Tourist First

Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Africa: Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu

A spotted hyena endures a rain shower at Ngorongoro Crater.
Cape buffalo lounging at Ngorongoro Crater.
Here are photos from the first days of our January-February 2016 trip to Africa.  We flew into Kilimanjaro International near Arusha, Tanzania, stayed a night and then headed out with a driver in a Toyota Land Cruiser closed safari vehicle.  The trip is outlined in an earlier posting (click HERE). Our first safaris were at Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Ndutu, the part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area that abuts the Serengeti. We saw almost all the "must-see" animals here -- everything except leopards. In Africa, the goal for many people on safari is to see the "Big Five," the five animals that are most difficult to hunt successfully on foot: elephants, lions, leopards, cape buffalo and rhinos.
This is not David Livingstone's Africa. 
Female (rear) and male cheetahs at Ndutu.
A female hartebeest with her calf. Hartebeest is one of
many different kinds of antelope in Africa.

Baboons at Lake Manyara.  Notice the baby between the two adults at far left.
Black ibis.
Blue monkey.
Safari vehicles at Ngorongoro Crater, a 10-mile-diameter collapsed volcano with
steep walls and a flat floor, making it something akin to Disney World's drive-through
Animal Kingdom attraction. Great place to see a lot of animals quickly.
The steep wall of Ngogongoro Crater rises in the distance behind these black rhinos.
Warthogs, perhaps Africa's most endearing animal.
We were told that they make good pets, though the
adult males can be a challenge.
A silverback jackal. They're predators as well
as scavengers. 
A sleeping male lion at Ngorongoro Crater. Visiting the crater at mid-day
meant that most of the big cats we saw were fast asleep.
Thomson's gazelles are frequent prey for cheetahs.
Grant's gazelles are larger than the Thomson's.

A viewing platform at Lake Manyara allowed us a good look at this crowded hippo water hole.
Would you buy insurance from this agama lizard?
Crowned crane.

You see a lot of elephants' tushes on
safari. This one at Lake Manyara
was our first. We kept waiting for
him to turn around, but he must
have thought this was his best side.

A black faced vervet monkey at Lake Manyara.
Zebras at a stream in Ndutu.

A black rhino co-exists peacefully with zebra at Ngorongoro Crater.



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A saddle-bill stork at Lake Manyara.