East African Safari: Plentiful Animals and Great Times!

After a successful climb of Kilimanjaro the team said goodbye to Caleb, John, and April.  Caleb and John began their journey home.  SMI guide April Mayhew stayed behind in Moshi to run in the Kilimanjaro Marathon.  Three days after standing on top of Kilimanjaro April placed a very respectable second among female non-Africans then caught up with the rest of the group for the last three days of safari.  Congratulations April!  The rest of the team took off on a game viewing safari to see up close some of the most fascinating animals on our planet.

Over the course of five days the team visited Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and the great Serengeti Plains.  In addition to seeing a wide range of exotic wildlife our safaris are also a rich cultural experience.  We spent some time with kids at a local orphanage as has become traditional on our trips.  We also visited a local Masai Village where we were treated to traditional Masai dancing ceremonies, saw the mud huts they live in, and we were given the opportunity to purchase jewelry items.  We also visited Olduvai Gorge which is rich in archeological history.  Bones of many extinct animals have been found in this area.  It is also the sight where the archeologists Tom and Mary Leakey discovered the oldest homonid footprints.

Wildlife was prevalent throughout our safari.  Below are a few pictures.  The entire photo gallery can be found here:

Game Viewing Safari February 25-29, 2012

Rhonda, Kurt, Jackie, and Janet on safari at Lake Manyara National Park.

Two lioness sisters resting in a tree at Lake Manyara National Park.

Male lion in the Serengeti.

Cape buffalo with a stork on its back in Lake Manyara National Park.

Wart hog family in Lake Manyara National Park.

Wildebeest mother and calf. 185,000+ wildebeests are born within a two week period in October each year. This insures the survival of the species.

Male and female impalas at Lake Manyara National Park.

Janet, Rhonda, Kurt, and Jackie in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Female spotted hyena on the Serengeti plains.

Male agama lizard sunning itself on a kopje rock outcropping in the Serengeti.

Grants Gazelle in the Serengeti.

Zebras resting in the Serengeti.

Young teenage elephants in the Serengeti.

When a giraffe bends over to drink it is in its most vulnerable position for predators.

Giraffe eating leaves from an acacia tree in the Serengeti.

Vitelline Masked Weaver at Olduvai Gorge.

Abdim's Stork in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Male Cory Bustard bird puffed up looking for a mate in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Red Collared Widowbird

Egyptian Goose in the Serengeti.

Secretary birds on top of an acacia tree in the Serengeti.

Saddle-billed Stork in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Janet, April, Kurt, Jackie, and Rhonda at our hotel in Karatu during our safari.

Traditionally dressed Masai women during our visit to their village.

Rhonda, Jackie, and Janet were invited to join the Masai ladies in their traditional dance.

Masai warriors conducting a traditional mens dance and jumping ceremony.

A Masai man shows us inside his mud hut where he and his family live while he shares with us their way of life.

Masai jewelry for sale at their village.

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