Thursday, 3 March 2011

Holiday - Day 2 - Manyara to Serengeti

After breakfast we hit the road and headed for the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge and the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, our first highlight of the day was a fine Lanner Falcon which landed not far from the vehicle just a few hundred yards after we left. It was a fairly long drive to the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation area, once through the gate our first stop was at the view point and we had our first glimpse of this natural phenomenon, fantastic! Elephants were like dots in the base of the crater, Black Saw-wings whistled passed and sunbirds called, this was a brief stop. About 10 minutes later, I was looking for Turacos and saw a movement in the grass down to our left, amazingly I had found a Leopard!! We watched it scent marking and making its way up the hill, it stopped and turned to look at us before it disappeared in the long grass. I couldn't believe it!
We made our way round the rim and Wilson found a Red Collared Widowbird, more Augur Buzzards followed and a nice Schalow's Wheatear zipped passed us. A quick pit stop produced Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Superb Starlings, Rufous Sparrow and several endemic Rufous Tailed Weavers. All the time a few Wildebeest, Zebra and Giraffe were taking their turn to grab our attention.

Olduvai gorge was our lunch stop, there were several Weavers here and African Firefinch, as we left, we found 4 Yellow throated Sandgrouse, we weren't quite on the Serengeti yet but the plains were vast and trying to describe them is near impossible, we could see many Antelope including Grants Gazelle and Hartebeest. The first Kori Bustards were seen on the journey as was the the eye-catching Secretarybird
Yellow Throated Sandgrouse
We finally reached the Serengeti and were greeted by a small herd of Elephants and our first close views of Lion within yards of eachother, the Lions were untroubled and took no notice of us or anyone else come that and the Elephants headed for water, a few Vultures were nearby either anticipating a kill resting after cleaning up! What a great way to end a great day. Our tented camp was no disappointment either and after sitting round a camp fire enjoying a sundowner, we lay in our tent listening to Lions roaring in the near distance, not scared at all honest!!

Sorry had to do a cute one!!
The impressive Kori Bustard

1 comment:

Rachel J said...

Wow, a leopard lucky you! I would love to see one. Cool photos too.