|This is taken from the safari truck window. This picture, like all of our Africa photos, are unedited!|
Our lunch spot was Olduvai Gorge, where we learned about the early discovery of human existence in Africa.
After some additional driving, we finally made it into the Serengeti! Once we entered the park, the first thing we noticed was the wildebeest migration. From a distance, we thought we were seeing a river, but when we got closer, we realized that what we were seeing was hundreds of wildebeests crossing the road in front of us moving into the southern Serengeti. Alongside the wildebeests there were zebras and gazelles. We were actually in awe of the amount of animals in front of our eyes!
|The "river" of animals|
|My favorite African beer. I also tried Safari, Serengeti, and Tusker.|
|Our first adult male lion sighting|
A few hours into our game drive, we found a group of lions feasting on a wildebeest. This was happening right next to the park road, which made for great watching. While the lions were eating, hyenas, jackals, and vultures were gathered in hopes of scavenging the leftovers once the lions were finished. We watched for over an hour, and it was a fascinating event to watch.
|There are a few lions with full bellies in this photo!|
|Vulture and hyena waiting for leftovers|
|I love how it looks like these two are having a conversation!|
|My favorite hippo pool!|
|Check out the crocodile on the rock behind the hippo!|
On the way back to camp, we encountered a group a giraffe who crossed the road in front of us, then watched us to make sure we were not a threat.
|The acacia tree is filled with thorns, but the giraffe's tongue can handle it!|
We wanted to make the most of our last day in the Serengeti, so we decide to start our game drive at 6am. If you are on a private safari with Base Camp, you can essentially dictate to your driver and cook how you want things to work and they will plan accordingly. We left camp around 6am, before most trucks, and it paid off.
|One of the benefits of an early rise. This is the hippo pool near our campsite.|
First we saw a herd of about 30 elephants. They could have been the ones in our campsite the night before. A few minutes later we came upon a lone female lion. We followed her back to her group, where there were 13 other lions! In that group there were no adult males, but there were some young males. This group also had a kill, another wildebeest, that 2-3 lions watched over while the rest went to hunt. We could see the migration moving close to the where the lions were hanging out and the lions were definitely keeping an eye out for any young or weak animals that might make good prey. Jackals were waiting for the lions to leave the carcass, but this angered the lions, so they chased the jackals away from their food.
|A bit blurry, but check out that group of lions!|
|This part of the migration was VERY close to the lions!|
|Just before the jackal got chased away! Here the lion is dragging the wildebeest to a spot under a tree.|
|Nice and comfy in the tree!|
|Lions like to use the shade of the trucks for hunting!|
We were lucky enough to spot a second leopard, and this one actually had a small zebra kill up in the tree with him (they do this to keep their kill safe from lions, who do not typically climb trees).
I also developed an obsession with zebras. They are such beautiful animals. Seeing a zebra in Africa is like seeing a horse in the US, so I'm not sure our safari guide understood why I wanted to take so many pictures of zebras!
During this game drive, we played Africa by Toto for our guide Lawrence. He was outraged that Toto lied about being able to see Kilimanjaro from the Serengeti! He called Toto a liar and a cheater. Apparently, even on the clearest of days, it is impossible to see Kilimanjaro from the Serengeti.
|Another migration shot from far away.|
Needless to say, we had an amazing experience in the Serengeti, and we felt extremely fortunate to have had the chance to see so many animals. That did not prevent us from being excited about our next stop though, and we headed out of the park on our way back into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
|A hot air balloon safari would have been amazing, but it was a little cost prohibitive!|