This Saturday, 27th February, I returned from a fortnight-plus-travelling trip to see the wildlife of Tanzania.
Over the next two or three weeks I shall be sharing just a very few of the photographs I took of the rich wildlife that the country is conserving in its national parks.
We landed at Kilimanjaro Airport late in the evening of Wednesday 10th February after a violent rainstorm. February is the middle of the wet season in Tanzania, though it has slightly less rain than the months surrounding it. Our leader, IW, had been fortunate in previous visits at this time of year in not having experienced much rain. We had a fair amount over the two weeks though it only affected us seriously during the last part of our visit.
We (IW plus eight of us) left our overnight hotel in rain, which continued for much of the five-hour journey across the Ngorogoro Conservation Area to Ndutu Safari Lodge. We had first sights of many animals, but weather conditions did not make for good photos. We were pleased to be able to settle in our accommodation, and that the weather had cleared considerably.
We enjoyed the view.
After lunch and a good rest, we went out for our first safari drive.
It was the time of the great wildebeest migration, and we saw hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these animals during our stay.
It was not long before we came across our first lions (thanks to the expert knowledge of the drivers of Serengeti Select Safaris who were with us for a week).
Apologies to those of a sensitive disposition. The male had two lionesses with him, mating with each turn by turn every ten minutes. The stand-off at the end of the encounter is because it hurts the female.
The knee-high Dik dik
This beautiful nocturnal creature is a not a feline but a genet, related to mongooses. We should not see it, but for years three of them have been visiting the dining room of the Lodge each evening, no doubt because they know that the kitchen will see them alright if they do.
The following morning dawned grey and overcast, but we hoped that, as the previous day, it would clear up later. Our first viewing of the spotted hyena led us to consider that it was fluffier than it seems on TV, and not nearly as ugly as we had hitherto thought, even when carting off a baby Thomson’s gazelle to eat.
Almost immediately afterwards we saw a Grant’s gazelle in the minutes before and after giving birth.
She had cause to be worried about hyena and jackal, but her only concern about this wildebeest is whether it will tread on her calf.
One of the most common birds around, the Superb starling
Back to the Lodge for lunch.
(To be continued)