Serengeti Plains
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<Lake Manyara>          <Ngorongoro Crater> 

111-serengeti.jpg (90162 bytes)01/08/03
From Lake Manyara we drove up to the Ngorongoro Crater rim, around to the west and towards the Serengeti. Saw more animals the entire way including: giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, jackals, thousands of wildebeests, zebras, hyenas, lions, and hippos. Most of the wildlife mix amongst each other and go about their business eating grass all day. The landscape changed quite a bit along the way also from green rolling hills and tall trees, to just grasslands with visibility for miles and miles. As far as you could see in all directions were animals, mostly wildebeests and113-maasai.jpg (152747 bytes) gazelles. There were plenty of Maasai people along the way, most were walking around moving herds of goats or cattle. Their small villages consisted of a handful of mud huts. Most of them were dressed in bright red clothes, with necklaces, stretched earlobes, and a spear. 
118-serengeti.jpg (140280 bytes) As soon as we crossed into the Serengeti park itself, we pulled off the road towards a pride of around 20 lions. There were about 9 little ones running around. Every time one would get too far away, one of the females would122-serengeti.jpg (197044 bytes) go out, grab 'em, and bring 'em back towards the pride. A cheetah was lying by the side of the road, chillin'. He stood up at one point and I sure had no desire to 121-serengeti.jpg (161480 bytes) race him. Throughout the day we were bombarded by dung beetles! They would fly along the truck fast as possible then dive bomb in. They were huge, but easy to pick up and toss out. Hhhhmmm, dung beetles? I wonder if we smelled like shit?!
Pretty far into the plains we came towards camp passing a pond full of hippos, 2 lions lounging in a tree, and a few cape buffalos. At camp we were told to make sure we don't127-serengeti.jpg (64089 bytes) wander far, or wander at all. The armed guard (just in case some animals get too close) at the entrance was a good reminder that we were camped in the middle of big game territory! The sunset from Seronera camp was amazing. The Umbrella Acacia tree silhouetted the foreground, and the setting sun turned the 130-serengeti.jpg (46509 bytes) sky and clouds awesome colors. Even after driving northwest for 2 days straight, looking at a map we basically got nowhere compared to the size of Africa. Another day in paradise.
There were all kinds of animals making noise throughout the night keeping some of us up. Waking up the following morning I crawled out of the tent and the sun was coming up behind me and looking ahead there were 4 giraffes lumbering by slowly and picking at the trees about 50 yards away.

109-serengeti.jpg (112088 bytes) Zebra; Wildebeests and zebras as far as you could see 115-serengeti.jpg (91300 bytes)

114-maasai.jpg (91849 bytes) Maasai; Wildebeests 112-serengeti.jpg (57819 bytes)

116-serengeti.jpg (149484 bytes) Hyenas; Gazelles and ostriches 119-serengeti.jpg (77641 bytes)

123-serengeti.jpg (108240 bytes) Lions herding up the cubs; Pride of about 20 lions 125-serengeti.jpg (138927 bytes)

128-serengeti.jpg (125419 bytes) Cape buffaloes, apparently not too friendly; more gazelles 129-serengeti.jpg (97622 bytes)

134-serengeti.jpg (100403 bytes) Thousands of wildebeests 135-serengeti.jpg (80504 bytes)

131-serengeti.jpg (48211 bytes) Sunset at camp in the middle of the Serengeti 132-serengeti.jpg (51706 bytes)

<Lake Manyara>          <Ngorongoro Crater>