Elephants have great memories and apparently never forget, but our memories are not as good and fade with time so it is best to capture them in photographs. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater have been an incredible experience for us with such diversity of life. As we continue to share our photographs of this trip we thought about how surreal it is to be 20 feet away from a 10,000 pound elephant. They are huge and can weigh as much as 14,000 pounds but are very graceful and coordinated. The older males are often solitary but the younger males often hang out in small bachelor groups.
The females which have a older, experienced matriarch leading them hang out in herds which vary in size. The herds we saw ranged in size from about 10 to 40 elephants.
Babies of any animal species are so cute and adorable and the elephant calf is no exception. It stays close to its mother but there has to be time to be a kid and just play.
The baby in the photographs above was the star of the show and came within 5 meters of our vehicle. Although we do very little GoPro video we couldn’t resist doing one here.
We have many photos of these magnificent animals and it is hard to just pick just a few to share with you. Here are a few others that seemed to capture our attention.
And of course, one final photograph which is my favourite picture of the elephants.
Lions were out in full force in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater during our 4 day safari. We came across 4 different prides and a number of solitary lions. Although they are relatively abundant compared to the other big cats you never get tired of seeing them. However, they tend to sleep a great deal which doesn’t make for the best photos but every now and then something catches their attention and they perk up.
If you are the king of the pride you need to live up to that reputation. This male is waiting for his lioness to wake up because he has something on his mind.
She seems to be waking up. Ahhh, things are beginning to look promising for him.
She is now awake and seems receptive so I guess it’s time to get down to business.
The deed has been done (it lasted about 30 seconds) and she seems happy with his performance. Shortly after this photo was taken they both lay down and fell back asleep.
Just like a domestic cat it seems that sleep is a big part of a lion’s life. You can sleep on the ground or you can find a comfortable fallen tree. The wildebeest are migrating at this time of year so you sleep, get up for a few seconds to watch the wildebeest go by and then you get some more sleep.
We came across another pride laying in the long grass near a river. The male was there with his lionesses. Although the noise from our vehicle didn’t bother the lions as they kept sleeping, it did cause two small cubs to come running out from the long vegetation to find mama. Although it is fun to explore, there is nothing like being next to your mother when potential danger arises.
Many animals are extremely difficult to spot in the wild. Giraffes, however, are probably the easiest because they are so tall and can be spotted from a long distance. Occasionally you find them alone but more often you find them in groups. The colours vary a bit as you can see but all are beautiful. Despite their large size they are so graceful when they run but photographs just can’t capture this. However, we hope you will enjoy some of our photos of these majestic Masai Giraffes.
Growing up in Africa, Tricia has been in about 20 game parks but had never seen a leopard. They are largely nocturnal and very elusive. She told Vincent, our guide from Exotic Expeditions, that she wanted him to find her a leopard today. Well, it was our lucky day as we came across a leopard. High in a large rock outcropping you could see some movement behind the trees. It was difficult to tell it was a leopard but Vincent said he could see it. Patience and luck are the keys to wildlife photography – and a big telephoto lens! After about 30 minutes, the leopard came out from the brush and appeared ready to have a few photos taken.
We were thrilled to see such a majestic animal. However, it seemed a bit odd that a nocturnal cat was active during the day. Usually they find a nice shaded tree to sleep in and avoid the heat. Then it became clear – she had company. Her small cub also came out to get it’s picture taken as well. Although difficult to photograph at approximately 50 metres away we were able to capture a few good pictures.
We spent the first day of our safari in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. Our first stop was the Grimote River where we had great encounters with both crocodiles & hippos. A few of the crocodiles we came across were enormous and it quickly becomes apparent that these animals need to be respected. The hippos seem so docile and almost harmless. However, about 2900 people get killed each year from these animals. There is so much diversity in the Serengeti and we are photographing so many different species. Each day we will share some of our photos.