OUT OF AFRICA

Trip Start Dec 31, 2010
1
22
45
Trip End Feb 10, 2011


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Two of Safari: Tarangire National Park



I peacefully watched the sunrise with the new light filtering down over the valley and river and where a family of elephants was drinking, all from my front verandah. Simply magnificent. I was half expecting Skippy to come bounding out of the bush in front, but instead it's a dik dik family.

Actually I woke up thankfully with Toto’s 'Out of Africa’ theme on a continuous loop inside my head! Thankful because it appears that Elton John’s cycle of life has finally left me.

Out on the track before 6 am and animals observed today included giraffes [girls are the ones with the fluffy, hairy horns], elephants, unidentified birds, a Serval cat, squirrels, hyenas, Agama lizards [orange and blue], stealthy jackals, all sorts of antelopes including 100’s of impalas, an alive tortoise, dwarf mongooses, rock hyraxes actually on rocks, funny that.

There’s a swamp in Tarangire that spans 61 km and is home to many, yep you guessed it – twittering, noisy BIRDS! Today I identified the Eurasian Roller [light blue head, neck and belly], eagles, Kori Bustards, flocks of love birds [bright green and yellow], Saddle Billed Storks [with a black and yellow bill], Goliath Herons, secretary birds [having really bad hair days], francolins [bantam sized], ugly vultures of several varieties and especially some White Headed Vultures, the ‘go away’ bird [that screeches ‘go go go’ repeatedly], sand grouses, yellow-necked spur fowls, Lilac-breasted Rollers, and on it goes.  I guess they feed on all the butterflies, dragonflies, wasps, beetles [like miniature Rhinos with a horn] and tsetse flies that were also in abundance.

A new born baby elephant breast feeding up close to the 4WD was a highlight along with a group of elephants massaging themselves on some sturdy tree trunks.  A mature elephant, so I’ve been told, eats 300 kg of grass a day with 200 litres of water and 50% of what they eat isn’t digested so the babies feed on the droppings until they are big enough to manage grazing themselves. Saw that particular part of nature all over the park.

I’ve noticed lots of wild flowers [pink, mauves, blue and yellows] along with candelabra cactus trees.

Sam’s lovely and humorous personality is shining through and he is obviously getting to know us better.  Driving through the park he pointed out to us where the ‘dead lioness’ had been sleeping the day before. It was great that he was comfortable enough to take the mikey out of me!

[BTW I’ve seen a lot of things that I also saw yesterday but haven’t recorded them here otherwise it would be like mentioning each and every elephant I saw or whatever!]

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