Animals in the Serengeti

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Day 5

Up early for another day of adventure exploring the Central Serengeti.  The group decided to change our itinerary to spend one half day driving and return to the camp for lunch and rest in the afternoon with a late last drive before dinner. This meant we could not go as far afield into the Central Serengeti but we did have a number of exciting sightings of lions and the elusive cheetah at fairly close range.  We have seen, and continue to see, numerous giraffes and they never stop being a surprise and an elegant statement of the possibilities of evolution.  In my opinion, the opposite of the graceful giraffe is the pumba or warthog which is a short-legged pig-like animal with a snout and not very attractive presentation.  Maybe it is designed to scare off its enemies  – its snort is enough to ward off humans in any case.

Pretty Warthog (photo by Shira/Drake)

The word went out over the walkie-talkie radio that a cheetah was spotted so we headed off over undulating roads to join the herds of green and beige safari vehicles with the heads of people sticking out of the top of the roof, binoculars glued to their faces.  There were 3 cheetahs huddled together and although initially we could only see their head and tails, they finally stood up from the grass and we could see their svelte bodies.  In my opinion the opposite of the beautiful self-sufficient cheetah is the undisciplined foreign tourist who is often not very responsible with its loud language and use of resources.  

Cheetahs (photo by Shira/Drake)

The closest and most interesting viewing for me this morning was when Dhara spotted something with her naked eye, which our guide thought was a log but upon closer inspection through binoculars turned out to be 3 male lions!   We watched as they stood up and moved around and walked near us in their tawny glory as we quietly watched from our high perch atop our vehicle.

Sitting Lion (photo by Shira/Drake)

A relaxing lunch and afternoon and then, as we begin to get ready for another excursion, the clouds came in and lightening flashed and it began raining for about 30 minutes.  

Half of our Group in one of our Vehicles

When it lessened we went out in our safari vehicles, although one driver was very uncertain about navigating in the quickly formed wet puddles and seemed concerned about getting stuck in the mud, an unpleasant prospect.  But we had a brief ride in the gathering dusk, where a sunset appeared within the clouds and a giraffe strode on the hillside edge, silhouetted against the hills.

Giraffe at Sunset (photo by Judy)

We pack up once again as we leave tomorrow for the Serengeti.