Friday, February 27, 2015

Tanzania, Africa - 5A

Hi, I am splitting the blog for the fifth day of our safari into two parts because of the large number of photos I would like to share.  We spent the entire day in the Ngorongoro Crater, entering at 6:00 AM and leaving at 6:00 PM.  Fortunately our tented camp was only about 5 minutes from the park gate.

A Cape Buffalo regarded us curiously while a second grazed nearby.

All that remained of a Cape Buffalo.

A Hyena sniffs the air.

We next came upon 3 male lions that had made a kill during the night.  Two had already eaten their fill and were resting (above and two below).

 The third was still at the kill, a Cape Buffalo.

Three Jackals arrived on the scene and waited for the male lion to leave.

They then commenced to feed.

However, it wasn't long before the male returned and

chased the Jackals away from the kill.

One of the other males then wandered across the road.

After we left the kill our guide spotted a Serval, a cat rarely seen.

Further on there was a Hyena family.

Zebra foals were quite common.

The Zebras regard the Hyena warily but he/she just passes by.

We stopped for Breakfast next to a small lake that was home to a pod of Hippos.

Our guide, Mkenda, set up a table and chairs in this scenic spot.

While we ate a nearby herd of Wildebeest regarded us and

a number of Village Weavers joined us, stealing bits of food when they could.  One even landed on my knee and hopped on my plate to grab a morsel.

Superb Starlings also were present.

A large flock of Egrets congregated along the shore and

took off periodically.

The large bird left of center is a Pelican.

Here, the large bird is an African Sacred Ibis.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tanzania, Africa - 4

Hi, While we were having breakfast with the Kleemans we were joined by this Village Weaver (below).

As we were not scheduled to leave until late morning I took the opportunity to explore Gibbs Farm.  There were numerous flowers and plants decorating the grounds (above and two below).

The drive to Ngorongoro Crater provide a number of opportunities for photographing street scenes (above and two below). 

We stopped at an overlook from which we could get a broad view of Ngorongoro Crater.  It measures about 12 X 20 miles.  The crater has a high concentration of wildlife.

Kori Bustards were quite common.

However, the Admin's or White Bellied Stork was not.

This Thomson's Gazelle probably lost its horn in a fight or maybe Unicorns really do exist.

We spotted three Rhinos in the crater.  These two were at a great distance and were, therefore, not disturbed by out presence.  The third one ,which we saw later, ran away as we approached it.

One area of the crater seemed to be a nursery for Wildebeest.

Warthogs also enjoy mud baths.

We encountered Gray Crowned Cranes a number of times during our stay in Tanzania.

This female is one of three lionesses that began an attack on an unwary Warthog.

The attack failed because one of the lionesses just sat and watched as the Warthog scurried past.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day.  We're tired.

After awhile they came over to check us out.  One even lay down briefly in front of our left front tire.

Here's a Kori Bustard with its crest extended.

Hyenas were another animal I hoped to see and we did see many singly and in pairs, plus a small family.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tanzania, Africa - 3

Hi, After spending 1 1/2 days in Tarangire National Park we left for our next destination, Gibbs farm, where we would spend the night.  On the way we searched for game as we exited the park.

We came upon a number of interesting birds including this Red Bellied Parrot and

this Pygmy Falcon.

One of the animals I really wanted to see was a Cheetah.  As we were driving our guide, Mkenda, spotted two of them on a termite mound.  When he saw them they were at least a quarter mile away and appeared to us as two dots.  His ability to spot animals was just amazing.

They were completely unconcerned with our arrival and stayed on the mound for about 20 minutes while we photographed them (above and below).  We were able to change our angles as we moved steadily closer.

Finally, with a big yawn, they climbed down from the mound and ambled off.

Two more birds we saw (above and below).  I am unable to ID these.

A pair of monkeys were grooming each other by the side of the road.

Another bird about which I have no clue.

Baobab trees can live 3,000. Ruthe and I, next to me in the photo, and our two friends, Jim and Cathy Kleeman, pose in front of the tree to provide an indication of its size.  Our guide guessed this one to be about 2,000 years old.

Elephants came in all sizes.  The bull on the right was huge.

Water is a scarce resource and the Masai have learned to share it.  Here a number of herds of cattle and goats have been brought to a small lake to drink.

An open air market was in full swing in the village Mto Wa Mbu when we passed through the town so our guide drove us through it.  The Masai come here to buy and sell animals and to buy other items.  For example a few of the thousands of shoes for sale can be seen at lower right in the photo below.

The roads were lined with small stands featuring items for purchase by tourists.

There is still a great deal of manual labor.

School's out.

One area was devoted to bananas.  Tanzanians like them green.

This cart driver actually tried to catch us.

At Gibbs Farm a church choir serenaded with African music before dinner.

Thanks for looking.