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Safari

Cat’s Cradle

Even before I left for my safari trip, I was told that Namiri Plains in the western Serengeti was one of the best big cat viewing areas, and this certainly proved to be true for me. Although I did not see any new big cats going forward, I saw more cheetah and had closer encounters with lions and the serval cat.

On this 5th day in the magnificent Serengeti, I was greeted with an amazing sunrise with some giraffes, and a closer encounter with the serval cat, likely the same one we saw the evening before as it was in the same area. Am I crazy or does the serval cat’s head look too small for its body? Of course I realize that those two things are not mutually exclusive.

Serval cat

Shortly after, we spotted another cheetah, this time a solo male, and then another female with one older cub.

Cheetah with older cub

To break up the cat monotony, we got treated to a very rare sighting of a pangolin. Keko said it was only the 2nd time he has seen one in all his years as a guide.

Pangolin

Our next treat was a real close encounter with a couple of big male lions, who walked right next to the jeep, so close I could have pet them. When telling my wife, Rosa, this, she asked why I didn’t. To which I replied, “What, you think I have too many hands?”

Two male lions close encounter

To close out our morning drive we were treated to 3 blacksmith lapwings, a molting gamagama lizard, eland, Coke’s hartebeest, wildebeest, topi, a couple of Verreaux’s eagle owls, black chested snake eagle, white headed Buffalo weaver, a dikdik (small antelope), coqui francolin, and a yellow necked spurfowl.

After lunch, we went out again for a short afternoon drive. First up was a Cape buffalo skull, and then a lone old, male elephant, a grey backed fiscal (shrike), and African white backed vultures.

Old male elephant

Finally our jeep got stuck in an aardvark hole and we had to get a savannah tow job. Fortunately there was another jeep from the same camp nearby and they always carry tow straps. We were freed within 15 minutes.

Jeep stuck
Jeep stuck

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