and female circumcision is now officially illegal, although some traditional people still practice it.

We stopped at a modern shopping mall, most of which was closed because it was Sunday. Some people wanted to exchange money, so the rest of us either headed for the bathroom, or the supermarket (the only store open), or both. The only people we saw outside the supermarket were workers cleaning the hallways – mopping the floors of the corridors and in the bathrooms.
20180204_093753

This is where only 15% of Tanzanians can afford to shop, I thought. Dale and I went into the supermarket and I casually perused the aisles full of neatly stacked merchandise. One aisle had school supplies and I decided to buy colored pencils to draw in my Mindful Travel Journal.

On our way again, we passed more villages, more colorfully dressed Maasai women fetching water, more groups of boys dressed in black, before finally reaching the national park. I thought I would spend at least part of this ride sleeping, but instead was wide awake conversing with the others in the group.SONY DSC

SONY DSC

When we got to Tarangire Safari Lodge, we were given our tent assignments. Yes, literally tents! They are thatched structures with canvas walls and zipped screens at the front and back of the tent. There is a vertical zipper and two horizontal zippers.

Travel Journal p46-Tarangire Safari LodgeThere are no keys to lock the tent, just a “monkey lock” to keep the monkeys from coming in while guests are out! The monkeys have figured out how to use the zippers, but the lock is slightly too complicated for them: The lock consists of a small block of wood with three drilled holes, two of them connected, with a thick wire attached. The wire has a plug on the end. To lock it, first you loop the wire through the horizontal and vertical zipper tabs; then you insert the wire end into the big hole in the middle and slide it into the smaller hole so it doesn’t come out. Behind the tent itself is an add-on structure containing a bathroom and shower area. Electricity is only on in the morning from 6-10 am and in the evening from 6-11 pm. We have to charge our electronics during those hours in the main building by the bar.

 

SONY DSC

Camels near the road! They must be part of somebody’s herd, although I didn’t see any people around. However, this was the only time we ever saw camels on this safari trip.

We had only a short time before a drive through the park, after which we had dinner (about 8:45 pm!). We first stopped at the entrance to Tarangire National Park, where there were restroom facilities, a gift shop, artwork, informational signs, a large baobob tree, and a bold hornbill bird!
SONY DSC

 

dsc03385.jpg

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

In Tarangire National Park, there were fewer giraffes, but lots of elephants and impalas. Here are several of the different animals we saw.

 

SONY DSC

This giraffe has to splay its legs to eat grass from the ground!

 

SONY DSC

Giraffe butts – tails swinging in tandem!

 

 

 

 

SONY DSC

Hornbill

 

SONY DSC

Hyraxes

 

SONY DSC

A monitor lizard lies in the sun on a rocky bank of a river.

 

SONY DSC

Heron

 

DSC03486.JPG

A group of young male impalas

SONY DSC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC03492.JPG

Sometimes young males will practice sparring with each other.

 

SONY DSC

A colorful bird on thorny acacia branches. Unlike the giraffes, the thorns apparently don’t bother the birds!

Then we saw OUR FIRST LION!! It was a young male lying in tall grass so we could only see the top of his head and his eyes.
SONY DSC

 

DSC03510.JPG

Fowl or quail

 

SONY DSC

Buzzard

 

SONY DSC

A group of female impalas (there’s a warthog passing through on the left!)

 

DSC03576.JPG

Mongooses poke their heads out of a termite mound where they’ve made their home.

 

DSC03566.JPG

Lilac breasted roller

 

DSC03610.JPG

Guinea fowl

 

 

SONY DSC

Turtle

 

DSC03650.JPG

Egyptian geese

 

DSC03424.JPG

Old (abandoned) weavers’ nests

 

SONY DSC

A starling, perhaps

 

DSC03613.JPG

Hornbill

 

SONY DSC

Dik diks are shy, reclusive animals. They are normally seen in pairs, usually in tall grass. I got a good shot of this one after it urinated in the road in front of us!

 

SONY DSC

Vervet monkey

This day was more awesome than yesterday – and each day would increase in awesomeness!!
Next: Elephant stories of Tarangire! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanzania Safari Journal: A hike and a drive in Arusha National Park

Saturday. Feb. 3. 2018

Today, our first full day in Tanzania, I awoke to a loud, animal sound, “Brau, brau, brau, brau, brau, brau, brau!”  I didn’t know what it was but found out it was one of the colobus monkeys that hangs around our lodgings, Rivertrees Country Inn. Amterdam-Tanzaia 391

I got lost looking for the dining room this morning, because we’d arrived late last night. However, I was soon set on the right track and found our table, a long table next to an open area where we could appreciate the wildlife. It reminded me so much of Costa Rica!

Since it was our first morning, our group had an introductory session so we could learn everyone’s names, their passions, and why they came on this trip.

Breakfast was buffet style: there was freshly squeezed juice (including passion fruit!), fresh tropical fruits, breads, jams, cheeses, and an omelet making station where a staff member stood ready to take our orders. Dale had an omelet, I did not. There was enough other food to fill my plate!

Our guide, David, told us the plan for today. We were going to Arusha National Park, along the way perhaps seeing some animals. We would stop at a nice rest area with good bathrooms and a small shop, and displays to read. From there, we would take a hike with an armed guide and have a picnic lunch next to a waterfall. Then we would go for a drive through the park to see animals! We met our drivers, Livingstone and Elias, in the reception gazebo, where we had been greeted last night.225.JPG

They had jars of cookies – one called “Digestives” and the other was ginger snaps – that were kept in the trucks. These cookies were good for the digestion, we were told, to help us with all the bumping around. There was also a supply of water bottles in each of the vehicles, Toyota Land Cruisers.

The Hike

The hike was an opportunity to see some animals, but especially the small things, like bugs and flowers. The guide showed us things along the way. Overall, I found it quite taxing and hot – some areas were hilly and I huffed and puffed. A year ago, I thought, I wouldn’t have been so tired from a hike like this. Also, I’d neglected to put on sunscreen and was wearing a blouse with ¾ length sleeves, so my hands and wrists got quite sunburned.

The guide pointed out a bush with small round yellow fruits growing on it. This is a type of apple. In the background, we could see Mt. Kilimanjaro, often shrouded in clouds; like Denali in Alaska, we were told we were lucky to see the mountain so clearly – it was a cloudless, blue sky day!DSC03121.JPG

Before we saw any animals, we came across what the guide told us were giraffe turds! There is actually a way to tell if the turds were from a male or female giraffe – the male turds are slightly pointed on one end; while the female turds are flat on both ends. He picked up a male turd to show us.DSC03171.JPGWe soon came to an open field with some acacia trees where we saw our first big animals: giraffes, of course!  One was lying down in the field; another was  grazing nearby.
DSC03184.JPG
We came to a stream that meandered through the landscape. It was a beautiful view!

DSC03173.JPG

Dale admiring the landscape. In the background is Mt. Meru.

Near the giraffes was a herd of grazing zebras. A warthog family passed by, their tails held up as they ran! We saw monkeys in trees and a giraffe completely camouflaged by the forest. Skulls of giraffes, monkeys or baboons, antelope and buffalo were displayed on some rocks, which the guide identified for us.
DSC03124.JPG

DSC03132.JPG

Warthog family

Buffalo and antelope skulls

The sun was hot and I felt the heat. The hike seemed very long, but I didn’t complain, just kept going.  The guide stopped to show us a young acacia tree, which was covered with sharp, white, intimidating thorns! He told us that these thorns were to protect the leaves and branches of the growing tree from being eaten by giraffes! Giraffes can only nibble on the very tips, where the thorns are not developed and are soft enough for animals to consume.SONY DSC
The stream became a river and we crossed on a hanging bridge.  We saw monkeys camouflaged in the trees.

Finally we reached the waterfall. As we approached, we could hear the gushing of the water and felt a cooling mist. We had to cross the stream to get to the place where we would rest and have lunch.

Sitting on the rocks, feeling the cool mist, was a great relief. I somewhat regretted not having my lunch box, but not too much – it would have been a drag to have to carry it. My cousin, Holly, was sitting near me and offered me some of her lunch – including her hard-boiled egg, which I readily accepted. I could use some protein for the return trip! I peeled the egg and wondered whether it was okay to leave the egg shells – the chicken who laid this egg wasn’t native to this ecosystem. I had decided it was probably okay, but Holly picked up the pieces and put them in her box.
309.JPG

The hike back was quite a bit shorter and cooler, because the path led through some woods.  We saw some fragrant jasmine flowers. I never realized they were so small!2-3 jasmine flowers
Those of us who had lunches waiting for us at the vehicles took them over to the picnic tables to eat. I looked up and saw a couple of baboons who had appeared nearby. There was a young one and a larger one, which I thought was the daddy, but may have been its mama. Suddenly there were more, including a female with a baby clinging to her back.

SONY DSC

They must have been attracted by our food – in fact, they may be used to associating human presence with food. Hopefully, people don’t give them anything, although the most daring might come over and try to snatch something! They didn’t do that to us, however.

The Drive

After lunch, we got back into the Land Cruisers and headed into Arusha National Park, with bumpy dirt roads. This was our first day out, and everything we saw was exciting.

A young waterbuck stopped and stared at us from the trees; its parents – the male with long slightly curved horns, the female without horns – grazed in the open grass nearby.

SONY DSC

We saw buffalo, more waterbucks, giraffe and warthog families, baboons in trees, a bushbuck, guinea fowl,  and various other bird species.

Bushbuck

SONY DSC

A waterbuck watches as zebras, giraffes and other waterbucks run toward him, apparently spooked by something.

SONY DSC

Guinea fowl


I never got tired of looking at giraffes. In spite of their ungainly shape, they move gracefully and peacefully.

DSC03232.JPG

One way to tell the sex of a giraffe: the females have tufts of hair on top of their ossicones (the protrusions on their heads), while the male’s are flat.  The giraffes use a tree like this one to scratch an itch on their necks!

 

SONY DSC

Mother giraffe with calves. When the calves are born, they are six feet tall and then grow one inch per day!

 

We returned to Rivertrees in the evening in time for dinner.

224.JPG

This building at Rivertrees, where our room was, is called the Farm House. The rooms are situated around a central lounge area, with couches, tables and chairs.

 

 

 

Tanzanian Pairs

Paula at Lost In Translation has a weekly challenge “Thursday Special.” This week’s topic is pairs.

Elephants (mother and offspring) in Arusha National Park after a mud bath!SONY DSC

A pair of Bare-Faced Go Away Birds up in a tree
SONY DSC

Curious mongooses check out what’s going on from the safety of their hole in a termite mound in Tarangire National Park.
SONY DSC

The smallest antelope, the dik dik, is very elusive. They always travel in pairs.
SONY DSC

Another animal that you always find in pairs is the jackal. The pair works together to hunt or claim their prey. This pair lives in Ngorongoro Crater.
SONY DSC

Impalas are a common and beautiful antelope. Here are a mother and her fawn.DSC03719.JPG

Shy boys at a Maasai Village near Ngorongoro.
2-7 Maasai boys

This is a mating pair of lions that live in Ngorongoro Crater. The male and female will stay together for about four days, then go their separate ways.
SONY DSC

Hippos in a pond at Serengeti National Park
SONY DSC

These are weavers’ nests! Weavers are small, bright yellow birds. The male makes the nest using grass and other materials, then awaits approval from the female.
SONY DSC

Another large and ubiquitous animal is the long and lanky giraffe. One way to tell the male and female apart is by noticing the stubs on their heads. The female giraffe’s have tufts of hair, while the male’s are flat.
SONY DSC

A furry little resident of the Serengeti lives in the rocky kopjes (an Afrikaans word pronounced like “copies”). These are hyraxes, which, strangely, are related to the largest animal of the Serengeti, the elephant! Can you see the resemblance??
SONY DSC

And finally, one of my favorites – a pair (actually mother and cub) of cheetahs in the Serengeti.  We watched these two for a long time.
SONY DSC