Sweden and Tanzania 23/24

After our two days in the lesser known Tarangire our next destination was the exceptionally well known Serengeti National Park. On the way we had arranged a stop at the Olduvai Gorge Museum. Olduvai Gorge is an active archaelogical site, famous as the location of the discovery of many early hominims (modern humans and closely related extinct species). The gorge is part of the greater Rift Valley, a hot spot of human evolution, including modern humans. In a very real sense, we all came from here. When we last visited 26 years ago the museum consisted of one small room with a window out on the gorge. It’s much bigger now, with multiple exhibits and conference space, but the original small room still exists and has been incorporated into the new space. Our safari organisers had arranged a personalised tour with a very knowlegdeable musuem staff member, and we took lunch in a private room. It was awesome. As amazing as the musuem is there were only a few people visiting. As it is located 6 km off the main road to Serengeti, I think many bypass it in their understandable rush to get to Serengeti. We certainly had to ask specifically to have it included on our tour.



After lunch we resumed our drive to the Serengeti, arriving in the late afternoon.

Of course there were lions demonstrating their usual over-sized domestic cat behaviour.


And a red letter moment with our first glimpse of hyena. They would become the favourite animal of ShelleyB-son. He liked them for themselves, but also I think felt a bit sad on their behalf when our guide shared that they were one of the “Ugly 5” - similar to the “Big 5” but of course with different inclusion criteria. We’ll meet more the ugly 5 later in our tour.


Our accommodation for the next few days was the Embalakai tented camp in central Serengeti. Sadly I don’t seem to have any photos as I was likely too busy enjoying the bar.
Our next day was a full day in the Serengeti, long enough to head a little away from the high traffic areas, although our first stop was the visitors centre, built around a kopje (rock formation), with an interesting walk and some sculptures.


Then it was off for a long drive, full of the usual antelope and zebra, and a reported sighting of a leopard (although we failed to find it). But not too long after we hit the jackpot and sighted our first cheetah of the trip. There were a pair of cheetah, likely brothers, who were initially trying to get a nap in. But given the number of vehicles they decided that was a bust. There were a herd of impala not far away, but the land was fairly flat and the cheetah couldn’t get a great view. So why not make use of other handy objects?


Probably not for the first time, both cheetah used the safari vehicles to get a better view, although ultimately decided against attempting to catch any impala. And although there were plenty of easily available tourists in the vehicles we obviously weren’t to their taste.





After heading back towards our accommodation we finished the day with a visit to the hippo pools.

Your cheetah photos are amazing!
When I was at the visitor's centre last year we couldn't do the walk as there was a lioness with cubs in the rocks :)
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That’s a shame, as I imagine you could not actually see the lion cubs?
We could see the mum but needed binoculars to see the cubs. We were lucky to see loads of lions during that trip though. The visitor centre is definitely worth a visit - I always recommend it!
Today we were heading out of central Serengeti to the Ndutu/southern Serengeti region. Before leaving we spent a little more time in the central region, and we were lucky to again be the first to spot a lion pride, which gave us a little more quiet time with the pride. This pride had a number of cute and playful cubs, and dad was there too.0B3EB061-CFFD-49C5-BD2F-64C416ED8D4B.jpeg



On our way out of the park we also saw our first elephants since Tarangire, plus some hippos and Hartebeest.



Late in the day, on our way in to Ndutu, we were also lucky enough to spot a jackal.

A full day today in the Ndutu/southern Serengeti region. And what a day it was. It started with a sighting of a solo cheetah on the hunt a mere few hundred metres from our camp. We waited patiently for some time but the cheetah, who was observing a herd of impala, did not seem ready to make a move, so we moved on too. Reports later indicated the cheetah was successful in its hunt, but not for many hours after we left. Cheetah are clearly more patient than humans.

We then moved on and after observing more girrafe, wildebeest and (sleeping) lions, we received reports of a coalition of 3 cheetah appearing hunting migrating wildebeest and zebra. Again, after observing for some time, the cheetah decided nothing suited their risk-reward calculation so moved on.




Then much to the delight of Mr.10 we spotted a big hyena clan not far from the cheetah, which included some little cubs.



We then finished the day back at camp observing wildlife near our tents.
I must say the cheetah (just ahead of the leopard) was my favourite animal to see at Serengeti last November


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I must say the cheetah (just ahead of the leopard) was my favourite animal to see at Serengeti last November

We too really loved the cheetah. It’s probably the level of action and sometimes interaction you get. And they are super pretty too sometimes, to be frank, the lions can look a mangy.

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