We moved on, and I was thrilled now to see flamingos taking off from the lake,
rising higher and higher and higher. I was mindful of a documentary I had seen on TV about some Great White Pelicans taking off daily from a lake with no fish, using thermals to rise over some mountains to get to another lake where the food was plentiful.
As I followed these flamingos with my eyes, I seemed to me that they were doing the same thing, for whatever reason, and I watched them fly off from the crater and over its rim. Others more interested in photographic opportunities than wildlife behaviour did not get as excited as I was.
Kori bustard, display
We found ourselves in an area with many lionesses – and many jeeps. The former just ignored the latter except when they had to go round them. Reactions of other wildlife were mixed. Some seemed to realise that the felines were not hunting, but were just in a quest for water. Others – the Thomson’s gazelles perhaps – maybe could not even see the danger. Truly hunting lions would not have made themselves so obvious.
We were all excited to see in the distance a black rhino, something we could certainly not have counted on.
Black rhino. The name has nothing to do with the colour.
To the ‘Hippo Pool’ where some of us were fortunate enough to find some shade and a place to sit to have our lunch, amused by two kinds of weaver birds. We were advised to keep our food well covered or it might be snatched by black kites.
Two kinds of weaver birds
We started to climb – in our jeeps – out of the crater after lunch, to make our way to our next Park, stopping only to pay tribute to those who over the years had lost their lives in the service of wildlife, killed in the main not by animals but by poachers.
Climbing up the side of the crater
At the top
A tribute to those who have lost their lives in defence of the area’s wildlife
(Coming: Tarangire National Park)