Collage of Life

Collage of Life
What you can see...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Big Five

Up at 5:30 am and breakfast at 6....Hard to eat at that hour, but we were anxious to go down the crater and see what was there.  We made the drive downward on dirt roads and they were a bit steep.  The crater floor has various habitats including a Forest area, a salt lake, high grassy plains and swampy areas with Papyrus growing.  The first things we saw were small herds of Gnu or Wildebeests.  They make the most honking sound I have ever heard.  We saw a large bird called a Kori Bustard with his feathery neck blowing in the wind. The crater is 266 Square Meters, don't know what that is in miles, but pretty big.  The surprise we found was a flock of pink flamingos and white pelicans near the salt lake.  We saw a black rhino who was wounded and knew he had been in a fight last night.  He was bleeding from a head wound and one on his shoulder.  Yusef says his skin is 2 inches deep and he would be alright.  His large horn was also damaged.  I cannot imagine what a rhino fight would be like....pretty scary!  We saw more lions today, 11 adults and 3 of the cutest cubs.  Yusef said they were about 10-11 months old.  They were hiding in tall grasses while three adult females were hunting.  We saw them stalking some warthogs but they did not catch them.  We also saw the male elephants who grow the largest tusks in the world right here.  So we had a good start seeing the Big Five....Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo, and Leopard.  We did see a Buffalo and now we missed the Leopards.  Unfortunately we never did see a leopard, but as we were leaving the crater, we found two cheetahs, a male and female walking around looking for any possible prey.  This place is wonderful and the Serena Lodge gorgeous.  We had to move on to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge for tonight, so we left for our drive there.  This will be our last night in Tanzania.  Feeling a little sad, but we still have one more lodge in Kenya to visit for two days.  So tomorrow we cross the border back into Kenya and another adventure in Amboseli Game Park.  More tomorrow!

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