Friday, November 06, 2009

An Incredible Freaking Day

More animals on Safari

[Kyle]Get this. We woke up, pulled back the curtains, and saw giraffe and impala munching on the trees just outside. Out of our door on the other side, up on the hill were a couple of elephants. Most of the hotels I usually stay in have a view of the parking garage.

We ate our breakfast watching the giraffe eat theirs. Afterward, we headed into the Serengeti.

Cheetah - Now you see him, now you don't!

In short order, we found a male lion. Then we found a cheetah sitting up, scanning the horizon. When she laid down, her camouflage made her completely disappear into the grass. If you didn’t know exactly where to look, you could trip right over one, which would be bad. A little further on, we found a leopard in a tree pretty far off. Maryanne, sitting next to our guide Juma, managed to be the first to spot almost everything, which won her a lot of high fives from me.

Then we had lunch. Yes, we spotted all three cats before lunch.


We had lunch at the well done visitor’s center. In residence were these adorable little creatures, Hyrax, that live on the boulders. They get down by sliding head first to the bottom.

Afterwards, I joked to Juma that the next thing he needed to produce was a crocodile. He took us to see hippos. We did the usual. We stopped and took pictures and oohed and ahhed at them. We talked about them a bit and then moved on. We drove 100 meters and there they were, two Nile Crocodiles. Juma assured us his luck was never that good.

After the crocs, we were admiring a couple of giraffe, a herd of wildebeest came by. They were running fast and cut ahead of us and crossed the road. The giraffe took off and then we saw the lioness, right behind in a full gallop. She ran out of steam just abeam our vehicle and stopped for a rest. The wildebeest, no longer being pursued, coasted to a stop. She (and the wildebeest) seemed completely oblivious to our presence and she just kept her eyes locked on the tasty tasty herd. She would crouch, then advance, crouch, advance. We waited for the longest time for her second attempt but it never came. After a while the wildebeest nervously trotted away at an angle to their original path. The lioness seemed to decide they were too far away for a strike anymore and lay down to rest for the next attempt some other time.

We saw a few other things on our drive back to the lodge, but all anybody could talk about is how lucky we were to have been able to see an actual chase. I don’t think we could have asked for a better day.

1 comment:

Mommy Dearest said...

Is it like a great zoo? Most of us have never seen these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat and I expect I would at least half expect a fence to stop the lioness from her chase or feeding time to arrive. It's funny that I have to conceptualize this whole thing in terms I know. That is, a zoo. Sad, isn't it, that we so rarely see animals in the wild and captivity is how we expect to see them. Incredible indeed.