One of our best safari experiences came after our Ngorongoro-Ndutu game drives. Our driver-guide took us to the Seronera Airstrip in the middle of Tanzania's Serengeti where we met up with guides from our next destination, Namiri Plains, the only safari camp in the eastern Serengeti. Namiri is operated by Asilia, one of several major safari camp companies (click HERE for its website).
At this camp we shared a safari vehicle with an Englishwoman whose knowledge of animals, safaris and Africa added a lot to our trip.
Our entire January-February 2016 trip to Africa is detailed in an earlier posting (click HERE).
Below are some snapshots from our three full days at Namiri Plains. If you notice any animal misidentified, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can click on any photo to make it larger.
|The bare-bones Seronera Airstrip in the central Serengeti.|
|Single-engine, 12-passenger Cessna Caravans are the work horses of safari air travel.|
|I believe this is a hawk eagle.|
|This rock formation on the plains of the Serengeti is called a kopje. Such stone islands|
shelter a lot of wildlife, from little rodents-like animals to lions and cheetahs.
|A female kori bustard and her chicks|
take advantage of the smooth walking
provided by a safari trail.
|A male kori bustard puffs up to display his white|
feathers, making him more visible to females.
|Some of the 200,000 or so zebra who surrounded Namiri Plains during our stay there.|
They are the lead animals in the great migration every year. Wildebeests
and Thomson's gazelles would be coming next.
|The inside of our tent at Namiri. A full bathroom with indoor|
and outdoor showers, hot water, and a flush toilet was attached.
|I think this is a tawny eagle.|
|A hartebeest, perhaps the most muscular antelope.|
|We saw many of these chicken-like birds. What were|
|Umbrella acacia trees are just about the only tree that can grow in the Serengeti, where|
the soil is only inches deep in places. Hard bedrock is just below the surface.
|There are many kinds of vultures ready to feed on the remains|
of zebras, wildebeests, antelopes and gazelles.
|The spotted hyena is more of a scavenger than a predator, so these zebra and wildebeests don't|
seem to mind the presences of this one. Plus, several hyena would be required to take down
these much larger animals.
|Lionesses take turns feeding on a wildebeest.|
|Another kind of vulture.|
|A jackal eating a baby Thomson's gazelle.|
|During our safaris we saw a lot of nursing, from warthogs to elephants. This young zebra|
is probably four or five months old and walked with mom on the great migration.
|Our guide stopped for a coffee and tea break beside this kopje, but|
only after driving around it to make sure there were no big cats
|Termite mounds are the furniture of the plains. Here a|
cheetah appears as comfortable as if she were on a sofa.
|Yes, ostriches are very silly looking. The male is on the left.|
|Two guinea fowl make their way through tall grass.|
|The guinea fowl looks as if it rolled around an an artist's palette.|
|The main tent's outdoor sitting area at Namiri.|
|Members of a small breeding herd in the Serengeti. Both smaller elephants are probably offspring|
of the large female from different years.
|Another mom nurses her young.|
|Black cranes took flight just as I was about to photograph|
them sitting on the ground. Notice how barren the
Serengeti appears, yet it's full of life.
|An agama lizard. Less than 10 inches long.|
|A leopard tortoise.|
|Maybe he's roaring because he's lonely. Guides said that male lions roar to make|
contact with their brothers with whom they often share prides. They also roar
to summon their females.
|Few things in this world are more magnificent than a healthy mature male lion in profile.|
The guides call this one Ziggy. He has a brother known as Bob Marley because his
black mane resembles dreadlocks.
|This lioness and cub are part of the Ziggy-Bob Marley pride.|
|This is a lilac-breasted roller; the name comes from a rolling maneuver used to attract or impress|
potential mates. It's common at least from Tanzania to Botswana to South Africa. We saw it
everywhere. A very pretty bird.
|Bat-eared foxes. They live in interconnected|
tunnels. Right after I took this photo, these two
|An owl. I think this is an|
|A wildebeest, also known as a white-bearded gnu, makes the annual great|
migration in the Serengeti accompanied by zebra.
|The lion known as Ziggy with his ladies.|
|An African python (I think), another animal found|
by our spotter.
|The lion known as Bob Marley (note the unkempt mane) with two of his cubs.|
|Eland are the largest antelope in Africa, weighing more|
than cape buffalo. They are also one of the most difficult
animals to photograph because they run away from
|A juvenile male lion rests on a kopje, unaware of the natural art installation right behind him,|
|Elephants cover themselves with dirt to protect|
their skin from insects and the sun.
|A male lion takes a break from eating a zebra, which was killed the day before.|
|Umbrella acacia trees at twilight.|