Destination: Central Serengeti
Date: May 2014
Activity: Game Drive
We’ve now been on safari for six days and in the country of Tanzania for eight. The six days on safari, with African Dream Safaris, have been both exhilarating and exhausting. I’m not sure what I expected when we planned a safari but being in a vehicle for 6-8 hours a day was not what I had anticipated, however seeing the things I’ve seen during these hours of staking out animals has been more than I could have ever imagined.
A friend back home compared it to long stake outs and she was exactly right however when we do finally see the animals preform it is beyond rewarding. We’ve now seen many hunting, eating, mating, and sleeping scenarios but yesterday we came across an amazing scene… a lion and lioness mating in the wild.
Our guide suggested we head over to “honeymoon rock” to see if there was any action going on. Apparently this area is known for being the lion hookup spot. However, our guide did say that May is a bad time to find any lions up there since they mostly mate in the late fall so they can have spring babies. However, it was our lucky day. When we arrived there was a lion and lioness laying casually up on a rock overlooking the savannah. There were actually two other lionesses off in the distance about 60 yards from where we were watching from our Landrovers that were hunting some gazelle off in the distance. So we really had action going on both sides of our truck.
Emman, our guide had said that lions mate every 15-20 minutes for seven days. So we waited to see if he was correct. Soon the lion mounted the lioness and sure enough the circle of life began. Then after 30 seconds it was over and we all looked at each other not believing what we had just seen. Of course the next thing we checked were our watches to see if the 15-20 minute length between would actually occur. By my watch it was 17 minutes later and the lions went at it again.
It was actually incredible. Just to be there and have them so casually ignore us spectators in our vehicles as they continued the circle of life. Once the 30 second activity was over they turned their attention back to the two lionesses and watched as they scurried through the long grass ducking and hiding getting closer and closer to the gazelle. Finally, the gazelle were spooked and the lionesses stopped their hunt. We were all disappointed since watching a live kill would have been fascinating.
Not long after watching the lions at “honeymoon rock” we headed over about 100 yards away to another set of rocks to enjoy a picnic lunch. These lunches aren’t the best but it is a lot of fun since all three of our vehicles of friends stop to share the amazing things we have all just seen. It also gives everyone a chance to use a “bush bathroom” which isn’t the most fun but a relief after being in a bumpy vehicle for so long.
Our day today was short and we saw many animals and even a few birds we hadn’t seen before. Our biggest thrill was going to the hippo pool and watching over fifty hippos sitting in stinky stagnant water as they blew big funnels of water into the air and huffed and puffed in the water. There were even a few baby hippos that were quite fun to watch. Lucky for us we were able to get out of the vehicles and watch the hippo pool behind a wooden barrier which of course was the source of many bets being made on how much everyone would pay each other to just jump in and run back up the ledge to high ground. Thank heavens no one in our group was dumb enough to take up the bet because our guides let us know that hippos are the most dangerous creature to tourists in the Serengeti. I’m grateful of course since my eighteen-year old son Colton, is on this trip of a lifetime, wasn’t going for any of the bribes!
As always Safe and Happy Travels!