African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Exploring the crater floor

African Safari – Ngorongoro Crater – Exploring the crater floor

We survived the tricky driving down the side of the crater walls and found ourselves on a rather flat piece of the earth with wildebeest and zebra being the predominate species and some smaller goupings of gazelles. Some more interesting species of birds and a lion or two rounded out our tour of the crater floor.
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African Safari – Serengeti – Lion Cubs

African Safari – Serengeti – Lion Cubs

Our first interesting sighting of the morning was a large hippo meandering across an open space on its way back to a pool of water where it would spend the rest of the day submerged in its own version of heaven – a mix of mud and water of just the right consistency.

Soon after, we came across a family of lions. Of particular interest were the young cubs who put on quite a display of tree climbing for our enjoyment and amusement.

African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive – Leopard sighting

Juvenile Gabar Goshawk (Melierax gabar)

African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive – Leopard sighting

For those who are following this series of blogs, the last blog entry for the morning drive ended with the question: Lunch? or Leopard?

Tough question 🙂 but unanimous answer. Lunch could wait! and unless they were in the mouth of a leopard, birds could wait! Without further delay, we were on our way, at high speed (over rough road), to see the reported leopard!
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African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive part two

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive part two

We moved from the grasslands into a damper area where we were able to observe some wading birds including the Black-winged Stilt and the Goliath Heron. At up to five feet tall, the Goliath Heron is the world’s largest heron and up to a foot and a half taller than North America’s Great Blue Heron.
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African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive, part one

Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus)

African Safari – Serengeti – Morning Drive

This morning out on the Serengeti, we were all prepared to stay on our toes and keep a close look-out for the elusive Leopard.
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African Safari – Serengeti – Getting Going Again

African Safari – Serengeti – Getting Going Again

I thought that I might like to get the “Sunrise over the Serengeti” shot this AM but I guess ten days of safari was beginning to wear me down and the sunrise got to the lookout platform before I did. Did get to see a couple of balloons passing by in the distance though so all was not lost.
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African Safari – Serengeti moths

African Safari – Serengeti moths

I found, at the end of a day bouncing around in a safari van at 6,000 feet. that I was rather tired but, one evening on the way back from supper, I decided to stop and try to photograph some of the many, many different varieties of moths that were in the vicinity of the pathway lights and on the exterior walls by the room lights. I was using the flashlight between the teeth method of lighting the subjects so not the best photography but perhaps I’ll be better prepared for night photography if I ever go back. Definitely lots of variety!
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African Safari – Serengeti – Hyenas

African Safari – Serengeti – Hyenas

After we left the buffalo carcass and the vultures and headed on toward our accommodation for the evening, we passed by a family of hyenas. Tough to see them in the grass at first but when we stopped they began to move away from the road a bit thus offering better positions for photography. We saw them again in the same general area on other days so they had likely set up residence for a while in the nearby clump of bushes.
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African Safari – Serengeti Leftovers – Digging Right In

Marabou Stork, (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) + White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

African Safari – Serengeti Leftovers – Finger-lickin’ Good

Once the lions have had their fill, all of the clean-up crew arrives at the table and squabble over what is left behind.

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus: Gyps bengalensis)
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African Safari – Out into the Serengeti in search of LIONS

African Safari – Out into the Serengeti

The Serengeti is a vast nature preserve and one of the natural wonders of the world. It wasn’t long before we had left all of the world behind as we traveled a road that seemed to go on forever. The weather stayed behind us and the animals cooperated. A great way to finish a travel day on the way to our accommodation for the evening.

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