Edit Blog Post
Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: -2.4492, 34.5932DAY SEVEN (Thursday, September 10, 2009)
Red Letter Day.
Breakfast buffet was tasty, and fortified us for six hours of game driving. We went out with Pat and Ann Cashin of Marco Island, with driver/guide Jacob.
We started out spotting some of the usual fare … warthogs, Cape buffalo, giraffes, zebras. Amazing how accustomed you can become to having such animals around you. Sometimes you even fail to call one out to the others' attention.
Next up was the real experience for the day … when we came upon a pride of lions (10 in all), who had just killed a Cape buffalo, which weighed about a ton. They were taking turns having breakfast … eating three at a time. No need to rush or to squabble over the kill … there was plenty to go around. This was certainly something we have never seen in real life.
Our first "new" animal for the trip was the impala, one of the largest of the gazelles. Very pretty, like the Tommy and Grant gazelles. Then along came a Topi (good Scrabble word), another antelope, this one with twisted black horns. It's nicknamed “Blue Jeans” because of the bluish-colored markings along its hips and rear
We found our thrill, not on Blueberry Hill, but in an acacia tree where we spotted (get it?) a leopard. Very hard to see … amazing the guides could even locate it. The leopard isn't on the Big Five list, but it was still high on our list of animals to see. Exquisite.
We then encountered some animals from previous days … elephants, hippos, etc.
Late morning, it was time for a break at the Serengeti Visitors Center where there is a clever walk that introduces you to the game of Africa by way of outdoor metal sculptures. Quite fun to see and read about.
Emmanuel, one of our four driver/guides, is getting married at the end of this trip operation. So Rachel arranged for a wedding shower; as a group we gave him a coffee table book on the Serengeti, so his new wife can learn more about what he does all day. Beverages and snacks were served.
We met a mongoose and a hyrax when at the center, two of the smaller animals on our checklist.
We headed out for more gaming. We ran across a very white cheetah that had taken down a gazelle and was trying to eat it, all the
Lion pride took down a 3-ton Cape buffalo
while watching for predators.
Next came a hyena, followed by a flock of birds … Secretary, hornbill, vultures, stilts and more. Another verdant pool area provided an abundance of wildlife.
Another lion, a lot of elephants, and finally a leopard I could photograph. Made me a happy camper.
We finished the day with Cape buffalo, giraffe and zebras, as well as a Martial Eagle, a mean mother with Hertz yellow eyes and a clear command of the situation. He had a Patton air about him.
We got back in time for our first R&R. Lunch on the patio overlooking the Serengeti. Then a trip to the pool, where the disappearing edge ALSO overlooks the Serengeti. Very pretty. Very relaxing.
At 5:30, Rachel did a briefing on the logistics for tomorrow. The main thing I remember is breakfast is at 5:30 so I have my alarm set for 4:45. There's a tree topper commercial flight to Arusha and then a very long trip to Amboseli, where our Kenya tour begins. She said the drive from Kenya up to Amboseli requires a sports bra, but Tauck won't put that in their brochures. So those planning to travel should note it on their packing list.
She then did a
“lesson” on the history of Tanzania, which was very interesting. About 6:40, I slipped away to try and nab a classic African sunset photo … red skies with an acacia tree in front. I got it.
Dinner in the hotel and a trip to the gift store rounded out the day. Big P picked up a tee shirt with a cheetah and the word “Serengeti” on it. I bought two pretty baskets.
“Police” escort back to the room. Patrick headed to dreamland and I headed to the computer. 'Night all.
Tot: 0.098s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 6; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0115s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb