Tuesday, January 25, 2011

December 30, 2010

So sorry it's taking me so long to get this last bit of safari pictures up, but it's officially my busy season now and I have close to no free time. I must admit, I actually didn't write journal entries past December 29, 2010 because I really just didn't have time. I hate that because they were probably two of my favorite days of the whole trip! So instead, I'll just put up my safari pictures from December 30, 2010 and put a little pit of commentary in them. This is day two of our safari where we traveled from the Serengeti to Ndutu and we stayed at Ndutu Lodge. Enjoy :)

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We had several monkeys show up on our balcony at Serengeti Sopa Lodge in the morning before we left on our game drive for the day. We had a dad, mom and baby entertain us for a while. In this picture the mom is breastfeeding the baby. See the video at the bottom of this post.

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It was yawning

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This poor lioness was missing a foot!! See her front left paw?? You shouldn't...because it's not there! You can tell in the next several pictures of her that she hasn't been able to hunt because you can literally see her ribs and bones. She's probably dead by now. I promise I'm not trying to be mean by saying that, it's just a fact. She can't survive without hunting.

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Momma and baby hyenas. These guys are U.G.L.Y. I am not a fan of hyenas. Their laugh is pretty funny, however they are awful animals. Our safari guide told us that when a Hyena kills its prey, it doesn't go immediately for the kill to make eating it easier, it will actually eat it's prey in places that keep it alive so that it suffers before it goes for the final kill. CRAZY!!! Can't remember if I mentioned it in the last post, but we saw a cheetah chase down a wildebeest and kill it, but the leopard never got a chance to enjoy his food because a couple of hyenas came up and stole the wildebeest from the leopard. The guide told us that even the bigger animals steer clear of hyenas.

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Warthog...better known to some of us as "Pumba".

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Mufasa on the rocks! The artist for The Lion King actually came out to the Serengeti and saw these rock formations everywhere and modeled "Pride Rock" from the movie after all of these rocks.

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They looked like this and they were all over the place.

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Zebras. These guys were a dime a dozen as were the wildebeest. Zebras and wildebeest migrate together because one of them has a good sense of smell but bad sight and the other has great sight, but not such a great sense of smell (can't remember which one is which). Together they make a good team for traveling and watching out for predators. Usually the zebra will lead the packs and their packs are HUGE. I'm totally not exaggerating when I say that there are MILLIONS of zebra and wildebeest.

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Wildebeest, in case you didn't know what that was.

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We stumbled onto three baby cheetah's and their mom when we ate lunch for the day.

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The mom

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Two of the babies

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This is when the mom got up because she saw a baby gazelle and we watched her chase down the gazelle, but she never caught up to it. It was still fun to watch the chase. Deep down, I'm glad the gazelle got away though.

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This is me eating lunch with the cheetah's in the background. Gives you an idea of how close we were.

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The next several pictures of lions and their cubs are some of my favorite pictures I took while in Africa. I did bring a zoom lens that I used for a lot of pictures, but these guys were literally right outside our door. I did attempt to put on the zoom lens, but I saw nothing but their eyeball...they were that close to us. So these pictures were taken with my regular lens.

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It was three cubs, three moms, and papa lion was there too, but he just layed under the tree and never really moved. What was funny was that after sitting there watching the lions and cubs for about 30 mintues, we noticed that a pack of zebra and wildebeest were coming up on us, so we moved our car so that the lions could see them. We wanted to see if they would attack.

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It was a while before the zebras and wildebeest noticed the lions, but the second they did, they turned around and ran away as fast as they could! In the above picture, those lions are just to the left of all the zebras. Unfortunately, the lions didn't budge. Apparently they weren't hungry.

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This elephant was right next to our car. I'm pretty sure it's a mom...who is currently nursing...

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The view of Ndutu Lodge, where we stayed our second night of the safari. We got TONS of animal visitors at this lodge because of the watering hole that was to the right of the main lobby.

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This is me in front of our house at the Lodge. This was my favorite place that we stayed at on the safari when it comes to seeing animals because they were so close to us, however, it was my least favorite when it comes to comfort. I didn't like the bugs and beetles that swarmed this place. They freaked me out. And yes, I just said that bugs and beetles freaked me out, even though being so close to lions and leopards and cheetah's don't freak me out. I'm fascinated by those animals. I couldn't care less about a dung beetle. You should google that to see a picture of the size beetle we're talking about here. I'm not talking about something the size of your average cockroach!

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This is the view from where we all hung out while at the lodge. You can see tons of Zebra in the background!

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A family of elephants walking in front of our room to go to the watering hole for a shower.

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This is one of my favorite pictures from Ndutu Lodge. This is literally right in front of our little porch on our house at Ndutu. These signs were all over the grounds because of how many animals show up at night and throughout the day. Oh yeah, at all of our safari lodges, we had to be walked to our rooms by a security guard after dinner because it was dark outside and animals could be anywhere. It's hotel policy. We thought that was so awesome!

And here's some of my videos for this day on the safari:



This is a little long of a video, but it was too good not to capture! This is at our room at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge before we left for the game drive to Ndutu. We woke up and started packing and getting ready. Justin had opened the balcony door and started looking out into the fields with his binoculars trying to find animals. I turned around and said "Um...Justin...look down". He looked down and found this guy on our balcony. He then preceded to play with the monkey and tease it, letting it think we would let it into our hotel room. It was a mom and dad and a baby. The baby is ADORABLE! It's a velvet monkey, in case you're wondering. Nickamed "blue balls monkey". I'll let you form your own guesses to why that's a nickname.



This is a video of the cheetah's



A short video of zebras and wildebeest crossing the road



A short video of two Grant Gazelles fighting...playfully.



And here's an awesome video I took from Ndutu Lodge of all the animals going to the watering hole. At this lodge, we were visited by zebra, elephants, buffalo, giraffe, and gazelles...and lots and lots of dung beetles.

Tomorrow (and by tomorrow I mean December 31, 2010, not that I'll actually blog tomorrow because it probably won't happen until the weekend) we leave Ndutu to head for a visit to the Maasai tribe where we learn to make fire, throw spears, and watch their tribal dances. VERY interesting stuff so check back soon!

2 comments:

The Langham's said...

These pictures and videos are amazing. That little monkey family was so cute.

Jenny said...

Great pictures!!!

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