The Serengeti!

Photo documentary of the amazing animals of the Serengeti.

As an American child of the T.V. generation I watched Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.  Television, magazines like National Geographic, and our local zoos brought Africa and the animals of the Serengeti to hour lives.  To finally be traveling to the great Serengeti seemed surreal.  To go from seeing these animals on a television screen or encaged in foreign zoos to being in a land cruiser driving the dirt roads of the Serengetti was amazing. 
 
We saw the Big 5- lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo.  Along with so many other animals and birds.  I didn't realize the amazing amount of birds in the Serengetti.  Definitely a highlight of our daily adventures. We experienced the Serengetti version of Jurassic Park.  Our timing was perfect as it was the time of the great migration across the Savanah or thousands of animals.  It was also calving season.  So baby animals were everywhere!
That is one way to transport bananas.
Obama in Africa on the side of a pharmacy.  ObamaCare.
David and Lisa on an African Adventure.
Our first Giraffe's close up.  Taz, my dog reminds me of a Giraffe.  They are amazing animals.  All legs and neck.  Info from National Geographic on Giraffes.
Their height is an advantage because they can feed on trees higher up.
But sometimes it takes some awkward stances to get to the leaves low down.
A camel owned by a Maasai man we met on the side of the road.
A Vulture.
A group of tourist dogs at the Oldavaii Gorge.
Our first Elephant sighting.
That is a young Elephant standing next to an enormous tree.
We arrived late due to many stops at gates and long waits to get our permission to enter.  Typical 3rd world bureaucracy.
Hippos in a pond off the side of the road.
Don't swim with Hippos.
Sunset on the Serengetti.
View of the lagoon near our lodge.  It was amazing to hear the  chorus of grunts and snorts from the Hippos, the trumpheting of the elephants, and the chatter of Hyenas and Baboons.  I had to wear earplugs to sleep.
The pool.
The Seronera Wildlife Lodge.  We had no idea we were staying in such a highend lodge.  A bush camp is really more our style but we thoroughly enjoyed the luxuri.  Especially after coming off of a day on dust roads and a coating of dust all over our bodies.  A quick shower, the pool side in the afternoon followed by evening dinner, music, and relaxation.
Some artistic pictographs along the stone entryway.  The lodge is literally built around the rock.
Caribean music with our dinner.  Meanwhile Baboons screeched and looked in through the windows.  They wanted our food!  It was something out of Jurassic Park.  We are in a secure fortress with the surrounding wildlife closing in around the compound.
The next day we found a lots of wild (or not so wild) life in and around our lodge.  Here is a Mongoose.
and a young Baboon.
Pool side siesta.
The lagoon from the lodge viewing platform.
Baboons playing near the lagoon.
Beautiful hardwood structures.
Hyraxes and Baboons enjoying the days sunshine on the roof.
The Trouble with Tribbles.  These Hyraxes are everywhere around the lodge.  On the walkways, on the roof, on the rocks, near the pool.  If you haven't watched the original Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"  you've missed out.
We were in the Serengetti during the time when they burn the grasses.  This creates an interesting relationship with the birds.  They circle in the thermals and then descend after the fire passes through to pick up barbecued tasty insects and rodents.
The birds on the ground feeding.
Smoke filled air.
Our early safari at dawn gave us the opportunity to see the animals at the end of their night of hunting and foraging.  This young Hyena was blended in so well in the grass that we almost missed him.
He looked up at us, curiously.
Stood.
Then he settled back down into the grass.  He was a beautiful Hyena.  Others that we saw were not handsome.
Baboons are such ugly creatures.  The ugly of the Serengetti but they are interesting pesky animals.  We happened upon a family of Baboons.  It was so much fun to watch them playing on the fallen tree limbs.
Young Baboon.
Baby hanging off of mom.
A little older Baboon.
The art of play.
Mom and baby.
Play time.  An older Baboon playing with the younger one.
Yum, this bark is so good!
Learning to hangout!
Hippos.  National Geographic link to info on Hippos.  They make interesting grunts and there is a species of bird that hangs out on their backs.  I call this a Hippo pile.
Cheetas!  Long lanky and very fast.  We were lucky enough to see these cats after they finished hunting.  Unfortunately I needed a 600 lens instead of a 400 to get closer shots of them.
A regal Giraffe munching on an Acacia tree.
We dound this family of Elephants and spent at least an hour withing 10-20 feet of them.  It was the most amazing things to see them close up.  Absolutely awe inspiriting.  National Geographic info on Elephants.
Tusks close up.
All those wrinkles and tiny intelligent eyes.
Young Elephants.
Mom and baby.
Elephant butt.
They were just walking through the forest grazing on the tree branches and grasses.
A family of Warthogs.
One of the few Hippos we saw walking on dry ground.  They are big lumbering beasts.
David risking his life to get a photo with the Giraffe.
Our first Lion sighting.  Simba! John John, our guide on the Kilimanjaro trip came on the Safari with us would exclaim "Simba" everytime we saw one of these amazing animals.  National Geographic info on Lions.
A female lion. She was feeding on a kill when we arrived.  Her face was covered with blood.
Leopard in a tree.  I now know that anything less than a 600 lens is not enough to capture the closeups of these amazing animals.  None the less it was amazing to see them.
The great migration across the Serengetti.  Seeing thousands of Zebras and Wildebeasts moving across the Savanah was absolutely an amazing sight.  We also were lucky enough to be in the Serengetti during the calving season.
Zebra up close.
The young Zebras are brown in color.
They just walked around us and past us on their long walk-a-bout.
Zebras everywhere.
Wildebeests squeezing into the shade of a tree.
Impalas.
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