Tanzania, Africa - PART 1 March 2019

Why Africa?

Africa has a been a top destination on our wish list for a long time. We're not getting any younger, so we thought that we should get to it before we get too old to carry the big lenses! But Africa is a big place, and the question became where to go and what did we want to see. The first question could best be answered by answering the second question. The simple answer was that we wanted to see "Everything!" Then we had to get real. There are so many things to see in Africa that we have never seen: wildlife, birds, and landscapes. We decided that seeing the southern part of the great migration would give us many opportunities - there would be lots of babies and young animals (both predator and prey). It would be rainy season so we hoped it would be green with lots of herds of wildebeest and zebra. That being decided, Tanzania was the logical destination. The research then began for a guide and the areas of Tanzania we wanted to see. Plus we would need a visa and immunizations. We were a little worried about mosquito born disease, but we actually saw very few mosquitoes while we were there. We did encounter some tsetse flies (mostly in in Tarangire) but that wasn't too bad. Travel tip: get your visa ahead of time because there can be a long line at the Kilimanjaro airport visa desk.


We had really good flights (and flight crews)! We flew Delta from Boston to Amsterdam and then KLM to Kilimanjaro. We then stayed at the KIA Lodge for a bit while others began arriving. Next we drove through Tarangire National Park and spent a night in the Ndovu Camp there (one of many camp sites run by Nasikia). Then we drove to the amazing Ngorongoro Crater and spent a couple of nights at the Sopa Lodge on the crater rim. After leaving the crater we spent 5 nights in the Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp in the Ndutu area of Ngorongoro (amazing staff there). From there we drove to the Serengeti, were we spent 4 nights in the Elhane Plains Camp (also a Nasikia camp). Then we drove over to Seronera, where we caught a tiny little plane to fly us back to Kilamanjaro. Because of the timing of the flights, we stayed in a room in the KIA lodge to rest up for the journey home that night. KLM from Kilamanjaro to Amsterdam and then Delta back to Boston. Whew!

At left is Logan airport at sunset, with snow on the ground (iPhone picture). We rarely see Logan airport at sunset, since most flights we take leave closer to sunrise. At right is a phone picture from the airplane as we landed in Amsterdam. That airport is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L !

KIA Lodge

We arrived a day before the safari started which gave us time to adjust to the 8 hour time difference and the 17 hours of flight time. The Kia lodge was a great stop for that - it was just 5 minutes from the airport yet very isolated and quiet. The room was nice, with a great bed and, of course, mosquito netting around the bed. The extra day gave us a chance to walk around between naps and take a few pictures. We saw plenty of birds and geckos even a monkey and an owl, not all of which we got pictures of. Early in the day we walked up to the viewing point for Mount Kilimanjaro...

The only shot of Mount Kilimanjaro, taken with an iPhone (Hali | iPhone XR)

The phone video above is just a little look around the dining area at the KIA Lodge. This was our first (but definitely not last) taste of the delicious local Kilimanjaro beer. Having dinner with us is Janet on the right (who was also taking the photo safari), and Johan (one of our two guides). The others had not yet arrived at this point.

Note: You can click on any image to see a larger version, but this feature does not work well on mobile devices (blame Adobe).

Clockwise from upper left Dwarf yellow-headed gecko - those guys were fast! (Mike | Nikon D810 | 3/7/2019 10:33 AM | ISO:400 | 1/400s | f/5.6 | 400mm). African grey flycatcher (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/7/19 10:28 AM | ISO:400 | 1/500s | f/5.6 | 30.0mm | EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II +1.4X teleextender). The wonderfully firm bed in our room, there were two rooms per bungalow and it was very quiet all around them (Hali | Iphone XR)

The start of the photo safari proper...

Just a quick iPhone picture of us with Janet (left) and Johan (right) at the KIA Lodge entrance, as we were leaving and heading out for our drive to Tarangire. Janet would share the safari jeep with us for the next two weeks. Johan and our other guide (Trevor) would take turns driving in one jeep or the other. This was the start of the photo safari. Due to some airline delays, the other 3 people in our safari group would set out the next day in the second jeep.

Tarangire National Park

"Tarangire National Park is a national park in Tanzania's Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. The Tarangire Ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras. During the dry season thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas." (wikipedia)

At the park welcome center. A map of the roads in Tarangire embedded into a tree. (Hali | Iphone XR) There was a gazebo at the welcome center that had these two beautiful pieces of stained glass depicting the park in wet and dry season (click on each image to see the full size). Wet Season (Mike | iPhone XR) Dry Season (Hali | Iphone XR)

Below is a little phone video that Mike took in the Tarangire welcome center.

Tarangire is not a big park by Africa standards -- although it is roughly the size of Rhode Island. However, it is famous for having many elephants. It also has a good number of tse-tse flies, so it's a tough place to linger! We spent about a day (total) driving through this park -- which seems pretty brief in hind sight.

A trio tower of giraffes in Infrared (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 4:30 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1250s | f/8.0 | 46mm |E 18-135mm | .7+ EV) One of Tarangire's Elephants. We wish we had more time to have found a herd, it is something Tarangire is known for but they eluded us. (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/8/19 5:55 PM | ISO 400 |1/640s |f/8.0 | 120mm |Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L II)

Infrared Imagery

A trio of trees in Infrared. A pair of Baobob Trees (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 4:00 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1000s | f/8.0 | 18mm |E 18-135mm | +.7 EV) Lone tree on the plains (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 4:42 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1250s | f/8.0 | 24mm |E 18-135mm | +1 EV) Another Baobob Tree (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 4:55 PM | ISO 400 | 1/800s | f/8.0 | 18mm |E 18-135mm | +1 EV)
We would drive past an occasional baobob tree and then see the open plains with acacia trees. (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 5:06 PM | ISO 200 | 1/1250s | f/7.1 | 18mm |E 18-135mm | +1 EV)
Honestly, we mainly wanted to take pictures of the large animals in Africa, but the birds were so interesting and beautiful that we had to try getting shots of them as well. Clockwise from upper left... A European Roller (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/8/2019 4:53 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/7 | 500mm | +0.3), a Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill (Hali | Canon 5D 1V | 3/8/2019 5:11 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1600s | f/4 | 500mm f/4 ), a Southern Ground Hornbill (Hali | Canon 5D 1V | 3/8/2019 5:23 PM | ISO:400 | 1/4000s | f/4 | 500mm f/4), and a Lilac-breasted Roller (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/8/2019 5:11 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1000s | f/7 | 500mm | +0.3).
Almost the same but not quite. These are Mike's shots of the same elephant and giraffe group that Hali depicted a few frames above. Elephant on the left (Mike | Nikon D810 | 3/8/2019 5:56 PM | ISO:400 | 1/500s | f/9 | 160mm | +0.3) and giraffe on the right (Mike | Nikon D810 | 3/8/2019 4:35 PM | ISO:400 | 1/400s | f/7 | 200mm | +0.3)
This infrared shot of Hali's is one of Mike's favorite shots of the whole trip. Hali is pretty fond of it too. (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/8/19 4:03 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1600s | f/8 | 24mm |E 18-135mm | +.7 EV)

Ndovu Camp

Our first night in an African tent camp we heard elephants from our "tent". Clockwise from the top: the "bedroom" (Mike | Nikon D810 | 3/8/2019 6:37 PM | ISO:4000 | 1/50s | f/4 | 24mm), big bugs at sunset (Mike | iPhone XR), the bathroom (Hali | iPhone XR). The green bottles held water that was safe to use for brushing your teeth.

Driving out of Tarangire the next day...

On left is a Black-backed jackel (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 8:13 AM | ISO:400 | 1/500s | f/5.6 | 500mm | +0.3), and on right is a giraffe (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 8:18 AM | ISO:400 | 1/2000s | f/5.6 | 500mm)
We saw a few Zebra but they always seemed to have their back side forward (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/9/2019 10:13 AM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/8 | 200mm | Canon 70-200 f/2.8L II) A Giraffe ambling along (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/9/2019 8:25 AM | ISO 125 | 1/500s | 200mm | Canon 70-200 f/2.8L II) Elephant ear and body, this was one of the photos that Hali had on her list (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/9/2019 10:02 AM | ISO:400 | 1/320s | f/8 | 175mm | Canon 70-200 f/2.8L II )
Last infrared tree photo from Tarangire. An Acacia Tree (Hali | Sony A6000 IR Converted to 720nm | 3/9/19 8:12 AM | ISO 400 | 1/1500s | f/8 | 18mm |E 18-135mm | +1.3 EV)

We came upon three lionesses and a cub near a small herd of East African oryx (fringe-eared oryx). I can't recall exactly, but I think there were maybe 2 dozen oryx. We watched as the lionesses walked around the herd -- maybe attempting to isolate and ambush. The oryx would run and then face the closest lioness...

One of the lionesses staring at the oryx. At this point the oryx hadn't seen the lionesses, but she still wasn't making any attempt to hide herself (Hali | Canon 5D 1V | 3/9/2019 AM | ISO:400 | 1/3200s | f/4.5 |500mm)
Fringe-eared oryx, running away from and then stopping and watching the nearest lioness. Left (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 9:18 AM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/8 | 500mm | +0.3) and right (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 9:20 AM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/8 | 500mm | +0.3)
It was really cool to see these in the wild! A grey crowned crane (AKA east African crowned crane). Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 9:34 AM | ISO:400 | 1/640s | f/8 | 500mm | +0.3

And then we were on the road to the Ngorongoro Crater. While driving there, we past many Masai villages and Masai people walking along the road.

This a phone capture that Mike took while we driving from Tarangire to the Ngorongoro crater. The Masai generally want to charge for photos these days, so we really didn't take many shots. This image shows you the typical garb. For more information on the Masai, you could refer to the wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people

Ngorongoro crater

We made it to the crater with enough time to drive down and look around for a bit before we had to drive out (everyone has to be out by sunset). While the conservation area is rather large (almost three times the size of Rhode Island), the crater itself is "only" about 100 square miles. Even so, we feel that it is one of the must-see locations in Tanzania. There is so much diversity -- so many different animals (and birds) to see in one place.

Our guides stopped at the top of the road on the way down into the crater so that we could get a good look (and shoot a picture or two). This photo is actually a merge of 9 different images. Mike | Nikon D750 | 3/9/2019 1:26 PM | ISO:200 | 1/160s | f/18 | 48mm

Plains Zebra

A herd of zebra are called a dazzle, and dazzled we were! We have lots of pictures of zebra. Clockwise from top left: Zebra often stand side-by-side and nose-to-tail (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 2:53 PM | ISO:400 | 1/640s | f/9 | 500mm | +0.3), Ever watchful, even while eating (Hali | Canon EOS 5DIV | 3/9/2019 2:53 PM | ISO 640 | 1/320 sec f/4.5 | 500mm), Another view of the zebras standing nose to tail (Hali | Canon EOS 5DIV | 3/9/2019 3:48 PM | ISO 500 | 1/1600 sec | f/8 | 500mm), Baby zebra next to its mother (Hali | Canon EOS 5DIV | 3/9/2019 4:08 PM | ISO 400 | 1/500 sec | f/8 | 500mm), a head-on view in black and white (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 3:50 PM | ISO:400 | 1/800s | f/9 | 500mm)
It's not always easy being the king. This particular king was a bit beaten up, and panting in the heat with no shade in sight. From the left: (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 3:09 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1000s | f/8 | 500mm | -0.3), A high key side view of that lion. You can see the deep cuts in his face. (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/9/2019 3:13 PM | ISO 200 | 1/60 sec | f/9 | 500mm | +1 2/3ev)
Wildebeest, also known as Gnus, are the largest of all the antelope species. Gnus are found only in southern and eastern Africa, covering the area from Kenya to Namibia, with the largest populations in the Serengeti in Tanzania and in Kenya. About 1.2 million wildebeest migrate with hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebras every year in what is the worlds largest terrestrial migration, searching for food at the end of the rainy season in the plains. A Wildebeest cow making her way across the crater (Hali | Sony A6000 Converted to 720nm | 3/9/2019 | 4:52 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1250 sec | f/8 | E18-55mm | +1 EV)
Clockwise from top left: blue wildebeest seem to be a really essential part of the food chain (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 4:20 PM | ISO:400 | 1/500s | f/7 | 500mm), a head-on view of a Thomson's gazelle (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 4:43 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1000s | f/9 | 500mm), and finally a side view of the Thomson's gazelle (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 4:42 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1000s | f/9 | 500mm)
Two Acacia trees in Infrared (720nm) Right: I shot this from the moving vehicle as we were leaving the crater the first day we were there (Hali | Sony A6000 Converted to 720nm | 3/9/2019 | 5:44 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1250 sec | f/4.5 | E18-55mm | +1 EV) . Left: the next morning as the sun was rising, we got stuck on our way down into the crater by a tree that had been pushed down by an elephant the night before, we watched a spectacular sunrise as our drivers figured out a way around it. (Hali | Sony A6000 Converted to 720nm | 3/10/2019 | 6:39 AM | ISO 400 | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | E18-55mm | +1 EV)
On left is another shot of a grey crowned crane (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 5:27 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1600s | f/5.6 | 500mm). On right is one of the blue monkeys that was hanging around the front door of the Sopa Lodge, on the ridge of the crater and where we would stay for 2 nights (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 6:04 PM | ISO:500 | 1/400s | f/5.6 | 500mm).

Sopa Lodge

Mike's phone pictures of our room at the Sopa Lodge. Each camera gets it's own bed. The sitting area. The view from the sitting area.
Early morning in the Sopa Lodge waiting for breakfast, before we head out for our full day in the Ngorongoro crater. We don't have many pictures of us so we really appreciate these. Thanks to Janet for taking the phone shot of us on the left. (Hali's | iPhone XR)

Below is a video that Hali took with her phone while we were waiting for things to get rolling.

Group photo from one of our phones. Our guides Johan and Trevor, and us, with the crater in the background.

Below is a phone video Mike shot on the road leading down into the crater. Overnight a tree had fallen across the road. Our drivers speculated that it may have been pushed over by an elephant (they said they get ornery this time of year).

Below is another of Mike's phone videos. This one just showing a little light morning traffic during our commute.

Spotted Hyena

The spotted hyena, also known as the laughing hyena, is a hyena species, currently classed as the sole extant member of the genus Crocuta, native to Sub-Saharan Africa (Wikipedia). If you are interested, the Wikipedia page has some interesting material on this animal. We managed to photograph a few of them while the sun was still relatively low. Clockwise from the top: Mom and cub (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 7:25 AM | ISO:500 | 1/500s | f/8 | 500mm), a close up (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 7:26 AM | ISO:640 | 1/640s | f/8 | 500mm), a small group (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/10/2019 7:24 AM | ISO 640 | 1/400 sec | f/5.6 | 500mm ).

Cape Buffalo

The Cape Buffalo is the only naturally occurring type of buffalo or cattle found in Africa. It is one of the "big 5" and has the nickname Black Death because of how dangerous they are. They have been said to have killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa. They have been known to drive off or kill lions when threatened. Males can weigh up to 1,750 lbs and can reach 5 feet at the shoulder. Bulls tend to weigh 200 lbs more than the cows, their horns are thicker and wider, they also have a broad "shield" that covers the forehead, becoming complete by 7 years of age. Clockwise from top left: (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 7:37 AM | ISO:400 | 1/1600s | f/6.3 | 500mm), in B/W (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/10/2019 | 7:37 AM | ISO 250 | 1/3200 sec f/4 | 500mm | -1/3 EV), in the field with cattle egrets and gazelle in the background (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/9/2019 4:33 PM | ISO 400 | 1/1600 sec f/8 | 500 mm| -1/3 EV), and finally a little roll in the nice cool mud (so good) (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 8:10 AM | ISO:320 | 1/320s | f/8 | 500mm | -0.3).

Below is a camera video from Mike's D850. The buffalo roll in the mud to stay cool, but the moisture in the mud attracts insects by the hundreds.

Left: As we got down onto the plain of the crater we saw an eagle (or falcon) perched on a dead tree in good light (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/10/2019 | 7:34 AM | ISO 640 | 1/1600 sec | f/8 | 500mm -2/3 EV). On the right is a male ostrich. The males have the dark and white feathers, female ostrich are very grey in color (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 8:23 AM | ISO 400 | 1/4000 sec | f/5 | 500mm | -2/3 EV).

Below is a humorous video Hali took with her Canon EOS R of an ostrich having a bit of a dirt bath. I think I recall hearing something about them getting salt from eating small amounts of the dirt as well.

The first image below is a hamerkop (it's a duck). The shape of its head with a long bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, which has given this species its name after the Afrikaans word for hammerhead. It is a medium-sized waterbird with brown plumage. It is found in Africa, Madagascar and Arabia, living in a wide variety of wetlands, including estuaries, lakesides, fish ponds, riverbanks, and rocky coasts. The hamerkop takes a wide range of prey, mostly fish and amphibians, but shrimps, insects and rodents are taken too. Prey is usually hunted in shallow water, either by sight or touch, but the species is adaptable and will take any prey it can. The species is renowned for its enormous nests, several of which are built during the breeding season. Unusually for a wading bird the nest has an internal nesting chamber where the eggs are laid. Both parents incubate the eggs, and raise the chicks. From Wikipedia.

Clockwise from the top, the hammer shape of the hamerkop duck is not readily seen in flight (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 8:59 AM | ISO:320 | 1/1000s | f/8 | 500mm | -0.3). A pair of ostriches (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 8:24 AM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/8 | 500mm | -0.3). The picture of the bizarre looking Helmeted guineafowl was actually taken on the previous afternoon, but was placed here for layout reasons. It kindof looks like someone smashed a little tiny ice cream cone on the head of this bird (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/9/2019 2:50 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/6.3 | 500mm | +0.3).
This was another one of those photos I had hoped to get on the trip, a rather iconic image of elephants on the floor of the Ngorongoro crater with the wall of the crater looming in the distance. It was early morning but already pretty warm so there was a lot of heat haze, making the elephants in the distance appear shimmery but still identifiable. (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 8:36 AM | ISO:400 | 1/8000s | f/4 | 500mm)

African Bush Elephant

A little bit later on we came across this elephant coming out a mud hole where it had coated itself with mud to protect itself from the sun. Elephants have very few sweat glands and very little hair so the mud protects their skin from the harsh UV rays that would burn them otherwise. On the left (Hali | Canon EOSR | 3/10/2019 9:03 AM | ISO 200 |1/250s | f/5.0 | -2/3 EV | 145mm). On the right (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 9:03 AM | ISO:320 | 1/1000s | f/8 | 500mm | -0.3).

Below is a video that Mike shot (using the Nikon D810) of our friend the elephant walking past our vehicle.

A video from Mike's D850 is below. The hippo has the amazing ability to splash the entire length of it's body with water using only its tail. I wish I could do that!

Clockwise from left: We came across a few hippos in the grass that quickly disappeared (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/10/2019 | 8:29 AM | ISO 400 | 1/3200 sec | f/5 | 500mm | -2/3 EV). A short way past them we found a bigger group in a pond, there were some youngsters there as well. If we thought it was hard getting a good image of an ostrich, hippos in the water were even more difficult. None of them obliged us by giving a yawn either (Hali | Canon 5D1V | 3/10/2019 | 9:26 AM | ISO 250 |1/2000 sec | f/4 |500mm). When we stopped for breakfast there was a pod of hippos in the swamp (Hali | Sony A6000 converted to 720nm | 3/10/2019 | 10:24 AM | ISO 400 | 1/320 sec | f/4.5 | EF 18-35 | +1 EV)

After the sun starting getting higher in the sky, we decided to take lunch (on the hood of the jeep) at the Ngoitokitok Springs in the south-eastern section of the park (along with a bunch of other visiting tourists). It's a convenient location and it has a restroom!

At left: other tourists watching a flight of egrets across the lake (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 | 10:40 AM | ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | f/8 | EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II). On the right: the black kites here are like the seagulls back home. If you are not careful, they will steal food right out of your hand. This one cooperated by landing in decent light (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 10:38 AM | ISO:400 | 1/800s | f/7 | 500mm).
Clockwise from top left - a common warthog (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 1:02 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/7 | 500mm | -0.3). Two male zebras having a bit of a tussle. Zebra teeth are serrated and they like to bite, its one reason why we saw so many zebras with short tails (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 1:02 PM | ISO 200 | 1/1250 sec | f/6.3 | 500mm | -2/3 EV). Lastly we see the common side-by-side and nose-to-tail stance, from a side view this time (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 11:32 AM | ISO:400 | 1/800s | f/10 | 500mm).

Below is a video from Mike's camera showing two male lions just resting in the heat of mid day (there isn't any shade around).

Two more images of the lion brothers in the crater. They were laying out in the heat of the day panting heavily. The one in the front was the same male as earlier with the swollen face. It was a touching moment when his brother, the alpha male, stood up less than a second later, to check on him and maybe tried to get him to try to move to some shade. Left (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 1:33 PM | ISO 100 | 1/1600 sec | f/4 | 500mm | -2/3 EV) Right (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 1:33 PM | ISO 100 | 1/640 sec | f/5.6 | 500mm | -2/3 EV)
After watching the lions for a while we headed to the entrance to the Lerai fever tree forest and a quick stop for the restroom, there are only two places in the crater where visitors can safely get out of the vehicles - the first was where we had lunch and this is the second. Thanks to Jason for taking this picture of us (Hali | iPhone XR)
On the left: we were hoping to see more monkeys in the fever tree forest but we only saw a few monkeys on this downed tree and the departed quickly (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 3:25PM | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | f/7.1 | 500mm | -1 EV). On the right is an olive baboon (also known as an anubis baboon) (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 5:27 PM | ISO:400 | 1/640s | f/7 | 500mm).

Serval Cat

We were hoping to see a Serval Cat whilst in the crater and we got lucky enough to see two. This is the second one, which gave us much better views often coming out of the long grass to sit and walk along. Serval cats are solitary and hunt in the day and night. They are very efficient hunters making kills over 50% of the time they hunt. Their prey include rodents, snakes, birds, frogs and small reptiles. Left (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 3:37 PM | ISO:400 | 1/400s | f/7 | 500mm | +0.3). Right the same cat a few minutes later (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 3:42 PM | ISO 400 | 1/2000 sec | f/5 | 500mm | -2/3 EV).
We saw lots of female wildebeest with calves. Calves are able to walk within minutes of being born, which is important because the wildebeest are always on the move. They get left behind if they can't keep up. And we know what happens then (queue the soundtrack from Jaws). On left (Hali). On right (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 4:06 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1000s | f/6.3 | 500mm).
On left is a Marabou Stork in a flat top acacia tree. This is one seriously ugly bird, and a big one too - it can have a wingspan of 10 feet which makes it one of the largest of all land birds. (Hali | Canon EOS R | 3/10/2019 3:54 PM | ISO 400 | 1/640 sec | f/4 | 500mm | -1/3 EV). On right is a cape buffalo, which kills more people each year than lions, tigers, and sharks combined (Mike | Nikon D850 | 3/10/2019 4:44 PM | ISO:400 | 1/1250s | f/7 | 500mm | -0.3)

From here we drove over to the Ndutu area (also within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area), but those images will have to wait for the exciting part 2 of our web page!!

Created By
Mike & Hali Sowle

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