Thursday, May 29, 2014

Videos - Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Natron

We continued wandering around the Seronera area in Central Serengeti, and also headed for a day to the Kirawira-Grumeti area in Western Serengeti to take a look at the migrating herds. 

I hope I was able to give you a good idea of the random motion that the 4x4 makes. It was an effort to hold on and grab a few short clips. Once again, please overlook the quality, and continue enjoying the ride, sights and sounds!

We were fortunate to experience four Leopard sightings in Serengeti, and a very brief one in Tarangire. Two of our Leopard sightings in Serengeti included Gazelle kills stored safely up trees. Relatively safely, perhaps. While one Leopard was resting with the Gazelle draped around a nearby branch, a Leopard at another sighting was busy with morning breakfast. 

Our Lion sightings continued, too many to count. 

A pair was lying down for a while, when they decided to walk away a little further, probably looking for a little privacy. 

The migrating herds were scattered in the Kirawira area near the Grumeti river at the end of May. There are no public campsites in that area, so Nyani Campsite in Central Serengeti continued to be our home. We drove two hours from Nyani Campsite in Seronera to the Western area. The first part of the drive was in bright sunshine along dry, rough tracks. 

The landscape changed during the next half of the drive. Several Zeebra and Wildebeest appeared, walking towards the west. The grass appeared to be not that dry and slightly greener. The Grumeti river area and Kirwira area were home to the migrating herds at that time.

Amos drove around the Grumeti river area for quite a while. We sighted herds running madly, trying to cross, crocodiles partly submerged under the water, Marabou Storks waiting on the rocks and several species of Vultures waiting on the trees. Meanwhile, Zeebra and Wildebeest appeared mighty confused whether to drink water or not. 

Continuing from Serengeti, we headed to Ngorongoro Crater, and then to Lake Natron via Lake Manyara. The Simba Campsite perched on the rim of the Crater provided superb views of the Crater and Lake Magadi. We spent an interesting six hours driving on the Crater floor. The mountains that form the Crater rim, fields carpeted with little bright, yellow flowers and the clouds formed an impressive backdrop as we sighted Wildebeest, Zebra, Rhinos, Gazelle, Lions, Buffalo, Jackal, Hippos (in the rest area) and several bird species. 

A large, male lion took a liking to the shadow of our 4x4.

Troops of Baboons went marching by, and a few youngsters decided to explore our 4x4.

Gazelle and Zebra stood by highly alert, continuously swishing their tails.

A night in the Lake Manyara area was our pit stop on the way to Lake Natron. The landscapes and the conditions of the roads changed over the close to three hours it took us to reach. The roads were very rocky and bumpy.

After that the road got even bumpier and dusty.

The final 30 minutes was along stretches of road that appeared to be ancient volcanic streams. An extremely fine grey dust hung around the air.

The afternoon was well spent hiking up the river to the Engero Sare waterfall accompanied by a Maasai guide. The water drains into Lake Natron. Early the next morning, at 6 AM, we set off on our walk around the Lake at sunrise. The atmosphere was surreal as the sun rose and the rays caught the top of the Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain, the Rift Valley mountains and then the Lake area got brighter.

I hope you enjoyed a few glimpses of the sights and sounds around Tarangire, Central Serengeti, Western Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Natron.

Next stop, Arusha.


Related posts in this series:

Namanga Border Crossing

The Gentle Giants of Tarangire

Tarangire revisited

Endless Serengeti Plains

Migrating herds, Crocodiles and Vultures at Kirawira

Big Cats of Central Serengeti

Camping under African skies

Flamingos at Empakai Crater Lake

Ngorongoro Crater - Wildlife, Maasais and Flowers

Campsite food and Nyama Choma in Mto Wa Mbu

From green to gray, the stark beauty of Lake Natron

Videos - Tarangire, Central Serengeti

Videos - Central Serengeti, Western Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Natron

Two nights in Arusha

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