Feb. 4, 2018
In Tarangire National Park, the tall grass offers cover for animals to hide. Today, in fact, we saw our FIRST LION! Here’s what we could see of what seems to be a young male:
A young impala also has cover, but prefers to raise her head and look around:
On our first drive in Tarangire, we saw a number of ‘new’ animals. Impalas are ubiquitous here. They are mostly found in all-female and all-male groups. Notice the warthog passing through a group of grazing female impalas!
Warthogs are also very common, usually seen in groups called “sounders.”
Like many of the other animals that live here, a sounder consists of adult females and their offspring, while males go off on their own and may join up with other males.
Warthogs are herbivorous and feed on short grasses during the rainy season (which starts in late January to early February).
Half-hidden in the tall grass, young warthogs playfully wrestle with each other.
Adult warthogs are mostly bald, while the young have tufts of hair along the back of their necks. Warthogs make their dens in holes dug by aardvarks. Female warthogs will fiercely defend their young if threatened.
I got most of this information about warthogs from Wikipedia. I always thought warthogs were rather ugly, but observing them in the wild, playing or running with their tails in the air, I thought they were rather cute!
Another animal that burrows in “homes” made by others is the dwarf mongoose, most often seen poking out of large termite mounds. Apparently the termites don’t bother them or have already abandoned these mounds.
According to Wikipedia, they are social animals that live in groups of 20-30, headed by the dominant pair. All adults help raise their pups.
Also appearing among the grasses were guinea fowl…monkeys,
and shy, diminutive dikdiks.
What are these two vultures doing in the grass?
Where there are vultures, there is a carcass to feed on – in this case, a hyena.
Up above were a wide variety of bird species, such as this white-headed buffalo weaver,a pair of go-away birds,
a marabou stork standing at the very top of a tree,
superb starlings with their flashy colored feathers,
a grey-headed kingfisher,
a Von der Decken hornbill,
a red and yellow barbet
and the all-black common drango.
By the time we returned to the Tarangire Safari Lodge, it was nearly dark and we had dinner late (even by safari standards) – at 8:45 p.m.!