Saturday, June 15, 2013

Good Gnus

This was to be another day of adventure and excitement. I am learning that Crispin has a knack for sighting, and also for being in the right place at the right time. We saw herds of zebras yesterday in a mini migration in the Central Serengeti, but very few wildebeest. We decided to head to the Western Corridor or Grumeti area. Crispin asked the park staff the best way, and was told he could cut through the private sanctuary near Faru Faru Lodge. An American has bought up a huge area of land from the government, which had previously been used for hunting. He wanted an area to use for other tourism. It is very private and expensive. We found the wildebeest migration there! They were as far as the eye could see. After driving through and around them, we were stopped by a security guard who turned us back, but at least we were one of the few tourists who got to see them.

When we got back in the park, the first thing we saw was a cheetah crossing the road- beautiful and graceful. We saw a lot of the usual, and also saw an eland and some hyenas. I got some good shots of a group of hippos out of the water.

We stopped to watch a group of zebras who were approaching a waterhole, but were a bit skittish. As we watched, a couple of lions jumped out and grabbed a zebra. More lions came to help- 14 in all! They killed the zebra and dragged him into the bushes. For the next 15 minutes, you could hear the growls and ripping sounds. They then drank their fill and wandered off or layed down to rest.

After this, we found 3 leopards sleeping in a tree with their kill hidden in the branches. Crispin said this is rare to see. As we continued to drive, we saw a group of 2 lions, then 1, then 4, then 2. It was remarkable. We also found another lion who had already killed a zebra, and was busy eating. I guess I should have titled this day the Big Cat Diary!

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