Tanzania Day 5

Hi Everyone

I am so tired that I could barely get up at five AM. Coffee arrived and I wait for my escort with his long spear to arrive and guide me down the hill to our vehicles. He arrived at 5:50 and we arrived at the vehicles shortly thereafter.

Off we went. What wonders will I see this morning? We drove until we saw some saw two small looking Impalas sitting on a boulder. With the sun rising I took some interesting silhouette pictures. We then drove on until we came upon a mother spotted leopard guarding a small crevice between some boulders. The only thing she would be guarding were her cubs. We waited as she saw something and ran across our path to the other side of our tracks. One cub came out of the crevice. The cub was very young and started to explore the area. The cubs fur color as darker than the mothers. We waited and watched the cub. This might have been one of the first times this animal had ever ventured out into the world and we were witnessing it. We then took some more pictures of both Mom and cubs and finally left. We were working our way towards the Mara River. Our driver pointed out some beautiful birds and then a huge fig tree. On the branches of the fig tree was a family of monkeys picking and eating the figs. They would jump from branch to branch enjoying their breakfast. We passed and stopped to take pictures of herds of zebras and wildebeest grazing in the long grass.

We finally saw the river and on the other side was a huge herd of wildebeest and zebra grazing and kicking up a huge cloud of dust. We were told that the herd was getting ready to cross the river and that we should set our cameras to a much higher shutter speed. For all you photography buffs, I have decided to shoot in manual mode with auto ISO. This way I can control both shutter speed and aperture. I will always use a minimum shutter speed of 1000 and mostly apertures of either 5.6 or 8 based on my location and what depth of field I need. Shutter speed is important when shooting wildlife. The other opinion was to shoot in Shutter Priority. We waited and waited for the herd to cross the river but the herd just roamed back and forth over a cliff looking down into the river.

After a while, we decided to have a quick breakfast and coffee was made. All coffee is made using a French press even in the Bush. By noon, we decided to leave and work our way back to Camp. We came upon a beautiful female lion and her three cubs were a little bit away from her in a ravine. We took some great pictures of the cubs and the Mom. We then came upon a single giraffe eating. Giraffes are so different and unique in the Bush. We then saw a small family of baboons. A mother was carrying her baby on her back.

It was about one when we finally arrived back at Camp and lunch was being served. I was so tired and dirty that I decided to go back to my room and shower. I then made the mistake of laying down in bed and the next thing I knew it was three. Just got dressed for our afternoon drive and made copies of my mornings work. Onto the afternoon adventure.

When I walked down to the common area and bar for the afternoon tea, I told the bartender that I had slept through lunch. The next thing I knew is he brought me a sandwich and plate of fruits. The staff is so helpful and try to ensure your comfort and safety on a continuous basis.

We boarded our vehicles at 4:30 for the afternoon adventure. The days are hot and the nights cool off and are pleasant. We drove through the high grass and came upon a single giraffe eating from the trees. The clouds are very interesting here. I took some beautiful pictures of the giraffe set against the blue sky. Andy then spotted a serbet cat. I had never seen one. The driver said they are very shy. They are small like regular cats and have spotted brown fur. I managed to get some nice shots of this unique animal running through the high grass.

We then drove through some large boulder areas. The driver spotted two male lions sleeping on top of a large boulder. Male lions generally roam alone, except when they are with their pride. Brothers will roam together. One of the males got up and disappeared to the other side of the boulder. We drove around and there he was. Sitting on top of this huge boulder looking down at his kingdom. A real Lion King shot. My fingers could not stop clicking. He then disappeared to the other side. When we turned around and got back to the other side, both lions were sleeping near each other. We waited a while, but they were both sound asleep.

We then worked our way towards Camp. All three vehicles stopped and the drivers set up a temporary bar on the hood of one of the vehicles. We were going to watch the sunset and toast our stay at their Camp. The sunset and colors were very different. The layers of clouds as the sun set, created an amazing display.

After arriving at Camp, we were told dinner was at eight. Dinner was served buffet and consisted of some local Swahili dishes. I did not eat most of them, but the rice and beef was very good. It is one member of the groups birthday. The staff presented her a cake while singing local birthday songs in Swahili.

Tomorrow we leave this Camp and travel about four hours south to the southern part of the Serengeti on a twelve passenger one engine Bush plane. The first leg is about two hours and then we stop to refuel and use the bathroom. Then it’s another two hours to our Camp. No drive tomorrow morning. We leave at eight and am having breakfast at the Camp. The Airstrip is about forty five minutes from the Camp. Our cameras will be out hoping for some good shots.

Talk to everyone tomorrow at our next location