Tanzania Safari Report – Day 7 / Serengeti

Things really kicked into gear today. Our wakeup call was at 5:15am for our 6am drive to the balloon. The balloon flight was outstanding, lasting a little more than an hour. We then had an extended game drive until around 12:30pm, and another game drive in the evening. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s a view from the balloon of some of the wildebeest. They look almost like ant trails when viewed from a few hundred feet AGL.

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After the balloon ride, we spent most of the morning with the wildebeest. These next two photos are of a few of them stampeding, as they are prone to do on a regular basis. It is rather impressive when you’re in the middle of it.

Everybody just wants their picture taken.

We ended the morning with 4 lions, sleeping under trees. The afternoon drive started with a cheetah. She had eaten recently and was just lounging the day away. Kind of like us, really. This was the first time in our safaris that we had been close to a cheetah. Pretty neat.

The rest of the afternoon game drive, in handy bullet point form:

  1. Elephants
  2. Elephants fighting under a tree with a lioness hanging out in the tree
  3. Storm clouds approaching, trying to outrun the storm
  4. A pride of 12 lions feasting on a recent wildebeest kill
  5. Making it back to the lodge without getting drenched
  6. Leveraging synergies and shifting paradigms

As referenced by bullet point #2, here’s a lion in a tree, trying to stay away from an angry Elephant. The photo’s not great, but by the time we got into position, the lion had moved further into the tree and you couldn’t see her at all.

Once again we had to outrun the evening rain showers. It did make for some great light, however.

Tomorrow: crocodiles and hippos!

Tanzania Safari Report – Day 6 / Serengeti

This morning we took an hour flight north to the lodge we’re at now. Our lodge overlooks the Serengeti from a hill. The first pic is the view from the lodge itself. Those dots down there? Each is most likely a wildebeest, although they could also be zebras, antelope of various species, lions, leopards, hyena, and, well, you get the picture. The Great Migration started 3 days ago, and should last about 8 days. It’s 1.2M wildebeest, and markedly less of the other species. We really lucked out being here when it happened, as predicting its start is an inexact science.

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The weather didn’t look great, but we decided to do a game drive in the afternoon anyways. As you can see from this picture, the sky looked threatening. About 20 minutes into the drive, it started to pour. Torrential downpour, thunder and lightning, hail, dogs & cats living together, the whole works. We hightailed it back to the lodge, but got soaked in the process. Things cleared up 30 minutes later, and being gamers, we went out again. You’ll never guess what happened 20 minutes after that. So, we didn’t really do much animal sighting today.

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