14 July 2014 – Day 3/8 Safari@Tanzania

Checked out of Plantation Lodge this morning. at 9am. En route to take our flight to Serengeti, we enjoyed a game drive to Lake Manyara which was situated at the escarpment of the Africa Great Rift Valley with lovely scenery and spectacular sight of huge flock of birds. We were also fortunate to witness the unique tree climbing lions.

At 1:30pm, we boarded our 1 hour charter flight from Lake Manyara airstrip to Kogatenge Airport in the north of Serengeti. Here, we were met by our guides from Legendary Expedition and had a short game drive from the airport to Legendary Camp, a mobile but yet luxury setup, for our next 3 night stays. Did another game drive in the evening after we had settled in to look for the lion pride. Found them, and we waited till dusk to see if they went out to hunt. Saw one chase a herd of wildebeest but unsuccessful. 3 lioness stalked a lone buffalo, went the buffalo charged at one of them with the other 2 pursuing. Again no kill. However, unable to capture these spectacular moments due to failing light in the late evening.

The first few giraffes spotted on the trip but didn’t get a good view of them.

One crossed the path in front of our jeep but I was too slow as I was seated at the rear and my view was obstructed.

Who says lion can’t climb tree?

These are the unique tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara.

I believe there is no where else one can find tree-climbing lions.

They are quite high up on the tree.

They started climbing down when more tourists arrived.

Moment before the leap.

Distracted, probably by the sight or sound of the tourists.

A lion cub

Though as King of the Jungle, lion still always stay alert.

Mother and child bond.

Always keeping a watchful eye on her cub.

By now all the lions had climbed now the tree. The pride is actually bigger than this as a few had gone into the bushes. But didn’t spot the male.

Spotted this little fellow. ID anyone?

More giraffes spotted and this time had less obstructed view.

Giraffe with its long neck has the advantage to reach the leaves on tall trees.

Giving us a curious look.

So far spotted giraffes with 2 different colour tones.

A small herd of Impala.

Impala are very shy. Slightest sound and off they ran.

More giraffes spotted at a distant with the wildebeest.

Hang on babe!

Here come a fierce looking male baboon.

Lot of Yellow-billed Storks roosting on top of tree canopy.

Yellow-billed Storks foraging in the marshes.

A pair of Egyptian Geese.

Feeding time.

Mating ritual?

Pair of Egyptian Geese.

Yellow-billed Storks.

A female hippo and her calf feeding amongst wildebeest, zebras, yellow-billed storks and pelicans on the marshes.

A huge flock of Great White Pelicans gathered on the marshes.

Amazing bird life in Lake Manyara.

A flock of Great White Pelicans in flight.

A pair of Great White Pelicans.

Arrived at Kogatenge Airport @Serengeti where we were met by our guide, Elly, from Legendary Expedition Camp.

On our way to camp, spotted a lone Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture.

Serengeti is a paradise for Wildebeest and many other wildlife.

Safety in numbers for Wildebeest.

Female Wildebeest with her calf born this spring.

Another female Wildebeest with her calf.

Need ID for this pair!

Wildebeest calf stayed close to the mother for protection and milk.

Many more female Wildebeest with their calves.

Close up head shot of a Wildebeest.

Staying among tall weeds is dangerous for the Wildebeest as lions can stalk up on them under the camouflage of the tall weeds.

Zebras are second most common after the Wildebeest in Serengeti, and they live happily together with the Wildebeest. Was told Wildebeest can only eat those short grasses and needed zebras to clear those tall grass and weeds.

Nice solid and round BUM!

Always alert as Wildebeest and Zebras are lions usual preys.

Secretary Bird

Secretary Bird

Guests’ tents were spread far apart giving adequate privacy. There was no fence around the camp, so had to be cautious moving around at night.

Open air comfortable resting and waiting area.

The dining tent where buffet meals were served.

Solid dining table even for a mobile camp. A bar with free flow of beer, wine and spirit for guests.

Another view of the dining tent.

Our tent where we spent 3 nights. Very luxurious for a mobile camp. Completed with super king size bed, rain shower with water fed from a hoisted up bucket, a modern sanitary fitting though water had to be manually refilled, and a portable vanity top with basin and mirror.

There were 9 guest’s tents at Legendary camp. I was told by our SG guide that they had to book the entire camp regardless of the number of guests as they do not share among different groups.

This is a huge tent considering that it was twin sharing only.

Rear view of the unit that I occupied for 3 nights. Notice the bucket at the side of the tent? Here is where they refill hot water for shower at guest’s request regardless of time. On the day we went for hot air balloon flight, we had hot water readied at 3:30am! Fantastic service.

Lilac-breasted Roller

Very well camouflaged among the tall weeds.

More lioness among the bushes.

Never ever venture into the bushes in lion territories.

Don’t be deceived by their laziness.

Their canines are long and sharp!

Waiting in ambush.

Peeping through the bushes.

More lioness all over the rocks.

So so boring all these tourist here!

Lion spends most of its time resting in the hot day.

Or perch on rock watching the distant preys.

Let the sleeping cat lies.

Spotted only lioness, no Lion King yet.

Here was another female just watching the day went by.

While searching for other lion pride, spotted this lone Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture.

Klipspringer

A male Klipspringer.

A female Klipspringer.

Ready to spring off from the rock.

Springing off Klipspringer.

Spotted these 4 lioness from another pride at a different location not far from the other pride. Again, no male spotted.

Waiting from sun to set to go hunting. We did witness them went after a herd of Wildebeest and a lone buffalo but without success. Due to the distance and failing light, didn’t managed to capture those exciting moments.

The rock farm where lions like to rest during the day.

Handheld shot of sunset on the way back to camp.

First sunset in Serengeti National Park.

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~ by grbenji on 14/07/2014.

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