The Serengeti Plains

Trip Start Nov 05, 2006
Trip End Jan 14, 2008

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

After a restless night camping on the plains listening to lions cough and hyenas laugh, we got up at 5, ate breakfast in the dark and hit the road for day two of our Serengeti game drive.  At this point we've seen 4 of the big 5.  Rhinos in Nakuru, lions in Masai Mara and the Serengeti, buffalo and elephants in the Serengeti, so this left just one more to complete the set.  We set out all hungry to find the elusive leopard.

Here's the thing about wanting to see one specific animal, you tend to be very uninterested in every other animal you come across that isn't a leopard.  Our morning was filled with hyenas, giraffe, lions everywhere...but no stinking leopard.   We stopped by the visitors center and checked out the wildebeest migration display and headed to lunch only to find out that the other truck did see a leopard.   In this situation the mature thing to do is be happy for them.  To hell with that! We rushed through lunch and jumped into the van to try and locate the leopard before he moved on to better hunting grounds.  As luck would have it, he was blissfully asleep in the same tree where he was spotted earlier.  He did manage to lift his head once, but couldn't be bothered to do any walking, climbing or hunting for us. 

We left the leopard and found a lioness with her two new cubs which despite having seen many lions, the cubs and their dynamic made it entertaining as they could scarcely see over the grass and consistently lost mom.  Mom would just make a certain growl and they'd come running.  

As we headed out of the park we stopped by Oledepi, the museum which houses a display on the discovery of early man in the crater.   Then the truck broke!  So we sat on the side of the road talking to Masai warriors wondering if  we'd be spending the night on the plains again.  Finally, with the sun going down and us growing impatient, James and myself got out and finished the repairs on the safari truck. 

We limped back to the crater campground to be greeted by a bull elephant in the camp...and that night we were visited by a buffalo grazing through our tents, as well as some zebra and hyenas.
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